County Offices, Courts and the Landfill will be closed Monday, May 25 in observance of Memorial Day. Critical services at Larimer County will not be disrupted by this closure.
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Monday, FEBRUARY 27, 2006
LAND USE HEARING
(#24 & 25)
The Board of County Commissioners met at 3:00 p.m. with Rob Helmick, Principle Planner. Chair Gibson presided and Commissioners Wagner and Rennels were present. Also present were: Matt Lafferty, and Sean Wheeler, Planning Department; Christie Coleman, and Traci Downs, Engineering Department; Doug Ryan, Environmental Health Department; Jim Reidhead, Rural Land Use Center; Wendy Dionigi, Building Code Enforcement; David Ayraud, Assistant County Attorney; and Gael Cookman, Deputy Clerk.
Chair Gibson opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance, and asked for public comment on the County Budget and the Land Use Code. No one from the audience addressed the Board regarding these topics. Mr. Reidhead then explained that the applicant for Item 2, regarding the Gilmore Lake Preliminary Rural Land Use Plan, has requested that this item be removed from the agenda. Mr. Reidhead explained that the applicant was present to confirm this.
1. BADGER HOLE PRELIMINARY RURAL LAND USE PLAN (RLUP): This is a request for preliminary approval to divide 70 +/- acres into four (4) lots in the following manner: Two (2) new single-family residential lots (each lot three (3) acres in size), and two (2) Residual Lots (private open space) with two (2) existing home-sites. The home-sites and agricultural support buildings will be located within a building envelope on each Residual Lot, leaving a total of about 48.5 acres that will be protected from further development in perpetuity by either a conservation easement or a covenant, as required under the RLUP.
The property is located in Section 33, Township 9 North, Range 69 West. It is generally located about 5½ miles north of the old Highway 287 (County Road 54G) on County Road 19 (Taft Hill Road), between County Road 60E and County Road 64. The property consists of dry grazing land. The property is zoned FO-Forestry. Under the property’s current FO-Forestry zoning (1 home site per 5 acres), up to 14 homes could potentially be built if brought through the County's Conservation Development (CD) process and adequate public facilities are provided.
Two residences exist and are located on the proposed Residual Lots A and B. The new residential lots have been located close to the existing houses and ag support buildings to minimize the length of the new internal private access road. The lots have also been located to have good views, have better soils for on-site septic systems and avoid the alkali flat/intermittent stream area in the northeast portion of the property. The project is part of the landowners’ efforts to deal with estate and financial planning issues while preserving the majority of the land in its historic grazing use. Access to these new lots is proposed from County Road 19.
The new residential lots will be about 3 acres in size. Water to these lots will be provided by Northern Colorado Water Association and each lot will have individual septic systems. The applicant is proposing appropriate architectural guidelines for this project to mitigate the visual impact of the proposed new residences and associated structures. The surrounding properties consist of parcels ranging in size from 1 acre to 35-acre parcels and larger. One-half mile to the south is the Gilmore Acres subdivision with a total of 15 houses on 89 acres; a short distance south is the Sunny Acres Subdivision with a total of 25 houses on 38 acres.
There is significant development pressure in this area for 35-acre parcels and smaller residential lots, if available. This pressure is caused by general growth along the Front Range, as well as by pressure specifically associated with growth in Fort Collins to the south and Wellington and Waverly to the east; and attractiveness of close-in acreages. The proposed density of the Badger Hole Rural Land Use project, one unit per 17.5 acres, appears to be compatible with the neighborhood.
The residual land, approximately 48.5 acres and comprising roughly 69% of the property, will be protected from further development in perpetuity with either a conservation easement or covenant. The RLUP requires that the residual land be protected for a minimum of 40 years with no further development. The alkali flat/intermittent stream area will be allowed to remain in its current condition.
The residual land will have a management/use plan to foster its long-term health. The owners of the residual land parcels will be responsible for maintaining the residual land and for providing a periodic monitoring report(s) to the County.
A neighborhood meeting was held on January 10, 2006, at the Comfort Inn in Wellington. Approximately 15 area residents attended. The concerns were mainly about access and architectural controls.
Referral agency comments were also solicited. Representatives from the County Engineering Department, Health Department, and Rural Land Use Advisory Board have visited the site and have consulted with the Rural Land Use Center during the conceptual design phase.
There are a number of unused vehicles and pieces of old farm equipment on the north property, as well as old construction materials. Both neighbors and the Rural Land Use Advisory Board hope to see the site cleaned up, with the materials either removed or screened from view of the road and the neighboring properties. In his comments, Mr. Doug Ryan, County Department of Health and Environment, writes concerning “Farmstead Collectables”: “The existing farmsteads contain a variety of vehicles and other materials that are stored outside. As cleanup proceeds in order to market the new lots, our office is available to consult if there are questions about disposal options”. The applicants are committed to removing and/or screening the vehicles, equipment, and materials. In addition, there was concern that appropriate restrictions regarding this type of material be included in the homeowners’ association covenants. The following are recommendations of approval: 1) Applicants shall prepare a plan for removal and storage of unlicensed vehicles, old farm equipment, and scrap construction materials. This plan shall be reviewed and approved by the Rural Land Use Center Director. The plan shall be implemented before final approval, with written certification of completion of the plan by the RLUC Director required before final approval. 2) RLUC Director shall review and approve homeowners’ association covenant provisions regarding outside storage of vehicles and other materials.
The owner wants to reserve the right to apply for a Minor Special Review in the future to allow for an equine “step-down” hospital (Hearts-N-Hooves Equine Care Facility—similar to out-patient care for humans) on Residual Lot B. This facility would be caring for horses under the direction of a veterinarian, when the animal’s owner doesn’t have time or doesn’t feel comfortable caring for it. Animals being cared for could be in place anywhere from one hour to a month and this facility could house up to about 20 horses at one time. Planning Staff has deemed this proposed use accessory to the residential use on Residual Lot B; this also complies with RLUP policy and practice. RLUC Staff and the RLUAB support this use subject to Minor Special Review approval. The following condition of approval is recommended: Residual Lot B will be allowed a “step-down” animal hospital on site, subject to Minor Special Review approval.
Drainage paths and basins for historic flows must be identified and preserved. Effective drainage paths for new development must be provided. All building envelopes must be sited so that they do not interfere with existing drainage patterns. This project will access off of LCR 19. The Larimer County Transportation Plan, adopted in September of 2000, functionally classifies LCR 19 as a minor collector that requires a 100-foot right-of-way (50-foot half right-of-way). In the next submittal, delineate the existing and any proposed dedicated right-of-way necessary to satisfy this requirement (see Section 9.7.2 of the LCLUC). The County engineering department requests that if possible all existing fences and structures be moved out of the existing and proposed dedicated right-of-way as part of this development proposal and that any new or replacement fences be moved out of the proposed right-of-way.
Sewer will be provided by individual on-site systems. The two existing homes, located on Residual Lots A and B, utilize existing systems now. A preliminary indication of the suitability for new sewer systems on Lots 1 and 2 can be obtained by reviewing the county soil survey. The principle soils in the area of these lots are the Heldt clay loam and the Kim loam. The Heldt series soil is from alluvium formed from clay shale, and is constrained for conventional septic systems due to slow percolation rates. Sewer systems that utilize evaporative technology, such as a subsurface drip irrigation system, may be necessary in these locations. The Kim series soil was formed in mixed alluvium. This is a high quality soil that is generally suitable for conventional type septic systems. Other constraints, such as major drainage features, do not occur on the proposed development lots. Given the site conditions and the use of public water, the minimum 3 acre size proposed for the new lots should be adequate to support septic systems. As is the case for all rural area properties, permits must be obtained from our office to install the sewer systems at the time building permits are requested. Soil test information and a system design are required to support the sewer permit applications.
