MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Monday, November 21, 2005
LAND USE HEARING
(#121 & 122)
The Board of County Commissioners met at 3:00 p.m. with Rob Helmick, Principle Planner. Chair Rennels presided and Commissioners Gibson and Wagner were present. Also present were: Matt Lafferty, David Karan, Casey Stewart, Al Kadera, and Sean Wheeler, Planning; Christi Coleman, Engineering; Doug Ryan, Environmental; Dave Shirk, Town of Estes Park; Jeannine Haag, Assistant County Attorney; and Angela Myers, Deputy Clerk.
Chair Rennels opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and asked for public comment on the County Budget and Land Use Code. No one from the audience addressed the Board regarding these topics.
Chair Rennels noted that there would be some adjustments to the agenda for this meeting, as specified below.
10. JACKSON ZONING VIOLATION – 04-ZV0240: Al Kadera indicated that County Manager, Frank Lancaster, requested that this item be tabled for 30 days, and Mr. Kadera proposed rescheduling this item for discussion on Tuesday, January 3, 2005, at 3:00 p.m.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gibson moved that the Board of County Commissioners table the Jackson Zoning Violation – 04-ZV0240 until Tuesday, January 3, 2005, at 3:00 p.m.
Motion Carried 3-0.
Chair Rennels explained that Item 6, Daelin Planned Land Division and Planned Development – 04-S2278, will be pulled from the Consent Agenda so that it can specifically be discussed. She continued by explaining that the following items, with the exception of Item 6 which will be pulled for discussion, are on consent and would not be discussed unless requested by the Board, staff or members of the audience:
1. HILLCREST ESTATES AMENDED PLAT AND RIGHTS-OF-WAY VACATION: This is a request to vacate the right-of-way between Lots 3 and 4 (“south stub”) and a portion of a right-of-way between Lots 4 and 5 (“west stub”), Hillcrest Estates. Hillcrest Estates was originally platted in 1992. At that time, the plat of subdivision included right-of-way that was intended to provide access to surrounding properties “to allow for future street connection” (per original Staff report).
South Stub: The applicant proposes to vacate the “south stub” in hopes of preventing the lot to the south from creating a driveway through that area. Since the time of platting, the property to the south has been developed with the Good Samaritan campus, and the “south stub” of right-of-way connects to a single-family lot that receives access from Ptarmigan Trail. The area where the right-of-way connects to this lot is in a platted “no build” area. Based on this, it is Staff’s opinion that the “south stub” right-of-way is no longer necessary and should, therefore, be vacated.
West Stub: The applicant proposes to vacate a portion of the “west stub” to ensure that her driveway is entirely on Lot 5. The current configuration has the driveway crossing over right-of-way.
The “west stub” still holds potential for an extension of Stonegate Drive. This could provide a valuable connection (either a through-street or trail) between Devil’s Gulch Road and Dry Gulch road at some point in the future. This would require development of property to the west, which in turn would require either a rezoning to a higher density, or a land consolidation to provide adequate land area for subdivision potential.
Because of the potential for an extension of Stonegate Drive, however remote, Staff recommends that a right-of-way width of 50-feet be maintained. This would allow for a “local” street connection in the future (based on current EVDC standards). This is the right-of-way width proposed.
Staff recommends approval of the requested Amended Plat of Lots 4 and 5, Hillcrest Estates and vacation of right-of-way described thereon and the vacation of the eastern half of the right-of-way between Lots 3 and 4, Hillcrest Estates Subdivision subject to the conditions recommended by the Planning Commission.
On Tuesday, October 18, 2005, the Estes Valley Planning Commission found:
The Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the proposed Amended Plat of Lots 4 and 5, Hillcrest Estates and vacation of right-of-way described thereon and the vacation of the eastern half of the right-of-way between Lots 3 and 4, Hillcrest Estates Subdivision, subject to the following conditions:
2. OLYMPUS HEIGHTS SUBDIVISION LOTS 3 & 4 CONSOLIDATION LOTS: The applicant proposes to consolidate two lots that he owns. The property has been under common ownership since at least 1920, when the existing house was built straddling the common property line, thus effectively combining the lots at that time. The applicant wishes to combine the lots through the lot consolidation process to clarify future sale of the property and ensure there is no “cloud” on the property title. This will also lower the density in a neighborhood that has sub-standard road and utility networks, and will consolidate the tax bill.
Staff recommends approval of the proposed consolidation of Lots 3 and 4 of Olympus Heights Subdivision.
3. HILLERY PARRACK EXEMPTION TRACT 1 REZONING: This is a request to rezone a property from “CO” Commercial Outlying to “CH” Commercial Heavy. The property is currently developed with a single-family dwelling and a 1,500 square foot, 20-foot tall storage building. The property owner lives on site and rents the outbuilding for storage.
This rezoning request is to allow 80 additional mini-storage units to be built. These units would be 12-feet tall with a matte finish, and those portions that are visible from off site would have either rock, stone, wood or brick finish. An extension landscaping plan is proposed.
It is Staff’s opinion that the surrounding neighborhood has changed significantly since the implementation of the “Future Land Use Plan” in 2000. These changes include the Good Samaritan campus, Talon’s Pointe, Vista Ridge, and the recent approval of The Neighborhood and the Salud Clinic, totaling over 280 residential units at full build-out. These are multi-family units that have little storage area.
Furthermore, the property immediately to the west was recently rezoned to the “CH” district. This zone change was done to reflect the historic use of the property, which has been “light industrial” since mid-1990.
It is Staff’s opinion that the proposal for a mini-storage development will address a need that has arisen due to the changes in conditions in this area.
The current “CO” designation has a variety of uses that are allowed as a use by right; these include: building materials/services, vehicle repair, parking lot, livery stable, outdoor entertainment facility and limited warehousing and storage. The rezoning provides an opportunity to impose restrictions on the use of the property, hours of operation, building design and exterior lighting.
Several neighbors wrote letters of opposition. However, no one was present at the Planning Commission meeting. All of these letters were written by residents of Talon’s Pointe, which is a multi-family residential development currently under construction to the immediate east of this property. Talon’s Pointe is a project being developed by the Estes Park Housing Authority and contains a mix of market-rate and attainable housing.
The Planning Commission has approved the accompanying development plan, conditional to approval of this rezoning.
Staff recommends approval of this requested Rezoning of Tract 1, Hillery Parrack Exemption from “CO” commercial to “CH” commercial, subject to the conditions recommended by the planning commission.
Planning Commission Findings and Recommendation: On Tuesday, October 18, 2005, the Estes Valley Planning Commission found:
The Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the proposed Rezoning of Tract 1, Hillery Parrack Exemption from “CO” commercial to “CH” commercial, subject to the following conditions:
4. POUDRE SPRINGS 1ST FILING LOT 92 LOT CONSOLIDATION – 05-S2501: The request is for a change of lot status for Lot 92, Poudre Springs First Filing from a single-family residential lot. The owners of the property wish to relinquish their ability to build a residence on the lot and are requesting that it be changed to a non-buildable out-lot. The County does not have a process specifically designed for this type of request. As a result, this application is being processed as a modified Lot Consolidation, with resulting Findings and Resolution being the mechanism that serves as a record of the lot status change.
The Larimer County Land Use Code (Section 5.7.3) allows for the approval of an amended plat if the following review criteria are met:
The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment has no objections to the proposal. The Larimer County Engineering Department Development Review staff has no major concerns or issues with the proposal. The proposed Poudre Springs 1st Filing, Lot 92 Change of Lot Status will not adversely affect any neighboring properties or result in any new lots.
The Development Services Team recommends approval of the Lot Consolidation application for Poudre Springs 1st Filing, Lot 92 Change of Lot Status, subject to the following conditions:
5. FORT COLLINS INDUSTRIAL PARK 1ST FILING LOTS 2 AND 3 AMENDED PLAT – 05-S2475: The applicant proposes to amend the lot line between lots 2 and 3 of the Fort Collins Industrial Park 1st Filing Subdivision. The amended plat will have the affect of moving the existing lot line to accommodate a new building design on both lots and a new common access point. No easements or utilities are being affected by this action. Existing uses on the site are being demolished, and new structures are being evaluated through the Site Plan Review process.
The Larimer County Land Use Code (Section 5.7.3) allows for the approval of an amended plat if the following review criteria are met:
The Development Services Team recommends approval of the Amended Plat for Lots 2 and 3 of the Fort Collins Industrial Park 1 Filing Subdivision, (File #05-S2475), subject to the following conditions, and authorization for the chairman to sign the plat when the conditions are met and the plat is presented for signature:
c. Prior to the recordation of the Amended Plat, the applicant will be required to place a note on the plat stating that all covenants or deed restrictions that apply to the original lots will continue to apply to the amended lots.
7. POUDRE CITY LOTS 1B, 2B, 3B and 17B AMENDED PLAT AND BOUNDARY LINE ADJUSTMENT – 05-S2502: This request is for an Amended Plat of five lots currently operated as one resort property. No new lots will be created. The Mountain Greenery Resort consists of one restaurant, one motel (eight units), one cabin, eight RV sites and outbuildings. The property is adjacent to the Poudre River and is only 2.29 acres in total. Under current zoning, restaurants and motels are not allowed uses. RV campgrounds require Special Review approval as does a Resort Lodge/Resort Cabin(s).
One parcel is a meets-and-bounds parcel and will be incorporated into the Amended Plat as a platted lot (Lot 2). No evidence of Special Review approval has been found in County Records. Another nonconformity is the location of a structure on a boundary line.
The proposal is to return the five lots to single-family residential, a use-by-right in the O-Open District. The land use would then conform to the zone district. The owners intend to demolish the existing motel. The restaurant would be converted to a single-family residence as would the cabin. All RVs will be removed from the property. Portions of four of the five lots (Lots 2-5) are within the Poudre River 100-year flood plain.
The applicant has exhaustively explored the options for redevelopment of this property and the legal status of the parcels. After much study, the applicant has decided that terminating the nonconforming commercial activity and converting the property to a use allowed by right in the O-Open zone district is the best course of action.
The Larimer County Land Use Code (Section 5.7.3) allows for the approval of an amended plat if the following review criteria are met:
Planning Department finds that the property does not conform to required setbacks from Colorado Highway 14, the Poudre River and lot lines. Some of these non-conformities are resolved by this Amended Plat/Boundary Line Adjustment. The setbacks from the highway and the river will remain nonconforming. As the proposal will result in considerable reduction in intensity of use and traffic generation, Staff supports this proposal, even though some nonconformities will remain.
To resolve as much non-conformity as practical, the Planning Department recommends placing residential development envelopes on Lots 2-5. Other buildings and structures would be allowed outside the development envelope if construction conforms to LCLUC Section 4.2.2, Floodplain overlay zone districts; the International Building Code; Section 8, Standards for all Development; and all other applicable regulations. The Planning Department recommends that all buildings in the floodplain be brought up to current standards or demolished.
