Loveland Bike Trail
 

PROCEEDINGS OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

MONDAY, MARCH 02, 1998

The regularly scheduled Land Use Meeting was canceled due to the evening Joint Public Hearing with the City of Fort Collins Growth Management Committee and the City of Fort Collins Planning and Zoning Board, regarding the Proposed Fossil Creek Reservoir Study Area Plan and Intergovernmental Agreement. (Please see attached Minutes from the joint hearing.)

TUESDAY, MARCH 03, 1998

ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS

(#300 & #301 Side A)

The Board of County Commissioners met at 9:00 a.m. in regular session with Frank Lancaster, County Manager. Chair Olson presided and Commissioners Clarke and Disney were present. Also present were: Janelle Henderson, Natural Resources Director; Marc Engemoen, Public Works Director; Carol Block, Finance Director; Ralph Jacobs, Human Resources Director; Kathy Snell, Health and Human Services Director; Ginny Riley, Health and Human Services Executive Director; Donna Hart, Commissioner's Staff Services Manager and Deni LaRue, Community Information Officer. Recording Clerk, Gael Cookman.

1. OPEN SESSION FOR PUBLIC COMMENT: The following persons addressed the Board for public comment: George Rhodes, Keith Shader and Karen Rose. Commissioner Clarke introduced George Rhodes as President of the Fort Collins Church of Latter-Day Saints, noting that he is the leader of the approximately 3500 members of this church. Mr. Rhodes explained that he was before the Board as a representative of the Church to present each Commissioner with a copy of a special proclamation on the family that was issued by the governing council of the Church; he further explained that it was a proclamation to the world which calls upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere, to promote measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society. Mr. Rhodes noted that the Commissioners are supporting the families of this community by providing the parks and trails system, and by providing a safe community and safe highways, etc.; he stated that he appreciated all of the work that the Commissioners have done and he extended his thanks on behalf on himself and his Church.

Mr. Shader came before the Board to continue his comments from last nights public hearing on the Fossil Creek Plan; he explained his concerns regarding the eagles in this area and expressed his disappointment with the assessment of wildlife and habitat in the area. Mr. Shader stated that he felt the statements from the Sierra Club and the Audobon Society were not factual; he also was not sure if any county staff had seen this property and he feels a personal visit is important to really understand the area that is being considered as it can be quite confusing. Mr. Shader requested more information on the Transferable Density Unit (TDU) process such as where the concept came from, who actually owns the TDU's, can the land ever again be sold, etc. The Commissioners answered these questions and Mr. Shader concluded that he felt by working with county staff just within the last week a lot of his concerns had been resolved.

Ms. Rose, representative of the Citizens for the Preservation of Property Rights, explained that there will be a meeting on March 12, 1998 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, regarding how local governments can control their decisions when confronted with the restrictions of an endangered species designation; she invited the Commissioners to attend since the Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse, which is found in Larimer County, is being considered for designation as an endangered species. Ms. Rose also explained that their group will be conducting a TIA (Takings Initiative Assessment) which requires an executive branch which is about to enforce regulation to actually do an assessment of the effects of that regulation; she stated that the Commissioners can request an assessment be conducted prior to a designation of an endangered species being approved. Ms. Rose also wanted the Board to be aware that not just one lawsuit is being threatened, there are a number of others being contemplated and she feels the Commissioners should look over the plan and have better communication with the people involved.

2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES FOR THE WEEK OF FEBRUARY 23, 1998:

M O T I O N

Commissioner Clarke moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Minutes for the week of February 23, 1998. (Commissioner Disney did not participate as he was on vacation during this time period.)

Motion carried 2-0.

3. APPROVAL OF SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK OF MARCH 9, 1998:

M O T I O N

Commissioner Disney moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Schedule for the week of March 9, 1998, as submitted and revised.

Motion carried 3-0.