Water is to be supplied by the Northern Colorado Water Association. The County’s Land Use Code contains level of service standards for domestic water service in Section 8.1.2. In order to demonstrate compliance with those standards, the applicant will need to obtain a Letter of Commitment from the association for inclusion with the Final Plat submittal. The Letter of Commitment needs to specifically state that the water distribution system is (or will be) designed to meet the normal and minimum pressure design standards contained in Section 8.1.2.A.1 of the Land Use Code, or more stringent standards as required by the Association. If the water system will be designed to provide fire protection, the letter of commitment also needs to address the pressure and delivery standards outlined in Section 8.1.4 of the Land Use Code.
The area surrounding this proposal is rural in nature and future occupants should be aware of some unique issues that may be encountered. Examples include lack of mosquito control, potential conflicts with wildlife, and adjacent agricultural operations. Disclosure affidavits should be prepared to inform potential owners about these types of issues.
The zoning for this area allows for horses and other livestock. If livestock is to be kept, the owners should be aware that lots of this size must be managed very carefully in order to maintain grass cover in the pasture. Overgrazing produces lots with bare ground and scattered weeds. Erosion and polluted runoff results from such a situation, and affect the lot owner, neighbors and the environment. The Larimer County Cooperative Extension Service has extensive information about pasture management, and lot owners should contact that office if they intend to keep livestock.
All construction activities are required to obtain coverage under a State level stormwater management permit if they disturb one or more acres of land. The permits are administered by the Colorado Department of Health and Environment, Water Quality Control Division. The main pollutant of concern for construction activities is sediment. The permits require holders to control or eliminate the sources of pollutants in stormwater through the implementation of a Stormwater Management Plan, developed as part of the application process. These Stormwater Management Plans must include Best Management Practices (BMPs) that include treatment of stormwater discharges along with source reductions. Inclusion of the BMPs allows most permits to avoid numeric effluent limits.
The existing farmsteads contain a variety of vehicles and other materials that are stored outside. As cleanup proceeds in order to market the new lots, the applicant can consult the Rural Land Use Center if there are questions about disposal options.
Larimer County Parks and Open Lands has reviewed this application and has no comments at this time.
The following are comments regarding environmental guidelines for the proposed Badger Hole RLUP (see Larimer County Land Use Code, Sections 5.8.3 and 5.8.6):
1. Information on the county’s geographic information system indicates that this site contains an intermittent stream and wetlands identified as Class 3 wetlands.
The LCLUC also states that Class 3 and 4 wetlands of any size as delineated on the Larimer County Partnership Land Use System Wetland Classification and Protection Program Maps have a minimum 100-foot buffer (Section 8.2.8(3)). The proposed lots are set back at least 100-feet from the edge of the stream and associated wetlands provide a buffer that satisfies the County’s minimum buffer requirement. In addition, The Colorado Division of Wildlife, which serves as a referral agency for RLUP’s, has commented on this proposal and does not have any concerns regarding this project.
The Division of Wildlife has reviewed the Badger Hole RLUP, and do not anticipate any negative impact to wildlife or wildlife habitat from this project at this time.
Staff finds that this proposal is consistent with the policies of Section 5.8—Rural Land Use Process of the Larimer County Land Use Code:
Support for the Badger Hole Preliminary Rural Land Plan is based on the following:
· Applicant’s planning and design rationale for the project, which is consistent with the RLUP.
· Conservation values of the residual land, including preservation of grazing land, open space and wildlife habitat.
· The plan is generally compatible with the existing neighboring land uses.
Support for this proposed plan takes into consideration the various other land development and design options, particularly the 35-acre alternative, for which there is no County review. The greater number of residential units possible under the zoning and the general development pressure within the immediate area for use-by-right 35-acre division of land supports the Rural Land Use Center Director's opinion that this is an appropriate project.
As proposed, this project will also provide commensurate long-term benefits to citizens of Larimer County. Those benefits are summarized below:
· Perpetual protection of residual land.
· Transportation capital expansion fees received from the project.
· School and park fees received from the project.
· Fewer residences than likely allowed through subdivision process.
· Ability to influence design of project, as compared to use-by-right division of property into 35-acre parcels.
This project was reviewed by the Rural Land Use Advisory Board on Monday, February 6, 2006. They unanimously recommended approval of the project. Member Ellis made a motion to accept the Badger Hole RLUP as presented with a condition of approval subject to the major cleanup and screening of the debris located on Residual Lot A, to be consistent with the covenants; prohibiting outdoor storage of items unrelated to current use.
Discussion followed regarding the proposed step-down facility on Residual Lot B. Member Ellis moved to amend the motion to include a condition of approval allowing a step-down facility on Residual Lot B, subject to the necessary County reviews and required permits and health regulations.
The Rural Land Use Director recommends that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Badger Hole Preliminary Rural Land Plan. The following contingencies must be met prior to approval of Final Plat by the Board of County Commissioners:
1. The Final Plat shall be consistent with the approved preliminary plan and with the information contained in the Badger Hole Rural Land Plan (File # 05-S2521) except as modified by the conditions of approval or agreement of the County and applicant. The applicant shall be subject to all other verbal or written representations and commitments of record for the Badger Hole Rural Land Plan.
2. All roads constructed within the Rural Land Plan shall be in accordance with Section 5.8.6.D of the Rural Land Use Process. All designs must be prepared and stamped by a qualified professional engineer licensed in the State of Colorado and certified that design standards in 5.8.6.D. were followed, before final approval. Internal roads may be contained in a private access and utility easement. The owners shall dedicate a 50’ half right-of-way along Larimer County Road 19. Road names and addressing shall meet standards in the “Road Naming and Site Addressing System Resolution”.
3. Public water shall be provided for this project. A Letter of Commitment from the water provider must be provided prior to Final Plat approval. This Letter of Commitment must specifically state that the water distribution system is (or will be) designed to meet the normal and minimum pressure design standards contained in Section 8.1.2.A.1 of the Land Use Code or more stringent standards as required by the District. If the water system will be designed to provide fire protection, the letter of commitment also must address the pressure and delivery standards outlined in Section 8.1.4 of the Land Use Code.
4. Building envelopes shall be placed on each lot. All building envelopes shall be located outside the floodplain and drainage areas and shall meet minimum setback requirements listed in the Larimer County Land Use Code.
5. Automatic fire protection sprinklers will be required for all new residential structures or written permission for variance from this requirement from the fire district.
6. The residual land protective covenant and use plans must be reviewed and approved by the County Attorney and the RLUC Director prior to Final Plat approval.
7. Residual Lot B will be allowed a livestock veterinary clinic/hospital on site, accessory to the residence on this lot, and subject to the appropriate zoning review, within five years of Final Plat approval.
8. Before final approval, the County Code Enforcement Staff shall investigate the Garrett/north 35-acre parcel for any code violations. If code violations are found to exist, the property must be brought into compliance before final approval. Written notification of code compliance shall be provided by the Code Enforcement Staff.
9. RLUC Director shall review and approve homeowners’ association covenant provisions regarding outside storage of vehicles and other materials.
10. Restrictive covenants, including provisions for internal road maintenance, small acreage management, architectural guidelines, and other requirements must be reviewed and approved by the Rural Land Use Center Director prior to Final Plat approval.
11. The Final Development Agreement must be reviewed and approved by the County Attorney prior to Final Plat approval.
12. A Lot Sale Prohibition shall be placed on this property preventing the sale of any new lots until the applicable improvements (i.e., legal access and public utilities, including but not limited to water supply, electricity, and telephone facilities) have been completed and/or installed according to the project requirements. The lots cannot be sold, transferred or conveyed unless and until Developer provides written designation stating whether the improvements have been completed for the lot proposed to be sold, transferred or conveyed. The Lot Sale Prohibition will be recorded in the records of the Larimer County Clerk and Recorder and will be a covenant running with the Lots. Upon receipt of such written designation, County will provide to Developers a release of the Lot Sale Prohibition for the particular lot(s) for which the improvements have been completed.
