Colorado Department of Local Affairs

Planning for Hazards: Land Use Solutions for Colorado

The Colorado Department of Local Affairs retained Clarion Associates to prepare a guidebook and website for local governments to better integrate hazard mitigation into land use planning mechanisms. Clarion led a team of experts including Hawksley Consulting, Link Walther Consulting, the University of Colorado – Denver, and Wildfire Planning International to prepare the guidebook Planning for Hazards: Land Use Solutions for Colorado. Clarion also worked with Urban Interactive Studio to develop a website containing background information, best practices, and case studies. The website allows users to read material from the guide cover-to-cover, or jump to specific information related to a hazard or land use planning tool. Clarion facilitated several meetings with an advisory committee comprised of Colorado subject matter experts to help inform development of the guide and website. Planning for Hazards: Land Use Solutions for Colorado enables counties and municipalities to prepare for

and mitigate hazards by integrating key principles of hazard mitigation into plans and codes. The guidebook and website address 11 hazards, and profiled 25 land use planning tools to address hazard mitigation. The planning tools profiled in the guide present a range of approaches, including preventing development in hazardous areas, directing future growth to safer areas, and protecting existing development in hazardous areas. Nearly half of the planning tools in the guide are also accompanied by model code language that local governments can tailor to their community; for example, development agreements, transfer of development rights, cluster subdivision, and stormwater ordinances. The website component of the guide is being maintained by the University of Colorado’s Center for Sustainable Urbanism to ensure that it remains relevant and reflects new best practices as they develop.