Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson
> Meetings & Minutes > Commissioners' Minutes > BCC Minutes for 12/13/10  




Monday, December 13, 2010





The Board of County Commissioners met at 3:00 p.m. with Matt Lafferty, Principal Planner.  Chair Johnson presided and Commissioners Donnelly and Gaiter were present.  Also present were:  Toby Stauffer, Rob Helmick, Michael Whitley, and Brenda Gimeson, Planning Department;  Jeff Goodell, Engineering Department; Karlin Goggin, Building Department; Eric Fried, Code Compliance; Jeannine Haag, County Attorney; and Tamara Slusher, Deputy Clerk.


Chair Johnson opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and asked for public comment on the Land Use Code and County Budget.  No one from the audience addressed the Board regarding these topics.


ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP AWARDS:  The Board presented the 16th Annual Environmental Stewardship Awards to the following nominees:


  1. Big Thompson Elementary School of Nature and Science , for their innovative educational approach involving students, teachers, and community partners in a comprehensive program spanning the elementary curriculum which creates opportunities for learning and action.  For example, the 3rd grade Green Team students are responsible for sorting and managing materials collected for the recycling program.  The 5th grade Worm Wranglers monitor and promote a worm composting project for cafeteria waste. Together these two programs have reduced cafeteria waste by over 40%.  An important benefit to the students continues to be the partnerships with area agencies.


  1. Wes Rutt, for his tireless efforts to empower landowners to manage their forested property to counter the effects of mountain pine beetles.  Through Beetle Busters, Mr. Rutt is leading a major effort to help teach people how to treat infected trees on their property.  Volunteers trained through the Beetle Busters are available to help landowners with management efforts, accomplished through site visits, identification assistance, flagging of beetle-infested trees, and providing accurate information on removal and treatment of infested trees.  The pine beetle epidemic affects public and private lands and is unprecedented in scale.  It is easy for a private landowner to give up in the face of such destruction.  Wes Rutt and the Beetle Busters provide help to these landowners by empowering them with the technical support and knowledge they need to take action. 


  1. EnergyLogic , for their serious and sustained efforts to promote energy efficient new homes.  EnergyLogic provides energy auditing and rating services to help builders construct and certify homes under the EPA’s Energy Star program.  Through their business model, the company has provided services to over 100 home builders and trained over 400 energy raters and auditors.  This effort greatly increases the impact that one company can make for energy conservation.  Homes built to Energy Star standards are more comfortable and provide a healthier indoor environment, plus they ensure long-term savings on energy bills while protecting the environment.  EnergyLogic has helped improve over 10,000 new homes in Colorado.  They have also helped to raise the knowledge and skill of home builders who build new houses.  


  1. Rocky Mountain Raptor Program , for their commitment to community education about raptors and their importance in the natural environment.  The raptor program has been rescuing and rehabilitating sick, injured and orphaned raptors in Colorado since 1979.  The genius of the program is that they fully understand the inspirational value of these magnificent birds.  Last year the Rocky Mountain Raptor program provided 130 presentations to 51 schools, 16 children’s organizations, and 63 various adult and family groups.  These presentations allowed more than 11,000 audience members to gain knowledge about raptors and conservation.  In addition, program staff and volunteers host booths at community events like New West Fest in Fort Collins. Our modern lifestyle means that many people to not have an opportunity to experience raptors in the wild.  The Rocky Mountain Raptor program brings an important and inspirational piece of our natural environment to children and adults throughout the region.


  1. National Center for Craftsmanship , for their DeConstruct Training Program.  The National Center for Craftsmanship is a Fort Collins based non-profit organization founded in 2006 with the goal of preserving and enhancing quality craftsmanship.  The DeConstruct Training Program is an integral part of the Center.  Existing buildings that are slated to be torn down are utilized in a unique training program that involves educators, trainers, private contractors and students.  Buildings are carefully dismantled and the materials are salvaged, sold or recycled.  To date, the projects have diverted hundreds of tons of materials from landfills.  Students benefit by learning construction and conservation techniques through the deconstruction process.  Property owners benefit because they are able to credit the reduction of waste for their new construction project under the United States Green Building Council’s LEED certification program.  Our community benefits not only from the reduced landfill burden, but also from the energy and material savings that are achieved through saving useable materials. 