13. Any fencing or items located in the right-of-way will be removed by the property owners.
14. The following must be listed as a note on the Final Plat and on a disclosure statement, approved by the County Attorney, available to lot buyers through the public records at the time of purchase:
a) LOT SALE PROHIBITION. Developers have executed a Lot Sale Prohibition Agreement which stipulates that Lots 1 and 2 and/or Residual Lot(s) A and B cannot be sold, transferred or conveyed unless and until Developers provide to County a written designation stating that all the applicable improvements (i.e., legal access and public utilities, including but not limited to water supply, electricity, and telephone facilities) have been completed and/or installed according to the project requirements. The lots cannot be sold, transferred or conveyed unless and until Developer provides written designation stating whether the improvements have been completed for the lot proposed to be sold, transferred or conveyed. The Lot Sale Prohibition is recorded in the records of the Larimer County Clerk and Recorder and is a covenant running with the Lots. Upon receipt of such written designation, County will provide to Developers a release of the Lot Sale Prohibition for particular lot(s) for which the improvements have been completed.
b) The construction of any single-family residence in this development will require the installation of residential fire sprinklers if fire hydrants and/or a public water supply are not present to provide fire protection unless written permission for variance from this requirement from the fire district is received.
c) Passive radon mitigation measures shall be included in construction of structures designed for habitable space on these lots. The results of a radon detection test conducted in new dwellings 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 which specifies that a test will be done within 30 days. A permanent Certificate of Occupancy can be issued when the prepaid receipt is submitted.
d) Some or all lots in this development include building envelopes. All structures must be located within these Larimer County approved building envelopes, as shown on the approved Plan. If a structure within the building envelope is located 5’ or less from the boundary of the building envelope, the owner/applicant for a building permit will be required to demonstrate that the structure(s) is located within the building envelope prior to the approval of the footing and foundation inspection. This shall be accomplished by a written certification by a Colorado Licensed Surveyor.
e) All structures and septic systems must be located within the building envelopes on any Residual Lots.
f) Engineered footings and foundations may be required for new habitable construction. The applicant should check with the Larimer County Building Department for requirements prior to submitting a building permit application.
g) Lot owners should be advised that there is a potential for nuisance conflicts from wildlife (such as skunks, mountain lions, bears, raccoons, foxes, coyotes, prairie dogs and snakes). The Colorado Division of Wildlife can provide information to property owners about how to handle these situations, but lot owners are responsible for addressing wildlife conflicts if they arise.
h) Many other species of wildlife live in the area; some can be dangerous to humans and pets. It must be remembered that landowners will be living with wildlife. Species that may be found in the area are coyotes, mountain lions, bobcats, skunks, badgers, raccoons, deer, elk, hawks, owls and eagles.
i) Pets must be contained on property, either by leash or enclosure.
j) During certain times of the year mosquitoes may present a significant nuisance. Larimer County does not have a mosquito abatement program. Any mosquito abatement activity will be the responsibility of the homeowner; such activity must be according to applicable Federal, State and local rules and regulations.
k) Prairie dog colonies exist in the general area; prairie dogs can be a nuisance if they migrate to developed residential property. At times these animals are implicated in the transmission of plague to people or their pets. It is important for residents to observe animal control requirements for dogs and cats.
l) Agricultural operations and farming practices on adjacent properties can produce odors, noise and dust. These are a normal part of agriculture and should be expected to occur. In addition, plowing, planting, cultivating, spraying, harvesting, and various livestock operations may be carried out at all times including nighttime.
m) If livestock will be kept on these lots, it will be important to carefully manage grazing in order to maintain grass cover in the pasture. Overgrazing will produce bare ground, weeds, erosion and polluted runoff. Management of these lots should be coordinated with drainage and erosion control issues, siting of sanitation systems, fencing and feeding.
n) Larimer County has adopted a Right to Farm Resolution.
o) The following fees shall be collected at building permit issuance for new single-family dwellings: Poudre R-1 school fees, Larimer County fees for County and Regional Transportation Capital Expansion, Larimer County Park Fees (in lieu of dedication), and Rural Land Use Process fees. The fee amount that is current at time of building permit application shall apply.
p) Larimer County shall not maintain roads or streets in this development. Maintenance of the streets shall be the responsibility of the property owners. Failure to maintain streets may result in a lien being placed on these lots.
q) At time of real estate closing, owner shall provide purchasers of residential lots and Residual Lot(s) A and B with the Code of the West, a County document which addresses differences between urban and rural living in Larimer County.
r) The owners of the residual land parcels shall be responsible for providing a periodic monitoring report for the residual land to Larimer County Rural Land Use Center.
s) Lots in this Rural Land Plan are subject to the conditions and requirements of a Development Agreement. The Developer and Larimer County executed this agreement in consideration of the approval of this Development. This Agreement was recorded in the Larimer County Clerk’s and Recorder’s office immediately after this plat. All purchasers should obtain and read the Development Agreement.
t) The property is subject to the severed mineral interests that are owned by Anadarko E&P Company LP and Anadarko Land Corp. The Conceptual Plan and Final Rural Land Plan within the Larimer County Rural Land Use Plan and the subsequent development of the property in accordance with the plans do not impact the mineral rights owned by the Anadarko entities, or the ability of the Anadarko entities or their lessees, successors or assigns, to develop the minerals.
Mr. Reidhead presented a slide show presentation depicting the property and briefly described the proposal as outlined above. Mr. Reidhead presented two additional conditions of approval: one regarding investigating the north 35-acre parcel for code violations (this will replace condition 8), and a general note pertaining to severed mineral interests (this will be listed as (t) under the general notes section); both have been added to the conditions outlined above. Mr. Reidhead also presented a letter from Steven Quella, adjacent property owner, in which Mr. Quella requests that Lot 2 be moved to the north side of the project, in order to avoid conflicts with his livestock, and to maintain his privacy and view shed.
Commissioner Wagner asked if there is an equine center located on the property. Mr. Reidhead stated that there is no public equine facility currently located on the property and that the "step down" animal hospital would need to obtain approval through the Special Review process. Commissioner Wagner then asked if grazing would be allowed on the residual land. Mr. Reidhead explained that the residual land is very fragile and it is not irrigated; therefore, grazing on this land would be very minimal.
The applicant, Terry Reu, addressed the Board. Ms. Reu explained that the property owners were looking at possible foreclosures due to health issues and layoffs; however, approval of this Rural Land Use Plan will allow them to remain on their property and maintain their lifestyles. Ms. Reu stated that they would prefer not to move Lot 2 as it would increase expenses by causing them to have to run water and electricity to the north location. Ms. Reu explained that there is currently a 10 stall barn used for the owner's personal horses, and that they plan to apply for the Special Review to build the step-down facility in conjunction with the Rural Land Use application. Commissioner Wagner asked if the property owners would agree to re-locate any fences or structures that might be located in the right-of-way. Ms. Reu stated that the property owners would agree to this.
There was no public comment on this item.
Under discussion, Mr. Helmick asked that the animal hospital not be referred to as a "step down" facility, as there is no language in the Land Use Code that describes something of this nature. He recommended that it be referred to as a livestock veterinary clinic/hospital that is accessory to the residence, and subject to the appropriate zoning review. The Board further requested that the animal hospital be constructed within five years of Final Plat approval.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Wagner moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Badger Hole Preliminary Rural Land Plan subject to the conditions recommended and revised by the Rural Land Use Center Director, with the change to condition 7 and rewording "step down" animal hospital to livestock animal hospital veterinary clinic/hospital that is accessory to the residence, subject to the appropriate zoning review, and constructed within five years of Final Plat approval, and with the condition that any fencing or items located in the right-of-way will be removed by the property owners.
Motion carried 3-0.
3. BOBCAT RIDGE APPEAL - #05-G0095: This is a request to appeal Section 8.1.5 (Road Capacity and Level of Service Standards to allow use of the Appendix G Road Standards instead of the typical County Road Standard, and an appeal to the Appendix G Road Standards to allow storm water flows greater than that allowed by Section H of the Appendix G Road Standards.
The applicant is proposing to construct the Bobcat Ridge Open Space Trailhead, which is going through the County Site Plan Review process. This City of Fort Collins owned trailhead will be situated on the south side of County Road 32C, approximately 1 mile east of County Road 27.
To date the applicant has received approval for the Trailhead from the Larimer County Planning Commission through the Location and Extent process. Now the applicant is in the process of obtaining Site Plan Review Approval, which is an administrative approval to ensure that the technical regulations of the Land Use Code and Supplementary regulations have been met.
