Wildfire Regulation Revisions
Jefferson County Planning & Zoning is beginning the process of revising regulations related to Wildfire. The County originally adopted the Wildfire Hazard Overlay District in 1976 and revisions have occurred several times to reflect best practices of the time. The current regulations apply to properties generally at or above 6400 feet in elevation. They require Defensible Space and Access Standards be met at the time of a building permit for a new dwelling, replacement of an existing dwelling, or additional space of 400 square feet or more to an existing dwelling. In 2019, the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) convened a Wildfire Risk Reduction Task Force to ensure a thoughtful, collaborative approach to address the challenges facing all. The Task Force presented their recommendations to the BCC on November 11, 2020. One of the Task Force recommendations was to strengthen county regulations and enforcement on defensible space.
Planning & Zoning is dividing updates to our regulations regarding wildfire into two phases. In Phase I, staff is proposing changes that may resonate with a broad segment of citizens and property owners in the County and can be readily accomplished. In Phase II, staff will tackle larger issues, such as updating the Wildfire Overlay Zone District map to be more consistent with the recommendations in the Jefferson County Community Wildfire Protection Plan, currently being updated by Jefferson County’s Emergency Management Division.
In October 2021, Planning and Zoning staff created Phase I changes to both Section 39 – Wildfire Hazard Overlay District and Section 2 – General Provisions and Regulations. Staff is requesting comments from a broad variety of stakeholders including Fire Districts, Foresters, Citizens, Homeowner’s Associations, Water & Sanitation Districts, Adjacent Cities and Counties, and other County Divisions and Departments. In general, the proposal includes:
- Adding proof of fire protection to all building permit applications;
- Expanding the types of Building Permits that would require Defensible Space; and
- Requiring Defensible Space for the land along the edge of the road as travelled where adjacent to public roads.
Please email us any comments on these regulations by Wednesday, November 3.
Please remember these are revisions that staff thinks are widely acceptable and could be readily accomplished. A second phase will address issues that may be more complex.
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Previous Changes to the Regulations
- Zoning Resolution Adopted February 9, 2021
- Zoning Resolution Adopted December 8, 2020
- Land Development Regulation Section 1, Adopted July 28, 2020
- Storm Drainage Design and Technical Criteria Manual July, 17 2018
- Transportation Design and Construction Manual July, 17 2018
- Land Development Regulation July, 17 2018
- Zoning Resolution July, 17 2018
- Zoning Resolution: Sign regulation adopted February 6, 2018
- Zoning Resolution: Section 4 - pertaining to organization, operation and administrative procedures of the Board of Adjustment. Adopted April 4, 2017
- Site Development Plan Regulation update to Zoning Resolution and Land Development Regulation adopted December 13, 2016 (PDF)
- Zoning Resolution: Section 5 - Allowing for the keeping of ducks as an Accessory Use. Adopted September 13, 2016
- Zoning Resolution: Section 3 - allowing the Director of Planning and Zoning to permit Administrative Exceptions to provide reasonable accommodations for disabilities. Section 1 - clarifies the public notification requirements for Administrative Exceptions. Added definition of Disability to the Definitions Section. Adopted March 29, 2016
- Zoning Resolution Section 30 (Floodplain Overlay District) to amend date of FEMA’s Flood Insurance Study (FIS) from 2- 5-2014 to 1-20-2016. Adopted December 8, 2015
- Transportation and Ancillary Regulations adopted November 24, 2015 (PDF)
- Zoning Resolution Amendment to Sign Regulations adopted by the BCC September 29 2015 (PDF)
- Zoning Resolution, Section 7, Telecommunications (to comply with FCC rule changes). Adopted by the BCC 2-3-15 and effective 4-8-15.
- Zoning Resolution: replace the title “Zoning Administrator” with “Director of Planning and Zoning or his/her appointed designee” throughout the document. Adopted 3-3-2015.
- Land Development Regulation, Section 2, Waivers adopted 12-9-2014 (PDF)
- Zoning Resolution, Sections 4, 5, 34 and Definitions regarding Accessory Dwelling Units adopted 12-9-2014 (PDF)
- Zoning Resolution, Section 35, Drilling and Production of Oil and Gas adopted September 16, 2014 (PDF)
- Changes to Zoning Resolution regarding Marijuana adopted April 15, 2014 (PDF)
- Zoning Resolution-Section 20 Mixed Use Zone District was adopted February 11, 2014 with changes to provide additional clarification on how the zone district applies to properties with existing structures.
- Changes to the Zoning Resolution January 14, 2014, related to the Floodplain Overlay District, Section 30. Updated the effective date of FEMA’s Flood Insurance Study (FIS) and Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) from June 17, 2003 to February 5, 2014.
- Land Development Regulation and Zoning Resolution Adopted 9-24-2013 (PDF)
- Land Development Regulation and Zoning Resolution Adopted 8-27-2013 (PDF)
- Zoning Resolution adopted May 21, 2013 (PDF)
- Zoning Resolution and Land Development Regulation adopted April 30, 2013 (PDF) (related to Water Supply and Wastewater)
- Zoning Resolution adopted March 26, 2013 (PDF) (changes to allow expanded keeping of chickens and bees and to consolidate zone districts)
- On February 26, 2013, the Board of County Commissioners approve new mixed use zone district (Section 21)
- Changes to the Zoning Resolution November 20, 2012 (Section 16: Revisions to the criteria for obtaining an exemption from the Land Disturbance Permit requirements)
- Zoning Resolution Adopted June 12, 2012 (Amended Section 46-Industrial Three Zone district and definitions to allow craft breweries, distilleries, and wineries)
- Zoning Resolution Adopted 11-22-11 (effective January 1, 2012 (PDF))
- Land Development Regulation and Zoning Resolution Adopted 9-27-2011 (PDF)
- Changes to the Zoning Resolution: Definitions August 23, 2011 (Changes include: barn, commercial vehicles, accessory dwellings, additions to single family homes, B&Bs, camps and campgrounds, and Research & Development, and short-term rentals)
- Zoning Resolution Adopted 2-8-2011 (PDF)
- Land Development Regulation and Zoning Resolution Adopted 12-21-2010 (PDF)
- Land Development Regulation and Zoning Resolution Adopted 4-20-2010 (PDF)
- Changes to the Zoning Resolution, Section 11, October 25, 2011 (Amend Signs and Outdoor Advertising Devices and to allow Banner and Sandwich board signs.)