4. APPROVAL OF CONSENT AGENDA:

M O T I O N

Commissioner Clarke moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the following documents as listed on the Consent Agenda for Document Review on March 3, 1998:

MISCELLANEOUS DOCUMENTS: Check Warrant Register for January 1998; Pinewood Springs 12th, Lots 39 & 40 Amended Plat. LIQUOR LICENSES: County approval was granted to Glenhaven General Store - 3.2% - Glenhaven, CO; and Nightingales Inc. - 6% - Fort Collins, CO. County issuance was granted to Boyd Lake Marina - 3.2% - Loveland, CO; Burger Bay - 3.2% - Loveland, CO; Horsetooth Yacht Club - 6% - Fort Collins, CO; Lovin' Oven - 6% - Loveland, CO; Glen Haven Inn - 6% - Glenhaven, CO; Schmidt's Olde Time Bakery - 6% - Loveland, CO; Total #2743 - 3.2% - Loveland, CO; Scorched Tree Bed and Breakfast - 3.2% - Bellvue, CO; Cloverleaf Kennel Club - 6% - Loveland, CO; and Johnsons Corner Campground - 3.2% - Loveland, CO.

A98-30 PURCHASES OF SERVICES AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND COLORADO CHILD SUPPORT SERVICES, INC.

A98-31 CONSULTING SERVICES AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND ALBERTSON CLARK ASSOCIATES

A98-32 LIBRARY SERVICES AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND THE ESTES VALLEY PUBLIC LIBRARY DISTRICT

A98-33 LIBRARY SERVICES AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND THE CITY OF LOVELAND

A98-34 INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT FOR VOTER CARD SCANNING SERVICES BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND ARAPAHOE COUNTY

A98-35 AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND SINNETT BUILDERS, INC. (Remodeling of Waverly Shops and Loveland Shops)

R98-23z FINDINGS AND RESOLUTION APPROVING THE MASTER PLAN/PRELIMINARY PHASE FOR THE HOME STATE BANK PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT

R98-24z SPECIAL REVIEW FINDINGS AND RESOLUTION APPROVING THE PETITION OF BUCKHORN CAMP

R98-25z FINDINGS AND RESOLUTION APPROVING THE ROSTEK ADDITION, LOT 6, BLOCK 2 REPLAT

R98-26s FINDINGS AND RESOLUTION APPROVING THE BUCKHORN GLADE SUBDIVISION

R98-27s FINDINGS AND RESOLUTION DENYING THE JONES MINOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT

R98-27s FINDINGS AND RESOLUTION NAMING THE PREVIOUSLY UNNAMED STREETS IN WALTONIA SUBDIVISION

Motion carried 3-0.

5. UPDATE ON THE SOLID WASTE TASK FORCE: Ms. Henderson presented the Board with a packet outlining the progress of the Solid Waste Task Force that was formed approximately one year ago; the packet consisted of the Task Force proposed objectives and a brief summary of the progress from the two committees within this group. She explained that the Public Committee was looking at the options for Larimer County staying in the solid waste disposal business. The options included: expanding the existing landfill vertically and/or horizontally; siting a new landfill on the City of Fort Collins-owned sludge farm north of town (Meadow Springs Ranch); siting a new landfill in Ideal Cement Quarry; or siting a new landfill on as-yet-to-be-determined property. Ms. Henderson explained that the Privatization Committee was debating what might happen if Larimer County gets out of the solid waste disposal business. Some scenarios included: all local trash would be hauled to existing private landfills in surrounding counties; private waste company could site a new landfill in Larimer County which would be privately owned and operated; private waste company sites transfer station, hauls to private landfill; sell Larimer County Landfill to private company to operate; contract with private company to operate Larimer County Landfill; sell Larimer County Recycling Center; create new funding mechanism for Recycling Center and Household Hazardous Waste, i.e. tax similar to Boulder County. Ms. Henderson explained that with recent regulatory changes there is the possibility that the south side of the current landfill could be used to fill and the current operation could expand horizontally to this area. She noted that this is the option they want to investigate; however, the cost to conduct the investigation, as quoted by the current consultant, would be approximately $80,000. In addition, Ms. Henderson stated there are numerous considerations, with the economic and environmental impacts topping the list. Commissioner Clarke expressed concern that the committees will get frustrated if they are not given all of the technical assistance and information that the County can afford, and that the Committees will not be able to move forward until they get the information they need. Commissioner Disney also hoped that the Task Force could attempt to use non-traditional means to co-mingle the economic and environmental considerations, rather than just thinking of them as two separate issues where one has to suffer in order to achieve the other. Ms. Henderson stated that at this point the Task Force is ready to enlist the public in this process to determine what the citizens will and will not support. Ms. Henderson stated that she would continue to keep the Board informed of their progress.

