Title 17.152 - Article 1

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17.152.010 Purpose and intent.

   It is the purpose of these regulations to regulate development in natural hazard areas, including geologic hazard areas, wildfire hazard areas, and floodplain hazard areas, so as to minimize significant hazards to public health and safety, and to:
   A. Geologic Hazard Areas.
   1. Minimize significant hazards to public health and safety or to property in a designated geologic hazard area;
   2. Promote safe use of geologic hazard areas;
   3. Reduce the impact of geologic hazards on life and property by:
   a. Prohibiting certain land uses which are dangerous to life or property in geologic hazard areas,
   b. Restricting the land uses which would be hazardous to the public health and safety or to property in geologic hazard areas,
   c. Restricting the land uses which are particularly vulnerable to geologic hazards so as to alleviate hardship and reduce the demands for public expenditures for relief and protection,
   d. Requiring land uses permitted in geologic hazard areas, including public facilities which serve such uses, to be protected from geologic hazards by providing for geologic hazard investigation and the avoidance of or mitigation of such hazard impacts at the time of initial construction;
   4. Protect geologic hazard area occupants or users from the impacts of geologic hazards which may be caused by their own, or other, land use and which is or may be undertaken without full realization of the danger by:
   a. Regulating the area in which, or the manner in which, structures designed for human occupancy may be constructed so as to prevent danger to human life or property within each structure,
   b. Designating, delineating and describing areas that could be adversely affected by geologic hazards so as to protect individuals from purchasing or improperly utilizing lands for purposes which are not suitable;
   5. Protect the public from the burden of excessive financial expenditures from the impacts of geologic hazards and relief by:
   a. Regulating land uses within geologic hazard areas so as to produce the pattern of development or a soundly-engineered manner of construction which will minimize the intensity and/or probability of damage to property and loss of life or injury to the inhabitants or users of geologic hazard areas,
   b. Regulating the cutting, filling or drainage changes and other man-made changes which could initiate or intensify adverse conditions within geologic hazard areas,
   c. Encouraging such uses as agriculture, grazing, greenbelt, open space, and recreation within geologic hazard areas.
   B. Wildfire Hazard Areas.
   1. To facilitate the administration of wildfire hazard areas by establishing requirements which must be met before development in such areas as permitted;
   2. Establish requirements which are designed to minimize significant hazards to public health and safety or to property in wildfire hazard areas in which human activity is to take place;
   3. Require that authorized developments have adequate roads for service by fire trucks, fire-fighting personnel, and other safety equipment and that fuel breaks and other means of reducing conditions conducive to fire be provided;
   4. Promote proper land use within wildfire hazard areas;
   5. Protect the public against the costs which may be incurred when unsuitable development occurs in wildfire hazard areas;
   6. Preserve and maintain forestry and other natural resources;
   7. Conserve natural conditions of air, water, land, vegetation, wildlife and open spaces for the education, recreation, and general welfare of the public.
   C. Floodplain Hazard Areas. It is the purpose of these regulations to regulate development in flood hazard areas so as to minimize significant hazards to public health and safety; and to operate in coordination with the National Flood Insurance Program; and to prevent substantial solid debris from being carried down stream by flood waters.
   D. Mineral Resource Areas. It is the purpose of these regulations to regulate development in mineral resource areas so as to minimize significant hazards to public health and safety, and to insure the availability to the public of necessary and useful minerals.