A plat note should be prominently displayed on the plat notifying future lot owners that well and septic permits will be needed directing them to contact the Health Department for information. Please fill in the File #05-S2502 on the plat and add “Meridian” to the end of the plat title.
No neighbors have voiced any objections to this proposal. The County Engineering Department finds that any new access must be taken from Riverside Drive, not directly from Colorado 14; the existing ditch should be placed within a drainage easement; and all changes required in Dale Greer’s 10/11/05 letter must be corrected prior to recording of the plat.
The County Health Department finds that all restrictions apply to new septic systems and wells; septic systems must be located outside the floodplain, 100 feet from any well and be designed for on-site soils; and voluntary consolidation of lots, at this time or in the future, could make provision of these Adequate Public Feasibilities easier and less costly.
Code Enforcement finds that a change in occupancy permit will be required for the restaurant conversion.
The proposed Amended Plat and Boundary Line Adjustment will not adversely affect any neighboring properties or any County agency. The conversion from intensive commercial uses to strictly single-family residential will significantly reduce impacts on the property, traffic generation and other impacts on neighbors. The submittal resolves a number of setback issues. The proposal will not result in any additional buildable lots. Five legal lots exist and five will result. The submittal does not bring the property into compliance with current setbacks from a state highway or from the Poudre River. However, the improvements to sewage disposal should reduce negative impacts on the river as well. On balance, the proposed changes yield substantial public benefit. The Development Review Team finds that the request meets the requirements of the Larimer County Land Use Code.
The Development Services Team recommends approval of File #05-S22502, the Amended Plat of Lots 1b, 2b, 3b, 12b of Poudre City Subdivision and a Boundary Line Adjustment of a meets-and-bounds parcel in the southeast ¼ of Section 32, Range 9N and Township 73W of the 6th Principal Meridian, subject to the following conditions, and authorization for the chairman to sign the plat when the conditions are met and the plat is presented for signature:
a. The Final Plat shall be recorded by May 21, 2006, or this approval shall be null and void.
b. The existing motel and RV sites will be demolished and removed by November 8, 2006, or prior to the issuance of any building permits on any of Lots 1-5, whichever comes first. Should demolition of both the motel and RV facilities not be completed by that date, this Amended Plat/Boundary Line Adjustment approval will be null and void.
c. Development envelopes for Lots 2-5 shall be shown on the plat and approved by County Planning and Engineering Departments prior to recording. Development envelopes shall restrict locating of residential buildings, wells and septic systems to areas outside the floodplain and outside of the following setbacks:
§ Side setback – 5 feet;
§ Rear setback – 10 feet; and
§ Front setback – 25 feet from the property line or from the nearest edge of the road easement.
d. Plat notes will specify what types of buildings and structures are allowed inside and outside the development envelopes.
e. A legal document defining each of Lots 1 and 2 property owner’s rights and responsibilities for maintaining the shared well, supplying water to Lots 1 and 2, will be recorded and referenced in both deeds.
f. The septic system currently serving the motel and restaurant buildings shall be properly abandoned under County Health Department permit.
g. The existing sheds shall be removed from the property or moved so they are located outside of the following setbacks:
§ Side setback – 5 feet;
§ Rear setback – 10 feet; and
§ Front setback – 25 feet from the property line or from the nearest edge of the road easement.
h. All of Dale Greer’s October 11, 2005, comments shall be addressed prior to recording.
8. WILSON PLANNED LAND DIVISION – 05-S2399: This request is for a Planned Land Division to subdivide 25.96 acres into two residential lots. The request includes appeals to two Standards in the Land Use Code, Section 8.14.2.S (Connectivity) and Section 8.14.2.N (Right-of-Way Design Standards).
This application was heard at a public hearing before the Larimer County Planning Commission on October 19, 2005, as a discussion item. Before the hearing Staff and the applicant had reached agreement on the proposal. This normally would have placed the item on the Consent Agenda. However, a neighboring property owner had contacted staff and indicated they would be at the hearing to discuss the request, but this neighbor did not appear to testify. Because the request includes two appeals, along with the request to subdivide, a total of three motions were required.
The Planning Commission concurred with the recommendations by Staff without amendment for approval to the appeals to Section 8.14.2.S (Connectivity) for the Wilson Planned Land Division and the appeal to Section 8.14.2.N (Right-of-Way Design Standards) for the Wilson Planned Land Division, File #05-S2399, subject to the conditions recommended above. The Planning Commission recommends that the Wilson Planned Land Division, File #05-S2399, appeal to Section 8.14.2.S of the Larimer County Land Use Code be approved.
The Planning Commission recommends that the Wilson Planned Land Division, File #05-S2399, appeal to Section 8.14.2.N of the Larimer County Land Use Code be approved, subject to the following conditions:
The Planning Commission recommends that the Wilson Planned Land Division, File #05-S2399, for the property described on “Exhibit C” to the minutes, be approved, subject to the following conditions and added Condition K:
9. INTERNATIONAL APPROVALS LABS SPECIAL EXCEPTION AMENDMENT – 05-Z1569: This is a request to remove a previously approved Special Exception condition that limits the business operation to the original applicant and to add an accessory storage shed to the site. The original Special Exception (V-26-90) was approved in 1990 and only for Amador Corporation.
In 1990 a Special Exception (V-26-90) was granted to Amador Corporation for the operation of electromagnetic testing facilities on the subject property. The conditions of approval included the two below that are pertinent to this request:
a. The project shall comply with and conform to the site plan and supporting documents submitted with the application (and any modified plans or documents which may be submitted).
b. The special exception shall apply only to the petitioner, Amador Corporation, (a true copy of the Findings and Resolution shall be recorded in the office of the Larimer County Clerk and Recorder).
The applicant purchased the property from the original applicant, Amador Corporation, and TUV Product Service, Inc. The two entities merged in 1994 to become TUV Product Service, Inc. International Approvals Labs, Inc. continued the same testing facility business on the property from the time they purchased the property in 2003. The applicant was unaware that there was any condition that would have precluded them from conducting the same use of the property. The conflict was discovered during the review of a recent building permit application which the applicant submitted for a small storage shed, accessory to the use.
The applicant is requesting the removal of the original condition that limited the Special Exception only to Amador Corp. They also request approval of the addition of a small shed to the site for storage of property maintenance equipment such as mower, ATV and smaller equipment. The use of the property would continue to be only that which was approved originally. The applicant has provided an updated site plan showing the current buildings and the proposed shed location.
The use of the property, as granted by the Special Exception, has continued since 1990 without complaint from surrounding property owners or violation of any land use regulations. The original conditions of approval are difficult to monitor and make it difficult and cumbersome for a new company to continue the same approved activities. The Development Services Team can find no reason in the record to retain the original condition linking the use only to Amador Corporation. The use itself tends to be unobtrusive and quiet, with minimal impact to surrounding neighbors, so limiting it to a certain operator is not necessary.
The only concern stems from the site plan and the area depicted as the non-leased area. While the County has no regulation against leasing a portion of the property, all current and future owners should understand that the property has only been approved for the proposed use and buildings. No additional principal uses or buildings are permitted either in the leased area or non-leased areas shown on the site plan that accompanied this submittal.
The Development Services Team finds that granting the request to amend the original Amador Corporation Special Exception, with the conditions proposed at the end of this report, will not be detrimental to the public, health, safety or welfare and would not be contrary to the purpose of the Land Use Code.
The Larimer County Development Services Team recommends that the Planning Commission recommend to the Board of County Commissioners approval of the International Approval Labs Amended Special Exception, File # 05-Z1569, subject to the following conditions:
M O T I O N
Commissioner Wagner moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve Consent Agenda Items 1 through 9, with the exception of Item 6.
Motion Carried 3-0.
6. DAELIN PLANNED LAND DIVISION AND PLANNED DEVELOPMENT – 04-S2278: This request is for Preliminary Plat review for a Planned Land Division (PLD) for three single-family residential lots and rezoning to Planned Development (PD).
This project proposes to subdivide 8.073 acres into three lots of 2.69 acres each. Being located within the City of Loveland GMA, a rezoning to Planned Development (PD) is necessary in addition to the Planned Land Division. (PLD). The main issue concerning this development has been consideration of potential water quality impacts on the adjacent Drinking Water Reservoir (see Section 8.12.6 of the LCLUC). The applicant proposed a limit of three horses per lot and provided a full pasture management plan. The Planning Commission, on a split vote (see enclosed minutes), recommended one horse per lot. Since that time, the applicant and Staff have reached a compromise of two horses per lot, with revisions to the Pasture Management Plan to ensure infrequent grazing in the lower pasture adjacent to Boyd Lake. These differences between the Planning Commission and Development Services Team recommendations are shown in bold/italics below. Four appeals are also before the Board. Both the Staff and the Planning Commission support these appeals.
The Planning Commission recommends that the Board of County Commissioners approve:
1) PRINCIPAL USES
a) Agricultural. A maximum of one horse and/or livestock may be kept or grazed on each of the three Daelin Planned Land Division lots.
b) Residential. Single Family Dwelling
c) Institutional. In-Home Child/Elderly Care
2) ACCESSORY USES: Additional accessory structures on a parcel are allowed if they meet the Accessory Use Criteria in Subsection 4.3.10 of the Larimer County Land Use Code.
3) LOT, BUILDING, AND STRUCTURE REQUIREMENTS
a) Minimum lot size - 100,000 square feet (2.3 acres), if a well or septic system is used.
b) Minimum Setbacks
1. Front Yard – 125’ from County Road 11C east right-of-way line;
2. Rear Yard – 300’ from the rear property line;
3. Side Yard – 5’;
4. Steams, creek, rivers-100’ from the centerline of established water course; and
5. Maximum structure height – 40’.
6. Rezoning to PD will not be effective until and unless the Board of County Commissioners approve a Final Plat, and the plat and all necessary documents are duly recorded.
4) No parcel can be used for more than one principal single-family residential building.
1) A maximum of one horse may be kept or grazed on each of the three Daelin Planned Land Division lots.
2) A drainage easement for proposed irrigation structures shall be shown on the plat during the Final Plat process.
3) The Final Plat shall be consistent with the approved Preliminary Plat and with the information contained in the Daelin PLD/PD (File #04-S2278). The applicant shall be subject to all other verbal or written representations and commitments of record for the Daelin PLD/PD.
4) Engineered foundations are required for new habitable construction on this site as recommended by the Colorado Geologic Survey.
5) No basements will be allowed unless potential groundwater issues are resolved during the Final Plat process or if during Final Plat it is demonstrated on a lot-by-lot basis that the lowest floor elevation would be at least three feet above the seasonal high ground-water level.