During this Site Plan Review process it has been determined that the standards and requirements of the Larimer County Road Manual, if implemented, would be detrimental to the environmental and scenic conditions of the canyon that County Road 32C passes through. Therefore, the applicant is requesting that they be allowed to use the Larimer County Appendix G Road Standards for County Road 32C. Additionally, due to the nature of the existing canyon and the limiting topography the applicant is requesting that the required storm water standards also be deviated from, as the implementation of these standards would cause significant engineering and construction costs and significant impact the environmental and scenic qualities of the canyon.
After significant discussion with the applicant the Larimer County Planning and Engineering Departments have agreed to support these requests based upon the applicant providing final construction plans, proof of secondary access, and a flood warning system prior to the approval of the Site Plan.
The Development Services Team finds that the appeals to use the Appendix G Road Standards and to allow storm water flows greater than standards allowed are in the best interest of the environmental and scenic resources of the canyon surrounding County Road 32C.
The Development Services Team finds that the appeals to use the Appendix G Road Standards and to allow storm water flows greater than standards allowed will attain the goals and objectives of the Larimer County Master Plan in that it provides protection of the natural resources and the environment of the County.
The Development Services Team recommends approval of the applicants’ requests to allow County Road 32C to be designed and constructed to the Appendix G Road Standards and to deviate from the required storm water flows along this segment of County Road 32C subject to the following conditions:
1. A flood warning system must be designed and constructed by a qualified consultant in the profession of flood warning systems. Prior to construction of the flood warning system the Larimer County Engineering Department must approve the system type and design. Maintenance responsibilities for this flood warning system must be determined before approval of the application for the Bobcat Ridge Trailhead Site Plan Review.
2. The final construction plans, drainage plans and drainage reports must be stamped and signed by a professional engineer licensed in the State of Colorado.
3. A condition is placed on the Site Plan that all road, drainage, and warning system improvements must be complete before opening the site to the public.
Mr. Lafferty explained that appeal as outlined above. Chair Gibson asked how wide the roads must be to meet the standards for Appendix G. Ms. Downs stated that the roads must be 20 feet wide as a minimum, and that a lot of work will need to be completed on behalf of the applicant, in order to meet the standards.
Steve White, applicant from the City of Fort Collins, explained the proposal, noting that the elevations of the road will be changed in certain areas, box culverts will be added and locked in with pavement, guard rails will be installed and retaining walls will be constructed, and he explained how maintenance of the road will occur. Mr. White stated that he does not believe they will receive anything in writing that will specifically grant access along the ditch for emergency purposes. Mr. White explained that the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (NCWCD) is hesitant to put anything in writing due to the potential liability that could arise from such action; however, the NCWCD has told the applicant that during emergency situations, police, fire, and rescue crews have cut the locks when necessary to gain access, and then informs the NCWCD afterwards.
There was no public comment on this item.
Commissioner Rennels agreed that the applicant will probably not be able to obtain anything in writing granting the emergency access and sees it as a requirement that will never be met; therefore, she recommended removing the condition altogether. Chair Gibson expressed concern with the trees that are located in the adjacent quarry property, as the trees are wrapped with barbed wire and if they collapse may cause a dam in this area of the canyon. Mr. Lafferty stated that he will look into this issue.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Rennels moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the requests to allow County Road 32 to be designed and constructed to the Appendix G Road Standards and to deviate from the required storm water flows along this segment of County Road 32 subject to the conditions as recommended by the Development Services Team, and eliminating the condition requiring an easement or agreement from the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District granting emergency access.
Motion carried 3-0.
4. PARRISH RANCH ESTATES CONSERVATION DEVELOPMENT PRELIMINARY PLAT - #04-S2269: This is a request for Preliminary Plat review of a Conservation Development request to subdivide 545 acres into 47 single family residential lots and 9 residual lots.
This request was scheduled as a discussion item before the County Planning Commission on January 18, 2006. Most of the discussion focused on the potential impacts to the Culver Ditch, which is located off-site. Ditch company representatives expressed concern with increases in runoff water from the new lots, and water being contaminated by home owners using chemical landscape treatments. The ditch company is also concerned that additional septic systems will impact the quality of the ditch water as well. Staff’s assessment is that the review is sufficient for a preliminary approval of the request, especially given the size of the applicant’s site and the distance to the ditch from the proposed lots (estimated to be 1200 to 1800 feet from the ditch at various points). A condition of approval to address the ditch company’s issues is included, and is based on the requirements in Section 8.8 of the Land Use Code and discussed in the Staff report to the Planning Commission.
Other neighbors raised concerns about the impact of lighting from the new homes. Planning Commissioner Wallace asked that the developer not use white vinyl fencing and questioned who would maintain the residual land. As indicated in the application materials and Staff comments, the applicant will maintain ownership of some parts of the residual land for the immediate future. The Homeowner’s Association will maintain control of the remaining areas of residual land. If the applicant so chooses, the covenants can include restrictions on fencing materials. This is not, however, an issue that the County should mandate in Staff’s view.
Finally, the Planning Commission recommended approval of the request subject to the conditions below. Conditions “F” and “J” were modified to reflect that livestock management would be specifically referenced in the conditions of approval.
The Planning Commission and the Development Services Team recommendations are as follows:
A. The Final Plat shall be consistent with the approved preliminary plan & the information contained in the Parrish Ranch Estates Conservation Development (File #04-S2269) except as modified by the conditions of approval or agreement of the County and applicant. The applicant shall be subject to all other verbal or written representations and commitments of record for the Parrish Ranch Estates Conservation Development.
B. The following fees shall be collected at building permit issuance for new single family dwellings: the Thompson R2-J school fee, the Larimer County fees for County and Regional Transportation Capital Expansion, Larimer County Regional Park Fees in lieu of dedication, and drainage fees. The fee amount that is current at the time of building permit application shall apply.
C. The Development Agreement shall include a provision for the completion of the phased build out of roads in the project.
D. Passive radon mitigation measures shall be included in construction of residential structures on these lots. The results of a radon detection test conducted in new dwellings 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 which specifies that a test will be done within 30 days. A permanent Certificate of Occupancy can be issued when the prepaid receipt is submitted.
E. The applicant shall sign a Final Development Agreement for approval by the County as a part of the Final Plat, and is to be recorded with the Final Plat. This agreement shall provide notice to all future lot owners of the conditions of approval and special costs or fees associated with the approval of this project. The notice shall include, but is not limited to, the issues related to rural development, the need for engineered footings and foundations if required, the need for passive radon mitigation, the provision of fire protection measures and the issues raised in the review and or related to compliance with the Larimer County Land Use Code.
F. The applicant shall sign a Disclosure Notice for approval by the County as a part of the Final Plat, and is to be recorded with the Final Plat, that provides important information to potential buyers about conditions of approval, rural area issues, livestock issues, water rights, etc.
G. The Final Plat application shall include a provision for the construction of a school bus staging area on County Road 4. The design of the bus shelter must comply with Thompson R2-J School District standards and include lighting for safety during winter months.
H. The applicant shall comply with the applicable requirements of Section 8.8, which requires they engage in good faith discussions to resolve the Culver Lateral Ditch Company concerns.
I. The applicant must contact the Colorado Geological Survey to address their concerns regarding trenching and previous mining activities on site, as detailed in the CGS comments dated November 8, 2004, to set perimeters for on-site trenching. The results of the trenching may necessitate a requirement for over-excavation at the site to accommodate engineered foundations for the residential uses. The final construction plans shall be designed to address the requirements of site conditions detailed by the trenching assessments.
J. Covenants shall require that new homeowners:
a. confine pets to their respective lots,
b. should confine “backyard livestock” such as rabbits and chickens be confined to predator proof hutches,
c. have individual lot plans for livestock,
d. have management plans for horse use of the residual lots,
e. provide light limitations such as down-lighting and night lighting.