Chair Johnson explained that the following items are on the consent agenda and would not be discussed unless requested by the Board, staff, or members of the audience.  A member of the audience requested that Item 4 be pulled from the agenda for further discussion.  The amended consent agenda is as follows:


1.         EMGE/WHITAKER AMENDED R.L.U.P. AND AMENDED PLAT FOR LOT 1 AND RESIDUAL LOT A:  This is a request to amend the Emge/Whitaker R.L.U.P. and the plat for Lot 1 and Residual Lot A.  This property is located approximately two miles southwest of Loveland, approximately one half mile southwest of County Road 18 and County Road 23E, west of Old Stage Road on Golden Valley Road.  The property is currently zoned O-Open and that will not change as a result of this application. 


The Emge/Whitaker R.L.U.P. received final approval in August of 2006.  The project contained 70-acres and was approved with two residual lots (each allowing a single-family dwelling and agricultural support buildings), and two new single-family residential lots.  Each of the residual lots contain a building envelope that limits the development area and restricts future development and the use of that property for open space and agricultural purposes.  The developers/owners currently live on the property and neither of the two new lots have been sold or developed.


In October of 2010, the landowners approached the County and requested a re-configuration of the lot lines of Residual Lot A and Lot 1 in the Emge/Whitaker Rural Land Plan.  No new residential lots will be created but the home site locations will change.  The location of Lot 1 will be modified and be placed around the existing home site and outbuildings.  The location of the allowed home site for Residual Lot A will be moved into a bowl area suited for development to build a new home.  Because the building envelope size is increasing for the revised Lot 1 to encompass the entire lot, the total buildable area will increase from 6.596 to 9.875 acres. 


The existing and proposed configurations are as follows: 


Existing Lot Configuration: 


Lot Name


Buildable Area

Residual Lot A


2.583 acre building envelope for existing residence and outbuildings, plus a 2.013 acre building envelope for agricultural support buildings

Lot 1


2.0 acre building envelope for one home site and outbuildings



6.596 acres


Proposed Lot Configuration:


Lot Name


Buildable Area

Residual Lot A


3.444 acre building envelope for new residence and outbuildings, plus a 1.431 acre building envelop for agricultural support buildings

Lot 1


No building envelope, entire 5 acre buildable lot



9.875 acres


There will be no changes in existing access, drainage, or rights-of-way.  Access to the property will continue from Golden Valley Road and no new road cuts will be made as each lot will access via an existing driveway.  There will be a new easement created across Residual Lot A for utilities and access to serve the revised lots, but this easement will maintain the current use.  Any existing covenants, deed restrictions, and other conditions of approval which applied to the original lots will continue to apply to the new lots.


There were five responses from technical referral agencies with no major concerns reported.


Staff recommends approval of the Emge/Whitaker Amended RLUP and Amended Plat for Residual Lot A and Lot 1 (File # 10-S2994) subject to the following conditions and authorization for the chair to sign the plat when the conditions are met and documents are presented for signature: 


1.   All conditions of approval shall be met and the Final Plat recorded by June 13, 2011, or this approval shall be null and void.


2.   Prior to the recordation of the Final Plat the application shall make the technical corrections required by Dale Greer, Land Surveyor of the Larimer County Engineering Department.


2.         EAST MULBERRY SUBDIVISION LOT 15A UTILITY EASEMENT VACATION:   This is a request to vacate a 12 foot utility easement on the property with the intention of relocating the existing overhead line and dedicating a new easement for the overhead power line south of the current location.  No other utilities will be affected by this application.  The request will allow for an addition to the existing commercial/industrial building.  A setback variance for the building and the addition was approved by the Board of Adjustment on November 16, 2010.  A site plan and building permit application, which are required to address the changes to the building and the allowed use, will follow this application.


This application was forwarded to the appropriate departments and agencies for comment with no major concerns reported. The Development Services Team recommends approval of East Mulberry Subdivision Lot 15A Utility Easement Vacation, File # 10-S3000.


3.         AMENDMENTS TO LARIMER COUNTY LAND USE CODE SECTION 10.0 – SIGNS, FILE #10-CA0112:   Proposed amendments to Section 10.0 are considered minor in nature and were discussed with the Board of County Commissioners and Planning Commissioners at a work session on September 8, 2010.  The majority of the discussion centered on a change to Section 10.13, Sign Permits.  The revisions to Section 10.13 include modification of the sign plan review process, eliminating the requirement for a formal sign plan, and replacing the sign plan requirement with a sign inventory form.  The new process would no longer have a fee and is intended to speed up the sign permitting process.  Staff is also proposing a few housekeeping amendments to the rest of the section as detailed below.


