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  • Planning Commission Listening Session Update

    Animas Valley Action Coalition (AVAC) Input at Planning Commission Public Meeting for suggestions to improve Sketch Plan Process – April 25th, 2024

    Darlene Koontz, member of the AVAC Coordinating Committee, read a statement from AVAC outlining our suggestions for improving the Sketch Plan Process making these specific points:

    • Darlene Koontz thanked the Community Development Director for this listening session on how to improve the Sketch Plan Process.
    • Sketch Plan (Sec 66-19; LUC) purpose was recited.
    • County Planners and Commissioners should have detailed knowledge of Land Use Code (LUC), Zoning, and Animas Valley District Plan to be able to efficiently and accurately evaluate proposals that are submitted by Developers.  The example of Roberts’ Resorts was given as a case where this would have saved time, energy, resources and possibly money.
    • Roberts’ Sketch Plan did not meet the LUC or Zoning.  This was vocalized by Animas Valley residents in December of 2022, prior to County Planning Review.
    • Residents presented both written and verbal objections at the Planning Commission meeting in January 2023.
    • Contract Senior Planner, Tez Hawkins, supported the lack of compliance in his summary of March 11, 2024.
    • AVAC was formed by Animas Valley residents who felt that the LUC was not being followed by the Roberts’ Resort Project. The Hawkins compliance review substantiated many of these concerns.
    • The Sketch Plan process should be more carefully reviewed by Planning prior to its presentation to the Public and should be guided by both the LUC and the Animas Valley District Plan.
    • It is not clear how Public response to a Sketch Plan is considered in the Planning process.  Clarification is necessary on how these comments will be used and by whom.  Adjustments to the Plan should be shared with the Public as the process proceeds.
    • With respect to the Sketch Plan process, LUC and Land Use Plan amendments, the Public should be confident that continuity checks exist and that the initial parameters/intent of an application has not changed.
    • The process should be changed so that when interpretations exist in questionable or vague areas, decisions by the Planning Commission are made on the conservative side until and unless they are clarified.  This should be a transparent process that is accountable to the voters and not slanted in favor of Developers.
    • AVAC is pleased that the Community Development Department strives for “Accountability, Integrity and Respect.”

    These comments by AVAC were received without discussion by the Planning Commission, in line with this meeting’s format.  The Animas Valley Registered District Advisory Committee (AV-RDAC) also submitted verbal and written comments concerning the Sketch Plan Process.  Other comments ranged from support of the Sketch Plan Process to a suggestion that it should be dismissed altogether.

    It was stressed by some speakers that residents prefer a county where people can continue to live here and afford housing; there should not be unlimited growth; and the area should not be overrun with sprawl.

    Further, there was a question about how to shorten the process for approval or disapproval. If a proposal is a “bad project”, it should be known right away.

    It is our hope that members of AVAC attend all Public Meetings concerning this development, if possible.  The simple act of showing up in numbers adds credence to the amount of support and concern that our Valley Residents have for how our district is developed and by whom.  The jury is still very much “out” on whether this development proposal will be allowed by La Plata County.

  • RDAC Website is now Live

    The “Registered District Advisory Committees” (RDACs) serve primarily as public liaisons with the Planning Department, and are an opportunity for organized citizen groups to present the positions of their members and other residents of their district during district plan amendment processes and specific types of land use permit applications.

    There are 12 “districts” in La Plata County. The Animas Valley RDAC has created its own website to provide additional information. Please get involved in your RDAC to give the public a stronger voice in how development occurs in the county.

    Click here to visit the RDAC website

  • Planning commission to hold listening session

    See the Herald Article:

    The La Plata County Planning Commission will hold a listening session regarding the current provisions for the sketch plan process in the La Plata County Land Use Code (as outlined primarily in LPLUC Sec. 66-19). The session will be included as part of the commission’s regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. April 25 at the County Administration Building, 1101 East Second Ave.

  • AVAC’s LPC Compliance Report Analysis

    The AVAC core committee has posted their take on the compliance reports published by the La Plata County Planning Department related to the Roberts Village Camp Durango project. Roberts has 120 days View the summary on the County Planning Documents page under the Resources tab.

    Roberts has until mid-July to address the issues.

  • Durango Herald Compliance Article

    Please see the Durango Herald article, published on April 8, 2024 entitled “First review finds Animas Valley RV park noncompliant with code“. Please visit our County Planning Documents page for a list of the relevant reports and our take on them.

  • Camping got too big for its britches

    Check out the great new article at Renting Dirt! We got a national shout out for our attempt to save the Animas Valley from the Roberts Village Camp Durango project… Click here to read it.

  • Compliance Reports Released

    The La Plata County Planning Department has posted the “Project # PL2023-0036, Durango Village Camp First Compliance Review” and supporting reports on the public portal. The review and supporting report documents are on our AVAC website in the County Planning Documents Resource page. 

    The overall review was out-sourced to a company called Baseline Engineering Corporation in the Denver, CO area and the reviewer was Tez Hawkins. The report is very thorough and the report notes a number of instances in the Roberts proposed plan that do not comply with the La Plata County Land Use Code (LUC). For instance, they noted that the Roberts “Park Model” (i.e. tiny homes) are not RVs and actually should be treated as manufactured homes.

