Jefferson County Planning Director John Wolforth likes to quote the words of 19th-century architect Daniel Burnham when describing the ideals of his department: “Make no little plans; they have no magic.”
Wolforth is proud of how “aggressive” the county has become at long-range planning: The planning commission and county staff are working to update the comprehensive master plan, and Wolforth’s department is also implementing a new public outreach program.
“We have an aggressive work program for 2008, which includes a comprehensive list of long-range projects,” Wolforth said.
His division has made strides to improve operations as well by implementing a strategy that incorporates both long-range and current planning activities and engineering services into one group, he said.
“Planning and zoning created a new section within the organization last year called development services to ensure that we could have a comprehensive approach to land-use issues,” Wolforth said.
That group is made up of 15 full-time planners and support staff. Collectively, the group evaluates current land-use applications, such as rezonings and plats, and also participates in broader, long-term planning matters, including outreach, census reviews, regional issues and community plan updates. This new format allows staff to take part in a variety of planning and zoning matters as needed, instead of “specializations in particular areas,” Wolforth said.
“I believe this fosters a global approach to planning,” he said.
Work to update the comprehensive master plan is well under way and has involved months of meetings between staff and the planning commission. A final draft of those efforts is now being compiled.
Jefferson County has multiple community plans that together make up the comprehensive master plan, according to information posted on the county’s website. This latest initiative will not affect existing community plans but will focus on broader countywide policies and objectives, and will reflect how the county will deal with land use matters, transportation, open space, recreation and tourism, natural resources, public services and economic development.
Soon the public will have a chance to participate in the master plan process. The public was allowed to participate in prior meetings involving the project, but those meetings did not allow official public testimony.
A public comment meeting scheduled for March 12 has been moved to April 2, however, due to land-use issues involving a proposal to build 280 homes between U.S. 285 and Willow Springs Road, according to senior planner Heather Gutherless. That proposal went before the planning commission Feb. 13 and was continued until March 5.
The planning and zoning division posts details about its projects at http://jeffco.us/planning. The meeting March 12 begins at 6:15 p.m. in Golden, at 100 Jefferson County Parkway.