17.152.020 Definitions.

   A. Geologic Hazard Areas.
   1. "Avalanche" means a mass of snow or ice and other material which may become incorporated therein as such mass moves rapidly down a mountain slope.
   2. "Expansive soils and rocks" means any mineral, clay, rock or other type of geologic deposit having the property of absorbing water with an accompanying swelling to several times the original volume thereof such as, for example, that type of bentonite having such properties.
   3. "Geologic hazard" means a geologic phenomena, which is so adverse to past, current or foreseeable construction or land use as to constitute a significant hazard to public health and safety or to property. The term includes, but is not limited to: avalanches, landslides, rock falls, mudflows, unstable or potentially unstable slopes, seismic effects, radioactivity and ground subsidence.
   4. "Geologic hazard area" means an area which contains or is directly affected by a geologic hazard.
   5. "Initial control area" means an area suspected, but not finally determined, to be a natural hazard area or a mineral resource area.
   6. "Ground subsidence" means a process characterized by the downward displacement of surface material caused by natural phenomena such as removal or underground fluids, natural consolidation or dissolution of underground minerals, or man-made phenomena such as underground mining.
   7. "Landslide" means a mass movement where there is a distinct surface of rupture, or zone of weakness, which separates the slide material from more stable underlying material.
   8. "Mudflow" means a flowing mass of predominately fine-grained earth material possessing a high degree of fluid during movement.
   9. "Nonconforming use" means any structure, development or land use in existence as of the date of the adoption of these regulations, and not permitted under the terms and provisions of these regulations.
   10. "Radioactivity" means a condition related to various types of radiation emitted by natural radioactive minerals that occur in natural deposits or rocks, soils and water.
   11. "Rock fall" means the rapid free-falling, bounding, sliding or rolling of large masses of rock or individual rocks.
   12. "Seismic effects" means direct and indirect effects caused by a natural earthquake or a man-made phenomenon.
   13. "Unstable or potentially unstable slope" means an area susceptible to a landslide, a mudflow, a rock fall, or accelerated creep of slope-forming materials.
   B. Wildfire Hazard Area.
   1. "Wildfire" means an uncontrolled fire burning in vegetation, structures or other improvements.
   2. "Wildfire behavior" means the predictable action of a wildfire under given conditions of fuels, weather and topography.
   3. "Wildfire hazard" means a wildfire phenomenon which is so adverse to past, current, or foreseeable construction or land use as to constitute a significant hazard to public health and safety or to property.
   C. Floodplain Hazard Areas. Repealed on March 27, 1986.
   D. Mineral Resource Areas.
   1. "Commercial mineral deposit" means a natural mineral deposit for which extraction by an extractor is or will be commercially feasible and regarding which it can be demonstrated by geologic, mineralogic, or other scientific data that such deposit has significant economic or strategic value to the area, state or nation.
   2. "Mineral" means an inanimate constituent of the earth in either solid, liquid or gaseous state which, when extracted from the earth, is usable in its natural form or is capable of conversion into usable form as a metal, a metallic compound, a chemical, an energy source, a raw material for manufacturing, or construction material. This definition does not include surface or ground water subject to appropriation for domestic, agricultural, or industrial purposes, nor does it include geothermal resources.
   3. "Mineral resource area" means an area in which minerals are located in sufficient concentration in veins, deposits, bodies, beds, seams, fields, pools or otherwise, as to be capable of economic recovery. The term includes, but is not limited to, any significant mining activity in the past, there is significant mining activity in the present, mining development is planned or in progress, or mineral rights are held by mineral patent or valid mining claims with the intention of mining. The term also includes an area of oil and gas or geothermal resource development if such area has been identified by the State Oil and Gas Conservation Commission for designation.
   4. "Mining" means the process of removing or extracting minerals and building stone from naturally occurring veins, deposits, bodies, beds, seams, fields, pools or other concentrations in the earth’s crust. This term also includes the preliminary treatment building stone.
   5. "Open mining" means the mining of natural mineral deposits by removing any amount of overburden lying above such deposits, and mining directly from the deposits thereby exposed. The term includes, but is not limited to, such practices as open cut mining, open pit mining, strip mining, quarrying and dredging.
   6. "Reclamation" means the rehabilitation of affected land by means of replanting, soil stabilization, water resource protection, and other measures appropriate to the subsequent beneficial use of such mined and reclaimed lands.

17.152.030 Authority.

   These regulations are adopted pursuant to, inter alia, House Bill 1041 (1974) and House Bill 1034 (1974).

17.152.040 Applicability.

   A. These regulations apply to applications for permits to engage in development in all designated or geologic hazard areas, wildfire hazard areas, or regulated flood hazard areas, or mineral resource areas within the unincorporated areas of the County of Pueblo.
   B. Any person seeking to engage in development in any designated geologic hazard areas, wildfire hazard area, flood hazard area, or mineral resource area in the unincorporated areas of the County of Pueblo shall obtain a permit pursuant to these regulations before seeking any other permit, rezoning or other action by the Board of County Commissioners of the County of Pueblo.

17.152.050 Nonconforming uses.

   A. The provisions of this Chapter shall not apply to or affect any development described in Section 17.148.050 of the Administrative Regulations adopted by this County.

   B. The provisions of this Chapter shall not apply to any nonconforming use existing on the date the area is designated or subjected to regulation, provided that, when such a nonconforming use shall be discontinued for six months or more, or a nonconforming structure is damaged or destroyed to the extent of at least fifty (50) percent of the appraised value thereof, any reuse, reconstruction or replacement of such structure shall be deemed a new use and shall be subject to the provisions of these regulations.

17.152.060 Relationship to other requirements.

   A. Nothing in these regulations shall be construed as exempting an applicant for a permit from any other requirements of this jurisdiction or other State or federal laws and regulations.
   B. To the extent that the requirements of these regulations differ from any other applicable requirements, the more restrictive requirements shall apply.