4800 West 92nd Avenue Westminster, CO 80031

City Government


2. Planning And Zoning Commission

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2-2-1:  CREATION:  (319 374 1588 1741 2068 2300) There is hereby created a Planning and Zoning Commission hereinafter referred to as the "Planning Commission" or "Commussion," consisting of seven (7) regular members and two (2) alternate members. 

2-2-2:  POWERS AND DUTIES: (319 1741 1970 2068 3495 3497 3599) The powers and duties of the Planning Commission shall include, but not be limited to, the following: 

(A) The review and approval of a planning document regarding the future growth and development of the City considering the following, as applicable:  population distribution and growth; local resources and finances; circulation and transportation; existing and future land usage; park, recreation and school requirements; location and capacity of public and private utilities; subdivision regulations; zoning regulations for the control of the height, area, bulk, location and use of buildings, structures and premises and the minimum areas, width and depth of lots; existing and proposed county and regional comprehensive plans; and any other factors specified by City Council.

(B) The review of proposed development plans within the boundaries of the City to determine their compliance with applicable ordinances and resolutions, the City's planning document and their conformance with good planning practices.  Preliminary plats, official development plans and amended preliminary plats and official development plans not approved administratively by the City Manager shall be decided by the Planning Commission in accordance with Title XI, Chapter 5, Section 13 of this Code. 

(C) The review of all proposed annexations to the City to determine their compliance with applicable ordinances, resolutions, plans and policies of the City, and their conformance with good planning practices, and the subsequent submittal of the annexation proposals to the City Council, together with the Planning Commission's recommendations for approval or rejection and any recommendations regarding the terms of an annexation agreement between the petitioners and the City. 

(D) The review of all zoning and rezoning requests to determine compliance with existing ordinances, resolutions, plans and policies of the City and their conformance with good planning practices.

(E) The review of requests for variances from the following provisions of Title XI, Land Development and Growth Management Procedures, W.M.C.:

(1) Section 11-7-4, W.M.C., regarding Off-Street Parking Standards;
(2) Those portions of Chapter 11 specified in Section 11-11-8, W.M.C., regarding Sign Regulations;
(3) Section 11-4-5, W.M.C., regarding Density Schedule and Section 11-4-6, W.M.C., regarding Special Regulations; 

(4) Section 11-4-11, W.M.C, regarding Antennas, Towers and Telecommunications Facitlies; 

(5) Those portions of Section 11-4-12, W.M.C., specified in subsection 11-4-12(I), W.M.C., regarding Satellite Earth Stations;

(6) Section 11-4-15, W.M.C., as it applies to Nonconforming Structures; and
(7) Subsection 11-4-6(P), W.M.C., regarding Fences.

(F) The review and determination of appeals from the Planning Manager’s interpretation of the Zoning Map and the Zoning District boundary lines thereon, under section 11-4-2, W.M.C.

(G) The review and determination of all special use permit applications.

(H) The review of a request from one individual lot owner in a detached single family housing development for a variance from an ODP requirement affecting said lot, as provided in Section 11-5-10 (A)(1), W.M.C.

2-2-3:  POLICY FROM COUNCIL:  (1741 2068)  The City Council shall establish the policies to be followed by the Planning Commission regarding developments, the growth management plan, annexation, zoning, public hearings, and similar matters affecting the Commission, and shall from time to time review and reaffirm or revise said policies. 

2-2-4:  RULES AND REGULATIONS:  (319 2068 2768 3495 3497)

(A) The Planning Commission shall meet at least once each month if there are matters pending and such other times as it may deem necessary.  Each member of the Commission shall be required to vote on each item before the Commission unless a conflict of interest has been determined to exist.  A member of the Commission may vote on items where they were absent if the hearing is continued, provided they have reviewed the electronic recording of the previous testimony prior to the continuation of the hearing.  If the recording is not reviewed, then this affected member is to be excused from voting on the matter; due to having not heard the entire testimony presentation.

