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On December 12, 2012, the Jefferson County Planning Commission adopted an update to the Jefferson County Comprehensive Master Plan (CMP). This plan contains general policies that apply to development anywhere in unincorporated Jefferson County. Currently, Planning and Zoning is incorporating the community plans into the Comprehensive Master Plan. Plans recently updated and incorporated into the master plan include the North Plains, Central Plains and South Plains Area Plans. The next plans to be updated include the North Mountains, Central Mountains and Indian Hills Community Plans. Please go to the main Community Plans Updates page for more information on the Indian Hills and North Mountains Plan updates.
The Indian Hills Community Plan was approved in 1997. Since this time, the county has adopted the Comprehensive Master Plan. There have also been updates to the Zoning Resolution and Land Development Regulations.
As the Indian Hills Community Plan is being integrated into the new Comprehensive Master Plan as a new “Indian Hills Area Plan” chapter, staff is comparing every policy in the Indian Hills plan against the Comprehensive Master Plan, the Zoning Resolution and the Land Development Regulation. When the Indian Hills Community Plan contains similar general policies that are already addressed in other documents, staff is proposing these policies be removed. What will remain will be a condensed Indian Hills Area Plan chapter that contains only policies specific to Indian Hills.
As presently written, the Indian Hills Community Plan makes few land use recommendations and does not have a land use recommendations map. Historically, staff has had to review proposed rezonings based upon compatibility with the “historical and rural character of the area.” Adding land use recommendations will result in less subjectivity and more predictability for residents, staff, developers and decision makers. The Draft Land Use Section comprises two elements: The land use policies and the land use map.
Policies in the existing Community Plan that are proposed to be retained are shown in black. New policies being proposed for addition are in red text. Existing policies proposed for removal are stricken in red text. Every policy proposed for removal has a comment associated with it outlining staff’s rationale for the proposed removal. In most cases, it is either because it is a general policy now contained in the CMP or it is a policy that is now addressed with the Land Use Map. See the documents at the bottom of this page.
The land use policies follow the land use map. The land use map was created by using the Septic Prohibition Area, the existing zoning and platting and existing development patterns.
The Septic Prohibition Area: Much of Indian Hills in and around Parmalee Gulch is within the “Septic Prohibition Area.” The Septic Prohibition Area was designated by the Jefferson County Board of Health in 1980 to address increasing groundwater quality problems. These water quality issues were caused by several factors, including inadequate septic systems, unsuitable soils and small summer cabins built on small lots, which were later converted to permanent residences. Within this Prohibition Area, septic systems may be replaced and in some cases, expanded, but no septic permits are issued for additional houses. There are also septic system engineering and lot size requirements for properties not within but drain into the Septic Prohibition Area. Almost all properties in the Indian Hills Plan are either within, or drain, into the Septic Prohibition Area. See this document at the bottom of this page.
Zoning and Platting: The majority of properties in and around the Parmalee Gulch area are zoned Mountain Residential-One (MR-1) or Mountain Residential-Three (MR-3). This zoning allows minimum lot sizes of 17,400 square feet and 6,250 square feet, respectively. In addition, there is a preponderance of existing legal lots, many of which are even smaller than the minimum lot sizes required by the zoning. The map recommends no rezonings for additional density in these areas.
For the larger properties (larger than 10 acres) outside the Septic Prohibition Area, there could be the possibility of rezoning to allow as small as five-acre lots, based upon Public Health septic permit requirements in Indian Hills. See this document at the bottom of this page.
Existing Development Patterns: Staff examined existing land use patterns, where non-residential uses were located, which types of uses they were, the existing community character, where access would occur and which types of non-residential uses would be appropriate in the future. This was used to create the “non-residential areas” of Indian Hills. See the bottom of this page for documents.
If you have a comment on the draft plan, questions about the process or would like to be contacted about future meetings, please fill out the Community Plan Notification Form and we will add you to our contact list. This information is used only for dispersing information regarding the Indian Hills Community Plan update and will not be used for other purposes.
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