Loveland Bike Trail
 

LARIMER COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION

Minutes of March 21, 2007

 

The Larimer County Planning Commission met in a regular session on Wednesday, March 21, 2007, at 6:30 p.m. in the Hearing Room.  Commissioners Boulter, Cox, Hart, Karabensh, Oppenheimer, Pond, and Waldo were present.  Commissioner Morgan was absent.  Chairman Wallace presided as Chairman.  Also present were Rob Helmick, Principal Planner, Samantha Mott, Planner II, Casey Stewart, Planner II, Sean Wheeler, Planner II, Christie Coleman, Engineering Department, Traci Downs, Engineering Department, Doug Ryan, Environmental Health, and Jill Wilson, Planning Technician and Recording Secretary. 

 

Rob Helmick accompanied Commissioners’ Cox, Hart, Karabensh, Pond, and Wallace today on a site visit to the Dixon-Horseshoe PRPA Location and Extent and the Shields Mine Special Review.  Commissioners’ Morgan, Oppenheimer, and Waldo were absent.  Commissioner Boulter visited the sites independently.

 

COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC REGARDING THE COUNTY LAND USE CODE: 

None

 

COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC REGARDING OTHER RELEVANT LAND USE MATTERS NOT ON THE AGENDA:  

None

 

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FOR THE FEBRUARY 21, 2006 MEETINGS:  MOTION by Commissioner Pond to approve the minutes, seconded by Commissioner Cox.  This received unanimous voice approval.

 

POSTING OF MEETINGS IN COMPLIANCE WITH OPEN MEETINGS LAW:

Commissioner Boulter moved that the Larimer County Planning Commission designate the Oak Street entrance to the Larimer County Courthouse as the public posting place for notices of all official actions and public meetings in accordance with the requirements of the Colorado Open Meetings law (CRS 24-6-402).  Commissioner Pond seconded the Motion.  This received unanimous voice approval.

 

AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA:  

None

 

CONSENT ITEMS:

 

ITEM #1  DIXON-HORSESHOE PRPA LOCATION AND EXTENT #07-Z1635:  Mr. Helmick provided background information on the request for a 230 KV transmission line for the Platte River Power Authority between Trilby and 57th Street to meet the expanding electric demands in the Loveland-Fort Collins area and to add to the reliability of the area transmission system.

 

Commissioner Boulter moved that the Planning Commission adopt the following Resolution:

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission approve the Dixon-Horseshoe PRPA Location and Extent, file #07-Z1635, subject to the following conditions:

 

 

 

A.  Construction of the Dixon-Horseshoe PRPA transmission line shall be as specified in File #07-Z1635. 

 

B.   If construction results in any alterations to the original drainage patterns the applicant shall provide the Larimer County Engineering Department with a Drainage Report for review and approval.

 

C.  The applicant shall comply with the requirements of the Colorado Department of

      Public Health and Environment.

 

Commissioner Pond seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioners' Boulter, Cox, Hart, Karabensh, Oppenheimer, Pond, Waldo, and Chairman Wallace voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED:  8-0

 

ITEM #2  RED FEATHER LAKES COMMUNITY PARK LOCATION AND EXTENT #07-Z1636:  Mr. Helmick provided background information on the request for a proposed “public park” of six acres in Red Feather Lakes.

 

Commissioner Boulter moved that the Planning Commission adopt the following Resolution:

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission approve the Red Feather Lakes Community Park Location and Extent, File #07-Z1636, subject to the following condition:

 

1.   Site Plan Review approval must occur before any permits are issued for development of the site.

 

Commissioner Pond seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioners' Boulter, Cox, Hart, Karabensh, Oppenheimer, Pond, Waldo, and Chairman Wallace voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED:  8-0

 

ITEM #3  LEGITS REZONING  #07-Z1634:  Ms. Mott provided background information on the request to rezone a 0.34 acre parcel from O-Open to E-Estate to avoid creating a split-zoned parcel in Drake adjacent to the Roosevelt National Forest.  She explained that the parcel was part of the Roosevelt National Forest but was sold to Mr. Legits by the Forest Service.

