Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson
> Meetings & Minutes > Commissioners' Minutes > BCC Minutes for 12/07/09  




Monday, December 7, 2009




The Board of County Commissioners met at 3:00 p.m. with Matt Lafferty, Principal Planner. Chair Rennels presided and Commissioners Donnelly and Johnson were present. Also present were:  Donna Hart, Frank Lancaster, and Deni LaRue, Commissioners’ Office; Eric Fried, Building Department; Charles Johnson, Traci Shambo, and Ed Woodward, Engineering Department; Doug Ryan, Environmental Health Department; Rob Helmick and Sean Wheeler, Planning Department; Sheriff Jim Alderden, Sheriff’s Office; David Ayraud and Jeannine Haag, County Attorney’s Office; and Melissa Lohry, Deputy Clerk.


Chair Rennels opened the hearing 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.


ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP AWARDS:  The Board presented the 15th Annual Environmental Stewardship Awards to the following nominees:


A.        Clean Air Lawn Care, for their strong commitment to protect air quality.  Clean Air Lawn Care was started in Fort Collins by Kelly Giard in 2006, and has since grown to include 27 locations. Clean Air Lawn Care is a lawn maintenance business that uses clean electric and bio-diesel powered equipment. The vehicles used to haul the equipment have solar panels, which charge the electric equipment during the workday. The nomination for this award noted that the Environmental Protection Agency estimates 5-10% of our nation’s air pollution comes from gas-powered lawn maintenance equipment. The switch that Clean Air Lawn Care has made in the types of equipment they use significantly reduces air emissions at their customer’s locations, and the move to franchise the business nationwide offers is an example and hopefully an incentive to other lawn care companies. This is a great example of a good business plan and proves hard work can make an important contribution to environmental stewardship.


B.         Jean Weaver, for her leadership and support of recycling.  Ms. Weaver’s efforts began in the early 1970’s with newspaper drives to support the Estes Park Chorale. The first official newspaper drive in Estes Park was held in 1976, and a permanent collection site was established a few years later at the solid waste transfer station under her guidance. Throughout this entire process, Ms. Weaver has worked in cooperation with individuals, governments, schools and civic groups.  She is currently active with the League of Women Voters in Estes Park promoting recycling and the expansion of recycling opportunities in the Estes Valley.  Through her persistent efforts over three decades, Ms. Weaver has demonstrated that personal commitment has the power to make communities more sustainable, better places to live.


C.        K-Lynn Cameron, for her contributions to the conservation of open space and the addition of recreation opportunities in Larimer County and the State of Colorado. As a citizen, K-Lynn played a major role in getting petitions signed to place four citizen lead sales tax initiatives on the ballot, and then worked tirelessly on the campaigns to get the sales taxes passed by voters to fund the Larimer County Open Lands Program and Fort Collins Natural Areas Program.  She became the first manager of the Larimer County Open Lands Program and served in that position for 13-years, until her retirement in June 2009. K-Lynn formed and led the steering committee that pioneered the Colorado Open Space Alliance which has grown over the last 10-years to serve over 50-agencies and host ten conferences.  She has served on the Board of Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts for 6-years. Through vision, creativity and hard work, Mrs. Cameron has provided a lasting legacy that will be enjoyed by many generations to come.


D.         Poudre Wilderness Volunteers, for their long-term dedication to assist the Canyon Lakes Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service in managing and protecting wilderness and back-country areas. Poudre Wilderness Volunteers recruit and train citizen volunteers to serve as wilderness rangers and hosts for the purpose of educating the public and assisting with land preservation. Hikers on the trails are educated in “leave no trace” principles by friendly and knowledgeable volunteers.  In addition, these dedicated individuals conduct trail maintenance activities and work to control invasive weeds.  It is clear that the hard work provided by the Poudre Wilderness Volunteers is a labor of love.  Our National Forest lands and the people who use them benefit greatly from their efforts.



1.         TEAL CREEK DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT MODIFICATION/LOT SALE RESTRICTION, FILE #99-S1415:   This is a request to reinstate the Lot Sale Restriction on Phase one of the Teal Creek Planned Unit Development (PUD) and modify the Development Agreement to reflect changes. The developers of Teal Creek PUD have proposed to extend the term of the Development Agreement and reinstate the Lot Sale Restriction. The current market conditions and the state of affairs in the banking industry have created a situation for the developers, which is not economically feasible, as the lender has requested a significant upfront cash payment to extend the current Letter of Credit at a time when the market for lots in this subdivision is poor. 


The developer of the Teal Creek PUD has always worked with the staff in a proactive manner and broke ground in 2003 with the first lot sale restriction and other “innovative” ideas in their original Development Agreement. 


Given the time that has passed and the relative maturity of the project, staff has seriously considered the requests of the developer which are as follows:


1.    Put the balance of the project, Phase One lots 57 through 81, back on lot sale restriction, which would place the entire development under lot sale restriction again.


2.    Allow up to 10-years for the project to be vested, if a Development Construction Permit has not been issued.


Given the time that has passed and the size of this project, staff believes that the request is reasonable. Staff does however, have concerns about the time proposed by the developer for vesting. The time frame proposed to the Board of County Commissioners and discussed at the worksession of April 28, 2009, was two years. Staff believes a reasonable compromise would be four or five years and a negotiated process to address the application of standards changes to the development. It is worth noting that the developer has utilized essentially the original agreement language and staff believes it appropriate to consider “restating and redrafting” the entire agreement to match the current form of the standards Development Agreement. 