Members may be excused from voting on previous meetings' minutes if they were absent from that respective meeting.  Being excused from voting must be recognized by the Chairperson and duly noted in the minutes of the present meeting.

(B) The Commission shall make and adopt its own bylaws, subject to the approval of the City Council, which shall include, but not be limited to, the following procedures:

 (1) The election of officers and establishment of the duties of such officers.
 (2) The scheduling and conduct of regular and special meetings and public hearings.
 (3) The submittal of applications and petitions for annexations, development plan approvals, amendments to development plans, zonings and rezonings, variances, special use permits and any matter within the jurisdiction of the Planning Commission.
 (4) The exercise of any of the duties of the Planning Commission set forth in this Code. 

2-2-5: REFERRALS TO PLANNING COMMISSION: (319 1741 1970 2068 3599) Unless otherwise provided for in this Code, all applications and petitions for annexations, subdivision development plan approvals, amendments to preliminary and official development plans, zonings and rezonings, plat approvals, and such other matters as the City Council or City Manager may deem pertinent shall be referred to the Planning Commission for its review and action in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 5, Section 13 of Title XI of this Code. 

2-2-6:  COMMISSION RECOMMENDATIONS:  (319 1741 2068)

(A) When the Planning Commission is required to submit recommendations to the Council, such recommendations shall be substantially in one (1) of the following forms:

(1) Approval;

(2) Approval subject to specified conditions; or

(3) Rejection because of specified findings. 

(B) Each recommendation shall be accompanied by findings of fact sufficient to support the recommendation.

2-2-7: ACTING CHAIRPERSON; QUORUM; PROCEDURE:  (2768 3495)  In the absence of the elected Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall assume the duties of the Chairperson for that respective meeting.  A quorum shall consist of four (4) members, and a decision of a majority of the members present shall control.  Any absent member may join in a pending decision of the Commission subject to Section 2-1-3, W.M.C. 


(A) In addition to any procedural hearing requirements the Commission may adopt by rule, the Commission shall conduct hearings and make decisions in accordance with the following requirements: 

(1) The public, the applicant and the Planning Commission shall be given notice, as provided in Section 11-5-13, W.M.C., of all variance hearings and, except as provided by subsection 2-1-6(A), W.M.C., all hearings shall be open to the public. 
(2) The Commission shall render written decisions, accompanied by findings of fact and conclusions based thereon.  Conclusions based on any provision of this Chapter, Code, or any City rules or regulations shall contain a reference to such provision, rule or regulation and shall also contain the reason the conclusion is deemed appropriate in light of the facts found.
(3) All witnesses shall be sworn or shall affirm their testimony in the manner required in courts of record.
(4) The Commission shall decide on any matter within thirty-five (35) days after date of hearing thereon.  Decision in favor of any applicant shall be approval of the matter requested and shall be an order to the Chief Building Inspector to carry out such action, subject to any conditions imposed by the Commission. 

(B) The Commission may grant a variance if it finds that all of the following requirements are satisfied, where applicable:

(1) That the strict application of the provisions of Title XI of this Code would result in practical difficulties or unnecessary hardship that is inconsistent with the general purpose and intent of this Code. 
(2) That there are unique physical circumstances or conditions, such as irregularity, narrowness or shallowness of the lot, or exceptional topographical or other physical conditions peculiar to the affected property. 
(3) That these unusual circumstances or conditions do not exist throughout the neighborhood or district in which the property is located. 
(4) That because of such physical circumstances or conditions, the property cannot be reasonably developed in conformity with the provisions of this Code. 
(5) That the special conditions and circumstances do not result from the present or prior actions of the applicant. 

(6) That the variance, if granted, will not alter the essential character of the neighborhood or district in which the property is located, nor substantially or permanently impair the appropriate use or development of adjacent property.

Any application not meeting such criteria shall be denied.  In approving an application meeting the above criteria, the Commission may attach such reasonable conditions and safeguards as it may deem necessary to implement the purpose of Title XI or the various adopted codes. 

(C) Decisions of the Commission are final subject only to an appeal to district court.

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