K. The Final Plat must identify the well location and show an access easement to the well. The easement shall be further identified by a deed to be recorded with the Final Plat. If the well is to be used to irrigate residual land (or common area lots) owned by the Homeowner’s Association, the Final Plat must also include a shared maintenance agreement for the well, to be recorded with the Final Plat.
L. The Final Plat shall extend the limits of the easement around the substation to the road, to allow for access to the substation. This easement, and the access easement to the Alverson RLUP between Lots 7 and 8 in Block 5, shall be dedicated by separate deeds to be recorded with the Final Plat.
M. The Final Plat shall identify and properly label all Residual and Common Area Lots. The applicant must provide deeds transferring ownership of the Common Area Lots for recording with the Final Plat.
N. The note under “Land Dedications” on the Preliminary Plat that refers to the residual land as being dedicated for use as a County parks and recreation area must be removed.
Mr. Wheeler presented handouts for the Board explaining that one of the handouts, received just prior to the hearing, is from the consultant hired by the ditch company; he noted that the other handout is a letter from the Parrish Subdivision regarding their position on the Culver Lateral Ditch Company. Mr. Wheeler then briefly described the proposal as outlined above, noting that the biggest concern surrounds impacts to water quality in the Culver Ditch. Mr. Wheeler explained that the Parrish Subdivision Homeowner's Association is requesting that the applicant conduct periodic water testing for the next 10 years to monitor contamination in the water. And if, during the course of this water sampling, contamination is found to be present, they request that the applicant be required to build a structure to take the water over the ditch. Mr. Helmick explained that the drainage passes through seven properties, crosses the road, and then enters the ditch, which makes it difficult to pin-point where the contamination originates and whose responsibility it would be to mitigate it.
Applicant John McLain addressed the Board, and explained the development proposal, noting that improvements will be made to County Road 4 as part of the process. Commissioner Wagner asked what will become of the pit that was left from the mining operation. Mr. McLain explained that the pit does collect water at times and their plan is to leave it as a natural area.
Chair Gibson opened the hearing up for public comment and Lowell Tveton, adjacent neighbor, addressed the Board. Mr. Tveton read the letter from the Parrish Subdivision, which requested the developer institute a monitoring program to determine the water quality that is coming down Culver Gulch into the Culver Ditch. The letter also asked that the developer pay the legal and engineering costs the Culver Lateral Ditch Company has incurred responding to this proposal, which is estimated at $5,000.00.
Conrad Brandt, president of Blue Mountain Water Users Association, stated that he has worked as an analytical chemist for 45 years. He explained how the monitoring could occur and how they could pin-point whether or not contamination is being caused by the development. He explained that one could simply perform a test just prior to the water flowing into the area, and then test it again as soon as it exits the area, without waiting for it to pass through the seven properties and then cross over the road. Mr. Brandt stated that from his experience, the tests cost approximately $100.00 per sample, which is relatively inexpensive.
Don Davis, adjacent property owner, stated that they live in a sparsely populated area of the county. He explained that the water flows downhill, and there is wildlife of all sorts in the area. Mr. Davis stated that water quality is very important to them. He also expressed concern for the financial impact on their properties if the development proposal is approved. Finally, Mr. Davis stated that the applicant has not been cooperative, and responds to issues at the last minute, as was demonstrated by their providing a handout to staff just prior to this hearing.
Robert Johnson, adjacent neighbor, stated that if this development is approved it will significantly change the makeup of their area. He requested that downward lighting be required, and suggested placing a time limit on duration that lights are kept on during the night, as they are accustomed to darkness and enjoy star gazing. Mr. Johnson also stated that white vinyl fencing would look terrible on the hillside, and requested that this type of fencing not be allowed.
There was no further public comment.
Mr. McLain responded to the concerns of those that rendered public comment. He stated that they will promote the use of organic fertilizers, they will address the use of white vinyl fencing, and there will be public access within the development. Mr. McLain stated that they have worked very hard on this development and have been responsive to questions and concerns relating to the project. Mr. McLain stated that the Conservation Development they are proposing is much less invasive then what could be developed under the current zoning in this area. Finally, Mr. McLain stated that there is no history of water sampling, and quite frankly, he is concerned with the possibility of sabotage when it comes to sampling the water.
Todd Marriott, representative for the applicant, stated that they have had good experiences in meeting with the neighbors. He stated that they have worked very hard to make sure the development fits nicely within the community, and they are very proud of the proposal.
Terry Parrish, property owner, clarified that the public will not be able to access the residual land, but that there will be access to a public trail that exists. Mr. Parrish stated that he does not feel they have rushed this project, and further stated that he is not in favor of installing the white vinyl fences. Commissioner Wagner asked if Mr. Parrish would consider limiting the number of horses allowed on each lot. Mr. Parrish stated that they are working to determine appropriate number of horses that will be allowed on the lots.
Commissioner Wagner stated that she is pleased that there will not be 47 lots that all have white fencing surrounding them, and proposed adding this to Condition J. Commissioner Wagner stated that water quality issues are of concern, but until it is addressed and outlined in the Land Use Code, she did not feel comfortable setting a precedent regarding this proposal. Commissioner Rennels agreed, and recommended that the ditch company begin sampling the water while there are no homes constructing in order to establish a baseline.
Commissioner Rennels stated she was not in favor of restricting white vinyl fencing as part of the conditions, because she did not want to set a precedent, as white vinyl fencing could be acceptable in other development proposals. Commissioner Rennels stated that she agreed with the implementation of downward lighting; however, placing time limits on night time lighting could restrict home owners, as night lighting may be needed for various purposes. Chair Gibson concurred. Commissioner Wagner expressed concern with the homes being clustered around the pit, as wildlife may be attracted to the pit if there is standing water in it. She requested that the applicant consider this, and possibly revisit the spacing of the homes.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Wagner moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Parrish Ranch Estates Conservation Development, with conditions A through N as recommended by Staff and the Planning Commission.
Motion carried 3-0.
The hearing recessed at 5:15 p.m.
LAND USE HEARING
The Board of County Commissioners reconvened at 6:30 p.m. with Al Kadera, Principal Planner. Chair Gibson presided and Commissioners Wagner and Rennels were present. Also present were: Jeannine Haag, Assistant County Attorney; and Gael Cookman, Deputy Clerk.
1. LAND USE CODE AMENDMENTS - #05-CA0058: This is a request to make a number of changes to the adopted Larimer County Land Use Code. The Land Use Code is a living document that needs to be amended as necessary to make it function properly. Some changes are minor wording changes because of typographical errors or inconsistencies between parts of the Code. A few of the changes are needed because there are unintended consequences resulting from the current wording.
There are two review criteria for amendments to the text of the Land Use Code:
1. The proposed changes are consistent with the Master Plan and the intent and purpose of the Land Use Code and Road Manual; and
2. The proposed changes are necessary to correct an omission or error in the Land Use Code or Road Manual.
The proposed changes meet these review criteria.
Item #1. Review Criteria
Review criteria are very important because they guide the decision making process. Each process in the Code includes review criteria so the decision makers, the applicants and the public all know what is expected for a project to gain approval. As staff has worked with the Land Use Code over the last five years some inconsistencies and duplications have been observed in the current review criteria.
There have also been discussions concerning how the review criteria should be applied. Most of the processes in the Code require that all review criteria be met in order for a project to be approved. In some cases, meeting all the review criteria was not only impossible but really made no sense. This became very apparent when certain Code standards were appealed, the appeal was approved and then the opposition to the project said it could not be approved because all the review criteria were not met. The proposed Code amendments are intended to put the decisions in the hands of the appropriate persons and give them the discretion to use the review criteria as intended as a guide to decision making rather than an absolute, iron clad requirement.
Land Use Code Review Criteria
Underlined text is new. Cross-out text is being deleted.
Add a new subsection 2.6 to read as follows:
Review criteria are included in this Code for each type of development application. Because Larimer County is a diverse area in terms of topography, land use types, densities and public facilities, the Board of Commissioners and the Board of Adjustment recognize that all review criteria will not be applicable to all development applications.
Review criteria cannot be appealed. It is the applicant’s responsibility to demonstrate compliance with review criteria or to demonstrate that a particular review criterion is not applicable to his or her application.
