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These are a few themes we've seen cited in the County's review of recent development applications.  Cited are: 

Boulder County Comprehensive Plan (BCCP)

Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan (BVCP)

Boulder County Land Use Code (LUC)

We give here a few examples, but many other elements in these key documents can be cited.  We encourage you to become familiar with the County documents to discover the aspects that are most relevant to a particular issue you are researching.  These form the basis for County decision-making.


Preservation of Agricultural Lands, Environmental Conservation, and Sustainability (BCCP)

• Guiding Principle #5: Maintain the rural character and function of the unincorporated area of Boulder County by protecting environmental resources, agricultural uses, open spaces, vistas, and the distinction between urban and rural areas of the county.

County-wide Goal:  Cluster Development. Future urban development should be located within or adjacent to existing urban areas in order to eliminate sprawl and strip development, to assure the provision of adequate urban services, to preserve agriculture, forestry and open space land uses, and to maximize the utility of funds invested in public facilities and services. 

• County-wide Goal: Water. Preservation and utilization of water for agricultural purposes within the county shall be encouraged.

• County-wide Goal: Development. Development should not place undue burdens on any existing community.

• Agricultural Element Policy AG 1.01  Agricultural Land Preservation. It is the policy of Boulder County to promote and support the preservation of agricultural lands and activities within the unincorporated areas of the county, and to make that position known to all citizens currently living in or intending to move into this area…

• Agricultural Element Policy AG 1.03 Agricultural Land of Importance. It is the Policy of Boulder County to encourage the preservation and utilization of those lands identified in the Agricultural Element as Agricultural Lands of National, Statewide, or Local Importance and other agricultural lands for agricultural or rural uses...

• Agricultural Element Policy AG 1.12 Land Unification. The County shall continue to discourage the fragmentation of large parcels of agricultural land and to encourage the assemblage of smaller parcels…

• Environmental Resources Element Goal 1, Conserve & Preserve. Boulder County shall conserve and preserve environmental resources including its unique or distinctive natural features, biodiversity, and ecosystems through protection and restoration in recognition of the irreplaceable character of such resources and their importance to the quality of life in Boulder County.

• Environmental Resources Element Goal 7, Conserve & Preserve: Boulder County shall conserve and preserve Environmental Conservation Areas in order to perpetuate native species, biological communities, and ecological processes that function over large geographic areas and require a high degree of connectivity to thrive.

• Sustainability Element Goal 6, Foster & Promote Resources of Open & Rural Lands: The preservation and viability of the increasingly precious resources of open and rural lands, whether devoted to agriculture, forestry, open space, or plant and wildlife habitat, as well as the sustainability of uses that provide for the long-term preservation of such lands should be fostered and promoted...

• Sustainability Element Goal 10, Protect Natural Assets: The county’s rich and varied natural features, scenic vistas, ecosystems, and biodiversity should be protected from further intrusion, disruption, consumption, and fragmentation.

View Protection (BCCP)

 • Open Space Element Policy 1.02.01: The county shall avoid, minimize, or mitigate impacts on views from view protection corridors.

 • Open Space Element Policy 1.02.02: Areas that are considered as valuable scenic vistas and Natural Landmarks shall be preserved as much as possible in their natural state.

Transportation and Climate

Economics Element Policy EC 3.04 Transit Oriented Development (BCCP). Boulder County works with local cities and towns to encourage patterns of commercial and

residential development that support use of public transit and walkable mixed-use

neighborhoods, including modifying development regulations to facilitate commercial or

mixed-use projects at sites near transit stops.

4.05 Clean Mobility (BVCP): To reduce GHG emissions… the city and county will… continue to plan a built environment and mix of land uses that reduce the need for people to drive.

• Sustainability Element Goal 4, Identify & Implement Actions to Diminish Greenhouse Gas Emissions (BCCP): The county considers global climate change to be a matter of paramount concern and a potential threat to any sustainability efforts that may be undertaken… the county should take a leadership role in identifying and implementing actions that will lead to a diminishment in the county’s contribution to total GHG emissions from both stationary and mobile activities or sources through… a reduction in vehicle miles traveled (VMT).

• 6.05 Reduction of Single Occupancy Auto Trips (BVCP): The city and county will support and promote the greater use of multimodal travel options to reduce VMT and single-occupancy automobile travel…

• TR 5.01 Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (BCCP): Set goals for vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per capita reductions for 2015, 2020, and 2030.

• TR 4.01 Reduce Single-Occupant-Vehicle Travel (BCCP): Reduce single-occupant-vehicle (SOV) travel and shift SOV travel to off-peak periods through a variety of programs and techniques, including Transportation Demand Management (TDM).

• Transportation Element Goal 5, Minimize Reliance on Fossil Fuels (BCCP): Foster a transportation system that reduces demand for and reliance upon petroleum.

• 6.22 Improving Air Quality and Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions (BVCP): Both the city and county are committed to reductions in GHG Emissions… The city and county will design the transportation system to minimize air pollution and reduce GHG emissions by promoting the use of active transportation (e.g., walking and bicycling) [and] reducing auto traffic…


• Housing Element Policy HO 1.04 Limited Increases in Density (BCCP). In circumscribed situations, the county may enable increased residential density that meets affordability needs, is integrated within or adjacent to existing developed areas, is capable of being served by adequate public facilities, is considerate of long-term cost impacts on public facilities, and has strong multimodal transportation connections or potential for such connections.

Boulder County Land Use Code

Boulder County Land Use Code 3. Development.  Development should not place undue burdens on any existing community.

Note: Because the applicable Land Use Code regulations will be specific to the kind of development that is proposed, we will not attempt to go into detail here.  For example, the use of "Transferred Development Rights" has very specialized regulations in the Code.  Please consult the Code and work with the assigned Planner to determine the appropriate areas of focus for a particular docket. 

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