6. CREDIT CARD POLICY: Ms. Block requested Board approval of the revised credit card policy that was originally adopted in 1988; she explained that the revised policy extends the use of credit cards to deputy elected officials, the county manager, assistant county manager, and the division heads, and that it allows computer support and access charges to the list of authorized expenditures. Ms. Block also stated that the revised policy clarifies the roles and responsibilities pertaining to credit cards. Chair Olson asked Ms. Block if she was able to have the grace period for payment extended. Ms. Block stated the she was unable to do so and that the payment period is 21 days which is shorter than what most vendors allow, so these bills will have to be paid in a timely manner in order to avoid late charges.

M O T I O N

Commissioner Disney moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve Larimer County Operating Procedure 320.13A.

Motion carried 3-0.

7. HEALTH CARE COVERAGE FOR EARLY RETIREES: Mr. Jacobs stated that he received a fair amount of feedback on the proposed early retiree health care policy and as a result he has made a few technical changes, but nothing that has really deviated from the original concept. Mr. Jacobs explained the policy as follows: when an employee reaches the age of 61.5 years old and has worked for Larimer County as a regular employee for the ten years preceding the date they request to retire, and is also a current participant in the program, they would be eligible to have the County pay for up to two years of health insurance under the County plan at the HMO employee only level. The employee would also be able to include their dependents at their own expense. However, if a person is eligible for Medicare or if they do not meet the above criteria, then they are not eligible to participate in this program. Mr. Jacobs explained that the program will cost $26,865 for 1998, assuming that everyone who can participate, does participate as soon as they are eligible. Mr. Jacobs stated that he also requested an additional ten percent to cover the administrative costs necessary to implement this program; he concluded that each year the Board would have to make a decision whether or not to continue the program based upon the cost. Chair Olson thanked Mr. Jacobs for putting the program together; stating she believes this is a wonderful program for County employees because it allows them to continue working for the County out of choice, not just because it is their only way to secure medical benefits.

M O T I O N

Commissioner Clarke moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Early Retirement Health Insurance Program with the funds coming from the remaining budgeted 6% pay plan and benefits pool for 1998.

Motion carried 3-0.

8. REQUEST FOR NEW POSITION - HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES MANAGEMENT SERVICES ASSISTANT: Ms. Snell requested Board approval for a new position which would provide their office with an assistant who could work on various programs that involve all areas of Health and Human Services; she noted that it would be a great benefit to have someone who is not representative of any one department. Ms. Snell explained that the job would start at pay grade 164 and that for the first year, 75% of the cost to pay for this position would come from the Child Welfare account since much of the first year this would be the area the new person would be working in; the remaining 25% would come from the Health and Human Services existing budget. Ms. Riley noted that they have enough vacancy and insurance savings to cover the cost of this additional position.

M O T I O N

Commissioner Disney moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the new position of Health and Human Services Management Services Assistant.

Motion carried 3-0.

9. WORKSESSION:

-- Mr. Lancaster informed the Board that Judge Dressel found some other funding for the Drug Court and he is now just asking for the Board to be the fiscal agent to handle the grant. Chair Olson wanted to be sure that the funding source did not have a time limitation that would end up hindering the program; she stated it would be counterproductive to have the funding source dry up soon after the program was put in place.

-- Mr. Lancaster explained that the metal detectors for the Courts will be moved downstairs on Friday; he wanted the Commissioners to be aware that there will be some public frustration over it and to expect some negative feedback. Mr. Lancaster noted that ideally, the Sheriff's department would like for everyone to go through the metal detectors but they realize that this would not be practical, so they are asking that the departments to designate people that can go around the device with proper identification. Mr. Lancaster stated that he feels the Commissioners staff can go through security and he believes it would set a good example for them to do so; he also stated that the badges are still to be worn to identify someone as a county employee. Mr. Lancaster stated that the District Attorney's office is concerned about not being able to use the Oak Street entrance to transport equipment and files over to the Courthouse and they have requested a new ramp be built to accommodate this. Mr. Lancaster noted one of the problems of building a new ramp is that it would have to be built to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act; therefore, a certain grade would be necessary and the cost would be approximately $20,000 to $30,000. Mr. Lancaster noted that after visually inspecting the current access points, he deduced that it would take the District Attorney's staff an extra 40 paces to use the ramp that is already in place on the west side of the building, so it would be hard to justify building a ramp when one is already accessible by walking just a little further. Chair Olson also suggested the possibility of increasing the handicapped parking on the west side of the Courthouse since there is currently only one space designated as handicapped.

