Boulder County to amend building regulations to ease flood repair

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BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — Boulder County commissioners have authorized the rewriting of Land Use Code amendments in order to ease necessary repair work for flood-damaged homes and businesses in unincorporated parts of the county.

The Longmont Times-Call reported the County Planning Commission will review the amendments on Oct. 16, and action is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 23.

According to the paper, the resolution approved Tuesday seeks “to strike an appropriate balance between allowing flood-affected citizens to rebuild their homes, businesses and lives while assuring that future redevelopment is significantly better fortified against flooding, forces associated with flooding like mudslides, and the resulting uncontrolled terraforming effects.”

The latest flood-damage assessments in unincorporated Boulder County estimate that there were 345 homes destroyed, 557 homes damaged, three commercial properties and 33 commercial properties destroyed in the incorporated municipalities of Lyons and Jamestown during the flood.

Flood-damage assessments are still taking place throughout the area, but Land Use Department director Dale Case told commissioners that the disaster area was larger than the county ever envisioned.

The amendments would clarify types of permits the county would require for specific reconstruction and development in flood-damaged areas. They would also address the criteria for evaluating and mitigating such geologic hazards as future floods, debris flow and rock slides.

The period during which owners of eligible flood-affected properties would be able to take advantage of the rebuilding rules would also be addressed, according to the paper.

Commissioners clarified that building officials generally can’t issue building permits for projects to replace or make major repairs to flood-destroyed or damaged structures while the amendments are still under consideration.

There could be exceptions however, when the county’s land use director and engineer have determined that a proposed project does not pose significant geologic risks, according to the paper.

Possible building permit exceptions that could be issued between now and when the new regulations would take place in late October include electrical repairs, re-roofing, interior remodeling, basement refinishing, siding repairs, gas line repairs, plumbing repairs, and the replacements of windows, furnaces, boilers and water heaters.

Texts of the proposed county Land Use Code amendments that would apply to properties affected by Colorado’s floods are scheduled to be posted online a week before the Planning Commission’s Oct. 16 public hearing.


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