17.104.010 Authority and Purpose.


A cluster development is any division of land that creates parcels containing less than thirty-five acres each, for single-family residential purposes only, where one or more tracts are being divided pursuant to a rural land use process and where at least two-thirds of the total area of the tract or tracts is reserved for the preservation of open space in perpetuity. No rural land use process shall approve a cluster development that would exceed one residential unit for each seventeen and one-half acre increment of the total area of the property.  The Cluster Development allows the property to be subdivided by a subdivision exemption per State Statutes and the Pueblo County Code. The Rural Land Use Process is the development review for zoning for design principles.


The purpose of the rural land use process is to provide an alternative method of land division that encourages the clustering of single-family residential dwellings and the preservation of open spaces in the rural portions of the County.  It is the intent of this section to allow the County to consider flexible and creative subdivision design concepts under cluster development.

17.104.020 Goals.

     The goals of the Rural Land Use Process are as follows:

     A. To implement a simple and streamlined land use process as an alternative to platting, rezoning, or thirty-five (35) acre land division;

     B. To encourage alternatives to thirty-five (35) acre parcels that would allow maximum retention of characteristics considered important to Pueblo County and most valued by its citizens;

     C. To maintain and enhance rural character by protecting, preserving, and conserving existing rural landscapes;

     D. To encourage development that promotes continued or future agricultural and ranching land uses and protects the County’s rural character, open space, and the character of existing communities while recognizing current zoning;

     E. To preserve the agricultural integrity of Pueblo County and promote its continued productivity;

     F. To reduce infrastructure costs and impacts by providing greater flexibility and efficiency in the siting and design of services and infrastructure;

     G. To encourage and promote good use of the land while responding to lifestyle choices;

     H. To improve rural planning practices and designs by encouraging appropriate and site-sensitive rural residential development;

     I.  To create compact neighborhoods within areas that are accessible to open space amenities and with a strong community identity;

     J. To assure the preservation of open space and significant wetlands areas, and to protect wildlife or critical areas;

     K. To preserve and conserve water resources.

17.104.030 General provisions.

     A. Qualifying:  In order to apply for a Rural Land Use Process, the applicant must comply with all of the criteria listed below.  Compliance with the qualification criteria does not guarantee that an optimal land division solution can be found or the application will be approved.

     1. The site shall be a legal parcel(s);

     2. The site shall be a minimum of seventy (70) contiguous acres in area (either in one parcel or in combination with several parcels; can be severed be public road right-of-way; railroad right-of-way, irrigation canal, or other similar feature) at the time of application submittal;

     3. The landowner shall reserve at least two-thirds (67%) of the total area of the site as open space in perpetuity;

     4. The landowner shall protect wildlife, agricultural (farming/ranching) or critical areas by not permitting development of such in perpetuity;

     5. The site for the Rural Land Use Process shall only be considered in the areas outside the three-mile annexation boundary as delineated in the City of Pueblo Annexation Master Plan, 1995 Update and subsequent updates thereto;

     6. All ad valorem property taxes for years prior to that year in which approval is granted shall be paid for the site.

17.104.040 Evaluation Criteria.

     A.  Purpose. In evaluating the layout of lots and open space, the following criteria will be considered by the County as indicating design appropriate to the site’s natural, agricultural (farming/ranching), historic, and cultural features, and meeting the purposes of this section.  Diversity and originality in lot layout shall be encouraged to achieve the best possible relationship between development and conservation areas.  Accordingly, the County shall evaluate proposals to determine whether the proposed Rural Land Use Plan:

     1. Protects and preserves floodplains and wetlands;

     2. Preserves and maintains mature woodlands, existing fields, pastures, meadows, and orchards, and creates sufficient buffer areas to minimize conflicts between residential and agricultural uses;

     3. Development should be located on the least productive lands;

     4. Maintains or creates a buffer of natural native species vegetation of at least fifty (50) feet in depth adjacent to wetlands and surface waters, including creeks, streams, springs, lakes, and ponds;

     5. Preserves around existing hedgerows and tree lines between fields or meadows. Protects large woodlands (greater than five acres), especially those containing many mature trees or a significant wildlife habitat. However, woodlands in poor condition with limited management potential can provide suitable locations for residential development. When any woodland is developed, great care shall be taken to design all disturbed areas (for buildings, roads, yards, septic disposal fields, etc.) in locations where there are no large trees or obvious wildlife areas, to the fullest extent that is practicable;

     6. Preserves scenic views and vistas unblocked or uninterrupted, particularly as seen from public roadways. For example, in open agrarian landscapes, a deep "no build, no plant" buffer is recommended along the public roadway where those views or vistas are prominent or locally significant. In wooded areas where the sense of enclosure is a feature that should be maintained, a deep "no-build, or no-cut" buffer should be respected, to preserve existing vegetation;

     7. Protects significant wildlife habitat areas and migration routes;

     8. Protects and preserves sites of historic, archaeological or cultural value, and their environs, insofar as needed to safeguard the character of the feature, including spring houses, barn foundations, cellar holes, earthworks, burial grounds, etc.;

     9. Protects rural roadside character and improves public safety and vehicular carrying capacity by avoiding development fronting and/or accessing onto existing public roads. Establishes buffer zones along the scenic corridor of rural roads with historic buildings, windbreaks, etc.;

     10. If physically feasible, incorporate a means for pedestrian circulation connecting open space areas to the neighborhoods;

     11. Provides open space that is reasonably contiguous to the greatest extent practicable. Long thin strips of conservation land shall be avoided, unless the conservation feature is linear or unless such configuration is necessary to connect with other streams or trails;

     12. The open space shall generally abut existing or potential open space land on adjacent parcels, and shall be designed as part of larger contiguous and integrated greenway systems;

     13. Community plans: The applicant shall consider the relevant community plans recommendations and designations in designing the residential cluster and the open space.