Staff recommends approval of the Modified Development Agreement and Lot Sale Restriction for the Teal Creek PUD subject to the following conditions:


1.   Place Phase One, Lots 57-81, on lot sale restriction as proposed by the developer.


2.   Extend the vesting of this development an additional 5-years from the date of recording of the agreement.


3.   Authorize the staff to prepare, with the developer, a new Development Agreement in the form proposed by the developer, but utilizing the “current” standard form.


Chair Rennels opened the hearing to the applicants.


Tom Dougherty and Tom Moore addressed the Board to provide background information on the development and to reiterate the problems they have encountered while trying to finance the project.


There was no public comment on this item.




Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the modification to the Teal Creek Development Agreement, for the Teal Creek PUD Final Plat, making the deadline to submit collateral November 22, 2010.


Motion carried 3-0.


2.         BACON QUARRY SPECIAL REVIEW DEADLINE EXTENSION, FILE #08-G0164:  This is a request to extend the deadline for compliance with the Conditions of Approval for the Bacon Quarry Special Review. The Board of County Commissioners approved the Bacon Quarry Special Review on December 22, 2008. On May 4, 2009, the Board also approved a request to extend the deadline for compliance with conditions of approval to November 30, 2009.  These conditions relate to completion of improvements and the site plan process. Due to poor economic conditions, the applicant is requesting that the deadline be extended once more.


Staff recommends extending the site plan completion deadline to February 20, 2011. It should be noted that the applicant is also required to commence the quarry operation within three years of recording of the Findings & Resolution, or the Special Review approval will expire automatically. Extending the deadline for the final site plan review to February 20, 2011, provides the time necessary for the applicant to complete the Findings & Resolution process, and allows for an additional year to commence quarry operations.


Staff has no objections or concerns regarding the deadline extension and supports approval by the Board of County Commissioners. Also please note, extending the deadline does not preclude the applicant from completing the site plan process before that date, should economic conditions allow him to do so.




Commissioner Johnson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Bacon Quarry Special Review Deadline Extension, file #08-G0164 to February 20, 2011.


Motion carried 3-0.


3.         MEDICAL MARIJUANA MORATORIUM, FILE #09-CA0103:   This is a request for approval of a resolution authorizing a temporary moratorium for permits or licenses related to the operation of a business that cultivates, processes, or dispenses medical marijuana and the establishment of any business, occupation, or operation relating thereto.


In November 2000, Colorado voters approved Amendment 20 to the Colorado Constitution, which allows patients who have received a medical marijuana registry card issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment the right to engage in the lawful use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Placement on the registry requires a physician recommendation (not a prescription) for treatment of a number of medical conditions including, but not limited to, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures and persistent muscle spasms.  According to the Department of Public Health, severe pain is a reported condition for 90% of all registrants and muscle spasms are the second-most reported condition at 29% (patients can declare more than one condition).


Placement on the registry allows a patient to possess two ounces of marijuana or up to six marijuana plants, three of which can be flowering at any one time. A patient may choose to transfer that “allowance” to a designated care-giver who “has significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a patient who has a debilitating medical condition.” A patient may only designate one primary care-giver and there is no registry of care-givers. Beyond the definition of a primary care-giver, there are no regulations related to care-giver criteria and there is no limit to the number of patients a care-giver can manage. 


Only patients and care-givers can cultivate and/or dispense medical marijuana and only patients are allowed to use medical marijuana. The Constitution references patients, physicians, and primary care-givers but makes no reference to dispensaries and provides no guidance regarding land use regulations for the cultivation, processing, or sale of medical marijuana. 


The recent proliferation in medical marijuana dispensaries statewide is the result of a number of changes both at the state and federal levels.


In 2004, the Department of Public Health and Environment created an administrative guideline that a primary care-giver could care for only five registered patients in total. In 2007 a Denver District Judge overturned this limitation because of concerns regarding the process by which the guideline had been adopted, including the fact that there were no public hearings regarding the limitation.


In July of 2009, the Department of Public Health and Environment expanded the definition of primary care-giver to include those whose sole contact with the patient was the provision of medical marijuana. The expanded definition has been subject to court action with no decisive conclusion to date.


In October of 2009, a new federal policy was adopted that although the manufacture, distribution, possession and use of marijuana is prohibited by federal law, federal law enforcement agencies should not seek to prosecute marijuana cases in which the defendant is in compliance with state medical marijuana laws.  Colorado is one of fourteen states that allows for the use of medical marijuana. 


With no limit to the number of patients a care-giver can provide for, a low threshold for being considered to be a primary care-giver, and removal of the threat of federal prosecution, the number of medical marijuana dispensaries in Colorado has expanded in recent months as has the number of registered patients. The most recent statistics from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, from August 31, 2009, state that there were 1,296 medical marijuana patients registered in Larimer County which is 9% of the total number of registered patients in Colorado.


Counties and municipalities throughout the state have had to determine how to regulate medical marijuana as it potentially affects land use within the county. Some jurisdictions have enacted bans, some jurisdictions have fit medical marijuana uses into existing regulations (treating dispensaries as a retail use for example), and some jurisdictions have created new land use regulations specific to medical marijuana. Several jurisdictions, including Fort Collins and Loveland, have enacted, or are contemplating enacting, moratoriums on medical marijuana dispensaries.