6) Passive radon mitigation measures shall be included in the construction of all new residential structures on these lots. The results of a radon detection test once the structure is enclosed but prior to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy shall be submitted to the Building Department. As an alternative, a builder may present a prepaid receipt from a radon tester that specifies that a test will be done within 30 days. A permanent Certificate of Occupancy can be issued when the prepaid receipt is submitted.
7) The following fees shall be collected at building permit for new single-family dwellings: Thompson R-2 school fee, Larimer County fees for County and Regional Transportation Capital Expansion (TCEFs), Larimer County Regional and Community Park Fees (in lieu of dedication) and drainage fee. The fee amount that is current at the time of building permit application shall apply. Both the Development Agreement and the Disclosure Affidavit will reference this requirement. The County Engineer’s office also requires a Developmental Construction Permit, prior to commencing development construction.
8) The applicant shall execute a Disclosure Notice for approval by the County to be recorded with the Final Plat. This notice shall provide information to all lot owners of the conditions of approval and special costs or fees associated with the approval of this project. The notice shall include, but not be limited to, the issues related to rural development, fire department requirements, the requirement for any access permits and culverts, the recommendations of the State Geological Survey (addressing foundations), building envelopes, the need for passive radon mitigation, and the issues raised in the review and/or related to compliance with the Larimer County Land Use Code.
9) Applicant shall provide a signed Annexation Agreement prior to the recording of the Final Plat and related documents.
Mr. Helmick explained that there is some disagreement between the Staff’s recommendations and the actions the Planning Commission took and he asked David Karin to explain. Mr. Karin explained that the allowance for livestock, particularly horses on the property, is the point of disagreement between Staff and the Planning Commission. He went on to explain that, after continued discussions with the applicant, Staff supports all of the conditions for approval, including the recommendation that two horses (or livestock) be allowed per lot. The Planning Commission recommended one horse (or livestock) per lot, which is the only difference of opinion between the Staff and the Planning Commission. Mr. Karin also asserted that Staff is not aware of any citizen in opposition to this proposal at this time.
There was no public comment on this item. Discussion ensued between the Board and Staff regarding the history of discussion about livestock on the lots, the size of the lots and the proximity of Boyd Lake to the property.
Chair Rennels welcomed the applicant to provide input to the Board. Tiffane Johnson from Landmark Engineering addressed the Board. She explained that originally the request was for three horses per lot, which would have been about a 44% reduction in the total number of livestock or animals currently allowed on the property. Ms. Johnson went on to explain that the applicant has been working to outline specific criteria that the applicant could offer in conjunction with providing a Pasture Management Program. She stated that the applicant also sought to compromise with the Planning Commission and changed the request to two horses per lot.
Ms. Johnson further explained that the applicant currently owns four horses and intends to pass the two lots on to his two daughters, which would allow the applicant to keep all four horses. Ms. Johnson also commented that two horses per lot would still be a 60% reduction from what the current code allows. She explained that the Pasture Management Program would accompany the Development Agreement, so that each lot owner would have guidelines, in case they haven’t had the experience of owning a small acreage before. She went on to explain that, as it is right now, there is approximately 1.5 acres of pasture set aside for the two horses on the property, as they are 2.67-acre lots with half-acre building envelopes.
Discussion ensued regarding Ms. Johnson’s comments, impact of the livestock on Boyd Lake, and the applicant’s agreement with all the other requirements made. Discussion continued regarding the Pasture Management Program and how it would work, the applicant’s history of land stewardship, and anticipated land management by future owners.
Chair Rennels asked Mr. Ryan if the Pasture Management Program has been reviewed by Staff. He indicated that Staff believes it to be a great plan for small property management. Mr. Ryan explained that this is one of the first cases to test the Land Use Code provision for protecting drinking water reservoirs. He concurred with the applicant that Boyd Lake has intense recreational use, farming use, etc. Mr. Ryan commented that he is satisfied that limiting the horses to a reasonable number and encouraging this professionally prepared pasture management program adequately answer the concerns regarding livestock on the properties. He went further to say that he concurs with Staff’s position that allowing two livestock per lot is acceptable. Mr. Helmick commented that the elements involved are relatively obvious and that a drive-by inspection will likely reveal violations, making enforcement more manageable.
Chair Rennels commented that the Pasture Management Program provided appears to be very well done and succinct.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gibson moved that Board of County Commissioners approve the Daelin Estates Planned Land Division and Rezoning to Planned Development, with the conditions recommended by Staff.
Motion carried 3-0.
11. SCHNEIDER APPEAL – 05-G0092:
12. SCHNEIDER APPEAL – 05-G0092:
Mr. Karin explained that the first appeal (Item 11) is to allow separation of the Schneider property into two legal parcels. The Schneiders have owned the subject property for approximately 21 years. The property in question was created through an exemption plat recorded on May 1, 1978 (Reception #246829 – Waag Exemption).
The original exemption plat created three parcels; Tracts A, B and C. The plat was subsequently amended in 1984 (see File #26-84EX – Waag Exemption). The exemption plat shows Tracts A-1, A-2 and A-3. Tract A-2 describes 0.99 acre which was located outside of the original Waag Exemption. Essentially an approximately one-acre property was added to the original exemption, the equivalent today of an Amended Plat. A plat note clearly designates “Combined Tracts A-1 and A-3.” It appears that “Tract A-3” was defined to indicate that additional property was involved.
Other evidence that the intent was to add property without creating an additional lot is in the Staff Report and the line types used on the plat. The Staff report states that this was a “request to combine a portion of Tract A of the Waag Exemption with an adjacent legal lot.” The line between Tracts A-1 and A-3 is a dotted line. Dotted lines are by convention used to indicate an existing property line which will be removed by the recording of the new plat. A solid line surrounds the combined Tract A-1 and A-3.
Mr. Karin indicated that one of the final steps in the process at that time was for the landowner to go to the Assessor’s office to, for tax purposes, combine those two parcels so that they were only paying taxes on one parcel. However, he explained that this final action was never taken by the landowner; and therefore, the Assessor’s office has continued to tax them based on two separate tax parcels (when there is only one legal lot).
The owners of Tract A-1/A-3 state that they were told upon purchase that the parcels were to be two separate parcels. They then received two tax notices for the past 21 years which, in their minds, confirmed the existence of two legal parcels. The Schneiders have been unable to provide any specific documentation that would support their claim.
Mr. Karin explained that the applicants are asking that the Board overturn the provision on the existing Amended Exemption Plat and allow that there are two separate legal lots. He went on to explain that the Staff’s position is that there is no basis in record for allowing two lots (essentially approving a land division that did not take place); and Staff, therefore, recommends denial of this application.
Mr. Karin explained that the second appeal (Item 12 above) is a request to waive and refund the $200 County fee for processing the first Schneider Appeal (Item 11 above). He explained that the Schneiders assert that they have already paid in excess of $15,000 on vacant land taxation for property that they believed was a separate legal lot. Mr. Karin indicated that Staff takes no formal position on the fee waiver.
Commissioner Gibson requested clarification as to whether the Planning Department is indicating that it is one legal parcel while the Assessors Department (where people pay their taxes) says it is two lots. Mr. Karin replied that, in a sense, that is correct; however, he went on to explain that there are two parallel systems in the County, one of which is for the purpose of land use (subject to the Land Use Code and Building Permits) and the other is for the purpose of taxation. He went on to explain that, at times, the Assessor has said there is one legal lot and a portion of it will be taxed at a different low rate, but the Assessor is not creating two legal lots – that is the situation that occurred with respect to this property.
Commissioner Gibson made the point that there are two systems within the County which should be combined into a single system, so everyone is talking in the same language.
Commissioner Wagner asked about the systems used back when the amended plat was produced and whether the Schneider’s received any documentation after the fact that would have clarified for them that they did, in fact, only have one lot. Mr. Karin indicated that at that time, an amended plat could not be used to create an additional lot. He went on to explain that there is nothing in the record that creates any doubt in his mind about the intent at that time for the property to remain one lot. However, he said he is not knowledgeable about whether the Schneiders were notified in writing after approval of the amended plat. Mr. Helmick interjected that the first approval in 1984 was a little sloppy, and that perhaps a new deed should have been filed at that time. However, he indicated his concurrence with Mr. Karin’s analysis that the file record is very clear from Staff’s standpoint; but it is not clear in terms of communications with the Schneiders and what they thought they were doing at the time or regarding any follow-up.
Commissioner Wagner commented that many people in the county get two tax bills on a single property and have the assumption that they have two separate properties. Mr. Helmick concurred that he receives communications from citizens with that perspective at least twice a week. Commissioner Wagner commented that this request is an understandable and unfortunate result of the separate systems that the County has in place for land use and taxation.
Chair Rennels requested comment from the applicant. Joyce Schneider approached the Board, representing her and her husband Kenneth as applicants. She explained the reasons for these two appeals. She commented that allowing two lots is not detrimental in any way, that they have been paying property taxes on two lots at higher rates than they would have had to pay, and that overpaid property taxes are not refundable. She indicated their interest in working cooperatively with the Planning office to determine appropriate lot sizes and other matters.
Commissioner Gibson asked how the property was originally purchased. Ms. Schneider indicated that the properties were purchased at two different times; the one-acre plot was purchased in 1968, and then they purchased the other four acres in 1984. She went on to explain that she did visit with the Planning office after the amended plat, and that the person she spoke with confirmed her understanding that they did have two different lots. She indicated that she did not realize there was any follow-up required. She explained that the receipt of two tax notices also confirmed, from their perspective, that there were two lots.
Commissioner Wagner asked Ms. Schneider to explain why they had originally wanted this property to be two lots back in 1984. Ms. Schneider indicated that she and her husband intended to sell off the larger portion at a later date as part of their retirement plan, which is something they have been considering in recent years.
Seeing no public requesting to comment, Chair Rennels opened and closed public comment regarding this matter.
Commissioner Gibson asked for clarification regarding how these two properties, purchased as such different times, were determined by the Planning Department not to be two separate lots. Mr. Helmick explained that there was an application filed by the property owners back in 1984, resulting in one approximately five-acre parcel. He commented that perhaps there was no follow-through on someone’s part (whether it be the Schneiders or the County) at that time. Commissioner Gibson commented that combining the two parcels would have resulted in some loss of value to the properties. He further commented that he understands the property owner’s confusion, and indicated that he would vote in favor of the property owners in the instance.
Commissioner Wagner commented that this is an understandable, unfortunate result of the two systems the County has, and that it is unfortunate that the County, at this point, is not working to combine the two systems. She indicated that, until the County does what it needs to do to correct the two separate systems causing confusion, she is going to be inclined to support appeals like this, if she knows that doing so will not affect the public health and safety, won’t result in any greater cost in taxation to the County, and the request is not in conflict with the Land Use Code. She indicated she would approve of this appeal, but would not be inclined to approve the appeal to waive the $200 fee, considering the cost to the County in time and effort to resolve this issue.