17.104.050 Relationship to zoning.

     These standards shall supersede those set forth in the underlying zone district.

     A. Permitted Uses:

     1. Cluster Dwelling Area(s): The following uses only are permitted in the cluster dwelling area(s).

     a. Detached single-family residential units;

     b. Accessory buildings and uses incidental to the residential use of the property.  Mobile homes, railroad rolling stock cars are expressly prohibited as accessory buildings.

     2. Conservation Area(s):

     a. The area primarily remains in its undisturbed natural conditions.

     3. All Areas:

     a. Improvements servicing the residences limited to roads, water systems, waste facilities, and public utilities.

     4. Animals: Persons within the cluster dwelling area(s) shall be permitted to keep up to four (4) dogs (puppies under six (6) months shall not count towards the allowable limit) on any size lot. Persons within the cluster dwelling area(s) on lots with a minimum area of five (5) acres shall be permitted to keep livestock animals. The type and number of livestock animals shall be identified on the Rural Land Use Plan and shall be reviewed by staff. If no livestock animals are allowed, a statement reflecting that restriction shall be placed on the Rural Land Use Plan as a notation.

     B. Permitted Density:   

     1. All Zone Districts: The maximum permitted residential density for a proposed Rural Land Use Process for cluster development shall permit up to one (1) single-family residential unit per each 17.5 acre increment of the total projects acreage.

     2. In all cases, the subdivider is entitled to use the Rural Land Use Process one time at the maximum lot number capacity allowed by the State Statutes for Cluster Development.  Further development of existing lots within the Rural Land Use Process has to go through the subdivision process and comply with underlying zoning.

     C. Development Standards:

     1. Prior to Building Permit Authorization, the Rural Land Use Process per the Pueblo County Code shall be approved by the Board of County Commissioners.

     2. The development standards of the underlying Zone District shall not apply to the Rural Land Use Process.

     D. Waivers or variances to any standard contained in the Rural Land Use Process shall be requested by the landowner/subdivider. The waiver or variance is heard by the Board of County Commissioners at a public hearing for approval or denial. The waiver or variance is published as a legal notice in the local Pueblo newspaper; the legal notice is sent to property owners within a 300-foot perimeter of the rural land use plan property boundary, and a poster of the waiver or variance request is posted on the property.

     E. Other Permits or Requirements: Approval of a land division under the Rural Land Use Process shall not relieve the subdivider of the responsibility for securing other permits or approvals required by the Pueblo County Department of Planning and Development, Pueblo Regional Building Department, or any other department or agency of Pueblo County or other public agency.

     F. Public Improvements: As a condition for the approval of the land division, the Board of County Commissioners may require a performance guarantee and warranty for all public improvements proposed.

     1. The type and amount of the security and the duration of the guarantee and warranty shall be as outlined in the Pueblo County Code, Title 16, SUBDIVISIONS and shall be specified in an Improvements Agreement to be submitted by the applicant prior to approval by the Board of County Commissioners.

17.104.060 Application requirements.

     A. Initial Inquiry and Application Review: For a preliminary review of the Rural Land Use Process for eligibility, the subdivider is encouraged to meet with staff with the following for an initial review:

     1. A letter of intent, signed by the landowner(s) and subdivider(s), if different person, describing the proposed uses, the proposed number of lots, the proposed density for the site, and the total acreage of the site.

     2. A USGS topographical map indicating the proposed project with the boundary of the parcel, lots, road layout, open space area, and the surrounding neighborhood context.

     B. Sketch Plan Application (Optional).
     The subdivider can submit a sketch plan application of the Rural Land Use Process for review at a Board of County Commissioners’ meeting. Upon receipt, staff shall refer the sketch plan application to County departments and other government and quasi-government agencies. The sketch plan will enable the Board to render an informal review of the Rural Land Use Process to the subdivider for general scope and conditions that might affect the development. This will allow the subdivider the discretion to continue with the formal application of the Rural Land Use Process.

   C. Formal Application Requirements:
   1. Rural Land Use Plan:  Prior to consideration by the Board of County Commissioners, the subdivider shall submit a Rural Land Use Plan prepared by or under the supervision of a registered professional land surveyor licensed with the State of Colorado and the Plan shall meet the requirements of a “Land Survey Plat” pursuant to the Colorado Revised Statutes, as amended.

   2. Form of the Rural Land Use Plan:

     a. The Rural Land Use Plan shall be in a form acceptable for recordation by the Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder’s Office and shall be on matte finish (both sides), three (3) mil mylar no larger than 24” x 36” drawn in black line ink (no ball point, transfer type or sticky-backs). Acceptable are “fix-line” photographic reproduction or computer generated reproduction of the original drawing. Inaccurate, incomplete or poorly drawn plans, as well as, Diazo (sepia) or electrostatic generated (Xerox) plans shall be rejected.

     b. The Rural Land Use Plan shall be drafted at a scale that best conveys the detailed survey, engineering, and design. When a proposal requires multiple sheets, a composite, on 24” x 36” mylar, shall be provided that delineates the boundaries and identifies each sheet number. The scale may be different than the individual sheets as approved by the staff planner.

     c. The subdivider shall submit four (4) full size copies of the Rural Land Use Plan, one (1) copy of the Rural Land Use Plan reduced to 11" x 17", and one (1) copy of the Rural Land Use Plan reduced to 8 1/2” x 11”.