    While this is a positive development we cannot relax our efforts. Roberts has until mid-July to address the issues.  That provides additional time for our attorney to evaluate and develop our positions. Thanks for your continued support and encouragement!

    We are analyzing the documents and will post summaries of our take on the various sections.

  • AVAC Durango LLC Formed

    The Animas Valley Action Coalition has been working hard preparing for the next steps in the Planning Departments application process, with regard to Roberts Resorts Village Camp Durango.  We have been pleasantly overwhelmed with the amount of comments to the Planning website, and the continued Letters to the Editor, thank you!  We are making our voices heard, and there is no denying this proposal is not compatible with the Animas Valley’s way of life.

    The AVAC organization is now officially an LLC.  The paperwork was filed earlier this month and subsequently a checking account has been opened in the name of AVAC. We are able to accept donations now. Thanks so much for your help. It makes a difference! Visit our Donation page for more info.

    Additionally, we have identified a Land Attorney out of Grand Junction to engage on our behalf to provide advice and legal representation.

  • New Year Update

    Happy New Year!  We trust you all had a wonderful Holiday season.

    As we head into this new year, we wanted to inform you of an update to Roberts Resorts Village Camp, Phase 1 application.  We have been told by the Planning Department that the review process is nearing its completeness.  This in no way means this is a done deal.  

    As mentioned earlier, a Neighborhood Meeting will be the next step in the process as per Lynn Hyde (Community Development Director), so we are once again asking you all to please be prepared to attend this meeting in full force, and have your questions & concerns at the ready.  Be sure to check our website for facts, articles and our Top 10 Impacts which you may find useful.  We need to remember to stay focused and factual at any and all meetings.  As soon as this date is announced, we will get the word out quickly.

    Also, we would like to thank those of you who submitted comments to the Planning Department website, and the Letters to the Editor in the Durango Herald.  We counted 20+ additional comments & 2 letters with more on the way, so please keep them coming.  All comments on the Planning website will be accepted until the day before the Planning Commission holds its meeting.  So, continue to fill that page with your objections.  Your continued interest in supporting sensible and responsible development in the Animas Valley is appreciated.

    Below is the link to the comment section of the County Planning website. Please be sure to have your objections added to the record for this project. 

    Please click the blue box titled “Public Comment Form” and fill out.  Project number is, PL#20230036.

    Click here for link

  • September AVAC Meeting Minutes Released

    Click here to view the minutes from the Sep 9, 2023 AVAC meeting held at the Durango Public Library.

  • Sept 9, 2023 AVAC Meeting Successful

    Approximately 120 people attended the Sept 9, 2023 AVAC meeting. Thanks to all who participated. Presentations were by related to the Animas Water Company and Hermosa Sanitation. Click below to see the Hermosa Sanitation presentation. Minutes will be coming soon.

    Sep 9, 2023 Hermosa Sanitation Presentation PDF

  • September AVAC Meeting

    The next AVAC general meeting will be held at the Durango Public Library on September 9 from 10:00AM to 11:30AM. Everyone is welcome to attend. Please invite your friends and neighbors.

  • Roberts February Proposal Expired

    The Roberts Village Camp Durango proposal submitted on Feb 15, 2023 expired today. A new proposal submission will need to be filed. When we see that submission we will post a notice here. We will need everyone’s voices to be heard when that time comes.

  • Durango Village Camp Proposal Reports Filed

    The “Roberts Resort Village Camp”, aka “Durango Village Camp”, proposal was filed in February.The required design reports were filed today. We are reviewing the documents now. If you are not on the email list, please click on the Contact list and submit a request.

    Use this link to access planning department documents related to this project

  • Board of County Commissioners Meeting “On the Road”

    The La Plata County Board of County Commissioners (BoCC) will hold its final On the Road meeting on Tuesday, August 1 from 6 – 7:30pm at the Animas Valley Grange, 7271 Co Rd 203 in Durango.

    This community meeting is open to all county residents to provide an opportunity for informal discussion with the Commissioners and key staff. Please take this opportunity to attend and voice your concerns about our valley development. Please be conscious of the fact that they may only listen to our concerns over the Roberts development and not express any opinions of their own, and remember to be polite – civil discourse is much more effective than confrontation.

  • April AVAC Meeting Minutes

    The minutes of the latest AVAC public meeting have been released. Click here to view: April AVAC meeting minutes

  • Top 10 Impacts

    See our new page listing the 10 adverse impacts of the proposed Roberts Resorts Village Camp development.

  • Successful Meeting

    The Animas Valley Action Coalition (AVAC) held its second meeting, Rally for Our Valley, on April 29, 2023 starting with a Slide Show of the Animas Valley. Approximately 60 residents attended.

    A Valley resident gave history of the area. An Animas Riverkeeper with the San Juan Citizens Alliance advocated for protecting and restoring the river’s health, ensuring safe, reliable access for recreation, and promoting transparent and responsible water management. There is not a lot of access along the river and what is available is loved to death. The river access is about 1.5 acres of land with a 10-mile gap to the next exit/ access point, Oxbow Park. Should this access point be eliminated, the only other
    access point is near Silverton.

  • Durango Herald article on AVAC meeting

    Water and sewer demands have Animas Valley residents concerned about proposed RV park