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Posted on: March 29, 2023

Town Council Issues Temporary Suspension on Certain Limited Development Applications

Town Council Issues Temporary Suspension on Certain Limited Development Applications

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Town Council Issues Temporary Suspension on Certain Limited Development Applications

Six-month suspension approved to enable review and study of various land use code issues

(March 29, 2023) – Telluride, CO --- At the urging of the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z), Town Council of the Town of Telluride has approved an emergency ordinance establishing a temporary suspension on the submission, acceptance, or processing of certain development applications to allow for time to study, review, and propose revisions to the Land Use Code (LUC). The suspension, set to expire in six months, will ensure new applications are compliant with any accepted changes, making commission work more streamlined and measured. The emergency ordinance was passed with a majority vote of five to two. 

The ordinance was initially proposed during the Town Council Retreat with the Historic & Architectural Review Commission (HARC) and the Planning & Zoning Commission on Thursday, March 23. During the retreat, staff, commission members, and Town Council identified trends surrounding new construction and provisions within the Land Use Code that needed immediate amendment or refinement. 

“We have four really big discussions about topics we all feel are very important,” said Council Member Geneva Shaunette. “We don’t want to have a rush of [development] applications to try and beat when this occurs. We want to push a pause and reopen the applications when we have made the changes that we all feel are important to do.”

The group identified the desire to:

  • Amend the list of public benefits that can be offered in return for a Planned Unit Development (PUD). 
  • Comprehensively examine this language to clarify and incorporate interpretation of previously approved ballot language into the LUC. 
  • Establish an absolute house size limit for the Residential/Commercial Zone District. 
  • Address square footage allocations for sloped Hillside lots being exceeded with double basements or much larger areas of below grade floor area in a basement for a new structure. 

The temporary suspension on applications applies only to the areas that have been identified including PUDs, lot line vacations, the Residential/Commercial Zone District, and certain basements on the sloped Hillside lots. Furthermore, for the sloped Hillside lots, the temporary suspension will only apply to applications in the Hillside Transitional, Hillside Developing One and Two, Residential and Historic Residential Zone Districts. 

Any applications that have already been submitted, if complete, compliant, and all fees have been paid will be exempt from the ordinance. Additionally, the ordinance does not apply if an application was already received by a lower board or commission, given final approval, and is waiting on or drafting a building permit application. 

The suspension will give staff and Town Council an opportunity to reconsider current public purposes, establish an updated list of public purposes tied to priority levels, and incorporate the Climate Action Plan priorities. Staff and Town Council will also have time to establish clarifying language for lot line vacations consistent with Ballot Question 300 and establish a maximum gross floor area for the Residential/Commercial Zone District. Finally, the temporary suspension will allow for time to determine appropriate, rational, and coherent standards for new construction of residences with basements in the residential zone districts and specifically on the sloped Hillside locations.

The Land Use Code will be reviewed within the next six months, including a projected three-month period to review the Planned Unit Development (PUD) provision. The public is encouraged to join upcoming meetings including, but not limited to:

  • April 27: Planning & Zoning Commission
  • May 17: Historic & Architectural Review Commission
  • May 18: Planning & Zoning Commission

The public is encouraged to follow the meeting schedule for the Town of Telluride which can be found on the Town’s website at Agendas and minutes for Town of Telluride meetings can be found at For more information or questions relating to the emergency ordinance, please email

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Communications Manager 
Lindsey Mills
Cell: (303) 319-6448

A former Victorian mining town in southwest Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, Telluride was incorporated in 1977 as a home-rule municipality. Set in a box canyon amid forested peaks at the base of the popular Telluride ski-and-golf resort, the town’s historic district houses landmarks like the Sheridan Opera House, a performing-arts venue originally built in 1913, and the Telluride Historical Museum, which showcases local history in a converted hospital built in 1896. For more information, please visit us online at

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