Growing Grand Junction: Ups & Downs Of City Planning

Grand Junction is attracting new businesses daily, and the demand for existing businesses to expand is growing; this has the city's planning department busier than ever.

According to Tim Moore with the Planning Department, there are about 177 active projects in the system.

In an effort to meet these needs the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce and the city have been interviewing businesses about the planning process. So far 54 businesses have been surveyed.

In the July 2006 progress report and the 2005 Listening To Business Report, the primary complaint was that it takes too long to get a project through the system. Respondents felt planning officials were adversarial and not really trying to help them through the process.

Over the past six months perceptions have changed, while time is still a major concern, 60 percent of those interviewed now feel that the development review process takes an acceptable amount of time compared to the 19 percent that felt this way in the July report. Moore says his staff has implemented new tools to help them keep track of how long the process takes.

The time it takes to go through the planning process varies on the size and scope of the project. It can take anywhere from one month to two years.

Another main concern interviewees had centered around landscaping requirements. Sixty three percent felt they weren't realistic according to the size, location and use of project.

In all the survey found 74 percent of those interviewed thought the experience they had with the city's planning process was positive, 15 percent saw it as O.K., and 11 percent found it to be a negative process.

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