Chair Rennels commented that she sees why there is confusion. She indicated that she would agree with both Commissioners about how important it is that the confusion caused by the two County systems be corrected. She commented that because the records at that time were not as clear as she would like them to be, she prefers to err on the side of the applicant and will support the appeal.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Wagner moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the appeal of the Waag Amended Exemption Plat.
Motion Carried 3-0.
Mr. Karin explained again that the second appeal (Item 12 above) is requesting waiver of the $200 fee associated with the first appeal (Item 11 above). Mr. Helmick commented that the Planning Department has no basis or review criteria for a fee appeal and indicated that the decision is entirely up to the Board. There was brief discussion among the Board regarding this request.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gibson moved that the Board of County Commissioners deny the appeal of the process fee.
Motion Carried 3-0.
13. YOUNG’S LIQUOR APPEAL – 05-G0091: Matt Lafferty explained that the subject request is an appeal to Section 10.14.B (Freestanding Signs) and 10.17.B (Nonconforming Signs), allowing the property owner to retain an existing nonconforming freestanding sign on the property. The sign in question is situated along the southern property boundary adjacent to the Highway 14 Frontage Road. The three-sided sign is approximately 29’ tall and is positioned approximately 2.5’ from the property line adjacent to the Highway 14 Frontage Road.
Mr. Lafferty went on to explain the history and reasoning behind signage codes in Larimer County. He also explained how and when the new signage codes are put into affect, and he reviewed the history of the Young’s Liquor building project.
According to Section 10.19 (Definitions) a nonconforming sign is defined as follows: “Nonconforming Sign – A sign the does not meet one or more of the requirements of this Section 10, but which was erected in conformance with any adopted standards and procedures in existence at the time.”
Mr. Lafferty explained that the sign being discussed today stands approximately 29’ tall and sits 2.5’ off of the right-of-way line for the frontage road of East Mulberry. He went on to explain that, based on current regulations, the sign, in its current location, would only be allowed to be approximately 5’ tall; as it is moved further away from the property line it could be taller, upwards of 30’. Mr. Lafferty showed a photograph of the site, described the other previously existing signs on the property and how they will or will not be relocated, and showed the location of the sign in question. He went further to comment on his thoughts for an alternative location for the sign, which would likely require a variance on height, but not on setback. He continued by explaining roadway visibility of the current sign location and of the suggested new location.
With regard to the existing sign in question, it is considered nonconforming because it does not comply with the height, setback and size requirements of Section 10.14 (Standards for Nonresidential Districts). Additionally, because a “change of use” is occurring on the property and new signs are proposed, the applicant is required to eliminate all nonconforming signs.
According to Section 0.1 (Definitions) of the Land Use Code, a “change of use” is defined as follows: “Change of use – Any use that substantially differs from the previous use of a building or land, including a change from a public use to a private use, in which a new use requires additional parking, landscaping, screening, buffering, drainage facilities or other changes to the site addressed in Section 8, standards for all development.”
Furthermore, Section 10.17.B (Nonconforming Signs) states the following regarding nonconforming signs: “All nonconforming signs on a property must be bought into conformance with this Section 10.0 when a change of use, as defined in the Land Use Code, occurs on the property.”
Based upon the definitions and standards listed above, the Development Services Team cannot support the applicants request for the following reasons;
a. A “Change of Use” has occurred. This change of use of the property has been approved and is being constructed at this time. The change of use involves the destruction of the existing Young’s Liquor Building on the site and its replacement by a larger building that will, in addition to allowing for the expansion of Young’s Liquor, also accommodate new uses. As part of this change of use, the applicant was required to provide new parking facilities, landscaping, drainage facilities and access. The decision that this constitutes a “change of use” has been reviewed and upheld by the Board of Adjustment.
b. The sign in question is nonconforming. The sign that the applicant wishes to maintain on the property cannot meet the standards for a freestanding sign, because it stands too tall, is not setback far enough from the property line, and exceeds the sign area allowances for its location.
c. The sign in question is 35 to 40 years old, and the applicant has proposed to update the sign if it is allowed to remain. By allowing the sign to remain and be updated, the life of the nonconformity will be extended. This is also addressed in the nonconforming section of the sign regulations where it states “a nonconforming sign shall not be structurally or physically altered in order to prolong the life of the sign, including a change from the original materials of the sign, except to meet safety requirements.”
d. Removing the sign does not create an unfair market condition. Property owners in the area with nonconforming signs will be required to bring their signs into conformance with Section 10.0 (Signs) when they change their use, expand or choose to update their existing sign program.
e. Adoption of the Section 10.0 (Signs) of the Land Use Code intended to allow greater sign opportunities from the previous County sign regulations (which allowed only one sign of 90 square feet per use) and, at the same time bring business signs within the County to a level consistent with City regulations, so that signs would not be considered nonconforming when those properties are annexed into the City.
f. Lastly, the adoption of the new sign regulations of Section 10 were intended to reduce the height of signs throughout the County and to improve the visual qualities of the main thoroughfares to enhance and encourage higher quality development in the commercial corridors.
Overall, the new sign standards of Section 10 allow the applicant to have sign allowance of 400 + square feet, which can be distributed through numerous signs on both street frontages of the property. The previous standards only allowed one sign totaling 90 square feet for these properties.
Mr. Lafferty described, from his perspective, the applicant’s position regarding this sign; highlighting the applicant’s concerns about competition and the Supermarket Liquor sign on the same street, which is not currently in compliance with the sign code either and would not be required to make a change at this point in time.
Commissioner Gibson commented on the competition issue and asked if there had been consideration given to requiring that if one sign has to be modified, both signs must be modified, to put the competition on equal footing. Mr. Lafferty commented that, if this sign is allowed to remain, the next person will also expect to be able to locate a sign under similar conditions. He went further to address the fair market condition, and the option of allowing the applicant to keep this sign on the property until the other sign went away or market conditions evened themselves out, but he expressed concern that the applicant is going to put a significant amount of money into updating this sign, making its removal at a later date a significant monetary loss. Commissioner Gibson asserted that it would be the owner’s choice whether to put the money into this expense, knowing when he does so that he may lose the investment in a short time if conditions change.
Mr. Lafferty indicated that, when the County put these new sign codes into place, there was a conscious effort to indicate that the County would not be chasing down the non-conformities, but rather that non-conformances would be brought into conformance when the opportunity calls for it. He emphasized that, if the properties are annexed into one of the cities, they will be brought into conformance with those applicable codes on an amortization schedule, with potential significant loss to the property owners, if they are not required to come into compliance by the County when major changes occur to the property.
Discussion ensued regarding the current sign size, the proposed location for the sign, and the likelihood that the sign would have to be further altered if the property is annexed into the city.
Discussion continued regarding the building location, meetings between the property owner and the Planning Department regarding same, the property owner’s options regarding this location, and the property owner’s final decision about building placement.
Further discussion continued regarding the number of signs and square footage of signage allowed by code on a site, whether the applicant has reached the limit for signage at this location, and what the applicant’s options are regarding the signage with and without the subject sign.
The Applicant, Gerald Granberg, approached the Board at this time. Mr. Granberg clarified that this is his first appeal in front of the Commissioners to address this particular item, and commented that Mr. Lafferty has only taken into account westbound traffic as he regards the sign and the impact of its removal, and he emphasized that he also gets customers from the east. He further explained that, under the current sign code, he would not be able to use the existing sign in any circumstances, because it is 19’ tall. Mr. Granberg explained that the object of this appeal is to allow him to keep an existing 40-year-old sign, which has been kept in good condition and requires no refurbishment. It has been well maintained and is ready to turn on, so he is not intending to put any investment into improving it. Rather he thinks Mr. Lafferty was referring to another sign that was removed from the roof of the building that will be refurbished as part of the sign plan.
Mr. Granberg reviewed the history of his and his wife’s ownership of the store, the property and the current rebuild. He further described the various meetings he has had with Planning regarding the upgrade, and eventually rebuild, of his building. He showed photographs of the signs along the Mulberry corridor and described the importance of such signage. Mr. Granberg stated that he believes his sign fits the stated purpose of the sign code (10.1), and meets the general sign regulations (10.2). He explained that, although he had addressed various other issues with the Planning Commission over a period of time, it wasn’t until he signed the Development Agreement in May that Mr. Lafferty told him of the fact that his sign will not comply with the sign code and would have to be removed. Mr. Granberg appealed to the Board to let him keep his sign, stating that requiring him to remove it would add $30,000 to $40,000 to a project that is already over budget and behind schedule.
Discussion ensued regarding the importance of the sign code, the provisions of the current sign code, the perceived need for tall signs on higher speed roadways, and the appearance of the Mulberry corridor as a “gateway into Fort Collins.”
Discussion continued regarding Mr. Granberg’s perspective on changing the signage, should his property be annexed into the City of Fort Collins; his intent for signage on the building; how his signage intent compares to the amount allowed by code; and the intended use of his new building.
Chair Rennels opened the meeting to public comment. Gary Callahan, Attorney for Young’s Liquor addressed the Board. He commented on the philosophical questions about who should be the first to conform to the new sign code. He said that an applicant in review should be provided the full opportunity of understanding the economic and design consequences of going into a project. He explained that part of the difficulty in this instance is that the process has taken so long, and so many code changes have taken place during this time. He indicated that if the property owner knows going in what all of the economic and design issues are, then this issue does not arise at all.
Chair Rennels commented on the difficulty associated with being the first to conform to the new sign code and the fact that the new sign code provides more flexibility with respect to total sign square footage allowed. Commissioner Wagner asked Mr. Callahan how this project would have been affected had Mr. Granberg known these requirements at the onset. Mr. Callahan indicated that the project was budgeted at the onset, and that Mr. Granberg’s budget, his borrowing ability, completion dates, etc. would have been affected. He could have decided at that time whether he could move forward with the project, or whether he would have chosen not to move forward with the project at all.
Mr. Callahan explained that Mr. Granberg’s project is well over budget and that this sign change would result in another significant expenditure for which he was not able to plan.
Mr. Granberg again approached the Board and explained that every proposed site plan throughout the process had the existing sign on it, and no one told him there would be any issue with it.
Discussion ensued regarding participation in the public process of developing the current sign code and when Mr. Granberg was told he would have to modify the sign.
Jay Curtis of Da Vinci Sign Systems approached the Board. He commented that it would be extremely costly (as much as $20,000) to relocate this sign, and he appealed to the Board to allow Mr. Granberg a variance to keep this sign in its current location. Mr. Curtis further stated that he believes this sign to be a local landmark and that it is a critical component to the success of Young’s Liquor.
Casey Stewart, of the Planning Department, commented on the difference between how the old and new sign code would have impacted Mr. Granberg. He further commented that his initial communication with Mr. Granberg about this sign took place in April.
Chair Rennels closed public comment regarding this matter.