When a review criterion requires compliance with standards and requirements of this Code, an appeal of the standard or requirement that is approved has the same effect as if the standard or requirement was met.
3.8.2. Review criteria for changing the code text.
To approve a change in the land use code text, the county commissioners must consider the following review criteria and find that each criterion has been met or has been determined to be inapplicable:
A. The proposed change is consistent with the master plan and the intent and purpose of this code; and/or
B. The proposed change is necessary to correct an omission or error in the code.
4.4.4. Review criteria for zone or overlay zone district boundary or zone designation changes.
To approve an amendment to the zoning district boundaries, overlay district boundaries or zone designation of a parcel on the official zoning map, the county commissioners must consider the following review criteria and find that each criterion has been met or determined to be inapplicable:
A. The proposed change is consistent with the master plan;
B. The proposed change is compatible with existing and allowed uses on properties in the neighborhood and is the appropriate zoning for the property;
C. Conditions in the neighborhood have changed to the extent that the proposed change is necessary;
D. The proposed change does not result in significant adverse impacts on the natural environment;
E. The proposed change addresses a community need;
F. The proposed change results in a logical and orderly development pattern in the neighborhood;
G. In order to approve a rezoning to PD-planned development district, the subject parcel must be within a growth management area overlay zone district or the LaPorte Plan Area or other adopted sub-area plan, and the county commissioners must also find that the proposed land use type, density and intensity are consistent with the applicable supplementary regulations, if any, or with the LaPorte Area Plan or other adopted sub-area plan.;
H. In order to establish or enlarge a GMA district, the county commissioners must also find that the criteria in subsection 4.2.1.B.3 have been met.; and
I. The county commissioners may exclude or remove an area from an established GMA district boundary if they find one or more of the review criteria in subsection 4.2.1.B.3 can no longer be met.
4.5.3. Review criteria for special review applications.
To approve a special review application, the county commissioners must consider the following review criteria and find that each criterion has been met or determined to be inapplicable:
A. The proposed use will be compatible with existing and allowed uses in the surrounding area and be in harmony with the neighborhood;
B. Outside a GMA district, the proposed use is consistent with the county master plan. Within a GMA district, the proposed use is consistent with the applicable supplementary regulations to the GMA district, or if none, with the county master plan or County adopted sub-area plan;
C. The applicant has demonstrated that this project can and will comply with all applicable requirements of this code;
D. The proposed use will not result in a substantial adverse impact on property in the vicinity of the subject property; and
E. The recommendations of referral agencies have been considered.
4.5.5. Review criteria for minor special review applications.
To approve a minor special review application the county commissioners must consider the following review criteria and find that each criterion has been met or determined to be inapplicable:
A. The proposed use will be compatible with existing and allowed uses in the surrounding area and be in harmony with the neighborhood;
B. Outside a GMA district, the proposed use is consistent with the county master plan. Within a GMA district, the proposed use is consistent with the applicable supplementary regulations to the GMA district, or if none, with the county master plan;
C. The applicant has demonstrated that this project can and will comply with all applicable requirements of this Code;
D. The proposed use will not result in a substantial adverse impact on other property in the vicinity of the subject property; and
E. The recommendations of referral agencies have been considered.
4.6.3. Review criteria for Zoning Variances
To approve a zoning variance application, the board of adjustment must consider the following review criteria and find that each criterion has been met or determined to be inapplicable: A. There are special circumstances or conditions, such as exceptional topographic conditions, narrowness, shallowness or the shape of property, or other extraordinary and exceptional situation or condition of such piece of property, that are peculiar to the land or structure for which the variance is requested;
B. The special circumstances are not the result of actions or inactions by the applicant or the current owner;
C. The strict interpretation and enforcement of the provisions of the Code would cause an unnecessary and undue hardship;
D. Granting the variance is the minimum action that will allow use of the land or structure;
E. Granting the variance will not result in a substantial adverse impact on other property in the vicinity of the subject land or structure;
F. Granting the variance is consistent with the purpose of this code and the master plan; and
G. The recommendations of referral agencies have been considered.
4.7.3. Review criteria for Zoning Special Exceptions
To approve a special exception application, the county commissioners must consider the following review criteria and find that each criterion has been met or determined to be inapplicable:
A. The proposed use will be compatible with existing and allowed land uses in the surrounding area and will be in harmony with the neighborhood;
B. The recommendations from referral agencies have been considered;
C. The proposed use will not result in a substantial adverse impact on other property in the vicinity of the subject property;
D. The applicant has demonstrated that this project can and will comply with all applicable requirements of this Code;
There is reasonable justification for the use being at the proposed location rather than in a municipality or where zoning would allow the use by right or by Special Review;
F. The nature of the proposed use and its operations are such that there are significant benefits to the public to be located where proposed; and
G. The proposed use is consistent with the County Master Plan.
5.1.3. Review criteria for Subdivisions.
To approve a subdivision, the county commissioners must consider the following review criteria and find that each criterion has been met or determined to be inapplicable:
A. The proposed subdivision is compatible with existing and allowed land uses in the surrounding area;
B. The applicant has demonstrated that the proposed subdivision can and will comply with all applicable requirements of this code;
C. The recommendations of referral agencies have been considered; and
D. Approval of the proposed subdivision will not result in a substantial adverse impact on other property in the vicinity of the proposed subdivision.
5.2.3. Review criteria for Planned Land Divisions
To approve a planned land division the county commissioners must consider the following review criteria and find that each criterion has been met or determined to be inapplicable: A. The planned land division complies with the applicable supplementary regulations of the GMA district, if any, or the LaPorte Area Plan or other adopted sub-area plan, as applicable.
B. The planned land division is compatible with existing and allowed land uses in the surrounding area;
C. The applicant has demonstrated that this project can and will comply with all applicable requirements of this Code;
D. The county commissioners have approved a rezoning of the land to PD-planned development;
E. The recommendations of referral agencies have been considered; and
F. Approval of the proposed Planned Land Division will not result in a substantial adverse impact on other property in the vicinity of the proposed Planned Land Division.
5.3.4. Review criteria and process for Conservation Developments
A. To approve a conservation development, county commissioners must consider the following review criteria and find that each criterion has been met or determined to be inapplicable:
1. The proposed conservation development is compatible with existing and allowed land uses in the surrounding area;
2. The applicant for the proposed conservation development has demonstrated that the proposed conservation development will comply with all applicable requirements of this code;
3. The proposed conservation development will result in no substantial negative impact on environmentally sensitive areas or features, agricultural uses or other lands;
4. Approval of the proposed Conservation Development will not result in a substantial adverse impact on other property in the vicinity of the proposed Conservation Development; and
5. The recommendations of referral agencies have been considered.
B. All applications for conservation development require a pre-application conference, sketch plan review and a neighborhood meeting as described in section 12.2 and preliminary plat review and final plat review as described in section 5.13. All multiple-phase conservation developments also require a general development plan review. Single-phase conservation developments may be submitted for general development plan review at the choice of the applicant.
5.4.3. Review criteria for Minor Land Division
To approve a minor land division, county commissioners must consider the following review criteria and find that each criterion has been met or determined to be inapplicable:
A. The property is not part of an approved or recorded subdivision plat;
B. The property is not part of an exemption or minor residential development approved under the previous subdivision resolution or a minor land division;
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 grant an appeal from the minimum lot size and minimum lot width to depth ratio requirements, provided the proposed use meets minimum setbacks and sewage disposal requirements;
D. The newly-created parcels meet minimum access standards required by the county engineer or the Colorado Department of Transportation as applicable; and
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.