The private growing and use of medical marijuana by individual patients is not a land use concern as long as the number of plants grown and their use complies with Department of Health regulations; however, the growing, processing, and dispensing of medical marijuana on a commercial scale requires land use regulations.  To date, Planning and Building staff have not approved any new uses related to medical marijuana in unincorporated Larimer County, although there could be active operations that are unknown or that have not received land use approval.  Inquiries have been received seeking to establish a cultivation operation, a combined cultivation and processing operation, and two potential dispensary sites in unincorporated Larimer County but none of those inquiries have resulted in formal land use requests. 


Furthermore, the Larimer County Land Use Code does not have land use classifications for medical marijuana cultivation, processing, or dispensing and those operations are not specifically addressed by the 2006 International Building Code. Planning, Building, Code Compliance, Health and Sheriff’s Office staff need time to study the issues surrounding medical marijuana before drafting land use regulations.


Potential concerns to be examined include building safety (particularly regarding electrical wiring, Fire Code issues, and mold), proximity to day cares and schools, the use, storage and disposal of chemicals, and the evaluation of the appropriate zoning districts and review procedures for the various land uses. In addition, the Sheriff’s Office and municipal law enforcement agencies have serious concerns about the secondary effects of medical marijuana operations. 


On November 17, 2009, the City of Loveland passed an eight-month moratorium on medical marijuana and, that same day, Fort Collins City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance that would establish a three month moratorium on issuing sales tax licenses to dispensaries.


With moratoriums approved and/or pending by the two largest municipalities in Larimer County, and with demand for medical marijuana increasing, it is anticipated that there will be an increased number of cultivation, processing, and dispensing operations seeking to locate in unincorporated Larimer County in the near future.


Larimer County staff is proposing a temporary moratorium, effective until July 7, 2010, on permits or licenses related to the operation of a business that cultivates, processes, or dispenses marijuana and the establishment of any business, occupation, or operation relating to those activities. The proposed moratorium would apply to all zoning districts in unincorporated Larimer County including the unincorporated area within the Estes Valley Planning Area.


Court rulings and regulations at the state level are rapidly changing with regard to medical marijuana and there is a strong possibility that the Colorado state legislature will address the subject during the next legislative session; however, all legislation approved during the next legislative session would not take effect until July 1, 2010, which is the date that the proposed moratorium would expire. The Board of County Commissioners would have the ability to remove the moratorium prior to July 1, 2010 at their discretion. 


The proposed moratorium would allow Larimer County staff from a variety of departments to study the issue, draft informed regulations, and provide the opportunity to coordinate with staff from municipalities in the county to minimize conflicting approaches to regulations. The moratorium would also avoid the establishment of uses that would become non-conforming should Larimer County and/or the State of Colorado adopt new land use regulations for medical marijuana cultivation, processing, and dispensaries in the near future.


The proposed moratorium would not preclude registered patients from obtaining medical marijuana. There are currently more than forty existing dispensaries in Fort Collins, Loveland, Windsor, and Berthoud that can serve patients while the moratorium is in effect. The moratorium would not preclude individual patients from growing marijuana for their personal medicinal use.


Staff, the County Attorney’s Office, and the Sheriff’s Office recommend approval of a resolution authorizing the Medical Marijuana Moratorium, file# 09-CA0103.


Mr. Ayraud presented a slideshow he obtained from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which illustrated many of the problems often associated with the cultivation, processing, and dispensing of marijuana, including public health and safety. 


Sheriff Alderden also presented a slideshow detailing specific health and safety concerns, including fire hazards resulting from increased and faulty electrical wiring, increased potential for mold due to growing conditions, and increased burglaries.


Chair Rennels opened the hearing to public comment.


Drew Brown and Joey Siementhal addressed the Board in opposition to the moratorium. Both were discouraged by the amount of negative attention given to dispensaries without an emphasis on the positive effects provided by the medical marijuana they provide.


Mr. Lafferty clarified that the moratorium and subsequent Land Use Code modifications would not impact legally established business currently in operation.


Chair Rennels closed public comment.


Commissioner Johnson presented information and statistics from three publications, all of which focused on the impacts of medical marijuana dispensaries in California. The three publications were: 1) White Paper on Marijuana Dispensaries, by the California Police Chief’s Taskforce on Marijuana Dispensaries; 2) White Paper on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, by Scott McNeely and James O’Sullivan, for; 3) Riverside County District Attorney’s Office White Paper, Medical Marijuana: History and Current Complications.


Commissioner Johnson stated that there is evidence of significant impact on land use by medical marijuana dispensaries. Therefore, he is in favor of the moratorium and the time it will provide staff to research and modify the land use code in a manner that will best serve and protect the citizens of the county.


Commissioner Donnelly cited support for the moratorium due to his concern about the safety and welfare of citizens.


Chair Rennels agreed and voiced her support for the moratorium.




Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Resolution authorizing the Medical Marijuana Moratorium, file #09-CA0103, and authorize the Chair to sign the Resolution.


Motion carried 3-0.




Commissioner Donnelly further move that the Board of County Commissioners direct county staff to study the medical marijuana issue and propose amendments, if required, to the appropriate Land Use, Building and County Codes.


Motion carried 3-0.


4.         ISLAND LAKE MARINE 6-WEEK CODE COMPLIANCE:   This item is the result of a violation of Section 21.1.B of the Larimer County Land Use Code and Section 105 (Permits) and a violation of the 2006 International Building Code, adopted as part of the Larimer County Building Code, by virtue of constructing multiple buildings and structures without obtaining required building permits. Per Land Use Code section 6.2 A.1 “Site Plan Review is required prior to the acceptance of any building permit application for a building or structure to be occupied by a multiple-family or nonresidential use...”