Chair Rennels commented that she very much believes in the County’s new sign code. She stated that Mr. Granberg’s project has been involved in the process with the County for a very long time, and she reviewed some of the details of the project and the timing of his being informed of the sign issues. She expressed concern about the late date at which Mr. Granberg was informed that there would be an issue with his sign.
Mr. Lafferty explained that the Site Plan Process, as it existed at the time, did not evaluate signage, because there is a separate permit by which signage is approved; and he again commented on the difference between how the old sign code and the new sign code would have affected Mr. Granberg.
Commissioner Wagner asked if this is the first appeal the County has received regarding the sign code. Mr. Lafferty indicated that this is the first one heard by the Board to this point, but indicated that there is another pending. Discussion ensued regarding potentially perceived similarities between the two appeals, the likelihood that the argument heard today will be heard again in the future, and how the decision today could impact future appeals.
Commissioner Wagner commented on the appearance of the signs and their effectiveness, her support of the new sign code, and appearance of the Mulberry corridor entrance to Fort Collins. She indicated that she would not support Mr. Granburg’s appeal, but will instead support the new sign code.
Commissioner Gibson commented that he is not a proponent of signs; however, he indicated his discomfort with the fact that competition in the immediate area also has a nonconforming sign, but it will not have to be brought into conformance. He indicated that he would support the appeal in this instance.
Chair Rennels asked Jeanine Haag if it is possible to approve this appeal, with the condition that Mr. Granberg must bring the sign into conformance with the new sign code within five years. Ms. Haag confirmed that the County can approve the appeal with stipulations or limits. Chair Rennels commented that, given the amount of money that the Granbergs have put into this project and the fact that they need to reestablish their business with its new look, she would be willing to approve this appeal with the stipulation that by the end of five years from the date the building is completed, the sign must be brought into compliance with the sign code.
Discussion ensued regarding this option and the five-year time frame.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gibson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Young’s Liquor 2nd Sign Code appeal to Section 10.14.B and 10.17.B of the Land Use Code with the stipulation that the sign must come into compliance or be removed seven years from the date of completion of the building.
Motion failed 1-2. Commissioner Gibson voted in favor.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Wagner moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Young’s Liquor 2nd Sign Code appeal to Section 10.14.B and 10.17.B of the Land Use Code with the stipulation that the sign must come into compliance or be removed five years from the date of completion of the building.
Motion carried 3-0.
The meeting recessed at 5:00 p.m.
LAND USE HEARING
(#123 & 124)
The Board of County Commissioners reconvened at 6:30 p.m. with Rob Helmick, Principle Planner. Chair Rennels presided and Commissioners Gibson and Wagner were present. Also present were: Matt Lafferty and Sean Wheeler, Planning Department; Christi Coleman, Engineering Department; Doug Ryan, Environmental Health Department; Jeannine Haag, Assistant County Attorney; and Angela Myers, Deputy Clerk.
Chair Rennels reconvened the meeting by welcoming any public comment on the County Budget and Land Use Code. No one from the audience addressed the Board regarding these topics.
1. WARBERG FARM CONSERVATION DEVELOPMENT – 04-S2296: Chair Rennels noted that this item was tabled from November 7, 2005. Sean Wheeler addressed the Board and explained that this is a request for Preliminary Plat review of a Conservation Development to divide 102 acres into 18 single-family residential lots and 7 residual lots. The request includes an appeal to the connectivity standards in Section 8.14.2.S of the Land Use Code.
This project was reviewed by the Larimer County Planning Commission on September 21, 2005. Discussion of the request focused on the appeal to the connectivity standard in Section 8.14.2.S of the Land Use Code, and concerns about the project raised by neighboring property owners.
1) Compatibility with the neighboring Ludwig Farms Rural Land Plan (and impacts to its viewsheds): As outlined in the report provided to the Planning Commission, Staff’s assessment is that the project is compatible with the neighborhood. The Land Use Code provides several options for development in rural areas. The approval of one type of development does not preclude other property owners seeking approval under another process. Regarding viewsheds, Staff encourages applicants to consider existing viewsheds when creating new lots. However the preservation of existing viewsheds from residential areas is not a Code requirement.
2) Impacts to the reservoir and access to the ditch: The Engineering and Health Departments, along with the Staff Environmental Planner have assessed the issues here. Their concerns have been addressed by the applicant or by recommended conditions of approval.
3) Height restrictions and ridgeline development: Height restrictions are provided for in the Code. It allows the construction of buildings up to 40-feet tall. Staff is unaware of any surrounding properties that are subject to additional height restrictions imposed by the County. Second, without a codified definition as to what is or is not considered a “ridgeline” for development purposes, the issue of impacts to ridgelines cannot be assessed here. For this project, the applicant has stated that the placement of lots on their property will preserve the best agricultural lands, a purpose of the CD requirements, and there is no evidence to dispute this. Clearly, the placement of lots on a high point of the site will also afford views which will likely increase their value for the applicant. However in Staff’s assessment, if an applicant can satisfy the review criteria, how they use the other advantages provided by their property is a decision of the landowner.
4) Architectural controls: As a general rule, architectural controls are left to the developer. Staff sees no compelling argument to impose them on this project.
5) Impacts on adjacent farming activities: The required Disclosure Notice will include a section advising potential lot buyers that Larimer County has a “right to farm and ranch” policy, and that they should expect activities typical of farming operations nearby.
The Development Service Team recommends Denial of the appeal to Section 8.14.2.S (connectivity) for the Warberg Farm Conservation Development, File #04-S2296.
The Development Services Team recommends Approval of the Warberg Farm Conservation Development (File #04-S2296) subject to the following conditions:
The Planning Commission concurred with the recommendations by Staff without amendment for Denial of the appeal to Section 8.14.2.S (connectivity) for the Warberg Farm Conservation Development, File #04-S2296. The Larimer County Planning Commission further recommends Approval of the Warberg Farm Conservation Development, File #04-S2296, with Conditions A through M recommended by Staff, and with the following additional conditions:
Christy Coleman spoke to the issue of connectivity. She emphasized that connectivity will enhance emergency access for this subdivision and provide a future secondary pedestrian and vehicular access to the land to the west of this development, which is why staff believes connectivity is important to this project.
Discussion ensued regarding the location of emergency access to this property and the surrounding area.
Phillip Flores of Norris Design, land planners and landscape architects from Denver who have been working with Sonja Warberg Mast on this project since its inception, addressed the Board. He discussed the layout of the property, oil and gas well areas, etc.
The Applicant and owner of the property, Sonja Warberg Mast, addressed the Board. She explained her family’s history of ownership of this property and how she came to choose the Conservation Development route for retaining the Warberg Farm as an agricultural unit. She further explained how the land is intended to be used, including the types of equipment that will be traversing the property on a regular basis. Ms. Warberg expressed her belief that the connectivity designed to connect subdivisions is not appropriate to a Conservation Development, where the intent is to retain the property as an agricultural unit. She described the surrounding properties and their road access opportunities.
Ms. Warberg commented that she believes one horse per half acre is appropriate for Lots 1 and 2 (rather than one horse per lot), because a family could ride together and maintain several horses on those lots. She then described the status of horses on surrounding properties.
Mrs. Warberg commented on the Planning Commissions recommendation that Lot C be “non-buildable.” She asserted that under the Code, agriculture should be able to have support buildings consistent with that type of use. She gave examples of why such storage building opportunities would be needed.
Commissioner Gibson commented that the original farm space is not included in this project and asked if there was a specific reason why it was cut out. Ms. Warberg provided history for that portion of the property and its sale and repurchase. Because it is a separate entity and unit, she is not making it part of this development. Commissioner Gibson expressed his concern that multi-story buildings could potentially be placed on that location in the future. Ms. Warberg indicated that no multi-level buildings will be built on that property.
Commissioner Wagner asked about Ms. Warberg’s intent to preserve the best land for agriculture. Ms. Warberg confirmed that the lots have been placed as they are in order to retain as large a portion of the land as possible as a unit, so that the farmer can farm the 35 to 40 acres together, rather than having it cut up. Discussion ensued regarding use of the agriculture portion in the future.
Discussion continued regarding the percentage of residual and buildable land in this application.
Chair Rennels opened the hearing for public comment. Ken Ludwick, property owner to the east of the subject property, addressed the Board regarding his concern about the groundwater supply in the area. He described the water seepage from the lake, the ponds that have formed in the area, and his concern about the safety of septic tanks being utilized in this development over the long term. Mr. Ludwick expressed his concern about the location of houses on the ridgeline and his belief that the residential part of this project is too heavy for the amount of land that is involved.
Chair Rennels closed public comment.
Mr. Flores again addressed the Board. He commented on the planned 100’ setback from water’s edge and how that area would be denoted by a low (2’) fence. He further commented on the septic tank concerns by explaining the plan for location of septic tanks.
Discussion ensued regarding which areas of the subject property are irrigated and which are not, and residential access to water and to the reservoir. Discussion continued regarding communications with and from the City of Johnstown regarding the project.
Ms. Warberg commented on the homes planned for location on the ridgeline. She explained that these homes will be single-story dwellings, with the exception perhaps of a “bonus room” above the garages. She further explained why the homes are being located where they are and how the septic systems will be located in conjunction with the homes. Ms. Warberg indicated that she is retaining ownership of the residual land involved in this project.
Discussion among the Board and Staff ensued at length regarding the water supply and concerns regarding water quality, drainage, etc.; communications with the City of Johnstown; and the types of septic systems that will be utilized. Discussion continued regarding access roads in this area and connectivity.
Commissioner Gibson expressed concern about resolution of issues with the City of Johnstown. Mr. Helmick indicated that the City of Johnstown is typically fairly aggressive in expressing their comments regarding projects of concern to them, and he indicated that he is confident that his office would have been informed by the City of Johnstown if they did have any remaining concerns.
Chair Rennels indicated that she concurs with Staff, not the Planning Commission, regarding the livestock and building allowances on the lots and, therefore, that she would not approve additional Conditions O and P. She further asked Mr. Ryan for confirmation that the septic tanks will not leach into the Ludwick farm. Mr. Ryan indicated his confidence that, based on the lot sizes, setbacks and the technical requirements that are administered at the time of building permit, there won’t be systems failing and surfacing on the Ludwick property. He explained that the effluent will be going into the groundwater as is normal for septic tanks, but that effluent will be safe and protect the groundwater quality.
Commissioner Wagner indicated that she is not entirely convinced that the connectivity is essential and commented on the other emergency access available. Chair Rennels echoed her agreement with this perspective.
Discussion ensued regarding the type of roads indicated as emergency access, how they are maintained, who they are maintained by, and the particular conditions of the emergency roads in this area.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Wagner moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the appeal to Section 8.14.2.S (Connectivity) for the Warberg Farm Conservation Development, File #04-S2296.
Motion carried 3-0.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gibson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Warberg Farm Conservation Development (File #04-S2296) subject to conditions A through O as recommended by the Planning Commission and Staff.