On October 21, 2010, Planning staff hosted an open house for the public to come in and review the proposed changes to Section 10 and provide comments.  Notification of the open house was sent to a list of sign contractors on September 27, 2010.  At the event, staff was available from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the County Courthouse Offices Building.  There were no attendees from the sign industry or the public.  Prior to the open house, contractors and interested parties had the opportunity to request copies of the proposed changes and make comments.  Ten copies of the proposed code were sent out to interested parties and two sets of comments were received.  


On October 28, 2010, the Planning Commission reviewed the code amendments.  Discussion primarily centered around the comments provided on the amendments, which related mostly to engineering requirements for signs.  The current requirements are outlined in the building code and will be addressed by working with the Building Department on possible changes.  Staff will also prepare handouts and other information material that will help contractors and applicants to understand the requirements for signage.  Staff does not believe that any additional code amendments relating to engineering requirements are necessary at this time.


The proposed amendments to the Larimer County Land Use Code, Section 10 – Signs, File #10-CA0112 are as follows:


Modify section 10.2 General sign regulations as follows:


A. The regulations of this section 10.0 shall apply to all signs in all zoning districts including signs not requiring a sign permit, except for official government signs, address numerals, street name signs, and bus stop signs.


B. Signs may not be placed on or over public roads or rights-of-way unless approval from the Road and Bridge Director has been given. Signs may not be placed in road or access easements, except for utility warning signs. On private property, signs can be placed in private utility easements.


Modify section 10.5 Prohibited signs as follows:


G. Inflatable signs such as blimps, animals, inflatable representations of a product for sale and other inflatable devices used for the purposes of advertising or attracting attention, but not including ordinary balloons with a diameter of two feet or less that are used for temporary noncommercial displays.

Modify section 10.6 Signs not requiring a sign permit as follows:


Due to their small size, limited time duration, limited aesthetic impact and strong community interest in identifying land uses, locations and historic structures, the following signs may be erected without a sign permit, but shall meet all applicable standards of this section 10.0 and any other applicable requirements of the county including requirements for building permits, and requirements of the State of Colorado.


All signs are limited to six feet in height, except rural property identification signs located on entryway arches over private driveways. If any sign in this section exceeds the limits stated herein; an appeal to the requirement must be approved by the Board of County Commissioners and a sign permit shall be obtained from the Building Department.


J. Home occupation signs. Signs for home occupations shall be limited to one sign per property, not to exceed three four square feet in area per face and six feet in height, located on the same lot as the home occupation.


Item R moved to be item K, renumber the remainder of the section


K. A home occupation may have one temporary on or off premises directional sign that is located on private property no farther from the subject parcel than the nearest arterial road, has a one or two sided sign face that is no more than nine square feet per face, a sign height no more than six feet, and is in place only during allowed retail sales events.


O. Real estate signs. One sign per street frontage on the property being advertised. Each real estate sign advertising a single-family or two-family dwelling unit is limited to eight square feet in area per face and six feet in height. Each real estate sign advertising vacant land or development other than single-family or two-family development is limited to 48 square feet in area per face and six feet in height. Real estate signs may not be illuminated.


P. Regulatory signs.


R. A home occupation may have one temporary on or off premises directional sign that is located on private property no farther from the subject parcel than the nearest arterial road, has a one or two sided sign face that is no more than nine square feet per face, a sign height no more than eight feet, and is in place only during allowed retail sales events.


Modify section 10.8 Temporary commercial signs as follows: 

B.  The temporary sign permit may specify such conditions and limitations as are deemed necessary to protect adjoining properties and the public. The permit may not be approved for a time period that exceeds 30 consecutive days and a total of 50 days in any calendar year for each property, or each business in a multi-tenant center.


Add Section E

E. If a temporary sign remains up for longer than 30 days, the sign will be considered a permanent sign, it will require a sign permit and all other regulations in this section 10 apply.


Modify section 10.13 Sign permits, as follows:


C. Approval criteria. No permit for a new sign shall be approved unless such sign is in conformance with the requirements of this section 10 and includes a with a Non-Residential Property Sign Inventory form. an approved sign plan if applicable.


D. Sign Plans Non-Residential Property Sign Inventory Form.


1. A sign plan inventory form shall be approved submitted prior to or concurrent with the issuance of a sign permit for any permanent sign in a nonresidential district.


2. The plan form shall may include a graphic representation or photos showing a comprehensive detailed presentation of all existing and/or proposed signage for the subject property.


3. Properties and uses subject to the site plan requirement in Section 6 of the Larimer County Land Use Code may include a sign plan inventory form as part of the site plan review process.