The subject property is located on the southwest corner of the intersection of County Road 36 (Kechter Rd.) and Interstate 25, on the west side of the frontage road. It is about ¼ mile east of the Fossil Lake subdivision.


On August 26, 2009, Jim Devore, Larimer County Supervising Environmental Health Specialist, sent an-email to Chief Building Official Tom Garton inquiring about the status of the property and the structures on the islands. County Health had become aware of the use of the islands for parties in the course of investigating a statewide salmonella outbreak (it should be noted there is no evidence of salmonella associated with this site). A review of county records indicated there were no building permits issued for any such structures.


On September 4, 2009, Mr. Fried called property owner John Jensen to ask permission to do an on-site inspection of the islands, to which he agreed. The subsequent inspection was performed on September 10, 2009, which revealed several pavilions, kitchens, bars, decks, and bathroom buildings requiring building permits. Building permits for commercial structures require Site Plan Review unless “the structure is being built under an approved development plan having the same detail as the site plan process, such as special review or special exception, or is accessory to a permitted agricultural use.”


While the property has gone through several planning approval processes, it has never undergone a review “having the same detail as the site plan process.”


A history of the property is as follows:


94-ZN0489 – Rezoning application from FA-1 Farming to C-Commercial, proposed use to be boat and travel trailer sales and repairs.


95-MS0717 – Request to subdivide the 63.27 acre parcel into 2 parcels of 25.39 & 37.88.

Board of County Commissioners held hearings on these requests on October 2 and November 13, 1995, approved the rezoning and preliminary plat and recorded their Findings and Resolution on December 8, 1995.


97-F3160 – A building permit for a boat sales and repair facility was issued on January 20, 1998. This structure received a certificate of occupancy on February 28, 2000.


Other building permits of record include Sign Permits 98-F5543 and 99-B1550, and Permit 03-B0090 for an addition to the sales/repair building. These permits passed final inspection and the addition received a Certificate of Occupancy on January 19, 2004.


In 2002, code compliance file 02-ZV0094 was initiated alleging the use of the property had exceeded the conditions of approval by renting out the islands for private parties and a clarification hearing was held before the Board of County Commissioners on October 7, 2002. Staff’s position was that the recreational use required Special Review. The Board of Commissioners disagreed, finding that the original approval allowed for the recreational use of the islands. A Findings & Resolution detailing the clarifications was approved by the Board of Commissioners on January 21, 2003, and recorded on January 22, 2003. The Board found that “the conditions of approval were not intended and do not preclude applicant’s use of the lake for private parties, provided parking, sanitation, and insurance issues are adequately addressed.” A letter addressing these issues was subsequently provided by applicant’s attorney, but no further review was done by county staff to see if the letter “adequately addressed” these concerns. No inventory was done of the structures on the islands, and no building permits were applied for or issued.


Given the 2002 clarification hearing, county staff does not question the use of the islands for private recreational activity, but contends that no review “having the same detail as the site plan process” has ever been done. In addition, any site plan review done at the time of rezoning and land division would not include buildings constructed after that time; therefore, the required building permit applications would trigger the Site Plan Review requirement.


Building permits are required to safeguard public health and safety by ensuring the structures meet minimum standards for structural strength, means of egress, sanitation, light, and ventilation, safety to life and property from fire and other hazards, and handicap accessibility. The Chief Building Official is concerned with occupancy of the structures absent building permits and an engineering review of their structural safety. Poudre Fire Authority has concerns about a possible lack of fire-resistant construction materials, emergency access, evacuation, and fire-fighting capacity on the islands. Concerns raised by the Health Department include potable water, sewage, food storage and preparation, and drink preparation.


The purpose of the Site Plan Review process is to ensure that all requirements of the Land Use Code and other applicable codes and standards are addressed to ensure that the site infrastructure is adequate to support the use of the proposed buildings. In addition to Site Plan Review, Flood Review Board approval may be needed because the buildings are located in the floodway and flood fringe.


Staff recommends the Board of County Commissioners find that violations of the Larimer County Land Use and Building Codes exists, require compliance with county regulations within a time determined by the Commissioners, and authorize legal action if deadlines set by the Commissioners are not met. 


Chair Rennels opened the hearing to the applicant.


John Jensen and Martin Lind addressed the Board.  Mr. Lind stated that all of the buildings on the site were in place, or at least had foundations in place, at the time of approval in 2002. Since that time, no new buildings have been added; however, some of the existing buildings have been enhanced.  Mr. Lind questioned the definition of “intensified use” and explained that there could not have been an increase in use due to the poor economy and because the use only occurs three months during the year. Finally, Mr. Lind stated that because no new buildings were added to the site and because there has been to increase in the use, a site plan review is unnecessary.


Commissioner Johnson asked Mr. Lind and Mr. Jensen if there were buildings or structures on the site now, which have not received building permits.  Mr. Jensen stated there were structures on the site, which have not received building permits. He also stated that the acquisition of building permits was not a requirement discussed during any of the previous hearings; therefore, he should not be required to obtain them or be subject to any further site-plan requirements.


Commissioner Johnson asked if a final plat would contain any information about buildings or structures on the subject property.  Mr. Lafferty stated that a plat would only contain information about the real property, such as the dimensions and boundaries. He added that a final plat does not contain the same level of detail contained within a site plan, such as information about buildings and/or structures located on the property.