Motion carried 2-1. Commissioner Wagner opposed.
Commissioner Wagner indicated her misunderstanding about the wording of Conditions N and O, and her initial interpretation that they had the opposite meaning. She indicated that she does not wish to limit the livestock or the building (as noted in N and O) and, therefore, requested to change her vote.
Amended Vote: Motion carried 3-0. All Commissioners voted in favor.
2. BRUCE MINOR LAND DIVISION AND APPEALS – 05-S2459: Mr. Lafferty explained that the first part of this application is an appeal to Section 5.4 (Minor Land Division) to be allowed to divide Lot 1 of the Amended Maloof Minor Land Division, which is a portion of Lot 2 of the Maloof Minor Land Division, where the Larimer County Land Use Code requires use of the Rural Land Use Process or Conservation Development Process for further division of lots previously approved by the Minor Land Division process.
He went on to explain that, if the appeal is granted, the applicant is requesting that the Board then consider Approval of the Bruce Minor Land Division of Lot 1 of the Amended Maloof Minor Land Division of Lot 2 of the Maloof Minor Land Division, which includes appeals to Sections 8.14.2.Q, 5.4.3.D and 8.14.2.I of the Land Use Code all of which pertain to roads and access serving the site, which would actually cause the division of that property into three lots.
Mr. Lafferty showed a photograph of the property, indicated that the property is currently 440.37 acres, and showed where the property is located in relation to Rist Canyon Road. He went on to provide the following history.
July 8, 1998 – The Maloof Minor Land Division was recorded, which MLD created two lots one being 10 acres in area and the other being 450+ acres in area.
April 28, 1999 – The Amended Maloof Minor Land Division of Lot 2 of the Maloof Minor Land Division was recorded. The Amended MLD allowed for the creation of two additional lots on the property. Based upon the regulations at that time the property owner was allowed to create up to four lots by Minor Land Division based upon an overall property area that could generate at least an equal number of 35 acre lots. Because the amended Maloof MLD represented the maximum number of lots by Minor Land Division a note was placed upon the amended plat that reads as follows:
“Lot 1 of the Amended Plat of Lot 2 of the Maloof MLD #98-EX1225 shall not be subdivided further without County subdivision approval (which subdivision approval by the current Code is the Conservation Development or Rural Land Use Process).”
The intent of the above quoted note was to preclude any 35-acre division of the remaining portions of the property, as well as to ensure that appropriate development regulations and standards, including adequate public facilities, would be complied with if higher densities were to be proposed.
The applicant is requesting an appeal to Section 5.4 of the Larimer County Land Use Code to be allowed to use the Minor Land Division process to further divide the property known as Lot 1 of the Amended Maloof Minor Land Division of Lot 2 of the Maloof Minor Land Division.
According to the Section 5.4.2 (Applicability) of the Larimer County Land Use Code, the Minor Land Division process shall only be use for the division of property if one of the following conditions exists:
A. Division of existing uses that have separate utilities: This process cannot be used to divide accessory uses from principal uses or to create an opportunity for additional principal uses.
B. Division of an existing legal use from the remaining vacant property with the condition that development of the site must be approved through the appropriate subdivision, conservation development, or planned development process.
C. Division of quarter sections into four parcels of equal size where the original quarter section contains fewer than 40 acres.
D. Divisions of land for public utilities, open space, schools or other public uses that require County review of potential impacts through the location and extent review or special review process.
With regard to the above applicability definitions, the proposal to further divide the applicant’s property by Minor Land Division is not appropriate, as none of the applicability criteria even remotely relate to what the applicant is requesting.
In addition to the applicability criteria of 5.4.2 for a Minor Land Division, the subject request is in direct conflict with the Review Criteria 5.2.3.B for a Minor Land Division, which criteria reads as follows:
“The property is not part of an Exemption or Minor residential Development approved under the previous subdivision resolution or a Minor Land Division.”
Based upon the above criteria, it is clear that division of property by the Minor Land Division process is intended to be a one-time-only option for property owners, who choose to retain the bulk of their property, but also wish to capture some economic value from their property without being subject to the full gambit of the development regulations. With regard to this property, the applicant has been fortunate to achieve the maximum number of lots allowed by Minor Land Division (four lots), and did so through multiple Minor Land Divisions rather than a single application as required by the Code. Now the applicant is requesting to again divide the property for an additional two lots, which is also above and beyond the maximum number of lots typically attainable by this process.
If the applicant’s appeal is approved, the Bruce Minor Land Division, which will result in two additional lots, is also being requested. The new lots will consist of 119 acres (Lot 1), 105 acres (Lot 2) and 210 acres (Lot 3). Access to Lots 2 and 3 will be from Lady Slipper Lane, which will be an Appendix G roadway constructed in a 60-foot-wide public right-of-way.
The property for the proposed Minor Land Division is in a mountainous terrain, which includes sprawling meadows. An existing residence exists on the proposed Lot 1, which lot will maintain the existing access and buildings.
To approve a Minor Land Division the County Commissioners must find that the following conditions exist:
b. The property is not part of an Exemption or Minor Residential Development approved under the previous Subdivision Resolution or a Minor Land Division: The property for the proposed Bruce Minor Land Division is part of the Maloof Minor Land Division, which plat has been amended once since its original recordation and, therefore, does not comply with this criteria. Because the property is part of the Maloof Minor Land Division further division of the property is required to obtain approval through the Conservation Development or Rural Land Use Process.
c. The newly-created parcels will meet the minimum lot size required by the applicable zoning district. For uses resulting in a significant public benefit, such as a fire station, the County Commissioners may waive the minimum lot size and minimum lot width to depth ratio requirements, provided the proposed use meets minimum setbacks and sewage disposal requirements: The lots proposed by the Bruce Minor Land Division will conform to the minimum lots size requirements (10 acres) of the O (Open) Zoning District.
d. The newly-created parcels meet minimum access standards required by the County Engineer or the Colorado Department of Transportation as applicable: Access to the Lots in the proposed Bruce Minor Land Division will be from an existing driveway through the property. However, without substantial improvements to the existing access/driveway, this application cannot be supported, as the access is not adequate to serve more than one single-family use. Because of this, the applicant has discussed alternatives with the Development Services Team to create adequate access to the lots proposed by the Bruce Minor Land Division. To accomplish a feasible and safe access, the Development Services Team has agreed to support appeals to several access standards, but not the MLD request. The first of these appeals is to Section 8.14.2.I of the Land Use Code which states the newly created lots shall not be bisected by roadways serving other properties. The second of these appeals is to Section 8.14.2.Q which states that dead-end roads west of Range 69 shall not exceed 1000 feet in length without a second point of access. What has been agreed upon as part of the access for the development is outlined in the attached referral letter from Engineering Department.
e. Approval of the Minor Land Division will not result in impacts greater than those of existing uses. However, impacts from increased traffic to a public use may be offset by the public benefit derived from such use: Approval of the Bruce Minor Land Division will result additional building lots on the property, which additional building sites are in addition to lots already approved by previous Minor Land Divisions. Because the lots within the Maloof Minor Land Division and Amended Minor Land Division have created the maximum number of lots allowed by Minor Land Division, any additional lots created will have the potential to result in impacts greater than already exist on the property, and without a comprehensive review that is typically accomplished through the County’s standardized planning processes within the Land Use Code.
Since notice of the proposed requests has gone out to the properties in the area surrounding the project site, the Larimer County Planning Department has received numerous letters in opposition to the applicant’s request. According to the letters received from the property owners, increased development and its impacts on traffic, access, well water, and the environment top resident concerns.
The Minor Land Division process is intended to provide property owners an option to realize economic value from their property while maintaining ownership of the majority of their property for uses other than development. To this point the applicant has used the Minor Land Division process to the maximum extent permissible by the Larimer County Land Use Code, and now request to exceed the allowances without the benefit of a comprehensive review of potential impacts. Furthermore, the applicant has discussed his intentions to use the Rural Land Use process to further divide the lots to be created as part of this application. This approach of incremental development, which avoids review and implementation of the County development review standards and adequate public facility standards, could easily result in impacts to the environment and the surrounding properties that would be addressed by normal development review applications. Given the applicants intention to submit future applications to divide this property further, the Development Services Team believes that this appeal, which would result in an incremental development pattern, that does not require compliance with a majority of the standards of the County and should be denied.
Mr. Lafferty directed attention to the location of a natural spring, which is not illustrated on the proposed plan of the site, from which the Heberts, who live on the other side of the road, receive groundwater rights and have an easement for access. He commented that, if the MLD does get approved, he would ask that that easement be illustrated on the proposed plan, so that those easement rights are accurately represented. Mr. Lafferty went on to show and explain that, if the MLD is approved, Lot 3 is accessible via a long, dead-end access road that will eventually be constructed to the Appendix G standards and was an appeal as part of the MLD process. He further stated that Staff and the applicant agree that if the MLD is approved, Lot 3 would not be built upon for residential use, until such time that this roadway is actually constructed to the Appendix G standard, which is a pretty extensive road. Lot 2 would be allowed to be built upon, however, and it would be serviced by a driveway.
Should the County Commissioners approve the applicant’s appeal, the Development Services Team would request postponing the consideration of the Minor Land Division so that conditions of approval can be formulated and any concerns raised by the property owners in the area taken into consideration to ensure they are not adversely impacted.
a. The Development Services Team finds that the Larimer County Land Use Code provides standardized development review applications for the division of property beyond that possible by Minor Land Division.
b. The Development Services Team find that the continued use of the Minor Land Division process for the creation of lots on the subject property has the potential to create undesirable impacts to the environment and adjacent properties due to the lack of review for compliance with typical development standards.
c. The Development Services Team finds the approval of the appeal to use the Minor Land Division process to further divide the subject property creates unfair conditions, in that other individuals developing their properties are not afforded the same opportunities to develop subject minimal standards.
Discussion ensued regarding the history of the first two MLDs.
The Applicant, Mr. Maloof, addressed the Board. He reviewed the history of his ownership of the property and its use, his pursuit of sale of the property and his inability to secure a sale. He went on to explain that he believes the property will be more saleable if it is divided into three, more affordable lots; and he commented that he is making every effort to sell it in as large a parcels as is possible to maintain the integrity and beauty of the property.
Rob Persichitte of Intermill Land Surveying, addressed the Board and explained that he was contacted by Mr. Maloof to prepare this MLD. He explained the reasons for pursuing the MLD process in an effort to create these parcels.
Discussion ensued regarding the lot sizes, the reason for not pursuing sale of the property in parcels over 35-acres in size, how the history of the MLD processes has affected the current number of lots on the property, and the options still open to the property owner for dividing the property.
Chair Rennels opened the hearing to public comment.