Modify section 10.14.B as follows:


2.  a new sign is added to the property; or


3.  a change to any sign except in the content of a sign occurs on the property; or


4.  an extension of non-conforming sign agreement has expired.


Add Section 10.14.C and renumber the remainder of the section


C. If the conditions listed in 10.14.B have not been met, a non-conforming sign can remain on a property with an extension of non-conforming sign agreement signed by the owner of the property. An extension agreement allows an owner to keep a non-conforming sign for seven years from the date of a change on the property or until an appeal for the sign(s) has been approved by the Board of County Commissioners.


Modify section 10.15 Definitions as follows:


Bus stop sign.  Signs located on benches or shelters placed in the public rights-of-way or in private property adjacent to public rights-of-way at a bus stop pursuant to a written agreement with the county which sets forth the regulations for the size, content, placement, design and materials used in the construction of said signs, benches and shelters. 


Regulatory sign. A sign having the primary purpose of conveying information concerning rules, ordinances, or laws.


Under the definition of ‘sign’


(4) Flags of the United States of America, provided that such flags are sized and displayed in such a manner that they do not extend beyond the property lines of the property upon which they are located, and that they do not interfere with utility lines.



5.         LAKE AT BIG HORN CONSERVATION DEVELOPMENT TIME EXTENSION:   This application is a request for a one year extension of the original deadline for approval of the preliminary plat for Lake at Big Horn Conservation Development. 


The applicant received approval of the preliminary plat for this 31-lot Conservation Development on December 7, 2009, with a findings and resolution date January 14, 2010.  In that time no application for final plat has been submitted.  The Larimer County Land Use Code provides for an applicant to request an extension of the preliminary plat approval and the applicant is requesting the Board of County Commissioners grant a one year extension.


The applicable Larimer County Land Use Code language is as follows, with emphasis added to the applicable sections:


5.13.4.I .


Time limit for completion. Preliminary plat approvals are effective for one year. If a complete final plat application is not submitted to the planning department within one year of preliminary plat approval, the preliminary plat approval will automatically expire.



Extensions of preliminary plat approvals.


1.   The county commissioners may extend the effective period of a preliminary plat for good cause. The applicant must request the extension in writing prior to expiration of the preliminary plat.


2.   Notice of a hearing to consider an extension request will be given under notice requirements for county commissioner consideration of a preliminary plat.


3.   The county commissioners will consider the following criteria when reviewing a preliminary plat extension request:


a.   Conditions in the neighborhood have not changed significantly since the original approval;


b.   The approved preliminary plat is consistent with any amendments to this code adopted since the original approval; and


c.   The applicant demonstrates that the extension is necessary because there have been factors beyond his or her control that prevented the submittal of the final plat for this project.


The Development Services team finds that this request is appropriate under Section 5.13.4.J and recommends approval of the Lake At Bighorn Conservation Development Time Extension, File # 08-S2776 subject to the following conditions:


1.   A complete final plat application shall be submitted no later than January 14, 2012.


2.   All original conditions of approval shall remain in force and effect.




Commissioner Gaiter moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Consent Agenda as presented and outlined above.


Motion carried 3-0.


4.         BOWSER APPEAL, FILE #10-G0205:   This application would allow the applicant to utilize a single wide mobile home as a storage building on the property.  The mobile home was previously located on the property as a home but was recently replaced by a newer double wide home.  An existing storage building was on the property and removed due to structural issues.  Originally the discussions with the applicant indicated a desire to use this building on a temporary basis; however, the application does not reflect that information.  The applicant suggests in his materials that this structure is no longer a “mobile home” due to structural changes.  The relevant code language is noted below, emphasis is added. 


4.3.10. D Storage buildings and garages. Each lot may include detached storage buildings 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 and garages on a lot cannot exceed ten percent of the lot's net area. Semitrailers with attached running gear (i.e. axels, wheels) cannot be used as storage buildings or garages. Only those buildings that are designed, constructed and approved by the Larimer County Building Department as storage buildings or garages may be used for this purpose. Manufactured homes, including pre-1974 mobile homes, cannot be used as storage buildings, barns or garages.  


 The Development Services Team finds that this request can meet the requirements of the Larimer County Land Use Code assuming that the use is temporary in nature and will not have a negative impact on the surrounding area.


Joseph Bowser addressed the Board and described the improvements made to the mobile home on the property and requested an extension to staff’s timeframe for removal.  Discussion ensued regarding the temporary storage, and ongoing renovations.  


The Development Services Team recommends Approval of the Bowser Appeal file # 10-G0205 subject to the following conditions as amended by the Board:


1.   The applicant shall obtain all required permits, permissions, approvals, and inspections from the Larimer County Building Department as directed prior to the use of the structure.