Ms. Haag explained that although building permits and further site-plan reviews were not discussed during the previous hearings, or contained in the minutes for those hearings, ultimately, the governing document would be the Findings and Resolution approved by the Board of County Commissioners and recorded in the Clerk and Recorder’s Office.


Ms. Haag stated that because the original development plan had been approved as part of a request for rezoning, any deviations from that plan, such as the addition of buildings or uses, would ultimately need to be approved via an amendment to the original rezoning approval. Therefore, she suggested that the Board table the item to allow staff, and the Attorney’s Office time to fully review previous approvals.


Mr. Lind stated that this was not a rezoning or use violation and it is Mr. Jensen’s right to receive a building permit and to use his property in the manner in which he desires.


Chair Rennels noted for the record that there was no public comment for this item.


After much discussion between the Board, staff, Mr. Lind, and Mr. Jensen, it was determined that the Board did not have the information necessary to make a decision at this time.




Commissioner Johnson moved that the Board of County Commissioners table the Island Lake Marine Six-Week Code Compliance to December 28, 2009, at 3:00 p.m. to allow for further information to be gathered and reviewed.


Motion carried 3-0.


There being no further business, the hearing recessed at 5:10 p.m.





The Board of County Commissioners reconvened at 6:30 p.m. with Russ Legg, Planning Director.  Chair Rennels presided and Commissioners Donnelly and Johnson were present. Also present were:  Karlin Goggin, Building Department; Eric Tracy, Engineering Department; Doug Ryan, Environmental Health Department; Rob Helmick, Planning Department; Jeannine Haag, County Attorney’s Office; and Melissa Lohry, Deputy Clerk.


1.         LAKE AT BIGHORN CONSERVATION DEVELOPMENT PRELIMINARY PLAT, FILE #08-S2776:   This is a request for approval of a 31-lot Conservation Development.  The plan proposes a roadway along the southern and western parts of the site which will be double loaded with lots. There will be 19-lots, each over 2-acres in size, which will accommodate onsite sanitation systems and have soils suitable for that purpose.  There will also be 12-lots each roughly one acre in size and connected to a series of sanitation systems serving 2-3 lots each. The plan utilizes the 80-20% residual to developed land ratio required by the regulations for lands zoned O-Open or RE-Rural Estate.


The site was originally part of the larger Holcin ownership. When Holcin decided to leave the area, the company divided and sold the property at auction in 35-acre parcels. The applicant has been able to assemble enough of these parcels to allow for a land division proposal. The project was originally submitted to the county for review in 2007 as part of a larger, 44-lot, 458-acre subdivision; however, due to a variety of circumstances, the assembly did not hold and the applicant has reduced the current application to include only the 317-acres north of County Road 56. There was a neighborhood meeting held to discuss this application, which addressed the development, along with some of the covenant and road issues.      


At the hearing on October 2009, the Planning Commission discussed the septic and road systems and have recommended, on a split vote approval of the Conservation Development. Planning Commission members understand that based on the conditions of approval they will be required to approve a special district to support the management and operation of the sanitation system issues. Several members of the public spoke in favor of the project at the hearing including a number who had previously been opposed; however, there some design and access concerns remain.


Staff and the Planning Commission recommend approval of the Lake at Bighorn Conservation Development and an appeal to Section 8.14.2.Q of the Larimer County Land Use Code, file #08-S2776, subject to the following conditions and added conditions:


1.    The final plat shall be consistent with the approved preliminary plan and with the information contained in the Lake At Bighorn Conservation Development Preliminary Plat and Appeal to Section 8.14.Q, file #08-S2776, 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 Lake at Bighorn Conservation Development Preliminary Plat and Appeal to Section 8.14.Q.


2.    The following fees shall be collected at building permit issuance for new single family dwellings:  Poudre School District school fee, Larimer County fees for County and Regional Transportation Capital Expansion, Larimer County Regional Park Fees (in lieu of dedication) and Dry Creek drainage fees. The fee amount that is current at the time of building permit application shall apply. 


3.    Fire Requirements – All new residentially occupied structures shall be required to be fire sprinklered. 


4.    All habitable structures will require an engineered foundation system. Such engineered foundation system designs shall be based upon a site specific soils investigation. The lowest habitable floor level (basement) shall not be less than 3- feet from the seasonal high water table. Mechanical methods proposed to reduce the ground water level, unless it is a response after construction, must be proposed on a development wide basis.


5.    Passive radon mitigation measures shall be included in the 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.


6.    Eliminate the stub road at Lots 1 & 2 by reorienting the lost or providing a cul-de- sac bulb.


7.    An agreement or acknowledgement regarding the use of Curtis Lake Lane for emergency access must be submitted.


8.    The emergency access must be platted as a full Right of Way to Curtis Lake Lane.


9.    A special district with authority to manage the shared community sewer systems shall be formed prior to approval of the final plat. Note that this condition acknowledges that part of the special district approval process involves the need for approval by the Larimer County Board of Commissioners, whose decision on a request to form a district are made on based on statutory and developed policy after a formal application has been presented.


10.   The final plat submittal shall include a detailed design for the shared community sewer systems. Permits to install those systems shall be obtained by the special district from the county Department of Health and Environment prior to installation.


11.   A sewer management plan meeting the standards outlined in Section 8.1.1.B.3 of the Land Use Code shall be prepared for implementation by the special district and submitted for review and approval with the final plat.


12.   The development agreement shall provide for construction of the shared community sewer systems as part of the initial subdivision improvement process.