     3. Content of the Rural Land Use Plan:  The Rural Land Use Plan shall include the following information:

     a. A Title Block with the name of the Rural Land Use Plan, which shall not duplicate any subdivision or planned development, placed at the top of the sheet along the long dimension of the sheet, followed by a legal description, stating the aliquot portion of the section, section, township, range, 6th P.M., and Pueblo, County, Colorado.

     b. Legal description of the property, whether metes and bounds or aliquot portion, according to the deed of record with the recordation information (reception number, book, page, date) cited. The total acreage shall be indicated after said legal description.

     c. Perimeter boundary of the property with bearings, distances, and curve data (radius of curve, central angle, tangent, arc length, notation of non-tangent curves) shall be indicated outside the boundary line. Lengths shall be shown to nearest 0.01’, and degrees shall be shown to nearest seconds. The boundary and internal parcels shall have a closure accuracy of 0.01’.

     d. All lots shall be located, identified and labeled with the appropriate dimension with sufficient linear, bearing, and curve data. No ditto marks shall be used for dimensions. All lots shall be shown in their entirety on one sheet. Lots shall be consecutively numbered.  Include the acreage within each lot to the nearest 0.01 of an acre. All parcels or areas of land inadvertently created and not identified shall be presumed to be open area and shall not be considered to be residential building sites.

     e. Building envelope shall be shown for lots one (1) acre or less or as otherwise required. Building envelopes may not be required on lots greater than one (1) acre. Physical constraints, Individual Sewage Disposal System (ISDS) requirements, well location, as examples, may dictate the necessity for building envelope locations. Dimensions from the building envelope to the lot lines shall be shown.

     f. All protected areas shall be shown and specific delineation may be required.

     g. A vicinity map that depicts the area to be developed and the area, which surrounds the proposed development with related existing and planned streets and highway systems.

     h. Astronomic north arrow; a written and graphic scale; basis of bearings statement; preparation date; names and addresses of owner(s) of record, developer, surveyor who prepared the plan; and the number of the sheet and the total number of sheets.

     i. Depict all easements, including existing and proposed, public and private on and adjacent to the proposed development, their use, principal dimensions, the owners of the easement along with the recordation information, and the name of the entity responsible for construction or maintenance.
     If any easement already of record cannot be definitely located, a statement of its existence, the nature thereof and its recorded reference must appear on the plan.  Distances and bearings on the side lines of parcels which are cut by an easement must be shown with an arrow or so shown to clearly indicate the actual length of the parcel lines.  The widths of all easements and sufficient data to definitely locate the same with respect to each parcel must be shown.  All easements must be clearly labeled and identified.  If an easement shown on the plan is already of record, its recorded reference must be given.

     j. Depict the locations, alignment, names, and principal dimensions for all proposed and adjacent public and private roads, including private driveways.  Indicate the maintenance responsibility, road grades, centerline radii and other pertinent roadway information such as distance between intersections.  Proposed road names shall not be duplicate names to other road names in Pueblo County including its incorporated areas.

     k. Depict legal and physical public access to the proposed development even if not part of the development.

     l. Identify by general and/or USGS map groupings the location of all bodies of water and watercourses, wetlands, 100-year floodplains and other hazard areas, significant rock outcroppings and other significant geologic features, wooded areas, significant individual trees over six (6) inches in diameter measured at six (6) feet above the ground, historical buildings, sites or landscapes, threatened or endangered species habitat, and natural or archaeological features.
     A floodplain is an area of special flood hazard subject to a one percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year (commonly known as the 100-year flood) as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
     The Rural Land Use Plan shall show the contour and elevation of the floodplain which shall be identified as the “Special Flood Hazard Area--100 Year Floodplain” or similar informational notation.  A note shall appear on the Plan which advises that “A Hazard Area Development Permit and/or compliance with additional floodplain regulations may be required prior to development in the Flood Hazard Area” or similar informational notation.  The elevation of the floodplain shall be shown at the boundary line of the property as it intersects with the contour of the 100-year floodplain.

     m. Identify all existing improvement and structures, utility lines, sewer and water lines.

     n.  Identify the location of and setbacks for all existing wells and septic systems in relation to lot lines. Through the review process, the location of proposed wells may be required. The location of each well may be Northing and Easting coordinates and/or UTM coordinates.

     o. Display ties to aliquot section corners, and to the County GPS according to the Pueblo County Code, Title 16, Chapter 16.68, Global Positioning System.

     p. A NOTES section, which shall specifically include the following notes:

The availability of water and permits for wells on these lots or parcels has not been established as of the approval date. Pueblo County makes no guarantee nor should any inference be drawn from an approval of this that there would be either adequate or sufficient quantities of water to serve this subdivision.