 

Commissioner Pond moved that the Planning Commission adopt the following Resolution:

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission recommend to the Board of County Commissioners that the Legits Rezoning, File #07-Z1634, for the property described on Exhibit “A” to the minutes, be approved subject to the following condition:

 

 

1.   The applicant shall complete the Amended Plat to combine the subject parcel with Lot 2 of Cedar Park 7th Filing.

 

Commissioner Oppenheimer seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioners' Boulter, Cox, Hart, Karabensh, Oppenheimer, Pond, Waldo, and Chairman Wallace voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED:  8-0

 

ITEMS:

 

ITEM #4  CAMPION ACADEMY 2ND SIGN APPEAL  #07-G0129:  Mr. Stewart provided background information on the request for an appeal of Section 10.6.E of the Larimer County Land Use Code that prohibits off-premises signs.  The applicant desired to erect a third sign for the Seventh Day Adventist Church and Academy on a separate, vacant property owned by the church which was located across the road from the existing church and school buildings.  He mentioned that the church had been granted a sign-related variance in 2003 by the Board of Adjustment for two large monument entryway signs at the driveway entrance off of County Road 14, directly across the road from the proposed third sign.  He explained that the Development Services Team did not feel that the appeal met the review criteria, therefore were recommending denial.  He also mentioned that the City of Loveland commented on the request and remarked that the property was within their Growth Management Area.  They stated that they did not allow off-premises signs within the city limits and wanted to see that maintained in the Growth Management Area.  The Larimer County Engineering Department also provided comments related to the location and stated that the Department preferred that the sign be located far enough off of the road so that any future right-of-way would not conflict with the location of the sign.  They also mentioned that the access for the property, if ever developed in the future, would most likely be in the location of the proposed sign.

 

Commissioner Waldo asked if the sign would be in compliance if there was a building on the adjacent property?

 

Mr. Stewart replied that a sign would be allowed which conformed to the zoning of the property.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY:

Dick Stenbakken, 2493 Frances Drive, was a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.  He pointed out that the sign was not for the Campion Academy, it was for the Seventh Day Adventist Church.  He explained that the church held many community activities but had no way of advising the community of those activities other than buying ads in the newspaper which would cost approximately $6000.00 a year.  He stated that he appreciated working with Mr. Stewart and showed the Commission pictures of the existing signs.  He explained that the proposed sign would have area for interchangeable words and would need to be at right angles to the road in order to be read.  He also diagramed the several sign option potentials that he had come up with.  The first option was to erect a tall, lighted sign which he did not feel was attractive.  A second option would be to put signs on top of the existing signs, which he also did not feel was attractive and would be distracting to traffic.  A third option was to erect the sign in front or to the side of the existing signs; however, it would put the sign too close to the road.  Another option would be to put the sign parallel to the road but would not allow the public to read the sign from the road until they reached the sign.  The fifth option would be to tear down the existing signs; however, it was not an appealing option because those signs had only been up for three years, and it also eliminated the signage for the school.  The sixth option would be to erect the signs in the playing fields which would cause a safety issue for the children.  He stated that he understood that there were rules but explained that they had struggled to find the best way to accomplish their goal and erect a sign in a visible, viable, and non-distracting place and across the road was their best effort and idea.  He stated that if a sign could not be erected then the community would not be informed, and the church would have to come to some very expensive means to inform the community of those activities. 

 

Commissioner Boulter stated that he visited the site and other surrounding areas with churches and schools to get a feel for how other communities had signs erected.  He mentioned that what he consistently saw was that only one sign was allowed on those properties.  He stated that the choice three years ago to erect the current signs put them in the position they were in today and made expansion difficult.  He was sympathetic to their need but he could not personally support changing the rules. 

 

Mr. Stenbakken replied that they had a unique situation because there were three separate entities on the property and rarely did those people own land on both sides of the road.

 

Commissioner Boulter mentioned that he drove by a school like theirs in Fort Collins that only had one sign.  He remarked that since it was within the Growth Management Area that Larimer County needed to be considerate of Loveland’s wishes too.

 

DISCUSSION:

Commissioner Waldo asked how big of a building would have to be erected on the land for it not to be considered vacant land?

 

Mr. Stewart replied that the church, school, or academy would have to be located on that property. 

 

Mr. Helmick stated that the building would be treated as a different use, and a sign erected would have to be for that building.

 

 

Commissioner Boulter asked if there were other options for a sign on their property?

 

Mr. Stewart replied that the applicant would be allowed one sign per street frontage, which could have signage for all three entities.  He stated that the applicant could also request to leave the two current signs and erect a third sign through another appeal process.

 

Commissioner Pond pointed out that the applicant already received a variance for the signs that were erected.

