County streamlines planning process

The Mesa County Commission moved Monday to lop three months off the time that uncontested land-subdivision applications linger before county officials, a move that seems obvious enough that we have to wonder why it took so long. But we applaud it just the same.

The commission unanimously approved an amendment to the land-use code that allows administrative approval for major subdivisions of land for commercial, industrial or residential land.

The previous process was one marked by repetition, especially when projects already met the county’s master plan and zoning code, County Administrator Jon Peacock said

This step does a bit more than eliminate some of the time it takes to gain approval of projects. It also will translate into less cost for the county in terms of legal notifications, staff time and other costs that aren’t always obvious in the process of setting public hearings before the planning commission and the commissioners themselves.

That also could let the county better manage its people to deal with controversial or complicated proposals.

Under the new process, project opponents can still voice their concerns at neighborhood meetings and can make their cases to appointed and elected officials. The real beneficiaries of the change, though, aren’t county bureaucrats or developers.

We’re hopeful that a more streamlined planning process will pay off in terms of encouraging development here in the Grand Valley, consequently employing more people and offering consumers better products at less expense.

It’s a small thing, to be sure, but one that sends out a clear message — Mesa County does want to encourage business and growth and is willing to clear out some bureaucratic undergrowth to do it.


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