Free Counties

…POWER back to the People!


By on April 20, 2018

Should Zoning/Planning be done in any manner that infringes upon your unalienable property rights?

The recently proposed LaPlata County (LPC) Land Use Code can regulate/restrict the property rights of all individual citizens who own property in the county. As the LPC Planning website states, “The Comprehensive Plan establishes goals and a policy framework for land use planning in LaPlata County; the Land Use Code is the regulatory tool for implementing that plan.”

In May of 2017, the Comprehensive Plan was rubber stamped without real input from the people. There was a process in 2011 where the county planners tried to implement a similar Comprehensive Plan and the people stood up and said “NO!” and the Planning Commission scrapped the plan. In 2017, the county just came back and put it in, anyhow. They told people not to worry since it is just an “advisory” document without any regulations; however the LUC is the regulatory side of it.

The proposed Land Use Code (LUC), with zoning sections, was rolled out in a manner that does not reflect the values of all areas of the county and is in direct violation of the Colorado Constitution where it states:

“All persons have certain natural, essential and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; of acquiring, possessing and protecting property; and of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.” (Article II Bill of Rights, Section 3)

This “code” will now become the regulatory enforcement of the things in the Comprehensive Plan that they said was only “advisory” in nature. This LUC is a county wide HOA where the local government can tell property owners how to use their property.

Here is the new Land Use “Code” (i.e., regulation law) so that you can see how it will have an impact on what you can/can’t do on your own property:

Compare that regulation “code” of over 100 pages to an opposite simple county plan from Baca County, Colorado where the local county government still protects the health, safety, and welfare of the people but does so in a manner which protects the property rights of their citizens.

Instead of implementing a large, restrictive, top-down Land Use Code, wouldn’t it be more representative of the people to start with a pro-property rights code and then add only the necessary items to protect the public health, safety, and welfare?

As the “Evaluation of County Regulatory Process and Recommendations for Land Use Planning and Governmental Reformreport states, “Land use planning is an advisory governmental function whose objective is to forecast future infrastructure requirements in the incorporated regions of Colorado countiesso why are they trying to enforce a county-wide law that restricts your rights?


On 12/4/2018, Our organization presented the LPC Board of County Commissioners with this statement and resolution:


Zoning in our modern world is the anti-thesis of property rights


Resolution to Protect LaPlata County Citizen’s Property Rights


*Please submit this request asking the Commissioners to consider this property rights resolution. This easy form is setup so that when you click the  “Sign Now” orange button, an email automatically gets sent to all 3 Commissioners. It does not share your information with any other 3rd party nor sign you up on any email lists. – Thank you!


Request for Commissioners to sign a Resolution to Protect La Plata County Citizen’s Property Rights

Dear LaPlata County Commissioner,

Will you please sign the "Resolution to Protect LaPlata County Citizen’s Property Rights" submitted by the Free Counties organization to protect the inalienable rights of all of the property owners in the county? Any zoning plan or land use code that does not protect the rights of the people is a legal infringement that does not represent the voices of the citizens and; therefore, should not be considered at all.
Thank you and please read the attached resolution.

Resolution to Protect La Plata County Citizen’s Property Rights
(presented on behalf of the citizens of La Plata County

The undersigned elected officials and community planners of¬ficially engaged to create planning programs for La Plata County, do hereby agree to the following:
• Planning involves and affects regulation of private property rights.
• Individual property ownership includes the right of usage and is protected by the U.S. Constitution as well as the Colorado Constitution (and subsequent Revised Statutes) with a basic foundation of inalienable rights and individual liberty for all citizens, as defined in the Declaration of Independence.

Recognizing these basic legal facts, we agree that all citizen’s private property rights shall be placed in the highest priority of consideration during the planning and zoning processes in LaPlata County; and, in the event that any part of the planning and zoning process or recommendations resulting from the process shall potentially negatively impact any property rights, property owners or the value of their private property, those affected property owners shall:
a) Be provided full, timely disclosure notifying the property owner or owners of the potential that their private property rights may in some way be infringed or the value of their private property may be thereby affected, and,
b) Be provided full disclosure outlining the rights to be infringed upon, and
c) Be provided an opportunity to opt-out of any rights’ infringing regulation or policy.

The Colorado Constitution was written in 1876 to protect the citizen’s property rights when it states: "All persons have certain natural, essential and inalienable rights among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; and of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.” (Article II Bill of Rights, Section 3 -

Furthermore, in the event of property loss or usage by the private land owner due to planning restrictions or zoning changes, the affected private property owner shall be fully compensated as a result of such zoning or other related restrictions on the fair legal use of his property according to Article II Bill of Rights, Section 14 “Taking private property for private use. Private property shall not be taken for private use unless by consent of the owner, except for private ways of necessity, and except for reservoirs, drains, flumes or ditches on or across the lands of others, for agricultural, mining, milling, domestic or sanitary purposes. And Section 15 “Taking property for public use compensation, how ascertained. Private property shall not be taken or damaged, for public or private use, without just compensation.

Further, affected property owners shall be notified of the potential impairment to their rights and their individual written approval required before engaging in any of the following:
a) Reconfiguration of zoning that intensifies or in any way adds restrictions to existing rights,
b) Implementation of conservation easements or Trading of Development Rights,
c) Acceptance of grant money by the above named government entity or their assigned planners, whether from non-profit organizations, governmental or private funding sources.

Finally, it is agreed that no government representatives or their assigned planning agents, will come on to private property for any planning purpose without the written consent of the owner.

Signed: (Elected Officials):
County Commissioner:
County Commissioner:
County Commissioner:

Signed: (Community Planners):
(County Attorney):

(County Manager):

(Planning Director):

(Planning Commission Chair):

**your signature**

Signed, Concerned Citizens of LPC

Please share with everyone in the county.


…or email the Commissioners on your own

Click on this link to listen to the first discussion of our Property Rights Resolution (22:47 mark)
on Dec. 12, 2018:

Here is our Summary of the Dec. 12 meeting and the 2nd Revision of the resolution. Property rights are granted as the “HIGHEST PRIORITY” in the structure of the Colorado State government (see file below):

If the La Plata County government believes that they have the power to infringe upon your Constitutionally property rights, then the Colorado Constitution also reminds them of how they must compensate for their “taking” of your property (Article II, Sections 14 & 15)