 

Commissioner Boulter moved that the Planning Commission adopt the following Resolution:

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission recommend to the Board of County Commissioners that the Campion Academy 2nd Sign Appeal, file #07-G0129, for the property described on “Exhibit B” to the minutes, be denied.

 

Commissioner Hart seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioners' Boulter, Cox, Hart, Karabensh, Oppenheimer, Pond, Waldo, and Chairman Wallace voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED:  8-0

 

 

ITEM #5  SHIELDS MINE SPECIAL REVIEW #06-Z1590:  Mr. Wheeler provided background information on the request for a Special Review to mine sand and gravel at a 50 acre site for commercial purposes on the south side of East Horsetooth Road (County Road 40), approximately ¼ mile east of County Road 9 (Ziegler Road) adjacent to the Fossil Creek Inlet Ditch.  The request also included an appeal to Section 8.6.C.3.1 of the Larimer County Land Use Code to allow the use of gravel in the parking area.  He explained that the applicant was proposing to extract the gravel in two phases over a three to five year period.  The extracted gravel would be transported off-site via conveyor system that would run from the quarry to the existing, Industrial zoned Rigden Pit located north of the site.  The proposed hours of operation were from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, with equipment warm-up starting at 7:00 a.m.  Saturday hours were also proposed from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with equipment warm-up starting at 9:00 a.m.  Post mining plans were to create an unlined pond with the remainder of the site reseed to upland grasses and native vegetation.  Mr. Wheeler requested to amend Condition of Approval #1 to state the mining activities be completed within no more than five years rather than the stated three years.

 

Commissioner Wallace asked if the condition amendment meant that the applicant would have five years from the start of operations to the end of reclamation?

 

Mr. Wheeler replied that the applicant would be given five years from the start of preparing the site to the conclusion of removing the conveyor system and other technical equipment.  He stated that reclamation was a State controlled issue and essentially ongoing.  Reclamation would not be completed in the five year permit life of the gravel pit.

 

 

 

Mr. Helmick clarified that after five years activity on the site would cease but the applicant would have ongoing obligations with the State and bonded reclamation to ensure the maintenance and survival of their reclamation plan. 

 

Commissioner Wallace asked how the hours of operations compared to other gravel mine operations?

 

Mr. Wheeler stated that the hours of operation were consistent with applications heard and approved last year by the Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners.

 

Doug Ryan, Health Department, explained that the County’s Noise Ordinance had daytime and evening hours and explained that the evening hours were more restrictive.  He mentioned that the proposed mining plan restricted the daytime hours so no activities, including warm-up activities, would start before 7:00 a.m.  The applicant had asked for Saturday hours of operation so the mining operation could be completed in a quicker time period.  He noted that the start time for Saturday was 9:30 a.m., which was later than normal business hours of operation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY:

