Boulder County Considering Disaster Code Amendment

On Oct 16th the Boulder County Planning Commision will hold a hearing on Land Use Code amendments (Text Amendments to Article 19 of the Land Use Code Governing Redevelopment Following Natural Disasters) in response to the flood that struck the Front Range in September. As drafted, these regulations are interim in nature and will be effective for only six months (through April 30, 2014).

The purpose of interim regulations is to allow for the rebuilding of destroyed or severely damaged structures without formal Site Plan Review through a proposed administrative Hazard Mitigation Review process intended to utilize the lessons learned from ongoing damage assessments following the floods. The regulations would allow the flexibility for damaged structures to be rebuilt in different locations if significantly better from a risk hazard standpoint, and would retain applicability of the County’s floodplain development regulations. At the end of the interim period, either this interim process will sunset or staff may recommend these regulations be extended or amended.

The current Code allows property owners to rebuild within the first six months without being subject to the formal Site Plan Review process; however, this allowance requires the property owner to replace the structure in the exact same location where it had been destroyed or severely damaged. The draft regulations allow owners to relocate the structure to a safer location on the parcel. The draft also allows owners to rebuild at a different height, provided the increase is made to accommodate flood-proofing or related hazard mitigation requirements.

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