-- Mr. Lancaster requested direction from the Board on how to handle the interviews for the openings on the Community Corrections Board. Commissioner Disney stated that he has been reviewing the applications with Joe Ferrando and, with the Board's approval, he would continue to screen the applicants and conduct the interviews, and then make recommendations to the Board.

-- Ms. Hart reviewed the pending invitations with the Board.

-- Mr. Lancaster presented the Joint Statement of Position concerning the Commissioners and the Town of Estes Park Trustees opposition on the growth initiative in Estes Park; he explained that the Town of Estes Park requested that the Commissioners approve this by March 6th.

M O T I O N

Commissioner Clarke moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Joint Statement of Position concerning their opposition to the growth initiative in Estes Park.

Motion carried 3-0.

10. COMMISSIONER REPORTS:

-- Chair Olson stated that she left a message for Bill Kaufman regarding the problem with the Board of Adjustments in Estes Park; she noted that specifying a joint Board of Adjustments was missing from the original legislation and they were trying to push for the oversight to be corrected during this legislative session. Chair Olson wanted to let the Commissioners know there is still a chance that this can be resolved during this legislative session.

-- Commissioner Clarke stated that he will be attending a water law conference to learn more about water issues; he explained that he is very interested in this and he plans to remain actively involved in water issues even after he completes his tenure as Commissioner.

-- Commissioner Disney stated that he was in Estes Park to plan for the transportation forum; he noted that they want to model it after the North Front Range Corridor Study and they will begin by trying to identify all alternate technologies and alignments and then eliminate the ones with fatal flaws and come up with a short list to work with. Commissioner Disney also informed the rest of the Board that he suggested to Jim Fox to come to public comment to discuss his concerns, so they might expect him next week.

-- Chair Olson stated that she attended the Affordable Housing Luncheon and she commended Kate Rios for the wonderful job in organizing it; she noted that one of the biggest problems to overcome with affordable housing is changing public perception to realize that affordable housing in Larimer County means providing decent homes at affordable prices, not slums, as some might envision. Some discussion followed. Chair Olson also stated that the applicants who proposed the Interstate Business Park are very interested in being proactive in resolving the safety issues at the Highway 14 and I-25 interchange.

11. LEGAL MATTERS: The County Attorney's did not have any items to discuss during legal matters.

Meeting adjourned at 11:00 a.m.

EXECUTIVE SESSION REGARDING

LAND NEGOTIATIONS

The Board of County Commissioners met at 2:30 p.m. in Executive Session with K-Lynn Cameron, Open Lands Manager and Greg Pickett, Director of Parks and Open Lands, to discuss land negotiations. Recording Clerk, Gael Cookman.

M O T I O N

Commissioner Clarke moved that the Board of County Commissioners go into Executive Session to discuss potential land acquisitions.

Motion carried 3-0.

Meeting adjourned at 3:40 p.m.

Thursday, March 5, 1998

POLICY WORKSESSION

The Board of County Commissioners met at 9:30 a.m. to discuss economic impact models and cost of growth. Chair Olson presided and Commissioner Disney was present. Also present were: Lew Wymisner, Employment and Training Services Assistant Director; Bob Keister, Budget Manager; and Neil Gluckman, Assistant County Manager.

M O T I O N

Commissioner Disney moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Saratoga Estates Final Plat.

Motion carried 2-0.

Meeting adjourned at 11:10 a.m.; no action taken.

_______________________________________________

JOHN CLARKE, CHAIR PRO-TEM

LARIMER COUNTYBOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

MYRNA J. RODENBERGER

LARIMER COUNTY CLERK & RECORDER

( S E A L )

ATTEST:

__________________________________________

Gael M. Cookman, Deputy County Clerk

Minutes of the March 2, 1998

Joint Hearing with

Larimer County Board of Commissioners

Larimer County Planning Commission

Fort Collins City Council, and

Fort Collins Planning and Zoning Board

Present were Commissioners Clarke and Disney, Planning Commissioners Amos, Dixon, Doten, Korb, Roark, Rennels, Salg, and Wallace. Absent was Commissioner Haimes. Council Members Wanner, Mason, Bertchy, and Burn, Planning & Zoning Board Members Bell, Chapman, Colton, Craig, Gavan ldon, and Weikunat. Commissioner Olson and Council Member Kneeland presided.

Additional County and City staff were also present. Jean O'Connor was the recording secretary.