Eric Reckentine, Area Manager Northern Colorado Aggregate Division for Lafarge West, Inc., stated that the Shields property was a fifty acre site, south of E. Horsetooth road and east of Ziegler Road, west of I-25, and north of Harmony Road.  The entire project was located outside of the floodplain and located next to existing mining sites.  He noted that no ditches would be relocated as part of the project.  He explained that Lafarge’s intention was to excavate materials and convey those materials over E. Horsetooth Road, across the Rigden Mine site, to their crushing location where all materials would be processed.  From there the materials would be shipped via loader to the asphalt plant for use in the production of those products.  He stated that all materials would be conveyed to the Rigden Mine which would eliminate existing commercial truck traffic from the Windsor and LaPorte pits.  As a result, an expected decrease of approximately 100 truck trips per day of import gravel material to the plant site locations would be eliminated.  He showed the Commission a picture of the proposed reclamation to the site and the 18-acre pond.  He explained that Lafarge would mine the site in two phases, both approximately 18 acres.  Stripping and de-watering processes would occur in Phase 1A and aesthetic berming would be erected around the perimeter of the property.  Phase 1B would then be stripped and concurrent reclamation of Phase 1A would begin.  He also mentioned that the mine was proposing to install a six foot fence around the perimeter of the property for security reasons.  He noted that fencing was suggested at the neighborhood meeting because of the security concern.  He also remarked that the other common neighbor concern was truck traffic.  He explained that the proposed project would eliminate approximately 100 truck trips per day coming down Harmony Road and Ziegler Road to the plant site from the gravel pit currently operating in Windsor and the same from the LaPorte gravel site to the concrete plant.  Regarding noise, all the processing would occur at the crushing plant at the existing Rigden Mine site.  The only equipment that would be on site would be a loader, feeder, and the conveyor system.  Consequently, noise would be minimized since there would be no processing at the site.  The loaders would have white noise back-up alarms, which had been tested with reduced noise complaints, and the berming around the site would also help mitigate noise.  A dust mitigation plan for the site was in place, which included seeding overburden piles immediately as well as the berms.  Also a water truck on site would constantly water the roads on the property.  The materials would also be moist while being transported on the conveyor for processing which would minimize the dust.  He stated that Lafarge was asking to mine Monday through Saturday with a permit life of five years, which would allow one year for preparing the site, setting up the conveyor, de-watering, etc. with approximately three to four years to mine the site. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Vecchi, Vecchi and Associates, focused on the reclamation plan.  She stated that historically the property had been pastured grassland.  She explained that the site would be reclaimed concurrently, meaning that the northern portion of the site would be mined then as the southern portion began to be mined the north portion would begin backfilling and seeding.  As a result the reclamation would begin concurrently with the mining of the south site.  She explained that an approximate 18-acre surface acre pond was proposed with the remainder of the area as upland grasses.  She stated that the goal was to create a self-sustaining environment over time using native plants and adaptive drought resistant species.  She explained that the pond would be lined and fed by ground water primarily from the north and west.  She stated that expected seasonal fluctuation in the level of the pond would vary by two to three feet, which was based upon the hydro-geological report.  She explained that an environment was being created for specific plants to thrive as well as to attract wildlife.  The irregular shape of the pond on the north, east, and west edges left three primary areas for plantings trees and shrubs that would provide food and shelter for wildlife and would spread around the perimeter of the pond over time.  She noted that they had been working with the City of Fort Collins and passed out a letter from Craig Foreman of the City of Fort Collins Park Planning and Development.  It stated that the City was interested in collaborating with Lafarge to acquire the site from Lafarge after its planned mining operation was completed as it had been identified as a potential site for a community park.  She noted that they were in agreement with the Conditions of Approval subject to the correction mentioned to Condition #1.

 

Commissioner Waldo asked if Lafarge had to complete a water augmentation plan in order to purchase the surface water? 

 

Ms. Vecchi replied yes and stated that there was a temporary substitute supply already approved.

 

Commissioner Boulter asked the applicant to explain how the conveyor system would operate.

 

Mr. Reckentine explained that the conveyor system was not noisy and was powered off of the Rigden site.  Normally the majority of the noise would come from the generators but line power was being used instead.  He explained that the majority of the conveyor was not covered and was basically a frame with a belt.  It was all mobile equipment and would be removed following depletion of the pit. 

 

Mr. Ryan concurred and stated that the noise from the conveyor would be minimal compared to the truck traffic that would haul the materials.  He noted that the Overland Ponds site had a conveyor system, and the Health Department had received no noise complaints in the several years that had been in operation. 

 

Commissioner Hart stated that the reduction of truck traffic would occur for the life of the proposed gravel pit but wondered what would happen once the five years was completed?

 

Mr. Reckentine replied that following the depletion of the Shields pit Lafarge’s plants would remain at the Rigden site and would begin importing aggregate material to those plants for their production again.

 

Commissioner Hart asked what the depth of the pond would be?

 

 

Mr. Reckentine replied approximately 15-18 feet.

 

Commissioner Cox mentioned that the Division of Wildlife had noted the presence of raptors and wondered if they had seen any or created any non-disturbance zones?

 

Mr. Reckentine replied no.  He stated that a wildlife biologist had examined the trees, and no raptors had been seen nesting.

 

Commissioner Boulter appreciated the pond design. 

 

Commissioner Cox remarked that several comments were made at the neighborhood meeting and asked if Mr. Wheeler had heard from any of the neighbors?

 

Mr. Wheeler replied that he had not received any new comments since the neighborhood meeting.

 

DISCUSSION:

Mr. Wheeler mentioned that the applicant had requested an appeal to Section 8.6.C.3.1 of the Land Use Code to not have paving in the parking area.  He stated that the Development Services Team felt that a gravel parking lot would be consistent with the existing trailhead parking in the area.

 

Commissioner Boulter moved that the Planning Commission adopt the following Resolution:

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission recommend to the Board of County Commissioners that the appeal to the paving standard for parking areas required by 8.6.C.3.1 of the Land Use Code to allow the use of gravel in the parking area be approved.