Cathy Lake, property owner in the area, addressed the Board. She explained that there are many citizens in the room who have previously met regarding this issue and agreed to delegate a few spokespersons to speak for the group. Ms. Lake commented on the various advertisements that have been circulated by the property owner indicating that he is offering the property for sale in increments smaller than 35 acres, and other variations of acreages. She continued by sharing conversations she’d had with the property owner, the research she had done through the County, and her understanding of the historical facts regarding Mr. Maloof’s division of his property. She expressed concern that Mr. Maloof not be allowed to abuse the County system to further his own investment income opportunity, that he has displayed a lack of respect for County government by consistently trying to avoid the legal avenues that the County requires, and that he is offering parcels of his property for sale when they are not legally available in that form. She urged the Board to deny any further allowances for Mr. Maloof to circumvent the County systems.
Ms. Lake continued by addressing environmental concerns associated with Mr. Maloof’s request, primarily regarding water, further subdivision of the property, increased traffic and wildlife. As she concluded her comments, Ms. Lake requested a show of hands from the audience for those who agree with the statements she made on behalf of the group.
Commissioner Gibson asked Ms. Haag about the legality of Mr. Maloof’s ability to sell large parcels. Ms. Haag explained that in the land division process Mr. Maloof has already been through with the County, he has essentially made a “deal” with the County that, in exchange for the County’s approval of the subdivision of his land, he would agree to certain things. She went on to explain that one of those things was that there would be no further subdivision of this large parcel, and she emphasized that the MLD process is a very abbreviated process of subdividing land.
Chris Hubbards, Ms. Lake’s husband and neighbor to the subject property, addressed the Board. He described his interactions with Mr. Maloof regarding the potential sale of the subject property, and his research regarding the history of Mr. Maloof’s interaction with the County. He continued by outlining his concerns regarding the adverse affects to wildlife in the area and the potential development density that could result, should Mr. Maloof’s appeal be approved. As he concluded, Mr. Hubbards also requested a show of hands from the audience to indicate agreement with the concerns he presented.
Leslie Paris, neighbor to the subject property, addressed the Board. She expressed concern about the advertisements she has seen showing the division of this property into several five-acre and larger lots, which disappeared from the advertising website as recently as last week, and the recent withdrawal of a proposal for rural land use. Ms. Paris continued by explaining her concerns regarding the impact on the water supply, should this land be subdivided into smaller lots. She urged the Board to deny Mr. Maloof’s request, but went further to say that if the Board does approve the request, she urged them to put restrictions and specifications on future division of the land, the current proposed roads to be built, and water use during development. She requested protection of the water source for the residents in that area for the long term.
Bob Gann, Fire Chief for the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department, approached the Board to clarify that he is only present at this meeting as an observing representative of the fire department and is not expressing any opinions regarding this appeal.
Judy Grillo, a property owner up the hill from the subject property, addressed the Board. She indicated that she is not concerned about the land division; however, she requested that, if Mr. Maloof’s request is approved, there be a way to make it in perpetuity so that this land cannot be divided up into smaller and smaller parcels. She further requested that the water be brought in for the construction of the road and the buildings, rather than allowing it to be taken from the local ponds and springs. Ms. Grillo emphasized that water is a very large concern to property owners in that area and the lack of it does decrease the value of their properties.
Chair Rennels explained that this hearing is only on the topic of whether or not to allow the MLD to move forward, not the basic premise of how he will design it.
Dr. Paul Doherty Jr., a property owner just below the subject property, addressed the Board. He asked if there was any precedent for one unit of land going through two or three Minor Land Divisions. It was conceded that there have not been very many through the MLD process only. Dr. Doherty commented for the record that the granting of a third MLD to Mr. Maloof would be fairly precedent setting.
Chair Rennels commented that Mr. Maloof still has the option to subdivide his property through the subdivision process, which would be a Rural Land Use subdivision or Conservation Development. She went on to explain that those processes would send the application through the Division of Wildlife, the Forest Service, the fire department, water issues, etc. as part of a more thorough review. Mr. Lafferty read the note on the plat agreed to by Mr. Maloof indicating that he would not divide this property further without County subdivision approval.
Phil White, property owner adjacent to the northeast corner of the subject property, addressed the Board. He voiced his opposition to this request because of water and environmental concerns. He indicated that he can get by with the water supply on his property as it is now, but additional use by others would make his water supply inadequate.
Chair Rennels closed public comment.
Mr. Maloof again approached the Board. He expressed his appreciation for clarification of the note on the plat, indicating that he did not agree that he would not subdivide the property further. He discussed the fliers and advertisements and indicated that he is no longer working with the agents produced them and does not know why the ads are still running. He commented on the road and his intention not to do anything to it, the improvements he has made to the property to improve the wildlife habitat, and the fact that he is not talking about creating any further subdivisions. Mr. Maloof indicated that he is only wishing to create three larger parcels in order to make it more economically feasible for someone to buy the property.
Discussion ensued regarding the advertising and the future options for new owners to subdivide the property.
Commissioner Gibson expressed his concern regarding the precedent-setting nature of allowing a third MLD on the same property, and setting the property up for future development.
Chair Rennels indicated that she could not support this request and reflected on her experience at the second MLD request by Mr. Maloof.
Commissioner Wagner indicated that she will not be supporting this request, commenting that granting this appeal would constitute abuse of the Land Use Code.
The applicant requested a short break to discuss the application amongst themselves prior to a decision by the Board.
Mr. Maloof approached the Board and indicated that he would like to withdraw and revoke the application for an MLD at this time.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2005
The Board of County Commissioners met at 9:00 a.m. with County Manager Frank Lancaster. Chair Rennels presided, Commissioner Gibson was present, and Commissioner Wagner participated via phone for a portion of the meeting. Also present were Donna Hart, Deni LaRue and Cheri Pineda, Commissioners’ Office; Gary Buffington, Parks and Open Lands; Wynette Cerciello and John Gamlin, Human Resources; Doug Hurst, Larimer Center for Mental Health; Joe Fernando, Community Corrections Director; Kathy Snell, Health and Human Services; Randy Rathcliff, Larimer Center for Mental Health; Ginny Riley, Human Services Director; and Angela Myers, Deputy Clerk.
1. PUBLIC COMMENT: There was no public comment.
2. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FOR THE WEEK OF NOVEMBER 14, 2005:
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gibson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the minutes for the week of November 14, 2005, with the minor corrections noted.
Motion carried 2-0. Commissioner Wagner was not yet present.
3. REVIEW OF THE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEKS OF NOVEMBER 28 AND DECEMBER 5, 2005: Ms. Hart reviewed the upcoming schedule with the Board.
4. CONSENT AGENDA:
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gibson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the following items as presented on the Consent Agenda for November 22, 2005:
11222005A001 AGREEMENT TO PURCHASE SERVICES – TURNING POINT TO PROVIDE CHAFEE SERVICES BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LARIMER COUNTY FOR THE USE AND BENEFIT OF LARIMER COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES AND TURNING POINT
11222005A002 PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AGREEMENT BY AND BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LARIMER COUNTY AND VALUE CHECK
11222005A003 BOXELDER CREEK STORMWATER MASTER PLAN AGREEMENT BY AND BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LARIMER COUNTY AND PBS & J
11222005A004 EAGLE CROSSING – PROVIDE RIGHT OF WAY AGREEMENT BY AND BETWEEN LARIMER COUNTY AND EAGLE CROSSING DEVELOMENT, INC.
11222005A005 CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT PURCHASE OF LEGAL SERVICES AGREEMENT BY AND BETWEEN GEORGE HASS, LARIMER COUNTY ATTORNEY AND THE LARIMER COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES
11222005A006 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) CONTRACT CHANGE LETTER BETWEEN COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL AFFIARS AND BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LARIMER COUNTY
11222005A007 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) SUB-CONTRACT BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LARIMER COUNTY AND THE ESTES PARK SALUD FOUNDATION AGREEMENT
11222005A008 DESIGN BUILD AGREEMENT BETWEEN LARIMER COUNTY AND HENSEL PHELPS CONSTRUCTION COMPANY
11222005A009 COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS ADVISORY BOARD SUB-CONTRACT WITH HILLTOP HOUSE/SOUTHWEST COLORADO COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS CENTER AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS AND HILLTOP HOUSE/SOUTHWEST COLORADO COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS CENTER
11222005A010 DEVELOPMENT PLAN IMPROVEMENT AGREEMENT BY AND BETWEEN BEAVER BROOK DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION AND THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF LARIMER COUNTY
11222005D001 DEED OF CONSERVATION EASEMENT – ELDON AND TRULIE A. ACKERMAN FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONSERVING THE AGRICULTURAL, WILDLIFE, NATURAL, OPEN SPACE, AND SCENIC QUALITIES OF THE SUBJECT PROPERTY
11222005D002 DEED OF DEDICATION – ROBERT F. FLOCKHART AND SANDRA D. FLOCKHART FOR SAID PROPERTY AS A PUBLIC HIGHWAY
11222005R001 FINDINGS AND RESOLUTION APPROVING THE VACATION OF UTILITY EASEMENT IN LOT 71 GLACIER VIEW MEADOWS SUBDIVISION 6TH FILING
11222005R002 FINDINGS AND RESOLUTION APPROVING THE JOHNSON J-K APPEAL TO EXPAND A NONCONFORMING RESIDENCE
11222005R003 RESOLUTION DECLARING LARIMER COUNTY PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NO. 23 ORGANIZED
11222005R004 RESOLUTION DECLARING LARIMER COUNTY PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NO. 25 ORGANIZED
11222005R005 RESOLUTION DECLARING LARIMER COUNTY PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NO. 26 ORGANIZED
11222005R006 RESOLUTION DECLARING LARIMER COUNTY PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NO. 31 ORGANIZED
MISCELLANEOUS DOCUMENTS: Department of Human Services Payments for September 2005.
LIQUOR LICENSES: The following licenses were approved and issued: Fort Collins Moose Lodge 275, Fort Collins – Club Liquor License; Fort Collins Country Club, Fort Collins – Club Liquor License; South Bay Store, Fort Collins – 3.2%. The following licenses were approved: Women’s Development Council, Loveland – Special Event – 6%.
Motion carried 2-0. Commissioner Wagner was not yet present.
Commissioner Wagner joined the meeting via telephone at approximately 9:40 a.m.
5. APPROVE ACTION PLAN FOR THE BIG THOMPSON SURPLUS PROPERTY PROJECT: Gary Buffington gave a PowerPoint presentation reviewing the fact that the surplus parcels were generated as a result of the tragic Big Thompson flood in 1976, the types of surplus parcels, and how they can be used or disposed of by the County. He explained that there are 153 parcels, totaling approximately 83 acres and described the parcel locations.
Mr. Buffington explained that there are three categories for these parcels; the first of which is Outdoor Recreation Sites, which also has two subcategories. The plan proposes that three significant park areas be retained by the County for public recreation (Sleepy Hollow Park, Glade Park and Forks Park). These areas have historically been used by the public at an unimproved level, but there is desire to improve these locations with tables, restrooms, grilles, etc. The Narrows Park in the lower canyon is more of a river access area than a park, because of its size, access issues and the cost of maintenance and is, therefore, being left out of the parks for which improvement is suggested.
