Commissioners Approve Amendments to  Economic Development Zone Overlay

ELBERT COUNTY, CO – The Elbert County Board of County Commissioners have approved certain amendments to the County land use regulations to implement the Economic Development Zone Overlay District (EDZ). The amendments aim to increase efficiency of development for new and expanding commercial businesses in the County and stimulate economic growth.

The approval allows the ability for Elbert County to identify potential centers of commercial activity and services, and increase the amount of County services provided. Key areas identified for development are along main travel corridors that can attract potential customers. The approved EDZ does not change where a property owner can put in a business, but rather allows the landowner within the overlay zone to “fast track” the process by allowing commercial use along predefined corridors. Positive fiscal impacts are anticipated, but the extent of which are unknown until the EDZ is implemented.

“This achieves a goal that was first set in the County’s 1996 Master Plan that was again validated in the Comprehensive Plan adopted last year. It allows the County as a whole to see a further return on our investments in paved roads,” explained County Commissioner Chris Richardson. “The purpose of the EDZ is to spur economic activity in these areas. One of the common concerns we have heard is the cost – both time and expense – to starting new businesses in the County. The EDZ is a tool property owners can use to help expedite establishing new businesses in Elbert County.”

Guided by the Elbert County Comprehensive Plan, a land use document adopted in 2018, staff developed the plan and recommended approval to the Elbert County Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners. To ensure they were acting in the best interest of County residents and towns, staff worked closely with municipalities and other local government agencies to provide more information and to alleviate initial concerns. The proposed amendments were open to public comment, and were included in proposal revisions and helped strengthened public notice requirements for commercial uses.

“This amendment does not significantly change the way we allow commercial businesses to operate in the County and does not change where a property owner can put a business,” stated County Manager Sam Albrecht. “Our residents, more often than not, leave the County to shop or obtain services – in addition to commuting to work. Encouraging more commercial development in our community, and expediting the application process, is good for job creation and will provide more opportunities for residents to shop locally.”

Link to the Zoning Regulations:

About Elbert County
Elbert County is located approximately 30 miles southeast of Denver and is home to over 26,000 residents. We are a unique mix of suburban bedroom communities and rural agricultural areas. The County provides essential statutory services and supportive infrastructure to our citizens in a professional, respectful, and cost-effective manner while creating a working environment that supports their endeavors, western lifestyle and rights as individuals. We strive to be the best place to live, work and conduct business in Colorado; led in a responsive, effective, transparent, and professional manner.