2.   The applicant shall remove the single wide mobile home structure no later than five years from the date of approval or January 1, 2016.




Commissioner Gaiter moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Bowser Appeal, File #10-G0205, subject to the conditions as amended and outlined above.


Motion carried 3-0.


6.         ROBERTS ZONING VIOLATION, FILE #09-CC0110:   The property owner is in violation of Larimer County Land Use Code Section 4.1.1. A (FA - Farming – Allowed Uses) by virtue of operating Longmont Sweeping & Striping Services LLC from his residentially zoned property.


This property is on the north side of Southwest 42nd Street (County Road 14), approximately one quarter mile east of South Taft Avenue (County Road 17), between Loveland and Berthoud.  The property is Lot 3 of Crown Minor Residential Development and is a little over 3 acres in size. Lot sizes in the neighborhood range from one quarter acre to 35 acres.  Uses are primarily residential and agricultural, with some institutional and utility uses in the general area.


Notice of this hearing was mailed certified and regular mail to the owners, and by regular mail to all adjacent property owners within 500 feet of the property.


The Code Compliance section received a complaint on April 20, 2009, that Mr. Roberts was operating a commercial street sweeping company from his property that involved street cleaning vehicles being driven “in and out of the property at all hours of the day and night,” painting and maintenance of vehicles, storage of waste oil and fuel, outdoor storage of vehicles, excessive amounts of trash, and possible occupancy of the property by more than one family.


This is the third zoning violation file initiated for the same complaint on this site (prior file numbers are 01-ZV0163 and 03-ZV0132).  In each case, once the county got involved, the property owner responded by cleaning up the violation temporarily.  On October 18, 2004, the Board of County Commissioners found a violation of the Land Use Code and required compliance within 30 days. The Zoning Code Enforcement Officer performed a follow-up inspection on January 19, 2005, and noted that the cars had been removed but has the business been removed from the property?  A note logged on the parcel in May, 2007, shows Rich Grossman with County Environmental Health Department forwarded another complaint about outdoor storage, trash, and health hazards. 


Because the county attorney dismissed the earlier legal case without prejudice, a new file was initiated in 2009. Code Compliance Officer Eric Fried met Mr. Roberts on-site on June 15, 2009.  The inspection did not reveal anyone living in any buildings other than the house, and at that time there was one Longmont Street Sweeping trailer attached to a pickup truck parked on site next to a fuel tank.  Numerous other vehicles were verified to be parked in a commercial storage yard approximately one mile away. 


On June 18, 2009, Code Compliance received another complaint that Mr. Roberts was operating a “large scale industrial business out of a residence.” Code Compliance Officer Fried offered to arrange a meeting between Mr. Roberts and planning staff to discuss possible uses of the property by right or with planning approval, and Mr. Roberts agreed.  That meeting occurred with County Planner Sean Wheeler on June 30, 2009.  Mr. Wheeler asked for a letter detailing the use of the property so he could determine whether a Home Occupation Registration certificate was appropriate or necessary.  Mr. Roberts provided two brief letters, the first stating, “We have no outside storage…We take phone calls at this residence only.”  The second letter added that, “I only keep one vehicle here at my property…All of my employees drive to my other property where I keep all of my snow plows and sweepers.”  Mr. Wheeler has indicated to Code Compliance Officer Fried that he never received a full explanation of the extent of the business use to allow him to determine what planning approval, if any, would be necessary to allow the street sweeping use, nor has Mr. Roberts ever filed a Home Occupation Registration Certificate. 


Code Compliance Officer Fried has driven by the property on several occasions and noted street sweepers, trailers, and pickups parked outside, as well as equipment and debris. 


On November 2, 2010, a complaint was received regarding the same illegal use.  Code Compliance Officer Fried visited the site on November 8, 2010, and found several commercial vehicles parked on the site, and Mr. Roberts and an employee performing maintenance on a street sweeper attachment in one of the garages.  Mr. Roberts offered to clean the site, but Code Compliance Officer Fried indicated that because of the ongoing and recurring nature of the violation, he would schedule a hearing before the Board of County Commissioners.


Adjoining property owners have raised concerns about impacts on their safety and quality of life from noise, lights, dust, and vehicle traffic caused by this business.  The site is a residential lot, and property owners may reasonably assume that adjoining residential properties will not become commercial in nature.


