Castle Rock looks to have say on nearby development

Council concerned about negative impact of large projects

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To protect the town against the negative impacts of continued development in the neighboring unincorporated areas of Douglas County, the Castle Rock Town Council approved the first steps in developing a new permitting process.

Castle Rock is adopting the new process under the state’s 1041 Regulations, which is a law enacted in 1974. The point of the law is to give local governments more control over large-scale projects.

Since becoming state law, 1041 Regulations have been implemented by 32 Colorado counties and 67 municipalities.

Under 1041 Regulations, counties and towns can function under a required permitting process, allowing local governments to have more say in projects proposed outside a town or county’s jurisdiction.

The regulations are set up under the state law to give municipalities more say over large developments. The regulations are not applied to smaller, less impactful projects.

During the Sept. 21 meeting, where council unanimously approved the first reading of the resolution to implement 1041 Regulations, Councilmember Laura Cavey asked for clarification. Looking for a specific example, Cavey asked if such a law could impact developments such as the Macanta Housing development on Crowfoot Valley Road, northeast of Castle Rock.

City Attorney Mike Hyman explained that while the Macanta project is already under construction, it is a good example of how the town will have more say in how the development would proceed under the 1041 Regulations. Hyman also stressed the town does not necessarily have a problem with how Macanta has been developed.

Hyman said the importance of moving forward with the new regulation is due to developers and residents building near city limits but not following Castle Rock infrastructure standards. Hyman said the housing projects draw more people, which directly impacts the town’s streets, water and wastewater services.

Hyman said looking at a map of town boundaries versus unincorporated areas is like looking at a “slice of Swiss cheese,” with pockets throughout the area.

Hyman said Castle Rock streets are already congested and urban development will only continue to impact traffic levels. Wells serving area developments may also impair the town’s existing wells and the town’s ability to utilize aquifer storage and recovery, he said.

If approved in the final reading, Castle Rock would require permit applicants to demonstrate appropriate and reasonable mitigation efforts to protect the town’s infrastructure and assets.

With wastewater, Hyman said the potential discharge into the town’s watershed could threaten the safety of the town’s drinking water supply.

Once the council approves the final reading of the proposed resolutions, the town will be able to require prospective developments in Douglas County’s jurisdiction to obtain a 1041 permit, which would require the developer to help in providing funding to streets, water and wastewater. Permits could also require underlying water rights be turned over to the town to serve future residents.

Under 1041 Regulations, prospective developers neighboring Castle Rock will be required to meet with the town manager prior to applying. During the meeting, the developer will be required to discuss the location, nature of the proposed project and what they propose to offset impact to the town’s infrastructure.

Once the application is submitted and fees are paid, the town will then send referrals to the appropriate county, state or federal agency.

All applications will either be approved or denied by the sitting town council. If approved, the council can either accept outright, or approve with conditions.

Under the proposed resolution, Hyman recommended the council place restrictions on all arterial highways, interchanges and collector highways located wholly or partially in Castle Rock boundaries.

He also recommended the council approve including site selection and construction of major new domestic water and sewage treatment systems and major extensions of existing domestic water and sewage systems located wholly or partially within the town’s Watershed Protection District.

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