 

Commissioner Pond seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioners' Boulter, Cox, Hart, Karabensh, Oppenheimer, Pond, Waldo, and Chairman Wallace voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED:  8-0

 

Commissioner Waldo moved that the Planning Commission adopt the following Resolution:

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission recommend to the Board of County Commissioners that the Shields Mine Special Review, file #06-Z1590, for the property described on “Exhibit C” to the minutes, be approved subject to the following conditions and amendment to Condition #1:

 

1.   This Special Review approval shall automatically expire without a public hearing if the use is not commenced within three years of the date of approval.  Mining activities shall be completed within no more than five years from the start of operations.

 

 

2.   The Site shall be developed consistent with the approved plan and with the information contained in the Shields Mine Special Review (File #06-Z1590) 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 Shields Mine Special Review.

 

3.   The applicant shall execute a Development Agreement to be signed by the Board of County Commissioners and recorded with the Larimer County Clerks Office, before the commencement of any excavation activities and no longer then one year after the date of approval.

 

4.   No operation of the gravel pit shall occur at any time on Sundays, or the following holidays:  New Years Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.  Monday through Friday hours of operation are limited to the time between 7:30 am to 5:30 pm Monday through Friday, with equipment warm-up starting no earlier than 7:00 am.  Saturday hours are proposed from 9:30 am to 3:00 pm, with equipment warm-up starting no earlier than 9:00 am.

 

5.   County may conduct periodic inspections to the property and reviews of the status of the Special Review as appropriate to monitor and enforce the terms of the Special Review approval.

 

6.   Reclamation shall begin as soon as possible after the completion of mining activities in each section and no later then the start of the next growing season.

 

7.   The applicant shall comply with requirements contained in the 01-31-07 memo from the County Department of Health and Environment:

 

a.   State air emission and storm water discharge permits shall be maintained during the mining and reclamation operations, and shall be complied with during each phase.

 

b.   The operations shall be conducted in compliance with the Ordinance Concerning Noise Levels in Unincorporated Larimer County.

 

c.   Noise mitigation measures identified in the sound impact analysis mitigation plan shall be implemented in conjunction with the operation of the mine.

 

d.   Electric grid power shall be used for the gravel conveyor system in order to avoid noise from diesel generators.  A diesel generator may be used to power the dewatering pumps in order to limit noise from diesel generators.  After the initial six-month period, electric grid power shall be used for the dewatering pump for the duration of the mining operation.  Diesel generators may be utilized in emergency situations.

 

 

 

 

 

8.   The applicant shall comply with all requirements of the County Engineering Department outlined in their comments dated 1-24-07:

 

a.   The applicant is required to pay a Capital Transportation Expansion Fee within 90 days of the date of approval by the County.  The amount will be calculated by the Engineering Department.

 

b.   The applicant shall increase from 30 feet to 40 feet, the access easement for the Roselle-Shields MLD to ensure adequate travel and drainage spaces.

 

c    The applicant shall provide structural drawings for the conveyor system for review and approval by the Engineering Department within 90 days of the date of approval.

 

d.   No more than 45 days before the planned commencement of construction or mining activity at the site, the applicant shall apply for a Development Construction Permit with the County Engineer and shall be subject to the requirements of this permit.

 

9.   Operator shall provide the Larimer County Planning Department a copy of their annual report to the State that details overall compliance with the storm water management plan and a copy of the annual report required by the State MLRB.

 

10.    The applicant shall provide a signed Agreement to Annex with the City of Fort Collins.

 

11.    The applicant shall provide copies of all final plans including mining, landscape and reclamation plans within 90 days of the date of approval by the Board of County Commissioners, for review and approval by Staff prior to commencement of mining operations.

 

12.    The applicant shall provide secondary containment for outdoor storage areas that are sized correctly to contain possible spills.  All flammable or combustible liquids shall be stored per the requirements in the 1997 Uniform Fire Code.

 

Commissioner Oppenheimer seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioners' Boulter, Cox, Hart, Karabensh, Oppenheimer, Pond, Waldo and Chairman Wallace voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED:  8-0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REPORT FROM STAFF:  Mr. Helmick reminded the Commission of their upcoming meetings. 

 

 

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, the hearing adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

These minutes constitute the Resolution of the Larimer County Planning Commission for the recommendations contained herein which are hereby certified to the Larimer County Board of Commissioners.

 

 

 

 

 

_______________________________                      ______________________________

Nancy Wallace, Chairman                                            Kristen Karabensh, Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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