Chaffee County commissioners and the county Planning Commission met Monday in a work session to discuss the first draft of the county’s comprehensive plan, and most in attendance said it was not what they had hoped for.

“I’m disappointed in the draft presented,” Mike Allen, Planning Commission chair, said. “I feel there are items that needed to be elevated up. We need to take the good from this draft and separate out the rest.”

Allen identified three areas in which he thought the draft could be improved: identifying its sources of information, helping to balance possible future trade-offs and separating needs into critical and preferred.

County Commissioner Greg Felt said that after reading the draft, he sent the consultants about 10 pages of comments.

“I feel like there were some big blank spots, some missing background information,” Felt said. “They failed to define engagement, resulting in more one-on-one conversations instead of roundtable discussions. Maybe we need to trust the people here in this room to help flush out what could be more useful.”

Planning Commissioner Marjo Curgus, in a memo to both commissions, said she thought “the basic information is present, but the presentation demonstrates a ‘cut and paste’ approach, rather than personalized summary of Chaffee’s future.”

After discussion about what needed to be put into the next iteration of the draft, the Planning Commission decided to set a series of meetings to work on the comprehensive plan.

Planning commissioners identified that they needed to set the “vision, value, goals and strategies,” which they would do in their first two meetings, 4-6 p.m. March 31 and 5-7 p.m. April 7, both at the county meeting room, 104 Crestone Ave.

Their third meeting, 5-7 p.m. April 14, possibly at Chaffee County Fairgrounds, would be a scenarios work session.

They then wanted to meet with planners and elected officials from Buena Vista, Salida, Poncha Springs/Maysville, plus a meeting to talk about the mid-valley area. These are scheduled:

Salida – 5-7 p.m. May 12.

Buena Vista – 5-7 p.m. May 19.

Poncha Springs and Maysville – 5-7 p.m. June 9.

Mid-valley – 5-7 p.m. June 16.

The location of these meetings is not set yet but is planned to be at the fairgrounds.

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