The source of research for recorded rights-of-way and easements is (name of title company, commitment for case no., file no., and effective date; i.e., ABC Title Insurance Corporation, Commitment for Title Insurance Case No. 00-00-001, File No. 12345, and having an effective date of month, date, year at time A.M. or P.M.).

and notes pertinent to the development standards pertaining to:

  • the rural land use plan improvements agreement,
  • conservation easements,
  • maintenance responsibility for private roads/easements,
  • fencing and building standards,
  • landscaping requirements, and
  • limitations on wells or septic systems.

     q. A Signature Block and Notary Block for the landowner(s) as follow:

I, ______________________, as owner of the land affected by this land division, accept and approve all conditions set forth herein.
Owner: __________________________________ Date ___________

(Multiple Owners)
We, _______________ and _______________ as owners of the land affected by this land division, accept and approve all conditions set forth herein.

Owner: __________________________________ Date ___________
Owner: __________________________________ Date ___________


 __________________________, as owner of the land affected by this land division, accept and approve all conditions set forth herein.
___________________ as president of _______________Date_________
___________________ as secretary of _______________Date ________


State of Colorado)
County of Pueblo)

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this _____ day of _________________, 20__ by _____________________________.  Witness my hand and official seal. 

My Commission expires ________________.
Notary Public:  ____________________________________________.


     r. Approval Certificate.


______________________________________      ________________
Dept. of Planning and Development                             Date

Building permits may be issued pursuant to this plan, as noted hereon.  Approval of this plan does not constitute automatic approval of other required permits. 

s. Surveyor’s Certificate.

I, ________________________ , a Professional Land Surveyor registered in the State of Colorado, hereby certify that a survey of the described property was performed by me or under my direct supervision on _________________, 20___;  this plan of (title of rural land use plan) complies with the minimum standards for Land Surveys and Plats as set forth in Section 38-51-101 et seq., C.R.S. 1973 (as amended).

_________________________________  _____________________
Surveyor’s Name                                         License #

(Surveyor’s seal)          

t. Commissioners’ Certificate.


This rural land use plan, titled ____________________________, was approved and accepted this _______ day of ______________, 20___, by the Board of County Commissioners, Pueblo County, Colorado.  


ATTEST:  ________________________________
                 Clerk of Board

(County Seal)

u. Density Statement.

The density of __________ units has been allocated to ______lots.  Further subdivision is not permitted by zoning.

v. Note the following on the plan when the internal roads are private:


All internal roads are private.  Maintenance is the responsibility of ____________________________________.  Pueblo County will not plow snow from the roads, or repair the surface of such roads. 

w. Plat Statement.

     If there are any parties who have an interest in, or an encumbrance on, the property described in the Rural Land Use Plan, those parties shall sign and have notarized the following statement or facsimile thereof:

FOR VALUE RECEIVED, the undersigned consents to the (name of Rural Land Use Plan), joins in the dedication of all roads, easements, rights-of-way and access restrictions shown hereon, and subordinates its interest in the property described in this (name of Rural Land Use Plan) to a Rural Land Use Improvements Agreement between the Subdivider and the County of Pueblo executed in conjunction therewith.

Signed the _____ day of _______ 20___.

Name and Title

Name of Institution with Interest

State of Colorado)
County of Pueblo)

The foregoing instrument was acknowledged before me this _____ day of _________________, 20__ by (name and title, institution name).  Witness my hand and official seal. 

My Commission expires ________________.
Notary Public:  ____________________________________________.


     4. Additional Documentation: In addition to the Rural Land Use Plan, the following supplementary documents shall be required prior to consideration by the Board of County Commissioners.

  1. A letter of intent, signed by the landowner(s) and subdivider(s), if different person, describing the proposed uses, the proposed number of lots, the proposed density of the site, and the total acreage of the site. (1 copy)
  2. Proof of Ownership in the form of a recorded deed. (1 copy). If the property is unplatted or includes a partial lot, a copy of the recorded warranty deed, recorded or signed prior to August 31, 1972, for the same property is required.
  3. A current title commitment or title policy (no older than thirty (30) days from the date of submittal to the Department of Planning and Development). (1 copy)
  4. A letter of authorization from the landowner permitting a representative to process the application, if applicable. (1 copy)
  5. Proof that a water supply sufficient in terms of quality, quantity, and dependability will be available to ensure an adequate supply of water for the proposed uses on the property. Proof of Water in the form of a letter indicating that the necessary water taps will be available if supply is through a special district or servicing authority. If the water supply is by wells, the proof shall be provided by a qualified groundwater hydrologist. (Original)
  6.  Individual Sewage Disposal System (ISDS) Report if proposing on-lot sewage treatment or a letter from the public or private sewage treatment facilities it can and will provide adequate sewage treatment if such service is to be provided by an existing district. (Original)
  7.  Proof of approved access location from the Pueblo County Department of Public Works or from the Colorado Department of Transportation for the proposed road(s) serving the development from a dedicated or maintained County road or from a State Highway to the overall site. (1 copy)
  8.  When in a Fire Protection District, proof of Fire Protection in the form of a letter from the local fire protection district indicating their ability to serve the site and if any fire hydrants are needed. (Original) The Fire Protection District has the authority to review private roads for appropriate widths, cul-de-sac radius, etc.
  9. Outside a Fire Protection District, the subdivider shall submit:
         --a description of how purchasers of the lots shall be notified the subject property is not within a Fire Protection District.
         --a fire protection plan for fire mitigation identifying examples such as no wood shingles; said plan is to be reviewed by the Pueblo County Department of Emergency Management and/or Pueblo Regional Building Department.
  10. A Conservation Easement, or similar instrument, specifying all development and land division restrictions, and the duration, maintenance requirements and permitted uses for the open space. (2 copies)
  11. A Rural Land Use Plan Improvements Agreement specifying any conditions related to guarantees and warranties for any and all public improvements. (2 copies)
  12. Right-of-way and roads to be dedicated to the public and petitioned to the Board of County Commissioners for maintenance by the County shall be designed and constructed according to and shall adhere to the Pueblo County Code, Title 12, Roads, Bridges and Public Places, Chapter 12, Roadway Design and Construction Standards.  Required Roadway Design and Construction plans are to be submitted. (2 copies)
  13. Homeowners’ covenants, conditions and restrictions. (2 copies)
  14. Maintenance plan (2 copies) which identifies:
         --Party responsible for maintenance of common areas, facilities, and open space tracts.
         --Items to be included in the maintenance program including but not limited to provisions for snow removal, trash removal, maintenance of recreation facilities, common areas and other amenities.
  15. Original Certification of Taxes Due from the County Treasurer that all ad valorem taxes have been paid.
  16. A Geotechnical Report that provides evidence that all building envelopes, access roads and utilities, and other areas proposed to be disturbed within the project site which may involve soil, topographical, or geologic conditions presenting hazards or requiring special precautions have been identified and that the proposed uses of these areas are compatible with such conditions. Such evidence may include, but shall not limited to snow avalanches, landslides, rock falls, mudflows, unstable slopes or soils, seismic effects, radioactivity, ground subsidence, shallow water table, expansive soils, and areas inundated by the 100-year floodplain. The Geotechnical Report shall be sent to the Colorado Geological Survey for review and comments. The applicant shall pay the fee at the time of submittal as required by the Colorado Geological Survey. (2 copies)

