County tries to quicken approval process

It is no secret the development community is less than happy with the pace of Mesa County’s development approval process.

To speed up approvals, clarify conflicting codes and simplify the development approval process for everyone, a group known as the land development code focus group has been meeting and studying the issue since December. It is made up of 20 people representing the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, the county and commercial, construction firms and engineering firms.

“We are addressing a lot of items in the code,” Commissioner Steve Acquafresca said.

The commission directed county planning staff last year to start revamping the land development code.

“There will possibly be more changes this year than in a long time,” Acquafresca said.

“Time and money” is what the process is costing everyone, said Kim Kerk, development coordinator for Blue Star Industries and a member of the land code focus group.

“There are a lot of processes now that just take too much time,” Kerk said. “Everyone is aware of it.”

It is a time-consuming process to change and review the code, said Kurt Larsen, director of planning and economic development for Mesa County.

Several changes have been made over the years to the land development code, which was adopted in 2000. But in the past year the pace of refinement has increased, and numerous other changes are in the works.

“Times change, and we have done a lot of re-evaluation and modification over the last eight, nine years, but there are still issues that need refinement, modification,” Larsen said.


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