Sustainable Settings is encouraging the wide-spread adoption of sustainable development practices by collaborating with civic organizations and government agencies to overcome some of the antiquated legal and institutional barriers that hinder the adoption of sustainable solutions. Specifically, we recognize tremendous opportunities to affect building, infrastructural and energy codes throughout Colorado and the inter-mountain West by working closely with our county offices and departments.While Pitkin County is known for its commitment to environmental protection and sustainable development, it is also known for its strict zoning and code regulations. Each step that we take with the County to amend and expand permissible uses, systems and techniques, is an incremental step of positive change made available and readily adoptable as a model for other counties, municipalities and agencies in our region and beyond. Following are examples of code and permissible use items that we are currently working on with our county and soon with our state.
Sunny John – A Solar Composting Vault Toilet
We are currently working under an experimental permit process with the Pitkin County Department of Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) to design, build and monitor the Sunny John solar composting waste treatment system, so that it will become a legally approved and widely adopted solution.
We are currently working with neighbors in our local caucus and Pitkin County officials for the review and approval of the County’s first wind-electric generating system. Our wind design proposal has stimulated the County to ask the Community Office of Resource Efficiency (CORE) to help draft new code language concerning wind generators – hopefully leading to the wider adoption of clean energy systems in our region.
Our plans for the Thompson Creek Ranch include the design and implementation of constructed wetlands for efficient waste treatment and irrigation. By working with Pitkin County to permit and monitor our constructed wetlands, we will be establishing an integral element of sustainable development and land stewardship as an approved water feature in the County. This facilitates the wider adoption of these powerful mechanisms for habitat restoration, biodiversity preservation and natural water purification.
Water Augmentation Plan
Our Water Augmentation Plan will address a broad range of efficient strategies for water use on the ranch with the goal of doubling our water productivity in our agricultural systems, building riparian habitat and potentially returning some water to maintain stream flows while maintaining our water rights