17.104.070 Development review.

     A. Initial Inquiry: The initial inquiry involves preliminary discussions between staff and the subdivider to review the request site, discuss eligibility criteria and goals for the site, discuss what is expected of the subdivider and landowner, and discuss the process and submittal requirements. Qualification for this process in no way guarantees that a suitable land division is attainable or that the Board of County Commissioners will approve the application.

     B. Initial Application: If qualified to apply, the subdivider shall submit an application pursuant to Section 17.104.060(A), Initial Inquiry and Application Review.

     C. Public Meeting: Prior to consideration by the Board of County Commissioners, the subdivider is encouraged to host a public meeting to introduce the proposal to the general community and to solicit input and comments from the general public. This is not a requirement.

     D. Formal Submission: Prior to consideration by the Board of County Commissioners, the subdivider shall submit a formal application in compliance to Section 17.104.060(B), Sketch Plan Application (optional) and/or 17.140.060(C), Formal Application Requirements.

     E. Formal Referral: Upon receipt, staff shall refer the formal submission to County departments and other government or private agencies pursuant to the Title 16, SUBDIVISIONS procedures for submission and review of plats. The referral agencies shall make recommendations within twenty-one (21) days after the mailing by Pueblo County unless a necessary extension of not more than thirty (30) days has been consented to by the subdivider and the Board of County Commissioners. The failure of any agency to respond within twenty-one (21) days or within the period of an extension shall be deemed an approval of the Rural Land Use Plan; except that, where such Plan involves twenty (20) or more dwelling units, a school district shall be required to submit within said time limit specific recommendations with respect to the adequacy of school sites and the adequacy of school structures.

     F. Public Notice: The Rural Land Use Process is the process by which the cluster development occurs. The Rural Land Use Plan shall be heard by the Board of County Commissioners at a public hearing for approval or denial. The Rural Land Use Plan is published as a legal notice in the local Pueblo newspaper, the legal notice is sent to property owners within a 300-foot perimeter of the Rural Land Use Plan property boundary, and a poster of the Rural Land Use Plan is posted on the property.

    G. Staff Review: Staff shall prepare a review taking all comments received by the referred agencies into consideration and make a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners.

    H. Board of County Commissioners' Review: The Board of County Commissioners shall consider staff’s review and recommendation, agency comments, the formal submittal, any public hearing comments and any other information submitted and may decide to approve, conditionally approve or deny the application. The Board of County Commissioners may impose such conditions to recordation of the Rural Land Use Plan and other documents in order to implement the intent of this process. Such requirements, when they exist, shall be noted on the Rural Land Use Plan.

     I.  Recordation.

     1. Upon approval by the Board, the subdivider shall have 180 days to submit the approved Rural Land Use Plan ready for recordation and any other documents with appropriate recording fees to the Department of Planning and Development.

     2. Within thirty (30) days of receipt of the Rural Land Use Plan, the staff planner shall review the documents for compliance with the Board’s approval, obtain the County Official’s signatures, and submit to the Clerk and Recorder’s Office for recordation.

     J. State Engineer Notification: Staff shall notify the State Engineer of the Division of Water Resources of the approved rural cluster land division and shall provide the State Engineer a copy of the approved Rural Land Use Plan within ten (10) days of the Board of County Commissioners’ approval.

17.104.080 Design principles.

     A. Purpose: Throughout the Rural Land Use Process, both staff and the applicant are governed by the design principles outlined below. These principles exist to facilitate the development of an optimal design solution that meets the goals for which the Rural Land Use Process was established.

