County Update: Weigh in on Routt County master plan |

County Update: Weigh in on Routt County master plan

Beth Melton

One of the core roles of the Routt County government is managing land use in the unincorporated areas of the county — not in the cities or towns. Land use might not put you on the edge of your seat with excitement, but one of the things I’ve learned on the Routt County Board of Commissioners is that you probably care about it a lot more than you realize. 

The Routt County Master Plan lays out a longterm vision for our community. Specifically, for land use in the unincorporated parts of the county, though the document also contains information about how the various plans of each of the municipalities in the county fit together.

It is a guiding document that was used to create regulations that allow the Planning Commission and the Board of Commissioners to evaluate how individual development applications fit, or don’t fit, into the community’s longterm vision of Routt County.

The vision for our community is codified and implemented by the Planning Commission and the commissioners, but it is owned by all of us who live here.

Our current master plan was adopted in 2003. The plan identified a few concepts that were important to the people in Routt County at the time, balancing private property rights with the community desires for locations, patterns and types of development, and preserving the rural character of the county while accommodating appropriate development.

The plan has successfully allowed us to preserve open lands and agriculture by concentrating urban-type development and has preserved the iconic Routt County landscape that residents and visitors treasure.

Now it’s time for us to check in with the community. The Planning Commission and the commissioners need to hear from you. Any vision document needs to be revisited regularly for a few reasons.

First, we need to evaluate the successes and failures of our plan and what will work into the future. We need to ask: Over the past 16 years, what has worked and what hasn’t? What has changed and what hasn’t?

Second, we need to know where the community stands on the vision for the future. Does the community still agree with the goals and strategies from 2003? Are there some that need to be tweaked, thrown out or added?

Finally, community understanding and buy-in are critical to the success of implementing a vision. It is time to talk with the community, do some education on the purpose of a Master Plan and engage everyone in creatively identifying solutions for the future.

As we begin the process of revising and updating our Master Plan, we hope to hear from everyone in the community about what’s important to you and what you love about Routt County. Please take a few minutes to complete our online survey and give us your thoughts at

Over the next year or so, look for other opportunities to weigh in and get involved in the Master Plan process. These will be in addition to our existing opportunities, which include general public comment at Routt County Board of Commissioners meetings every Tuesday at 10:45 a.m. in the Commissioners Hearing Room at the Routt County Courthouse or on specific items on the agenda Monday or Tuesday, which you can find each week at, quarterly outreach meetings around the county and a good old-fashioned phone call at 970-870-0108 or email to

Beth Melton is the Routt County Commissioner for District III.

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