The second subcategory of the Outdoor Recreation Sites is “River Recreation Access Sites.” There are approximately eight of these sites up the canyon adjacent to the highway, that are just pull offs that have been that way for years without designation. Mr. Buffington proposes working with partners like the Division of Wildlife to formalize these sites a little more, with minor improvements like signage, wheel stops, etc. Commissioner Wagner asked about access to these sites, with respect to safety on the curves. Mr. Buffington said they would work with the Planning Department to ensure site distances are appropriate, etc.
Mr. Buffington went on to explain that the second category is “Inaccessible Property,” which represents 18 sites that are vertical, in the middle of the river or don’t have public access. He indicated these properties would likely always be owned by the County, because there is no public interest in purchasing these areas. Commissioner Gibson commented that the County would have to perform weed control in these areas, etc. Mr. Buffington confirmed this, but said that there would likely not be a significant amount of weed control effort necessary in these areas because of the type of terrain they represent.
Mr. Buffington continued by describing the third category “Surplus Properties,” which is likely of the most interest to citizens in the county, specifically adjacent landowners and previous landowners. He described a few examples of properties fitting into this category, existing encroachments, etc. He went on to explain that the priority for sale of these parcels would be given to previous landowners (first generation direct descendents only) and/or adjacent landowners, and it would be the responsibility of the landowners to contact the County if they are interested in purchasing the parcels prior to their sale. He said that when multiple landowners are interested, the County could divide the parcels equally, if possible, along existing parcel boundary lines. In the event that there are no adjacent or previous landowners interested in the properties, the parcels could be offered to the public for sale. Parcels would be required to legally connect to existing landowner properties. He explained that each property situation is unique, so blanket requirements and limitations cannot be feasibly applied. Commissioner Wagner asked for clarification regarding sale of the properties to the public (if there is no adjacent or previous landowner interest) if they are not legally connected to the parcel. He explained that if the parcels are offered to citizens who are not adjacent or previous landowners, they would not have to be legally connected to it. The parcel would simply be sold with the existing boundaries.
Commissioner Wagner further asked if non-buildable properties would simply be purchased for access purposes. Mr. Buffington confirmed her understanding, stating that he has received phone calls from out-of-state individuals who just like to go up for the day and park their vehicle on a piece of property along the Big Thompson River Canyon in Colorado and fish that area. He anticipates that most of these properties would be sold to adjacent or former landowners. Commissioner Wagner asked about how many sites are buildable. Mr. Buffington explained that there are approximately five such sites, and that the appraised value for them would be somewhat higher than those non-buildable sites.
Mr. Buffington went on to describe the deed restrictions that would be applicable to the non-buildable sites, and commented that these properties would be governed by existing Larimer County Land Use Codes. He then spoke about the proceeds from these sales, which he anticipates being placed in a fund that would help maintain the existing parks in the canyon over time and any improvements that would be made. He said that the price of these properties would revert to a 2003 appraisal that was done on all the properties in the canyon. Discussion ensued regarding the sale price of these properties.
Commissioner Gibson questioned removal of the restrooms in the “Narrows” and expressed concern over the loss of investment that was made when they were installed. Mr. Buffington explained that the restrooms are 25 to 30 years old, and there is some question about their capability over time, which would eventually mean removal or replacement. He commented that the restrooms could remain until it they are no longer viable, at which time the change of use for the space could be accomplished and the restrooms removed. Discussion ensued regarding the portion of land at the “Narrows” on the other side of the river.
Commissioner Wagner asked about the cost of surveys, etc. versus revenue gain. Mr. Buffington explained that this is the reason for their desire to sell the properties along existing boundary lines, so surveys would not be needed. Other costs would be borne by landowner purchasers.
Discussion ensued regarding the involvement of the Big Thompson Association in these efforts; volunteer programs; and concern that care be taken to ensure the properties are given a reasonable, not inflated, value.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gibson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the proposed action plan to dispose of surplus parcels of land in the Big Thompson Canyon.
Motion carried 3-0.
Commissioner Wagner disconnected from the meeting at this time.
6. APPOINTMENT TO THE LARIMER COUNTY EMERGENCY TELEPOHONE AUTHORITY (LETA) BOARD: Mr. Lancaster explained that appointments to the LETA Board (the group that does the emergency 911 systems) have been requested. Under the County’s REM agreement, there are certain positions that must be on that board. John Frey, attorney for the LETA Board, forwarded recommended appointments as follows:
§ Reappointment of Steve Charles of the Berthoud Fire Protection District, representing the communities of Berthoud, Estes Park, Johnstown, Timnath, Wellington and Windsor – Second two-year term to expire December 31, 2007.
§ Ray Miller, Information Services Commander at the Loveland Police Department, representing the City of Loveland – First two-year term to expire on December 31, 2007 (filling the vacancy of Mr. Rabbe’s second term).
§ Mike Chard of the Loveland Fire and Rescue Department, representing the rest of the fire districts in the County – First two-year term to expire December 31, 2007 (filling the vacancy of Chief Skillman).
Mr. Lancaster explained how these recommendations came to be and that agreement has been reached by those involved regarding them.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gibson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the appointments of Chief Steve Charles, representing the communities of Berthoud, Estes Park, Johnstown, Timnath, Wellington and Windsor; Captain Ray Miller, representing the City of Loveland; and Chief Mike Chad, represent the fire protection districts.
Motion carried 2-0.
7. NEW PERSONNEL POLICY AND PROCEDURES FOR THE USE OF COUNTY-ISSUED IDENTIFICATION CARDS FOR EMPLOYEES, VOLUNTEERS AND INTERNS: John Gamlin explained that this is a request for approval of a new personnel policy, Section 423, concerning the issuance and use of County-issued identification cards.
Mr. Gamlin explained that the County management team has identified the need to issue standardized County identification cards, in order to improve customer service and safety for employees as well as citizens. He explained that the new policy outlines the reason, issuance and use for these cards.
Discussion ensued regarding the process of issuing the cards, applicability to elected officials, variations within the County, and standardization. Ms. Cerciello acknowledged the work of the Sheriff’s department, Steve Bebell, and Cathy Davis in partnering with the Human Resources Department to create these badges.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gibson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the addition of Section 423 to the Larimer County Personnel Policy for the use of County-issued identification cards for employees, volunteers and interns.
Motion carried 2-0.
8. TRANSPORTATION FOR LARIMER CENTER FOR MENTAL HEALTH: Ms. Snell explained that there have been difficulties in getting patients to Pueblo. Because of increases in the cost of insurance and fuel, the vendors that had been utilized are no longer willing to offer the services. She explained that this request is for permission to allow Community Corrections to provide this service in the future. She explained that this need is somewhat of an emergency, because the current vendor has said that he will cease providing this service within a few days.
Discussion ensued regarding the brief notice of termination, other alternatives for these services that have been researched, and historical involvement of the Sheriff’s Department in these activities. Discussion continued regarding how this service would be accomplished by Community Corrections and how the services would be paid for. It was clarified that the insurance rates for Community Corrections would not be affected by their providing this service.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gibson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Community Corrections Transportation Unit to provide transportation for clients of the Larimer Center for Mental Health.
Motion carried 2-0.
9. LARIMER COUNTY INTEGRATED FAMILY ENHANCEMENT (LIFE) BOARD BYLAWS: Ginny Riley approached the Board regarding “revised” bylaws for the Integrated Family Enhancement Board. She explained the history of the board and initial bylaws, and outlined the changes being made to the bylaws.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gibson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the revised Larimer County Integrated Family Enhancement Board Bylaws.
Motion carried 2-0.
10. LETTER OF SUPPORT TO THE KRFC FM BOARD OF DIRECTORS TO PROVIDE DIGITAL RADIO BROADCASTING TO AUDIENCES IN NORTHERN COLORADO: Deni LaRue explained that KRFC is a community radio station in northern Colorado, asking that the Commissioners send them a letter of support for their efforts to go digital. She explained what a digital signal means and the impact it will have on this radio station. Ms. LaRue continued by explaining that the station is intending to devote the second digital signal to community agencies and would perhaps air County meetings, City Council meetings, school board meetings, school events, etc. This is why they are seeking letters of support from public agencies, which will assist them in securing grants to finance the upgrade of their equipment. She emphasized that they are not asking for public agency donations at this time, but will utilize these letters of support to show that this might be another communication tool for these agencies to accompany them in their fundraising efforts to foundations.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gibson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve a letter of support to the KRFCfm Board of Directors in their efforts to provide digital radio broadcasting to audiences in northern Colorado.
Motion carried 2-0.
11. APPOINTMENTS AND REAPPOINTMENTS TO THE AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY BOARD: Cheri Pineda reviewed the recommended list of Agricultural Advisory Board appointments as follows: David Bee, Val Manning, Ed Race, and Phil Teeter, Appointment 3 years; Appointed December 1, 2005, expires November 30, 2008. Tony Dimas, Ex-Officio Member; Appointed December 1, 2005. Minerva Lee, Reappointment 3 years; Appointed December 1, 2005, expires November 30, 2008; Waive Term Limit.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gibson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the appointments and reappointments to the Agriculture Advisory Board as outlined above.
Motion carried 2-0.
12. APPOINTMENTS AND REAPPOINTMENTS TO THE FAIR BOARD: Cheri Pineda reviewed the recommended list of Fair Board appointments as follows: Geri Baker, Melora Luth, Gregg Melick, Alan Rankin, and Daralyn (DeeDee) Martin, Appointment for 3 years; beginning December 1, 2005, Expiring November 30, 2008. Loren Maxey, Appointment 1 year; Appointed December 1, 2005, Expires November 30, 2006; Waive Term Limit. Everett Van Campen, Appointment 2 years; Appointed December 1, 2005, Expires November 30, 2007; Waive Term Limit.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gibson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the appointments and reappointments to the Fair Board as outlined above.
Motion carried 2-0.
13. WORKSESSION: Mr. Lancaster informed the Board that the historical funds grant (in the amount of approximately $23,000) to do a historic resource survey in Bellvue and Pleasant Valley has been awarded.
14. COMMISSIONER ACTIVITY REPORTS: The Board noted their attendance at events during the past week.
15. LEGAL MATTERS. There were no legal matters to discuss.
16. EXECUTIVE SESSION TO DISCUSS LAND ACQUISITION MATTERS:
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gibson moved that Board of County Commissioners go into Executive Session to discuss real estate acquisition as outlined in 24-6-402 (4)(a).
Motion carried 2-0.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:35 a.m.
KATHAY RENNELS, CHAIR
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
CLERK AND RECORDER
Angela Myers, Deputy Clerk