Staff findings are as follows:


1.   The property is zoned FA- Farming;

2.   Principal uses allowed in the FA zoning for this lot include agriculture, single family residential and residential group homes; and

3.   The property is being used for commercial purposes, specifically Longmont Sweeping and Striping Services LLC.


Staff recommends that the Board of County Commissioners find that a violation exists, require compliance with the Larimer County Land Use Code, set a deadline for compliance and authorize legal action if the deadline is not met or if the violation recurs in the future.  The following items must be completed in order to reach compliance with the Larimer County Land Use Code:  either cease the commercial use, or restrict it to comply with the Home Occupation requirements of Land Use Code Section 4.3.10 B.


Mr. Roberts addressed the Board and expressed regret for the reoccurrence of this issue, stating that he will do everything he can to comply and reduce the amount of business related traffic and activities on the property.  Discussion ensued regarding home occupation and Mr. Roberts’ compliance options.


Chair Johnson opened the hearing to public comment and Philip Bearly, Jeanne Ann Steffens, Susan Pond, Andrew Givan, and Marty Pond spoke in support of ending all business operations at the property, citing concerns regarding rubbish, traffic, noise, disrespect for neighboring properties, chemical safety violations, and adverse impacts to the surrounding neighborhood.


Ed Kahle, Glenn Hodges, Debbie Torrez, and Bonnie Torrez spoke in opposition of ceasing business operations, stating that Mr. Roberts has made many attempts to comply with zoning regulations while making great effort to reduce the impacts to neighboring properties.


Discussion ensued regarding the differences between a home occupation as a use by right, versus an application for a Minor Special Review.  Staff explained that there are distinct differences, for example square footage and the type of business, and Mr. Roberts has the option of pursuing either resolution.




Commissioner Gaiter moved that the Board of County Commissioners find that a violation of the Larimer County Land Use Code exists, require compliance, cease operation of the commercial use, and remove all outdoor storage of junk and debris within 30 days.  The Board further authorizes legal action if the deadlines are not met or the violation recurs in the future.


Motion carried 3-0.


There being no further business, the hearing recessed at 4:40 p.m.






The Board of County Commissioners reconvened at 6:30 p.m. with Matt Lafferty, Principal Planner.  Chair Johnson presided and Commissioners Donnelly and Gaiter were present.  Also present were:  Eric Tracy, Engineering Department; Linda Hoffman, Planning Director; Tom Garton, Building Department; Jeannine Haag, County Attorney; and Tamara Slusher, Deputy Clerk. 


Chair Johnson opened the hearing and asked for public comment on the Land Use Code and County Budget.  Sandy Lemberg spoke in reference to the County’s choice in the naming of Kings Canyon Road and asked the Board to consider changing this name to something more historically traditional such as Boyd Gulch, or Boyd Creek. 


1.         SHOW CAUSE HEARING FOR POPE SPECIAL REVIEW:   On May 10, 2010, the Board of County Commissioners approved the Pope Special Reviews for a Community Hall and Seasonal Camp.  The Board’s action included conditions of approval that were intended to insure that compatibility with the surrounding neighborhood would be achieved. 


In response to a series of complaints received from neighbors alleging that the conditions of approval were not being met, the County Commissioners conducted a show cause hearing on the Pope Special Review on August 9, 2010.  At the conclusion of that hearing, based on the information presented, the Board voted to find that the applicant had met the conditions of approval to host events outside the building since no permits were required for such activities.


The Planning and Building Services Division continues to receive information from direct observation, the applicant, and the surrounding neighbors regarding activities at the Bingham Hill Events Center.  Some of this information suggests that some of these activities are not within the operational boundaries set forth in the conditions of approval.  On Tuesday, October 19, 2010, several neighboring property owners of the Bingham Hill Events Center attended the public comment portion of the Administrative Matters meeting of the Larimer County Board of County Commissioners.  The Commissioners referred the materials presented to the Planning Director and asked for an analysis of the situation and a recommendation for what action, if any, the County should take next.  Staff returned to Administrative Matters on November 2, 2010, at which time direction was given to set this issue for a second show cause hearing. 


In staff’s opinion, several of the Special Review conditions of approval have been violated.  Some of the violations have since been remedied by actions taken by Mr. Pope.  A summary of the conditions, the possible violations, and the current status of these issues is as follows:


Condition Number 2:  The site is to be developed consistent with the approved plan.


Possible Violation:  The approved site plan shows two round figures on either side of the pond.  At the time of the Special Review hearing it was known and discussed that the northeastern one was covered.  The one southwest of the pond was a deck and railing.  Mr. Pope added a roof to convert the southwestern deck to a gazebo.  The structure is in excess of 120 square feet and requires a building permit, which was not approved by the Special Review.