     Each principle is followed by detailed regulations consisting of a combination of standards and guidelines. While the standards outlined are mandatory and required of the subdivider, the guidelines are general suggestions that promote and encourage excellent design. Staff may recommend rejection of the proposed land division based on inadequate conformance to the design standards if the land division contravenes or conflicts with the goals of this process.

     B. Domestic Water.

     1. Standards:

     a. A maximum of one (1) well permit as issued by the State Engineer, Division of Water Resources as allowed by C.R.S. 30-28-404 Water - Sewage- Roadways - Notification to State Engineer shall be permitted for every residential unit.

     b. Water consumption shall be metered and monitored as required by the State Engineer.

     2. Guidelines:

     a. Water supply may be through individual wells or through any public or private entity.  Common, joint or shared water systems, where technically feasible and viable, may be used as an alternative to individual, independent wells. Where shared or public systems are proposed, augmentation plans, if required, must be submitted to and approved by the State Engineer.

     b. Xeriscaping and/or indigenous vegetation is encouraged as much as possible.

     C. Neighborhood and Lot Configuration.

     1. Standards:

     a. Residential clusters shall be located on areas that are free of known geologic hazards including floodplains, wetlands, or landslide/slip areas, and shall be located so as to not adversely impact these areas.

     b. The minimum size of a proposed lot shall be determined, at the least, by the nature and characteristics of the area, soil types, constraints on the lot, and by the letter of approval from the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment.

     c. No more than one (1) single-family dwelling shall be located on a lot.

     d. All parking shall be off-street parking.

     2. Guidelines:

     a. A proposal may contain one or more residential clusters grouped into compact neighborhoods. The lots should be clustered so as to make efficient use of land resources and infrastructure.

     b. Views from the public road abutting the development road toward the residential cluster should be minimized by the use of natural changes in topography or existing vegetation.

     c. In all cases, the residential cluster should be located such that impacts with environmental, cultural or open space resources are minimized.

     D. Roads.

     1. Standards:

     a. Roads shall be designed and located in such a way as to maintain and preserve natural topography, cover, and trees; to minimize cuts and fill; and to preserve and enhance views on or off the site.

     b. Rights-of-way to be dedicated to Pueblo County as public streets/roads within the boundaries of the subject property shall comply with the Pueblo County Roadways Functional Classification Plan, April 23, 1998 and the Pueblo County Roadway Design and Construction Standards, April 23, 1998, and subsequent revisions adopted by Pueblo County.  Rights-of-way for public streets/roads shall be dedicated to Pueblo County on the Rural Land Use Plan.

     c. Streets/roads on old plats may need to be vacated.

     d. Private roads shall be shown as access easements and the lot/parcel property lines shall be the centerline of the easements. An access agreement will be required to be prepared, a note placed on the Plan of the access agreement, and the agreement shall be recorded concurrently with the Plan. The maintenance of the access easements is through the homeowner's association created through the Rural Land Use Process, or by other means the developer proposes. The documents shall be reviewed by the Department of Planning and Development. Private roads shall have road name signs installed by the subdivider. The road name signs shall comply with the 1997 Uniform Fire Code, Part III General Provisions for Safety, Article 9 - Fire Department Access and Water Supply, Section 901-General and Section 902-Fire Department Access, and future amendments thereto, and the 1997 Urban-Wildland Interface Code, Chapter 4 Urban-Wildland Interface Area Requirements, Section 401-General, Section 402- Applicability, Section 403-Access, and future amendments thereto, and the most current edition of the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

     e.  Road names shall not be duplicate names to other road names in Pueblo County including its incorporated areas.

     2. Guidelines:

     a. Locate, group and design roads and driveways such that privacy is provided among and between residential units.

     b. Shared driveways are encouraged as much as possible.

     c. Orient roads to provide opportunities to maximize residential solar exposure and heat conservation in the winter and maximize shading in the summer.

     d. If possible, have lots on one side of the road (i.e., single-loaded lots), in order that the maximum number of homes may enjoy views of open space.

     e. Minimize disturbance caused by the introduction of roads by siting roads in accordance to the topography and avoiding sensitive natural environments.

     f.  Re-vegetate or enhance all road cuts, grading, and other earth disturbances with indigenous vegetation.

     E. Drainage.

     1. Standards:

     a. All storm drainage facilities shall be located such that they shall not adversely impact floodplains, watercourses, water bodies, or wetlands.

     b. A drainage report shall be submitted to the Department of Public Works for approval. All construction activities disturbing more than one (1) acre will require a NPDES permit issued by the Colorado Department of Health, Water Quality Control Division, Permits and Enforcement Section, which will require a storm water management plan.  The storm water management plan will be reviewed by the Pueblo County Department of Public Works.

     2. Guidelines:

     a. Retain natural drainage channels, wetlands and depression areas in their natural state in an effort to minimize erosion.

     b. Preserve ecosystems adjacent to or within streams, wetlands, bodies of water, and other riparian habitats.

     c. Sound alternatives to detention/retention ponds are encouraged as a means of controlling and managing storm water drainage.

     d. Innovative methods of storm water management are encouraged.

     e. All man-made drainage channels and water management facilities should blend and harmonize with the natural environment. Extensive grading, contouring and earthwork should be avoided.

     f. Storm water detention/retention basins should be sited, formed and re-vegetated so that they harmonize with the natural surroundings and complement natural water flows. Excessive grading, clearing, and alteration of the site should be avoided and soil erosion should be minimized.