5.5.3. Review criteria for Boundary Line Adjustment
To approve a boundary line adjustment, the planning director must consider the following review criteria and find that each criterion has been met or determined to be inapplicable:
A. The lots are legal lots as defined in the definitions section;
B. No additional lots will be created by the boundary line adjustment;
C. The lots are not in a subdivision, planned unit development, minor residential development, or exemption approved under previous subdivision regulations or in a minor land division, subdivision, conservation development or planned land division;
D. The resultant lots will meet the required minimum lot size and lot width to depth ratio standards of the applicable zoning district. (If either or both lots are nonconforming with respect to minimum lot size or lot width to depth ratio, the boundary line adjustment must not increase the nonconformity); and
E. The boundary line adjustment will not create a nonconforming setback for any existing building.
5.6.3. Review criteria for Add-On Agreement.
To approve an add-on agreement, the planning director must consider the following review criteria and find that each criterion has been met or determined to be inapplicable:
A. The lots being combined are legal lots as defined in the definitions section. An illegally-created lot can be combined with one or more existing legal lots, if the planning director determines the resultant lot or lots are consistent with the intent and purpose of this code;
B. The add-on agreement will not adversely affect access, drainage or utility easements or rights-of-way serving the property or other properties in the area; and
C. The add-on agreement will not result in a nonconformity. For example, an add-on agreement that results in two principal buildings on one lot is not allowed.
5.7.3. Review criteria for Amended Plat.
To approve a proposed amended plat, the county commissioners must consider the following review criteria and find that each criterion has been met or determined to be inapplicable:
A. No additional lots will be created by the amended plat.
B. The resultant lots will meet the required minimum lot size of the applicable zoning district and the lot dimension ratio required by subsection 8.14.2.L. If any of the lots are nonconforming with respect to the minimum lot size or the lot dimension ratio, the amended plat must not increase the nonconformity.
C. The amended plat will not create a nonconforming setback for any existing building;
D. The amended plat will not adversely affect access, drainage or utility easements or rights-of-way serving the property or other properties in the area; and
E. Any covenants, deed restrictions or other conditions of approval that apply to the original lots must also apply to the resultant lots and be noted on the final plat.
5.9.3. Review criteria for Easement or Right-of-Way Vacation.
To approve a right-of-way or easement vacation, the county commissioners consider the following review criteria and find that each criterion has been met or determined to be inapplicable:
A. Approval of the vacation request will not leave any land adjoining the right-of-way without an established public road or private access easement connecting the land with another established public road, or without utility or drainage services;
B. The recommendations of referral agencies have been considered; and
C. Any right-of-way that is vacated will be divided equally between the lots on each side, unless it can be demonstrated that all of the right-of-way was originally taken from one parcel. In that case, the right-of-way will be returned to that parcel. Property owners on each side of the right-of-way may agree to divide the vacated right-of-way differently but must sign deeds to transfer ownership after the county commissioners approve the vacation.
5.10.3. Review criteria for Plat Vacation.
To approve a proposed plat vacation, the county commissioners must consider the following review criteria and find that each criterion has been met or determined to be inapplicable:
A. Vacation of the plat will not leave any lots without adequate utility or drainage easements;
B. Vacation of the plat will not vacate road rights-of-way or access easements needed to access other property;
C. Vacation of the plat will not inhibit the provision of adequate public facilities or services to other property as required by this code; and
D. Vacation of the plat is consistent with the master plan.
5.10.4. Review criteria for Resubdivision.
A resubdivision of existing lots requires review and approval through the applicable land division process. Review criteria are listed in the applicable sections of this code.
5.12.4. Review criteria for Condominium Map
To approve a condominium map, the county commissioners must consider the following review criteria and find that each criterion has been met or determined to be inapplicable:
A. The proposed uses in the condominium units are consistent with existing zoning of the site;
B. The site complies with sections 8.5 (landscaping); 8.6 (off-street parking standards); and 10 (signs);
C. The condominium map complies with the monumentation and plat preparation standards required by state statute; and
D. The applicant has submitted property owners association documents or their equivalent that address the unit owners' rights and responsibilities with respect to parking, loading and access facilities, landscaping, utilities and any other common areas and facilities on the site. The documents must also provide for perpetual maintenance of common facilities by property owners. If property owners fail to adequately maintain the common facilities, the county commissioners may take over maintenance and charge the cost to the property owners until property owners demonstrate they can adequately maintain the property.
6.4. Review criteria for Site Plan
To approve a site plan application, the planning director must consider the following review criteria and find that each criterion has been met or determined to be inapplicable:
A. The site plan complies with all applicable requirements of this code and any applicable supplementary regulations; and
B. The site plan complies with all conditions of approval imposed by the county commissioners, the board of adjustment or floodplain review board under another approval process authorized by this code.
Add a new section 22.2.5 Review Criteria for Appeals from Section 10 (Signs)
22.2.5 Appeals from Section 10 (Signs)
To approve an appeal from the applicable requirements in Section 10 of this Code the County Commissioners must consider the following review criteria and find that each criterion has been met or determined to be inapplicable:
A. Approval of the appeal is consistent with the purpose and intent of this Code;
B. There are extraordinary or exceptional conditions on the site which would result in a peculiar or undue hardship on the property owner if Section 10 of this Code is strictly enforced;
C. Approval of the appeal would not result in an economic or marketing advantage over other businesses which have signs which comply with Section 10 of this Code.
Amend Section 22.1 Purpose
The purpose of this section is to define circumstances under and processes by which persons may appeal (i) decisions made in administration, interpretation or enforcement of this Code, and (ii) standards and requirements imposed by this Code. Appeals of standards or requirements that are approved have the same effect as if the standard or requirement was met.
Item #2. Storage Buildings, Barns and Garages.
When the Land Use Code was being drafted there was discussion about storage buildings and garages being built on vacant land. Many times these buildings were being occupied as cabins or dwellings without appropriate design and inspections. The Planning Commission and County Commissioners decided to limit the length of time that such a building could be on a lot before a single family dwelling was constructed. Property owners were required to sign an affidavit indicating that they will build a dwelling with in two years after the construction of a storage building or garage. This procedure has proved to be somewhat ineffective and is not worth the staff time to monitor building permits for compliance.
Staff prepared a draft Code amendment some time ago which was recommended for approval by the Planning Commission, however, at the County Commissioners’ hearing the county attorney asked that the item be removed from the agenda. The concern was that a storage use is not permitted as a principal use in most zoning districts. A storage use is accessory to the residential use of the property which is not possible if the single family dwelling does not exist. We need to add a new use in all the zoning districts that permit single family dwellings to allow a storage building or garage for the owner of the property to store personal belongings.
We can omit the term “barn” from this section of the Code because in most cases the barn is built in a zone that allows livestock and it becomes an agricultural use. If a “barn” is used instead to store personal property, the use of the building is a storage building, not a barn.
In Section 4.1 add a new use “Storage Buildings and Garages (R)—See section 4.3 (use descriptions and conditions)” under the “Residential” heading in the FA-Farming, FA-1 Farming, FO-Forestry, FO-1 Forestry, O-Open, E-Estate, E-1 Estate, RE-Rural Estate, RE-1 Rural Estate, R-Residential, R-1 Residential, R-2 Residential, M-Multiple Family, M-1 Multiple Family, A-Accommodations, T-Tourist and AP-Airport Zoning Districts.
Also we would amend Section 4.3.2 by adding Subsection I to read:
“Storage buildings and garages without a single
family dwelling on the lot.
Prior to the construction of a single family
dwelling on a lot. Each lot may include a storage building or garage, for
the purpose of storing personal property of the lot owner. All storage must be
inside the storage building or garage. No residential, business or commercial
activities are permitted in these buildings, unless such uses are approved by
the Board of County Commissioners through the Minor Special Review or the
Special Exception process. On lots of less than 2 acres (net area) these
buildings may not exceed 800 square feet. On lots of 2 to 5 acres (net area)
these buildings may not exceed 2400 square feet. On lots over 5 acres there is
no limit to the size of these buildings. In no event shall the total square
footage of detached storage buildings and garages exceed 10 per cent of the net
area of any lot.”