Current Status:  Mr. Pope has expressed reluctance to either remove the roof or limit the gazebo’s use to private purposes accessory to the residential use on the property.  Staff believes that a commercial building permit cannot be issued for the gazebo because it was not approved by the Special Review. 


Mr. Pope has further indicated his desire to construct other structures for use in his business operations beyond those shown on the site plan and approved by Special Review.


Condition Number 2 (continued):  The applicant shall be subject to all other verbal or written representations and commitments of the record for the Pope Special Review.


Possible Violation:  The applicant agreed to limit noise from amplified music by either holding events inside the gymnasium or in tent structures with side walls nearest neighboring properties. Outdoor events were held in open tents with amplified sound systems.


Current Status:  A certificate of occupancy has now been issued for the gymnasium which will allow events to be held indoors. However, due to fire code requirements, the building occupancy is limited to 99 people.


Condition Number 9:  Prior to use, the applicant must secure a Change of Use Permit from Larimer County and approval from the Poudre Fire Authority.


Possible Violation:  At least one event was held in the gymnasium prior to Fire Authority Approval and issuance of a permanent Certificate of Occupancy.


Current Status:  A permanent Certificate of Occupancy is in place.


Condition Number 10:  Specifies the limitations for number and size of events.


Possible Violation:  An event was held on August 14, 2010, in excess of maximum size allowed (130 persons allowed, 147 attended).


Current Status:  No other violations are currently known.  Formal quarterly reporting mechanism was put into place to aid staff in monitoring number and size of events relative to approvals. 


In accordance with Condition 3 of the Finding and Resolution for the Pope Special Review, this hearing is being scheduled to understand what the specific issues of the neighborhood are and what conditions are not being complied with.  As part of this hearing the Board will determine future courses of action which can range from finding no violation of conditions of approval to revocation of the approval of the Special Review. 


Mr. Pope was notified of the complaints and indicated that he would be available at the hearing to respond to the concerns raised by the neighbors and staff.


The Development Services Team recommends that the Board require that all activities associated with the Pope Special Review cease unless they are in compliance with the approved site plan, conditions of approval, and representations made at the approval hearing.


Chad Myers and Ron Gonzales, Assistant Fire Marshals for the Poudre Fire Authority, addressed the Board’s concerns regarding the fire code, the temporary and permanent certificates of occupancy, ongoing court action regarding Mr. Pope’s violations of fire code regulations, and the maximum occupancy of the building.


Mr. Pope addressed the Board stating that he is aware that he has violated the original conditions of approval for the Special Review.  Mr. Pope commented on his future development needs, as well as the conditions of approval and their restrictions on his business.  Discussion ensued regarding the parking provided, the maximum occupancy of the community hall, the noise levels at the property, signage currently displayed at the front of the property, and the extraneous nature of the complaints made against his family and business. 


Commissioner Johnson opened the hearing for public comment and Ken Ecton, Shelby Majors, John Hurst, and David Twedt spoke in favor of the Board finding that a violation exists and ceasing business operations citing Mr. Pope’s failure to comply to the conditions of approval, excessive noise, and violations of fire code that have occurred on the property.


John Cooper, Sheryl Pope, Debbie Dirks, Reid Pope, Egan Pope, and Connie Jesser spoke in opposition to finding a violation stating that Mr. Pope has made desperate attempts at compliance, and easing the impacts to the surrounding neighbors.  Roger Morgan, a former Planning Commission member, spoke briefly regarding the intent of the Land Use Code and other situations where Special Review conditions of approval were violated.


Chair Johnson closed public comment and discussion ensued regarding the violations of conditions of approval.  Staff discussed the possibilities of legal action if the conditions were not adhered to as well as the possibility of revocation of the special review as it pertained to the community hall. 




Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners approval of the Special Review for the Community Hall be revoked.


Motion carried 2-1.  Commissioner Gaiter dissenting.


The hearing adjourned at 10:08 p.m. with no further action taken.








The Board of County Commissioners met at 9:00 a.m. with Frank Lancaster, County Manager.  Chair Johnson presided, and Commissioners Donnelly and Gaiter were present.  Also present were:  Pam Stultz, Human Resources; Carol Block, Finance Director; Linda Hoffman, Planning Director; Jeannine Haag, County Attorney; Donna Hart, and Deni LaRue, Commissioners’ Office; and Tamara Slusher, Deputy Clerk.


1.         PUBLIC COMMENT:  There was no public comment.






Commissioner Gaiter moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the minutes for the week of December 6, 2010.