13.   Prior to acceptance of the subdivision for building permits, the shared community sewer systems need to be installed and accepted by both the county Department of Health and Environment and the special district that will own and manage the systems.


14.   An agreement with the Water Supply and Storage Irrigation Company must be submitted at final Plat with respect to use and access to Curtis Lake and the outlet of Curtis Lake for drainage purposes. 


15.   The traffic analysis must be updated in response to the concerns of the Engineering Department. If the new analysis results in the need for a turn lane or other road way improvements adjacent to the site or off site, they will be required.  As a part of the final plat, the applicant shall provide the appropriate plans and construction documents for review and collateralize those improvements. 


16.   The Final Use Plan for the residual lots shall clearly reflect the concerns associated with the fact that the lots do not have irrigation water available and therefore, must be carefully managed to insure that the lots do not generate dust or become a weed problem. 


17.   The Disclosure Notice for the development must clearly identify the potential for industrial noise generated by the unloading of cement at the Holcin silos to the west of the development.


18.   The Residual Land Plan must specifically address the management of those lands for horses and horse use, especially given the lack of irrigation water for the land. 


19.   The Disclosure Notice for the development must reveal the type of sanitation systems to be used, the short and long term management issues with each type of system, and an explanation of the cost and existence of the district which will manage them. 


Mr. Helmick and Mr. Ryan assured the Board that although the proposed design of the proposed development and sewer systems are complicated, both are adequate and meet all county standards.


Chair Rennels opened the hearing to public comment and Patricia Crutch from North Star Design addressed the Board on behalf of the applicant.  Ms. Crutch gave a detailed report on the background of the project and further clarified the complexities of the project.


There was no public comment on this item.


Chair Rennels thanked staff for all of their work on the project.


Commissioner Johnson asked staff if there was any concern about the timing of the project and the development of a district.  Mr. Helmick stated that staff would have to work diligently with the applicant to make sure everything was completed in the correct manner.


Commissioner Donnelly asked if the residual land would remain in the owner’s possession.  Mr. Helmick stated that the applicant wishes to deed the residual land to the home owner’s association.




Commissioner Johnson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Lake at Bighorn Conservation Development Preliminary Plat, file #08-S2776, with the conditions listed above.


Motion carried 3-0.


2.         COUNTY ROAD 27 AND COUNTY ROAD 44H ROAD NAME APPEAL:   This is a request to retain two historically and locally used road names, Buckhorn Road and Stove Prairie Road, as well as the existing numbering schemes on both. As part of the Road Naming and Site Addressing Resolution, staff has proposed changes to existing addresses on North County Road 27 and West County Road 44H in the Bellvue zip code. Staff reviewed these roads and addresses for compliance with the adopted County Code and identified multiple non-compliant schemes on these roads. Impacted property owners were notified in April of this year that non-compliant property addresses on these roads were recommended to be changed. Two members of the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department have requested an appeal to retain historically significant road naming used by residents.


The county began the rural addressing program with the intent of eliminating confusion in four major areas: 1) non-sequential numbering on continuous roads; 2) improper parity along existing roads (odds and evens switching sides on continuous roads); 3) standardization of road naming conventions; and 4) naming of unnamed roads.


The appellant seeks to retain alias road name designations in rural Larimer County rather than assume the official road name and road hierarchy designations of North County Road 27 and West County Road 44H. Alias road names are not official road names unless approved and recorded by Findings and Resolution by the Board of County Commissioners.     


The appeal is presented in two parts. 


Appeal Part 1:  Request to use the alias name Buckhorn Road for North County Road 27 from the intersection of North County Road 27 and West County Road 38E (Masonville Store) up to West County Road 44H and then in place of West County Road 44H to North County Road 63E. The applicant has requested to name this reconfigured road “Buckhorn Road” based on historic use of this name and existing address numbers.


During staff’s review of the request, the following issues were identified:


1.    There is a segment of North County Road 27 that is outside of the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department response boundary and inside the Loveland Rural Fire Department’s jurisdiction, which was already readdressed during the Rural Addressing Project’s review of the Loveland 80538 zip code. Many of these properties used North County Road 27 for addressing and some used Buckhorn Road. All of properties along this segment of road have been notified of the official address and are using North County Road 27.


2.    Not all impacted property owners support this appeal. Staff has received letters from residents in opposition to changing their North County Road 27 address to Buckhorn Road.


3.    The road segment identified in this appeal is North County Road 27 and is a continuous road to West Highway 14; however, the appeal proposes the road be re-routed, crossing over on-coming traffic at the intersection of North County Road 27 and West County Road 44H. 


Staff forwarded the appeal to the Larimer Emergency Telephone Authority (LETA) and Emergency Services. Neither entity supported the appeal; however, LETA did suggest the designation “Buckhorn Road” for the portion of North County Road 27 from the intersection of West County Road 44H to North County Road 63E.


Appeal Part 2:  Request to designate the segment of North County Road 27, from the intersection of West County Road 44H north on north to W Highway 14, “Stove Prairie Road” based on historic use of this name and existing address numbers.


During staff’s review of the request, the following issues were identified:


1.         The road, known as North County Road 27, is a continuous road and, according to the county code, shall have one continuous road name.


2.         The proposed road name change would occur at an arbitrary point in the road.


3.         The road numbering starts over at this intersection, which is non-sequential, and therefore does not meet the county code requirements for a continuous road.


