Douglas County Commission approves six-month halt on applications to subdivide rural land
photo by: Dylan Lysen
Rural residents of Douglas County who want to divide their land into residential lots may have to wait half a year before they can get that process started.
The Douglas County Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved a six-month moratorium on the county’s processing of applications for certificates of survey outside of the county’s urban growth area. Submitting an application is the first step in the process of dividing a large parcel of land — in this case, one that’s 20 acres or larger — into smaller residential lots.
According to the county’s resolution outlining the moratorium, any new applications will not be processed until Feb. 21, 2020. But the resolution also says the commission has the authority to bring the moratorium to an end before that if it chooses to do so.
Also, the county will still process about 10 applications that were submitted before the moratorium was approved, commissioners said.
The commission approved the moratorium in response to a request from county staff. Zoning director Tonya Voigt told commissioners last week that there had been a dramatic increase in applications to develop residential property in the rural parts of the county. She asked the commissioners to consider imposing the moratorium until new zoning regulations could be installed.
Voigt told the commission that some rural residents suggested the current regulations were too lax. She also said the county needed to make changes to keep rural and urban areas distinct, which is a goal in the county’s comprehensive plan.
During public comment at Wednesday’s meeting, the commissioners heard from about a half dozen residents and developers who opposed the moratorium. Michelle Derusseau, commission chair, said she wanted to remind them that the moratorium was intended as a temporary measure to give the county time to reevaluate its zoning regulations.