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ESTES VALLEY LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE ISSUES

Land Development in the Estes Valley is governed by the Estes Valley Land Development Code, a very lengthy, poorly written, sometimes internally contradictory and often hard to interpret document. If you’re inclined to delve into it go to:

https://colorado.gov/pacific/townofestespark/developmentcode

The Code, however, is quite clear that commercial activities are not permitted on land that is zoned for residential use. The summary argument against the Mountain Coaster is as follows:
  1. The project is a commercial use of land that is prohibited in residential zones. It clearly fits the Commercial Recreation and Entertainment Establishment definition in the Code, which is not vague at all about ticket sales or a private commercial enterprise.

  2. The project clearly does NOT fit in the definition of a Park and Recreation use, which the Town says is permitted in residentially zoned areas.

  3. In any case, the Code specifies that, If a project can be interpretted to fit more than one classification, only the "most restrictive" use can be approved. The Town alleges the proposed project fits two definitions.

    1. Commercial Recreation & Establishment, Outdoor Facility, which is clearly defined as involving ticket sales to the public. This is prohibited on residentially zoned land.

    2. Park & Recreation facility. This is allowed on residentially zoned land.

    Clearly, the prohibited use "A" above, is more restrictive as it is not allowed in residential zones and this is the code interpretation that must be applied to the evaluation of the project.

  4. For this development, ether as a Park & Recreation use or as a Commercial facility in a residential zone, Planning Commission review and attendant public comment cannot be avoided under the terms of the Code.
Some of you may be interested in reading our detailed analysis of the Code, how it clearly supports our view that this project must come before the Estes Valley Planning Commission and why it must be rejected.