Staff forwarded the appeal to LETA and Emergency Services. Both entities stated that they do not support segmenting a continuous road and desire one road name with sequential numbering. 


Ms. Goggin explained that approval of this appeal would negate the efforts to create a logical, systematic, and consistent road naming scheme in Larimer County. Furthermore, approval would not only hinder the road naming project, it also increases the potential for similar appeal pursuits, and disrupts the guiding principals for improvement as requested by various service providers within Larimer County. 


Chair Rennels opened the hearing to public comment.


Bob Gann, applicant and Chief of the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department, addressed the Board.  Mr. Gann stated that the names Buckhorn Road and Stove Prairie Road are the original names for the roads.  Mr. Gann presented photographs of the roads in question, which illustrated the relative ease in which visitors and emergency personnel could be confused by the road names proposed by staff and explained how designations contained in the appeal would clarify the confusion. 


Wes Rutt addressed the Board and stated that as a member of the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department, he would not propose or support any measure that would compromise the safety of residents.  Mr. Rutt believed that using the names “Buckhorn Road” and “Stove Prairie Road” would help clarify roads and addresses, improving the response time of emergency personnel.


Rafael Ramos, Mark Loader, John Smethurst, Carole Schriefer, Bob Cunningham, Karen England, John Benson, Phillip Porter, Dick Venarsdale, and Robert Pratter addressed the Board in favor of the road name appeal. Many cited an existing lack of continuity and confusing numbering. Many also explained the history, memories, and sense of place evoked by the names Buckhorn Road and Stove Prairie Road.


Chair Rennels closed public comment.


Commissioner Johnson thanked everyone for their wisdom and common sense. He expressed his belief in the importance of history, tradition, sense of community, and the Board’s desire to preserve them.


Commissioner Donnelly also thanked the residents who addressed the Board and Ms. Goggin for her work on the project.


Chair Rennels agreed with both Commissioners Johnson and Donnelly and echoed their sentiments.




Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the request by the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department to retain and continue the use of the traditional name of “Buckhorn Road” for the segment of road designated as North County Road 27 from the intersection of West County Road 38E to the intersection at County Road 44H, and continuing on until termination at North County Road 63E.


Commissioner Donnelly further moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the request by the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department to retain and continue the use of the traditional name of “Stove Prairie Road” for the section of road designated as North County Road 27 from the intersection at County Road 44E until its termination at West Highway 14.


Motion carried 3-0.


There being no further business, the hearing adjourned at 9:00 p.m.






The Board of County Commissioners met at 9:00 a.m. with Frank Lancaster, County Manager. Chair Rennels presided and Commissioners Donnelly and Johnson were present. Also present were:  Neil Gluckman, Donna Hart, and Deni LaRue, Commissioners’ Office; Linda Hoffman and Matt Lafferty, Planning Department; Major William Nelson and Lieutenant Sheila Davidson, Sheriff’s Office; George Haas and Jeannine Haag, County Attorney’s Office; and Melissa Lohry, Deputy Clerk.


1.         PUBLIC COMMENT:  Ken Ecton, Joan Welch, John Schmid, Rebecca Douglas, and Shelby Majors, all adjacent land owners to the Bingham Hill Estates Subdivision, addressed the Board to discuss the Pope Minor Residential Development, Tract 2 Amended Plat, file #09-S290, approved during the Land Use Hearing on October 12, 2009. The amended plat resulted in lot #2 being exempt from the restriction, “use of these lots is limited to single family residential and accessory uses only.”


Those listed above are frustrated that the Planning Department did not notify them of the scheduled hearing (even though some contacted staff and directly requested to be notified) as the amendment to the plat could affect the value of their land.


Mr. Lafferty explained to the Board that he had discussed the item with the County Attorney who advised him that the county’s code does not require notification of surrounding land owners for such applications; however, he could not explain why those who had directly expressed interest in the matter were not notified.


Mr. Ecton explained that all of the adjacent properties owners present at today’s meeting were against the request; however, at the hearing on October 12, 2009, the Board was informed, by staff and a member of the public, that all adjacent land owners were in favor of the amended plat.


Mr. Lancaster informed all members of the audience that the Board could not discuss any matters that may be pending or scheduled for future hearings.


Chair Rennels thanked everyone for expressing their concerns and bringing the matter to the Board’s attention. She request that all adjacent land owners draft a letter or email requesting future notification and explaining their concerns regarding the project.


Commissioner Johnson also thanked everyone for calling the Board’s attention to the matter.






Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the minutes for the weeks of November 23, 2009, and November 30, 2009, as published.


Motion carried 3-0.


3.         REVIEW OF THE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 14, 2009:   Ms. Hart reviewed the upcoming schedule with the Board.


4.         CONSENT AGENDA:




Commissioner Johnson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the consent agenda as it appears below:


ABATEMENTS:   As proposed by the County Assessor, the following Petitions for Abatement were presented for approval:  Richards Lake LLC; Avago Technologies Holding PTC LTD. As proposed by the County Assessor, the following Petitions for Abatement were presented for denial:  Didelphimorphia Marsupiolia LLC; Ronald and Pamela Feise; and Glen Sysum.












MISCELLANEOUS:   Letter of Support for Great Outdoors Colorado Open Space Acquisition Project.


LIQUOR LICENSE:  The following licenses were approved and issued:  Windjammer Roadhouse & Tavern – Tavern – Loveland.


Motion carried 3-0.