Commissioner Olson stated the objective of tonight's hearing was to obtain public testimony only. The governmental bodies present would discuss what was heard after the hearing was closed to the public if time allowed tonight. Discussion would continue on Wednesday, March 4th at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers.

Member Kneeland asked all present to introduce themselves and state which Board they represented. Member Kneeland stated public testimony would be taken regarding the Proposed Fossil Creek Reservoir Area Plan, Proposed Amendments to the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between Larimer County and the City of Fort Collins, Proposed Amendments to the Urban Growth Area Overlay Zone (UGA), and Proposed Amendments to the Supplementary Regulations to the Larimer County Subdivision Resolution, Planned Unit Development Resolution, and Mobile Home Resolution, and asked that anyone addressing the Boards limit their comments to three minutes and not be repetitive.

Commissioner Olson stated that the Transfer of Development Units (TDUs) program which the County had been working on was not part of the agenda this night, and because of its importance to the County, would have a separate public process. The Proposed TDU resolution would be available at noon on March 3rd and anyone desiring a copy could sign up to have it mailed. If residents were present and had comments on the TDU program, the Boards would listen but no decision would be made at this time.

FOSSIL CREEK RESERVOIR AREA PLAN #98-RL1169:

Mr. Russell Legg, Chief Planner for Larimer County made a brief presentation utilizing a slide show and summarized the time frame leading to the hearing tonight and outlined the dates to remember for the Boards/ Commissions to take action on the items being heard. It was noted that the proposed schedule could change based on testimony.

All letters submitted for the record have been summarized and placed in the official file, # 98-RL1169 located in the Larimer County Planning Department.

Mr. Keith Shader, 610 N. Taft Hill, was disappointed in being allowed to speak only three minutes, he thought it would be the normal five minutes. Main concerns were with the changing events in the Fossil Creek Area. His wife had one third interest in a 160 acre farm which had been in the family since 1900. The property had been under contract for the past 6 months, and he felt a mixed message had been sent by Council, Commissioners and staff which specifically affects the property. Mr. Shader stated even the Council members were confused after having watched their previous meetings. Mr. Shader was concerned with the annexation process, (one side of the road gets annexed but not the other); TDUs, (why should one developer provide them and others not); where did the ratios come from?; would open space remain open into perpetuity?; and eagles were often observed in many parts Fort Collins. Mr. Shader's other comments were received as part of the official record.

Ms. Barbara Shader, 610 N. Taft Hill, read a letter from her brother who does not reside in the State. This was submitted for the record.

Ms. Lois Peltz, read a poem and provided copy for the record. Ms. Peltz stated that she, her family, and forefathers spent their blood, sweat, and tears to work the land together. The land was their past, present and future. The family had always been committed to farming the land so long as farming was economically feasible. The family had not taken decisions regarding the future of the land lightly and was not looking for quick profits. The family was asking that the Boards sit down with them and work with them regarding the plan.

Mr. Jerry Peltz, who has lived in the area for over 35 years, felt that a transition period was needed for the Fossil Creek Area Plan and the TDU program and that both needed to be adopted at the same time. Landowners could not determine accurate values for their land when they don't know how the TDU program may affect them. Mr. Peltz submitted a statement for the record.

Mr. John Hatfield, 5505 S. CR 11, a 45 year resident of Larimer County, asked the Boards to say no to development in the area. Plenty of room exists within current city limits for development. Developers would extract more profit. The Fossil Creek area had been a wildlife refuge for 45 years, a set back would not keep residents from the reservoir shores. He suggested leaving the current UGA boundary where it is and just say no to development south and east of that boundary.

Mr. Chris Lembcke, Chairman of the Larimer County Environmental Advisory Board (EAB), summarized the Boards prepared comments for consideration. The section of the plan entitled "Natural Area and Open Lands Protection" represented a positive step in protecting those important resources. The ¼ mile buffer should be the minimum standard provided. The EAB had strong concerns for the potential of limited development within the resource management area and advised that careful evaluation be given to the siting of any development with that area. The joint efforts of the City and County should be commended. The EAB hoped that this would be an indication of the way future joint planning activities would be conducted. The EAB also encouraged the implementation of the full range of "tools" for protecting resource conservation areas as defined on page 24 of the plan. A statement was submitted for the record.