A related amendment would be to Subsection 4.3.10.D by deleting the strike through text as follows:
4.3.10.D Storage buildings,
garages. Each lot may include detached storage buildings , barns and
garages for the sole use of the occupants of the principal building or
principal use on that lot. The total ground floor area of all storage
buildings, barns and garages on a lot can not exceed ten percent of the
lot's net area. Semitrailers with attached running gear (i.e. axles, wheels)
cannot be used as storage buildings. A storage building, barn or garage may
be constructed on a legal building site before the principal building is
constructed provided the building permit for the principal building is issued
by the building department within two years of the date the building permit is
issued for the storage building, barn or garage. The planning director may
grant, in writing, an additional two years to acquire the building permit for
the principal building. The planning director may consider the following
criteria and any other relevant information in granting such an extension. 1. There are circumstances
beyond the control of the property owner that delayed the acquisition of the
building permit for the principal building; and 2. There have been no
objections from the neighboring property owners to the placement of the
Staff findings are as follows:
1. The proposed amendments to the Land Use Code are necessary to correct errors and to ensure consistency between various sections of the Code.
2. The proposed amendments satisfy the review criteria for changes to the text of the Land Use Code.
The Development Services Team recommends approval of the proposed amendments to the Larimer County Land Use Code.
Mr. Kadera presented a letter from Evelyn King in which she requested changes to the wording in Section 4.6.3.A., regarding undue hardship to property owners when applying for a variance. Mr. Kadera also presented a copy of the Colorado State Statute regarding appeals. Some discussion ensued, and Ms. Haag stated that Larimer County is very lenient when it comes to granting variances, because according to State Statute, two conditions must be met in order to grant a variance: 1. There must be some sort of strange condition or exceptional circumstance related to that particular piece of property. 2. The strange condition or exceptional circumstance has to create a hardship on the owner. Ms. Haag explained that in essence the oddity of the land must create the hardship on the owner.
Mr. Kadera then reviewed the proposed changes to storage buildings, barns, and garages; he explained that they are proposing to omit the use of the term "barn" in Section 4.3.2, as storage units are the focus of this section and barns are typically used to house livestock. Mr. Kadera also recommended adding the verbiage that commercial activities could be allowed if such use is approved by the Board of County Commissioners through the Minor Special Review or Special Exception process. (This verbiage has been added to the changes outlined above.) Under discussion, the Board agreed that the words "Prior to the construction of a single family dwelling on a lot…" could be eliminated, as there will no longer be a requirement to construct a dwelling. (This change is also reflected in the outline above.)
Chair Gibson opened up the hearing for public comment. Brian Schumm stated that the Board should not include items in the code that are not enforceable. Mr. Schumm noted that if items are important enough to be included in the code, then enforcement actions of these items should also be outlined in the code. Mr. Schumm stated that the Board should not deviate from the underlying zoning and suggested setback requirements for storage buildings and garages.
Chance Parker noted his objections to omitting barns from Section 4.3.2., as barns have always been used to store personal property, in addition to livestock. Mr. Parker stated that he does not think it is necessary to divide the use of a particular structure, in this case, a barn. Mr. Kadera stated that planning staff looks at the use of the structure, and if the structure is being used to store personal property then it is a storage facility; however, if it is being used to store livestock, then it is a barn. He noted that the use of the term "barn" is purely semantics and that if someone wanted to build a storage facility that looked like a barn, then that would be acceptable under the proposed changes.
Darwin Addison stated that he supports the changes as he would like to build a garage on the adjacent piece of property that he owns. Kevin Barricklow stated that he too supports the changes as he would like to build a garage or storage unit on adjoining properties that he owns.
Mr. Schumm addressed the Board, and again stressed the need for setback requirements for storage facilities and garages constructed on vacant land.
There was no further public comment.
Chair Gibson asked if semi trailers or box cars could be used as storage facilities. Mr. Kadera replied in the affirmative, and explained that once the wheels are removed from these items, they are no longer considered vehicles and are now considered buildings. Commissioner Wagner stated that she was not very pleased that people will be able to build storage facilities on vacant lots, but also realized that it is impossible to force someone to build their home within 2 years. Some discussion ensued regarding implementing set back requirements for the storage facilities. Mr. Kadera stated that there are setback requirements in each zoning district, which would apply to the storage facilities and garages as well. The Board elected to address setbacks for storage facilities and garages in future code revisions should the need arise.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Wagner moved that the Board of County Commissioners adopt the proposed amendments to the Larimer County Land Use Code as presented by staff, with the changes to Section 4.3.2 regarding commercial activities being allowed if such use is approved by the Board of County Commissioners through the Minor Special Review or Special Exception process; and striking the following verbiage: "Prior to the construction of a single family dwelling on a lot…" from the same section.
Motion carried 3-0.
The meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2006
The Board of County Commissioners met at 9:00 a.m. with Assistant County Manager Neil Gluckman. Chair Gibson presided and Commissioners Wagner and Rennels were present. Also present were: Donna Hart and Deni LaRue, Commissioners’ Office; Rob Helmick, Planning Department; and Gael Cookman, Deputy Clerk.
1. PUBLIC COMMENT: Kelly Ohlson addressed the Board with concerns surrounding the Rural Land Use Plan process. He stated that in his opinion, there is very little accountability within the process and feels strongly that the Rural Land Use Center employees should report directly to the Planning Department. Mr. Ohlson stated that the values of the Rural Land Use Plan are not being met, and that there should be more involvement from the public and surrounding neighbors. The Board invited Mr. Ohlson to the upcoming meetings that are scheduled to discuss the processes regarding the Rural Land Use Center.
2. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FOR THE WEEK OF FEBRUARY 20, 2006:
M O T I O N
Commissioner Rennels moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the minutes for the week of February 20, 2006, as amended.
Motion carried 3-0.
3. CONSENT AGENDA:
M O T I O N
Commissioner Wagner moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the following items as presented on the Consent Agenda for February 14, 2006:
MISCELLANEOUS: Certification of Local Match to Increase Colorado Department of Transportation Funding for Administration of Rural Larimer County Transit Services.
LIQUOR LICENSES: The following action was taken: Approval of The Rock Dance Club Change of Corporate Structure, Fort Collins.
Motion carried 3-0.
4. REVIEW THE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK OF MARCH 6, 2006: Ms. Hart reviewed the upcoming schedule with the Board.
5. APPROVE APPOINTMENT OF ESTES PARK LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEE: Mr. Gluckman presented the recommendation from the Estes Park Library Board of Trustees to fill a vacancy on this board.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Rennels moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the appointment of Marjorie Drew Corcoran to the Estes Park Public Library District Board of Trustees for a one-year term effective December 19, 2005, and expiring December 31, 2006.
Motion carried 3-0.
6. CORRECT ERRORS ON THE OFFICIAL ZONING MAP FOR LARIMER COUNTY: Mr. Helmick explained that the zoning map for the Hewlett Gulch area, east of Glacier View Meadows, is in error in that some parcels are being classified as E-Estate zoning when they should be classified as FO-Forestry zoning. Mr. Helmick noted that he will be presenting a corrected map for the Board's signature on March 14, 2006; in the meantime, he will be sending letters to those property owners that will be affected by the correction. Mr. Helmick further explained that there is some text in the Land Use Code that should be included pertaining to the use of livestock in the FO-Forestry zoning district. Finally, Mr. Helmick stated that there are some property owners in this area that will possibly be seeking the opportunity to revert to the O-Open zoning, and may be requesting a waiver of fees to do so. Some discussion ensued.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Wagner moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve signing the corrected zoning map at the Administrative Matters meeting on March 14, 2006.
Motion carried 3-0.
7. LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Mr. Gluckman reviewed pending legislation with the Board. Commissioner Rennels asked that the Board draft a letter supporting reinstatement of per capita funding and forward this letter to the legislators and to the Joint Budget Committee.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Rennels moved that the Board of County Commissioners draft a letter to the legislators and to the Joint Budget Committee urging them to reinstate per capita funding, and authorize the Chair to sign the same.
Motion carried 3-0.
8. WORKSESSION: There were no worksession items to discuss.
9. COMMISSIONER REPORTS: The Board discussed their attendance at events during the past week.
10. LEGAL MATTERS: There were no Legal Matters to discuss.
The meeting adjourned at 10:15 a.m., with no further action taken.
GLENN W. GIBSON, CHAIR
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
CLERK AND RECORDER
Gael M. Cookman, Deputy Clerk