5.         SEMI-ANNUAL UPDATE WITH JAY HARDY:   Jay Hardy from McWhinney Enterprises appeared before the Board to provide an update on many of the projects underway. Mr. Hardy stated that the Crossroads Boulevard and Interstate 25 interchange is moving along as planned and should be completed by mid-June. Similarly, the Interstate 25 and Highway 34 interchange is also on schedule and will take close to a year to complete.


Mr. Hardy also touched on other projects currently underway by McWhinney Enterprises including the status of office buildings in the Centerra area and a high-end apartment complex, which is scheduled to be completed in 2010.


Finally, Mr. Hardy noted that the lending institution began the foreclosure process on the Promenade Shops at Centerra in early November.


Chair Rennels thanked Mr. Hardy for addressing the Board and providing updates.  


6.         REQUEST TO REINSTATE ALTERNATIVE SENTENCING UNIT SERVICES SPECIALIST 1 FTE:   Major Nelson addressed the Board to request the reinstatement of one Alternative Sentencing Unit Services Specialist. Major Nelson explained that due to budget constraints, the Sheriff’s Office had to eliminate three positions in the Alternative Sentencing Unit, which ultimately caused an increase in overtime and personnel burn-out. Due to the reconfiguring of funds for the upcoming year, the office has the necessary funds to fill one of the positions.


Commissioner Johnson clarified that there would not be any increased services, just better service in the department.




Commissioner Johnson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the reinstatement/addition of one Alternative Sentencing Unit Services Specialist I for budget year 2010.


Motion carried 3-0.


7.         RECONSTRUCTION OF HORSE BUSINESS FACILITY REGULATIONS STUDY WORKING GROUP:   Ms. Hoffman addressed the Board and explained that the Horse Business Facility Regulations Working Group’s final recommendations were presented to the Planning Commission on November 18, 2009. At that hearing, the Planning Commission noted the recommendations lacked sufficient detail and many were contrary to county staff recommendations; therefore, the Planning Commission tabled the recommendations and directed the working group and staff to work together on revisions.


Ms. Hoffman further explained that because the Board sent notes to all of the working group members thanking them for their service, she would like a formal request from the Board, to the original members, requesting they reconvene.


Chair Rennels agreed that it would be appropriate for the Board to request that the working group reconvene.




Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the reconstitution of the Horse Business Facility Regulations Working Group by sending letters of invitation to the original 21 members.


Motion carried 3-0.


8.         PROJECT ADVISORY TEAM FOR THE REGIONAL FOOD SYSTEM ASSESSMENT:   Ms. Hoffman requested guidance from the Board about assembling a project advisory team to aid in the completion of the Regional Food Assessment. The assessment, to study the production, processing, distribution, marketing, consumer access, and public health implications and is partially funded by a grant from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. Other participants in the study are Boulder County, Weld County, and the Fort Collins Downtown Development Authority.


Ms. Hoffman offered to provide the Board with a list of qualified individuals for approval and appointment to the advisory team.


Chair Rennels stated it would probably be best if Ms. Hoffman provided the Board with suggestions as she is most familiar with the project. 


9.         LARIMER COUNTY LEGISLATIVE POSITION GUIDE:   Mr. Gluckman addressed the Board to request approval of the 2010 Larimer County Legislative Guide. The guide was originally developed to identify topics of importance to the county, summarize the county’s position on issues that affect its governance, and provide general direction to staff on legislative issues.


The Board reviewed the guide and Commissioner Johnson asked Mr. Gluckman to add information regarding the Board’s position on the urban renewal authority.


Chair Rennels and Commissioner Donnelly agreed with Commissioner Johnson.




Commissioner Johnson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Larimer County Legislative Position Guide for 2010, with the addition of the county’s position on the urban renewal authority.


Motion carried 3-0. 


10.       APPOINTMENTS TO THE LARIMER EMERGENCY TELEPHONE AUTHORITY (LETA):  Mr. Lancaster informed the Board that Sherri Wagner, Chief of the Timnath Police Department, has withdrawn her name from the running for the LETA Board of Advisors. Therefore, the Board had only one person to consider for appointment, Wes Kufeld, Chief of the Estes Park Police Department.


After some discussion regarding the lack of diversity on the LETA Board of Advisors, the Commissioners agreed to approve the appointment of Chief Kufeld.




Commissioner Donnelly moved that Board of County Commissioners approve the appointment of Wes Kufeld, Chief of the Estes Park Police Department, as the representative of small towns in Larimer County, to a two-year term on the Larimer Emergency Telephone Authority, beginning January 1, 2010.


Motion carried 3-0.


11.       COUNTY MANAGER WORKSESSION:  Chair Rennels requested the Board review an email sent from Councilwoman Boykins. The email contained a request for each county to draft and approve a resolution addressing concerns about railroads in their region. It is Ms. Boykins desire to improve communications between counties and railroads.


The Board agreed that there was a significant need to improve communications and provided direction to Mr. Gluckman to collect department input to present a draft resolution for approval.


12.       COMMISSIONER ACTIVITY REPORTS:  The Board detailed their activities over the past week.


13.       LEGAL MATTERS:  Mr. Haas requested the Board go into executive session for conferences with an attorney regarding specific legal questions, with no decision to follow.




Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners go into Executive Session to for conferences with an attorney regarding specific legal questions, as outlined in 24-6-402(4)(b) C.R.S.


Motion carried 3-0.


There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 11:35 a.m.






                        KATHAY RENNELS, CHAIR











Melissa E. Lohry, Deputy Clerk


Background Image: Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson. All rights reserved.