     F. Buildings and Structures.

     1. Standards:

     a. All buildings or structures existing or built on the land reserved for development shall be contained within predetermined building envelopes for lots one (1) acre or less or as otherwise required. Building envelopes may not be required on lots greater than one (1) acre. Physical constraints, Individual Sewage Disposal System (ISDS) requirements, well location, as examples, may dictate the necessity for building envelope locations. If building envelopes are not required, the buildings or structures shall have the following setbacks from property boundaries:

Front setback                   Minimum 25 feet

Side and rear setbacks    Minimum 15 feet

     b. Only one (1) single-family dwelling unit shall be permitted for each residential parcel proposed.

     c. Building envelopes and/or no-build areas may be required to protect a site’s natural, historic, and/or cultural features. See the Rural Land Use Evaluation Criteria (Section 17.104.040(A)) to better understand what types of physical features may require protection. All such building envelopes and/or no-build areas must be depicted on the Rural Land Use Plan.

     d. Unless otherwise agreed to by the County, the cost and responsibility of maintaining common facilities (open areas, private roads, shared water systems, and shared sewage disposal systems) shall be borne by the property owner or the homeowner’s association.

     e. Fencing shall be designed to conform to the topography and be of a color that blends with the natural environment.

     f. No signage, either temporary or permanent, is permitted except the following:
        --Gateway sign(s) for the development at each approved entryway as permitted and approved by Pueblo County pursuant to Section 17.116.100 Gateway Signs.  The gateway sign shall not be animated or illuminated and shall be constructed of natural materials with a maximum area of thirty-two (32) square feet, a maximum height of six (6) feet, and setback from all property lines a minimum of fifteen (15) feet and shall not impede driver and pedestrian visibility.
        --Advertising devices and signs not requiring permits pursuant to the Chapter 17.116, Advertising Devices and Signs.
        --Road signs shall be required and be the responsibility of the subdivider.
        --Development sign(s) pursuant to Section 17.116.090, Development signs. Signs shall not be animated and if illuminated shall comply with Section 17.120.180, Outdoor Lighting.

     2. Guidelines.

     a. The placement of structures within building envelopes along the street frontage should be varied to minimize uniformity.

     b. Group, mass, and design building such that privacy is provided among and between units.

     c. Orient residences for maximum solar exposure and heat conservation in the winter and maximum shading in the summer.

     d. Minimize disturbances caused by the introduction of buildings and structures or by their construction by being sensitive to the topography and existing natural environment.

     e. Any pedestrian, equestrian, and recreation trail should be soft-surface.  Asphalt or hard surface materials should be avoided.

     f. Re-vegetate or enhance all earth disturbances (building cuts, graded areas) with indigenous vegetation. Technical assistance or advice for re-vegetation is available from the Colorado State Forest Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Colorado State University Extension.

     g. Signage should be of a scale and character that is compatible with the development, surrounding environment, and maintenance views of the natural landscape, public parks and open space, emphasizing natural materials.

     h. Install utilities in a manner that will minimize visible structures, power poles, overhead power lines, tree removal, and other site disturbances. Mitigate disturbances with indigenous vegetation. Where possible, utilities should be located underground.

     i.  Lighting should be designed to avoid glare onto neighboring properties or onto roadways.

     j.  Utilize exterior materials, finishes and colors for buildings and structures that integrate with the surrounding natural environment.  Buildings and structures should not dominate or overwhelm the site.

     k. Avoid fences except as needed for wildlife corridors, domestic animal control or livestock containment. When fencing is proposed, it should be open in design so as not to restrict wildlife movement, it should conform to the topography, and should be of a color that integrates with the natural surrounding environment.

     l.  Privacy fencing may be used when the backs of lots are adjacent to a County road or state highway, or on individual lots to provide privacy or enclosure for the lot or a portion of the lot.

     G. Sanitation.

     1. Standards:

     a. Individual Sewage Disposal Systems shall comply with the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment regulations.

     b. Clustering of individual sewage disposal systems, where proposed, shall be pursuant to the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment regulations.

     c. No portion of an Individual Sewage Disposal Systems for the proposed lots shall be located within the open space.

     d. Primary and alternative individual sewage disposal system locations shall be shown and identified within the building envelope, if required, on the Rural Land Use Plan. These systems shall be pursuant to the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment Regulations.

     2. Guidelines:

     a. Common, joint or shared sewage disposal facilities, where technically feasible and viable, may be used as an alternative to individual or independent septic fields.

     H. Open Space.

     1. Standards:

     a. At least two-thirds of the total area of the site shall be reserved as open space.

     b. The calculation of the open space shall not include already existing public open space.

     c. Preservation of the open space shall be through one or some combination of the following instruments:
         --A fee simple dedication to Pueblo County, provided the County accepts the dedication.
         --A conservation easement.
         --Any other legal instrument approved by the Planning Director and the County Attorney.

     d. The beneficiary of the preservation instrument shall be either a) Pueblo County, or b) an organization that is (a) a qualified organization at the time of transfer under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended (or any successor provision then applicable), and the applicable regulations promulgated there under, (b) authorized to acquire and hold conservation easements under Colorado law.

     e. Ownership and maintenance of the open space shall be by one or some combination of the following entities:
        --A homeowner’s association established according to state statute and with the authority to collect a fee to maintain the open space.
        --An established land trust.
        --Public jurisdictions or agencies, subject to their acceptance.
        --Quasi-public organizations, subject to their acceptance.
        --The original landowner.
        --Shared, undivided interest by all property owners of the residential parcels.
        --Pueblo County, subject to acceptance by the Board of County Commissioners.

     f. Infrastructure systems shall not be sited within sensitive or fragile natural areas. All site disturbances for installations shall be re-vegetated and graded to harmonize with the natural surroundings.

     g. Agricultural/ranch buildings and structures shall be permitted to be located in the open space provided they are contained within specified building envelopes predetermined and delineated in the open space on the Rural Land Use Plan.