Ms. Mary Warring, Vista Bonita & UGA resident, stated that the proposed IGA amendment was in conflict with current IGA policies and perhaps even the amended IGA policies. Specifically, point #2 which states, "... the City of Fort Collins would consider annexation of developed land having sub standard infrastructure, but make it clear that the City would not accept maintenance and/or reconstruction of sub standard infrastructure until such time as the facilities were upgraded". Ms. Warring felt that statement was in conflict with section 2-11, pages 8 and 9 of the IGA. Within the IGA the City not only took responsibility for maintenance and inspection of infrastructure improvements which met City standards within the UGA, but that they also take responsibility for identifiable City impacts on the County road system. The proposed amendment to the annexation policies of the City, seemed to be in conflict. Ms. Warring did not believe that the infrastructure on the County road system within the UGA would be unaffected by development. The City of Fort Collins was not an island, and should not absolve itself from some level of responsibility of infrastructure problems in the annexation process.

Mr. Ramon Ajero, Poudre Canyon Sierra Club, submitted a statement for the record and summarized. Much confusion existed regarding the 1/4 mile buffer and that an article in today's Coloradoan stated, "...1/4 mile buffer zone would be free of development...". The resource management concept had been misrepresented to the average citizen. Also, if urban development was to occur in the area, that the "sprawl" often seen in the front range, would be avoided.

Mr. Doug Hansen, 6029 S. CR 11, representing his parents, felt the current proposal devalued his property. The property was designated in City Plan to have a neighborhood center on it. The proposed plan removed that designation and his family would like it reinstated. Mr. Hansen had previously submitted a statement to both the City and the County.

Mr. Bill Miller, Audubon Society, stated the Audubon Society gave general endorsement to the Fossil Creek Reservoir Area Plan, and written comments were provided regarding the Natural Area and Open Lands section of the plan. Many tools had been identified to protect the ¼ mile buffer zone. Just as importantly was that there be the resolve to enforce such protective strategies. The good intentions to protect the ¼ mile zone would fade over time. Permanent measures should be take now to ensure perpetual preservation of wildlife and habitat.

Mr. Kelly Ohlson, suggested that if all comments had been received from residents prior to 9:00 p.m., that those citizens who did not complete their statements be allowed to finish. The gathering of tonight's Boards/ Commissions/Council was probably historical on the local scale, especially when one entity, the City of fort Collins, has had to pick up the social, environmental, and economical pieces when it annexes parts of the County. The two entities should follow the same policies within the UGA or the City should stop annexing. The time was now to have the long overdue discussion of the City's permanent geographical boundaries. Mr. Ohlson felt the devil was in the details of the plan. The ¼ mile buffer zone should not be colored green - depicting open space, better represented by being colored red.

Mr. Jim Nichols, represents property at the NW corner if I-25 and 392, which was bought several years ago. Mr. Nichols submitted for and received the current zoning, and now the plan was suggesting a new zoning; even perhaps down zoning. Mr. Nichols needed the best use and value for his land.

Mr. Tom Smith, represents same property as Mr. Nichols. The current zoning creates its value. He requested that the property be allowed to be marketed at the highest and best value. The objectives stated in the Executive Summary of the Plan are as follows:

  • Balance urban growth with preservation,
  • Preserve views of the reservoir,
  • Preserve the natural areas around the reservoir,
  • Maintain the integrity of existing rural development, and
  • Acknowledge the objectives of the plan for the Region Between Loveland and Fort Collins.

Nothing in the plan talks about preserving the resources of private ownership in the area.

Mr. Gary Young, representing land adjacent to the previous speakers, purchased the land based on its' value derived from zoning. He did not object to protecting the environment in the area, but his concern was that he was being asked to personally provide the funding through the reduction of value in his land to protect the interest of the public.

Mr. Ken Kechter, 120 Princeton, 50% owner of the Kechter Farm which had been in the family since the early 1900's. The ¼ mile buffer affects the farm probably more than any other landowner. The environmental impact studies performed were flawed and more time should be taken to address those concerns. Mr. Kechter had not seen any eagles roosting on his property, and he believed the wetlands indicated on the map were incorrect. Mr. Kechter had the following additional concerns:

  • Landowners should be allowed to hire their own environmental experts,
  • Density on the north should match the proposed density of DBL property,
  • TDUs were a concern and should not be considered.
  • The property was a retirement fund which now had an uncertain future,
  • No wildlife habitat on his property or the Everitt place. The land was currently farmed to the fence line.

