Divide Planning History

Unofficial history of Planning as it relates to Teller County in general and the Divide Region in particular.

Teller County Planning

In 1899 Teller County was formed by splitting off land that was mostly El Paso county.

In 1973 Teller County became a Zoned county. Teller County Zoning Regulations were adopted July 23, 1973.

In 1990 after considerable work by county residents, businesses, county employees and officials the Teller County Growth Management Plan (a.k.a. Master Plan) document was completed and approved by the Board of County Commissioners (BoCC). This document is available on the Teller County website from the Planning Department page. This document is non-regulatory, but guidance to be considered during planning-related topic discussions and changes considered. It includes identifying the Planning Regions of the county and that each region should create a growth plan for their region and those region plans become part of the Master Plan.

Due to much of the acreage that makes up Teller County is not governed by municipalities, but instead the jurisdiction of the County Government the county was divided into Planning Regions. Each of these regions created a Regional Plan document. These regional plans are advisory only and intended to express the feelings and opinions of the residents of the area. Those planning region plans are also available on the Teller County website via the Planning Dept page. These planning regions are authorized in the Colorado Revised Statutes.

The Teller County Land Use Regulations document is the regulatory document spelling out rules pertaining to planning and land use in Teller County. This document, also the result of considerable effort of residents and officials, came into being in 1998. But has been modified and amended over the years and will continue to change; so ensure you use the current version. This document is also available on the County website. The Teller County Land Use Regulations is the Go-To document pertaining to Zoning and Land Use topics and spells out the regulations and processes followed to change what can and can not be done on land in Teller County.

The Land Use Regulations includes regulatory maps that identify the Planning Regions, where growth is intended and where growth is not intended; refer to Appendix B – Maps of that document.

Divide Region Planning

The Divide Growth Management Plan was created in 1991, revised in 1998 when its name was changed to Divide Regional Plan and revised again in 2006. From the beginning the Divide Plan has maintained that Divide should remain a Rural area consisting mostly of residential and ranching properties with a single town center where all commercial enterprises should locate.

With the creation of the Teller County Growth Management Plan in 1991 which includes the Planning Regions of the county, the residents of Divide (mostly members of the Divide Chamber of Commerce) created the original Divide Growth Management Plan.

Regional plans should be reviewed and revised, if deemed necessary, every five years, based on changes to the region. In late 1994 the County Planning Department invited residents and business owners of the planning regions to perform a review of their plans. Divide agreed that such a review was necessary and began a multi-year process to perform a complete re-write of the Divide Plan. The new Divide Regional Plan document was finally approved by the BoCC in 1998. The Maps included in the 1998 Divide Regional Plan were included in the Teller County Land Use Regulations document as regulatory maps. Subsequent changes to those maps are maintained in the regulatory document; thus the maps in the Divide Plan could be out of date – use the maps in Appendix B of the Land Use Regulations document. This plan recommended the creation of a review committee to speak for the Divide Plan when change applications impacting Divide are considered by the Teller County Planning Commission (TCPC) and BoCC. But the County did not act to form such a committee and the residents of Divide were burned out after spending years working on the document – so no on-going review committee was created.

In 2005-2006 the County Planning Department initiated another review process of the Divide Plan. A review committee was formed consisting of residents and businesses of Divide to review and revise as necessary the 1998 plan document. By this time the Teller County Land Use Regulations now existed, they did not exist when the 1998 Divide plan was established, minor tweaking of the Divide Plan text was agreed to plus two Amendments were added to the Divide Plan. The Amendments address criteria which should be met pertaining to expanding the Town Center and Recreational Land Use outside the Town Center.

At the completion of the 2006 revision process the same review committee recommendation was acted upon and the Divide Planning Committee was established at a community meeting as the agency review organization the County should consult for change applications to the Divide region. This committee had mixed results. Sometimes County Planning forgot to include the committee and other times the committee worked with applicants to assist with their applications and address concerns of residents.

After a number of years that Divide Committee died. About the end of 2013 residents near the Golden Bell church resort were concerned about a major expansion at the resort and wondered why the Divide Planning Committee was not involved. That is when it was discovered, even by committee members, that the Divide Planning Committee was no longer functioning.

A new Divide Planning Committee was formed in early 2014, members elected, By-Laws drafted and approved and the Divide Planning website established to provide transparency on the activities of the Committee.

Due to limited County resources it is unlikely the County will administer five-year reviews of regional plans in the future. Therefore, it will be up to residents to initiate reviews and updates to their regional plan documents. Assuming the current Divide Committee continues to stay active, the residents of Divide are better off than residents of other planning regions in Teller County that do not have an active review agency to watch out for changes to their regions.