     2. Guidelines:

     a. Where the following characteristics exist, they should be located within the open space:
         --Significant wildlife habitat or migration routes.
         --Sensitive, rare, endangered or unusual vegetation or ecosystems.
         --Remarkable geologic features such as rock outcrops or formations.
         --Streams, watercourses, wetlands, and other bodies of water.
         --Trail Corridors, such as existing trails, trail easements, or trail connections shown on an official plan.
         --Designated historical or archaeological features.
         --Unstable slopes and slopes greater than 30%.
         --Geologic and other hazard areas.
         --Candidate lands identified by the Pueblo Comprehensive Plan.

     b. Landscaping within the open space should be minimized. Where proposed, new landscaping should utilize indigenous vegetation.

     c. Allow wildlife movement corridors in a size, location, and character that will encourage their continued use and in contiguity with adjacent wildlife corridors.

     d. Encourage the preservation of ecosystems adjacent to or within streams, wetlands, bodies of water, and other riparian habitats.

     e. Natural features should be maintained in their original condition as much as possible but may be modified to improve their function or overall condition provided a management plan and any subsequent changes has been approved or reviewed by Pueblo County. Permitted modifications may include reforestation, woodland management, meadow management, buffer area landscaping, stream bank protection, and wetlands management.

     f. The open space should be configured as a single lot unless an existing ditch or road, an existing physical feature or historic site, or sensitive wildlife habitat make this infeasible.

     g. Where agricultural or ranching uses are proposed within the open space, a management plan should be submitted to Pueblo County for review. Technical advice for management plans is available from the Natural Resources Conservation Service and from Colorado State University Extension Service.

     I.  Buffer.

     1. Standards:

     a. Perimeter buffering shall be required to minimize visual and noise impacts where adjacent land uses are of a different type (e.g., residential adjacent to commercial or industrial) or are of a substantially different residential density; or where the cluster is adjacent to a County road, State or federal highway or a railroad.

     b. Where the proposed cluster abuts a County road, state or federal highway or a railroad, the buffer is measured from the edge of the existing right-of-way and must be of a width and design to reduce visual and noise impacts from the road, highway, or railroad.

     c. A buffer area having a minimum depth of fifty (50) feet shall be provided between any proposed structure within the cluster development and the perimeter of the cluster development area.  Existing structures are not subject to this standard.

     d. Whenever possible the natural vegetation shall be retained, or if required, vegetation shall be planted of sufficient size to shield the development from abutting properties. Buffer strips may include fences or berms, as well as shrubs and trees.

     e. Development of any nature is discouraged within the buffer area.

     2. Guidelines:

     a. Buffering may be accomplished through the use of increased separation between land uses and/or by using native or drought resistant vegetation, fencing, walls, or a combination of these measures.

     b. The traditional concept of using windbreak plantings around a farm may be desirable for the design of buffering between a cluster and agricultural uses.

     c. Perimeter buffering of a cluster in mountainous areas should be designed to take into consideration the buffering effect provided by existing trees and topography.

17.104.090 Definitions.

     "Cluster Subdivision" means a form of single-family residential subdivision that creates parcels containing less than thirty-five acres each, permits housing units to be grouped on sites or lots with dimensions, frontages, and setbacks reduced from conventional sizes of the current zone district, allows one residential unit for each seventeen and one-half acre increment, and where at least two-thirds of the total land area is reserved for the preservation of open space.
     "Buffer" means an area of land used to separate visibly one use from another or which acts as a separation between two land uses of different intensity.
     "Common Open Space" means land within or related to a cluster residential development, not individually owned, which is designed and intended for the common use or enjoyment of the residents of the development, or the public, which may contain such accessory structures and improvements as are necessary and appropriate for recreation purposes. A condition of the cluster residential development approval shall be that the common open area may not be further subdivided.
     "Homeowner’s Association" means a private nonprofit association which is organized by the developer of a cluster residential development in which individual owners share common interests in open space and/or facilities and are in charge of preserving, managing and maintaining the common property, and enforces certain covenants and restrictions.
     "Tract" means an area, parcel, site, piece of land, or property that is the subject of a development proposal and applications.
     "Improvements Agreement" means an agreement guaranteeing to construct any required public improvements shown in the rural land use documents, together with collateral which is sufficient, in the judgment of the Board, to make reasonable provision for the completion of said improvements in accordance with design and time specifications.
References: Currituck County, North Carolina
                  New Hampshire Resource Net:  Cluster Residential Development
                  Larimer County, Colorado
                  Jefferson County, Colorado
                  Douglas County, Colorado
                  Summit County, Colorado
                  Colorado Revised Statutes
                  Pueblo County Code