Mesa County opens rural land for business events
Owners of large parcels of agricultural land in Mesa County should soon find it easier to host large-scale social events on their property as a way to make money off land that traditionally has yielded few profits or a loss of income.
County commissioners recently approved a change to the county’s land-use code that will allow weddings, wine-tastings, business retreats and other events on properties zoned agricultural forestry transitional and agricultural forestry with no more than one unit per 35 acres.
Those two zone districts are among the lowest-density designations in the county.
County Land Use and Development Director Linda Dannenberger said the county has fielded a number of inquiries from land owners who want to use their rural parcels for a business venture but may not be able to under the current code. Right now, property owners who want to host such events must be using their land in a manner that those events would constitute an accessory use.
“Many of the property owners believe that there are not enough venues where cost effective events with 100 or so people in attendance can be held in Mesa County,” Dannenberger wrote in a staff report.
Under the change, event applicants would apply for a conditional-use permit and have to meet certain criteria, including mitigating noise and light and conducting a traffic-impact analysis.
County officials say the change should protect agricultural land while enhancing its use.
“This is giving folks an alternate source of revenue that can help people from subdividing their land or selling it off,” Dannenberger said.
She said the code amendment will not affect smaller-scale, private events.