Motion carried 3-0.


3.         REVIEW OF THE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 20, 2010:   Ms. Hart reviewed the upcoming schedule with the Board.


4.         CONSENT AGENDA:




Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the consent agenda, as outlined below:


PETITIONS FOR ABATEMENT:  As recommended by the Larimer County Assessor, the following petitions for abatement are approved:  Sunrise Ridge, LLC (as to Parcel Numbers R1642234 through R1642237, and R1642239 through R1642244); and Candlelight Properties, LLC.


















MISCELLANEOUS:   Amendment to the Larimer County Contributory Retirement Plan to Comply with the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008.


LIQUOR LICENSES:  The following licenses were approved and or issued:  Fort Collins Country Club – Club Liquor License – Fort Collins; Phaze Nightclub – Tavern License – Loveland.


Motion carried 3-0.


5.         FINANCIAL POLICY AND PROCEDURE:  Ms. Block requested the Board’s approval regarding Policy 320.27A which creates an “Identity Theft Prevention Program” in accordance with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requirements. 


The FTC requires organizations which have certain types of accounts receivable to have an identity theft program in place by December 31, 2010, which is designed to detect, prevent, mitigate, and respond to identity theft which could occur within accounts receivable. It would be applicable to departments which provide goods or services to households and allow payments in arrears. It does not apply to payments of tax, fine, or fees. Per the FTC, the policy must be approved by the governing body of the organization.


Ms. Block stated that there is currently an item before Congress that is as of yet unsigned by the President, which may exempt county governments from participation in this program and that they will modify their policy accordingly should this occur.  Discussion ensued regarding policies currently in place




Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Financial Policy and Procedure 320.27A Identity Theft Prevention Program and Red Flag Rules as required by the Federal Trade Commission.


Motion carried 3-0.


MISCELLANEOUS:            Financial Policy and Procedure 320.27A Identity Theft Prevention Program and Red Flag Rules


6.         2011 GOALS FOR AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY BOARD COMMITTEES:   The Agricultural Advisory Board (AAB) is an advisory to the Board of County Commissioners and is charged with promoting agriculture in Larimer County.  The AAB is divided into four committees, which have developed goals for the coming year.  Today Ms. Hoffman solicits input from the Board regarding the draft goals established for the AAB, and requests input on direction and modifications the Board deems appropriate, and endorsement of the resultant work plan.


Val Manning, chairperson of the AAB, addressed the Board and detailed some of the specific duties of the four committees.  Discussion ensued regarding the urban and rural benefits of promoting agriculture throughout Larimer County. 


The Board approved Ms. Hoffman’s request to obtain nametags for each AAB member for use during public appearances.


7.         APPOINTMENTS TO BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS:   Ms. LaRue requested approval on the following Boards and Commissions recommendations:


Larimer County Fair Board:  Gilbert Barela, John Brooks, Sandi Elliott, and Scott Golden appointed for a 3-year term beginning December 14, 2010, and expiring November 30, 2013; Steve Humann reappointed for a 3-year term beginning December 14, 2010, and expiring November 30, 2013; Francis LaBarbera appointed to an unexpired term beginning December 14, 2010, and expiring November 30, 2011; Jim Wooldridge reappointed to an unexpired term beginning December 14, 2010, and expiring November 30, 2011.




Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the appointments to the Larimer County Boards and Commissions, as outlined above.


Motion carried 3-0.


8.         COUNTY MANAGER WORKSESSION:  Mr. Lancaster provided an update regarding the changes in the contract with the Humane Society regarding barking dog complaints, budget, and contract changes for 2011.


9.         COMMISSIONER ACTIVITY REPORTS:  The Board detailed their attendance at events during the past week.


10.       LEGAL MATTERS:  Ms. Haag explained the history of single family mortgage revenue bonds dated from 1981 through 1985.  Due to the decisions made regarding the bond issued in 1984, money was set aside in an escrow account with Bank of Cherry Creek which was scheduled to be withdrawn prior to January 1, 1996.  This time limit was extended multiple times and ultimately, funds were never disbursed.  American Bank, formerly Bank of Cherry Creek, is no longer in the business of bond issuance, and has stated that if this money (approximately $388,000) is not disbursed, it could be turned over to the State as abandoned property.  Ms. Haag explained that the County Attorney’s office will pursue disbursement of these funds and will update the Board when the funds are appropriated. 


The meeting ended at 10:05 a.m., with no further action taken.















Tamara L. Slusher, Deputy County Clerk

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