In closing, Mr. Kechter stated that 100 years ago Jesse James took with a gun, now the only difference with the City and County taking, is the gun.

Mr. Steve Jacoby, resident of Idaho and partial owner of the Kechter farm, had hoped the farm was a retirement fund for he and his family. However, the ¼ mile buffer was a detriment to the farm. Larimer County and the City of Fort Collins should compensate a landowner either by a credit for additional density to the north or an outright purchase of the ¼ mile.

Mr. Jim Stoll, Kechter Farm, read a letter from Mr. Gene Fischer and entered it for the record. The letter referred to the proposed plan as a taking without compensation to the Kechters.

Ms. Bobbie Douglas, S. Of CR 36, ¼ mile E of Timberline, asked why she had to accept a higher density next to her property. She does not complain about the lack of services in her rural surroundings. Ms. Douglas realized development would some day come to the area, but it should be planned in a compatible way with existing developments.

Ms. Karen Wagner, Citizen Planners, stated that Fossil Creek Reservoir and Duck Lake preserves support 160 different birds. Conservation easements in the ¼ mile should be held either publicly or through land trusts. Development review within the area plan should be by the Urban Growth Area Review Board not the County Planning Commission. Ms. Wagner commended the County and City for their effort, compromise and cooperation invested in the creation of the plan.

Mr. Louis Swift, owner of approximately 160 acres within the plan area, a portion of which was under option to purchase. His concern was that the 1/4 mile buffer allowed for only 8 acres out of the remaining 54 acres to be developed. Mr. Swift asked why he and a few others were being required to provide open space for the citizens of Larimer County and the City of Fort Collins? Mr. Swift also wondered if the management plan purporting to manage his property which fell within the ¼ mile? The ¼ mile buffer had been farmed for 30 years, how could there be such wildlife values in a plowed field?

Mr. Don Lefevler, referred to a statement prepared by Citizens for the Preservation of Property Rights, and stated that he lived in the County, paid taxes in the County, voted in the County not Fort Collins, yet both entities were deciding what he could and could not do with his property.

Mr. Steve Pfister, asked what happened if land currently in the plan area becomes annexed prior to building permits being pulled? This subjects the land to double jeopardy. Perhaps a credit should be allowed or an exemption granted so TDUs don't have to be purchased and City development fees paid. Where/ how is the boundary of the lake determined?

Mr. Paul Gallenstein, 6000 Troutwood, liked the forum for the hearing and asked the Boards to consider the individual lives which were at stake tonight. He suggested that the Boards move slowly and listen carefully. A limit of three minutes to save a retirement plan was insufficient. The UGA supports affordable housing which was a significant issue both in the City and the County.

Mr. Tom Jackson, questioned the proposed schedule and what it means? Mr. Jackson stated that if TDUs were such an important part of the plan and process, yet they weren't even available to the public, how could the process proceed and be adopted without public input on TDUs and how they'll be used much less what they are?

Ms. Gina Janett, stated that this was truly historic occasion for such a big group to work cooperatively on an important project. Ms. Janett submitted a statement for the record. This was a major opportunity to preserve some very special natural areas for the community for all time while maintaining economic value to the landowner. Natural areas should be preserved permanently by fee simple purchase, purchase of conservation easements and TDUs.

Mr. Jack Swets, asked how much sweat and financial equity the people who wrote the plan and those who encourage the resource management area remain free of development, have in the land they wish to preserve.

At this time the hearing was closed to public comment. A 30 minute break was taken allow the Council Chambers to be rearranged for discussion.

Mr. Jim Chalier facilitated the discussion portion of the hearing.

A few written comments were received after the public testimony portion of the hearing and became part of the official record.

Much discussion ensued regarding TDUs, ¼ mile buffer zone and how/where it would be measured. The Board of County Commissioners will make a recommendation on the Fossil Creek Reservoir Area Plan on March 16, 1998 at 3:00 p.m. in the Commissioner's Hearing Room located in the Court House at 200 W. Oak. The Larimer County Planning Commission will take final action on the Plan March 18, 1998 at 6:30 p.m. and make a recommendation regarding the amendments to the IGA and UGA. The Board of County Commissioners will take final action on the amendments to the IGA and UGA on March23, 1998 at 3:00 p.m. in the hearing room.

Cheryl Olson, Chair Larimer County Board of Commissioners

Background Image: Loveland Bike Trail by Sharon Veit. All rights reserved.