Industrial property owners in parts of the northern metro area have been given more time to weigh in on a plan to reduce the space where they can store their inventory in Adams County.
The county decided after study sessions in October to delay a vote that would change the zoning language in unincorporated parts of the county, outside municipalities like Commerce City.
The vote had been scheduled for Tuesday. The county now wants to finalize the outdoor industrial storage regulations by early 2022, documents show.
“The additional stakeholder outreach on outdoor storage is currently scheduled through November and December … in the form of large informational meetings and dedicated staff office hours for direct engagement with affected industrial users,” a county staff report stated.
The proposed changes are part of a broad multi-phased approach to zoning regulations the county is undertaking. The county commission will still consider other aspects of a more than 1,000-page zoning regulations document on Tuesday.
Currently, industrial businesses in unincorporated areas can generally store items outdoors on up to 80 percent of their land or less than 10 acres, whichever is smaller. There is also a separate category for outdoor storage that is “in excess of 100 percent of building area,” according to county documents.
Adams County originally proposed the area that can be used for outdoor storage be reduced to between 25 percent and 50 percent of the lot, depending on its size. Additionally, under both the existing and proposed zoning language, some industrial users must get conditional use permits in connection with their outdoor storage.
Adams County has three different industrial zones, determined by size and use, for which the regulations would apply.
The goal of the proposed changes is to reduce any effects of industrial outdoor storage on residential developments that are increasing in the area.
But Laurie Johnson, chief operating officer of 5280 Community Waste Solutions and co-chair of the approximately 140-business Industrial Property Owners Consortium of Adams County, told BusinessDen in October that it may not be possible for her business to reduce its outdoor storage by as much as the county is proposing.
“In the winter, when construction is not as high, our entire lot could be full of dumpsters, empty dumpsters that are not moving,” Johnson said. “If we can’t store those out there, we cannot conduct our business.”
In an October survey, the county found three people were in support of the proposed regulations, seven were neither in support nor opposition, but 42 formally opposed the zoning changes or wanted more time to consider them before a vote is taken.
The original plan defined outdoor storage as materials that are outside and on the business’ property for more than 72 hours, which would include “items for sale, lease, processing and repair (including vehicles) not in an enclosed building.”
Gravel, rock, recycled asphalt and other landscaping materials would also be considered outdoor storage materials.