Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park
 

LARIMER COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION

Minutes of April 21, 2004

 

The Larimer County Planning Commission met in a regular session on Wednesday, April21, 2004, at 6:30 p.m. in the Hearing Room.  Commissioners’ Boulter, Huddleston, Morgan, Nelson, terMeer, Waldo, and Wallace were present. Commissioner Korb presided as Chairman.  Commissioner Pond was absent.  Also present were Larry Timm, Planning and Building Services Director, Rob Helmick, Principle Planner, David Karan, Planner II, Karin Knauf, Planner II, Geniphyr Ponce-Pore, Planner II, Tom Garton, Chief Building Official, Roxann Hayes, Engineering Department, Doug Ryan, Environmental Health, Michelle Yeager, Office Supervisor, and Jill Albracht, Planning Technician and Recording Secretary.

 

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 MARCH 17, 2004 MEETING: MOTION by Commissioner Morgan to approve the minutes with the recommended changes as suggested by Commissioner Wallace; seconded by Commissioner Wallace. This received unanimous voice approval.             

 

AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA: None

 

CONSENT ITEMS: 

 

ITEM #1 COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE BUILDING LOCATION AND EXTENT #04-Z1510:  Commissioner Morgan requested that this item be removed from the consent agenda to discuss the language of the staff recommendation.

 

ITEM #2 BURDICK SANDSTONE QUARRY AMENDED SPECIAL REVIEW #04-Z1507: Mr. Karan provided background information on the request to amend the Burdick Special Review approval for a 5 acre quarry by adding 4.9 acres.  The additional acreage would allow the Burdicks to move waste stockpiles between staging areas. Mr. Karan indicated that the proposal was located on Spring Gulch Road north of U.S. 36 approximately 3 miles north of Lyons, and the applicant requested a 30-50 year time frame for completing the mining of this area.

 

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

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission recommends to the Board of County Commissioners that the Burdick Sandstone Quarry Amended Special Review #04-Z1507 for the property described on "Exhibit A" to the minutes be approved subject to the following conditions: be approved subject to the following conditions:

 

A.   Except as amended by approval of these Amendments, the 1970 provisions for the operation of the Burdick Quarry Special Review (file # Z-14-70) shall apply through the full term of the Amended Special Review approval. 

 

B.   Throughout the term of this Special Review approval:

 

 

 

1.    Mining will continue to commence upslope of rubble piles located at the toe of the slope.  The Operator shall retain rock waste piles down slope of any mining activity.  The location of these rubble piles will continue to create a natural retention pond that captures all mining activity runoff.

 

2.    The hours of operation shall be:  4:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. April 1st through September 30th and 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., October 1st through March 31st.  Outside those hours, the only activities that shall take place are the single-family residential or agricultural uses allowed by-right in the O-Open district (as specified in LCLUC Sections 4.1.5 and 4.3.1 and 4.3.2).  

 

C.   Before commencing operations on the additional 5.0 acres of property as proposed, the Operator shall:

 

1.    Prepare a storm water management plan and obtain a Storm water Discharge Permit as indicated in the Health Department’s 2/5/04 memorandum.   If required, the permit must be updated annually.  Alternatively, the Operator shall submit a letter from the appropriate State Health agency stating that the Burdick mining operation is exempt from the requirement.

 

2.    Either submit an Air Pollution Emissions Notice (APEN) or submit to County Planning a letter from the Health Department’s Air Pollution Control Division exempting this mine from submitting an APEN.  Should a submitted APEN indicate it is required; the Operator will obtain an air quality permit.  If required, the permit must be updated annually. 

 

3.    Development Agreement for the Amended Special Review approval is required.  The Development Agreement must be approved by the Board of County Commissioners with the final approvals for this request. 

 

D.   Each year, within 10 days of sending the annual report to the State MLRB, the operator shall provide a copy of the report to the Larimer County Planning Department. 

 

E.   The mining of the 9.9 acre site shall halt thirty (30) years from approval by the Larimer County Board of County Commissioners unless a Special Review is subsequently approved which further extends the life of this operation.

 

F.   The approval of the Burdick Quarry Amended Special Review 02-Z1462 shall be null and void if, at any time after the date of approval by the Board of County Commissioners, the subject mining operation substantially ceases for any period of 3 consecutive years.

 

Commissioner Boulter seconded the Motion.

 

 

 

Commissioners' Boulter, Huddleston, Morgan, Nelson, terMeer, Waldo, Wallace, and Chairman Korb voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED: 8-0

 

ITEM #3 ESTES PARK FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT SERVICE PLAN #04-G0059: 

Commissioner Morgan asked that this item be removed from the consent agenda because he did not believe enough significant information had been provided in order to make an adequate decision.

 

REMOVED FROM THE CONSENT AGENDA: 

 

ITEM #1 COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE BUILDING LOCATION AND EXTENT #04-Z1510: Mr. Karan provided clarification on the improvements stated in the request to construct a building for air quality research on the Colorado State University Campus. 

 

Commissioner Morgan explained that he removed the item from consent because he felt that the recommendation did not focus enough on cost sharing and adequate public facilities.  He proposed that the recommended condition state:  The Larimer County Planning Commission requests the University continue to work with Larimer County and the City of Fort Collins to address issues and concerns regarding the adequacy of public facilities and infrastructure associated with the development of the Foothills Campus and to reach agreements on how and when CSU can contribute to the fair and equitable share of the infrastructure cost.

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY:

None

 

DISCUSSION:

 

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

 

      BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission approves the Colorado State University Atmospheric Science Building Location and Extent #04-Z1510 subject to amended language on the following condition:

 

1.   The Larimer County Planning Commission requests the University continue to work with Larimer County and the City of Fort Collins to address issues and concerns regarding the adequacy of public facilities and infrastructure associated with the development of the Foothills campus and to reach agreements on how and when CSU can contribute to the fair and equitable share of the infrastructure cost.

 

Commissioner Wallace seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioners' Boulter, Huddleston, Morgan, Nelson, terMeer, Waldo, Wallace, and Chairman Korb voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED: 8-0

 

ITEM #3 ESTES PARK FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT SERVICE PLAN #04-G0059: 

Greg White, Town Attorney for Estes Park and appointed spokesman for the Estes Park Fire District Action Team, provided background on the Estes Park Fire Protection District.  He explained that the Estes Valley had fire protection provided through the Estes Park Volunteer Fire Department which was funded through a combination of general fund monies from the Town of Estes Park and donations from both people of the town and outside area.  Mr. White stated the Town was seeking a more reliable source of funding for fire protection in the Estes area; therefore, the Estes Park Fire District Action Team voted to propose a special fire district to provide fire protection and emergency services.  Mr. White pointed out that the unincorporated portions of Larimer County in the Estes Valley are the only urbanized or semi-urbanized portions of Larimer County that did not pay for fire protection.  He explained the budget increase from $525, 000 in 2002 to approximately $900,000 was to provide fire protection services and better equipment. 

 

Chairman Korb asked if the creation of the district was an action that would be compatible with the master plan that is adopted for Larimer County?

 

Mr. White stated it would be compatible with the master plan.  He did not believe the Planning Commission was being asked to comment on whether the service plan was adequate or whether the service plan met the state criteria. 

 

Chairman Korb asked if it was possible in this case to state that the Planning Commission was only speaking to the issue as it affected planning considerations, and they would make no comment on the financial structure? 

 

Mr. White felt this was adequate and met State statue requirements.

 

Chairman Korb suggested a recommendation be made from only the second condition of the staff recommendation. 

 

Commissioner Morgan supported Chairman Korb’s recommendation as long as the plan met the requirements of the state. 

 

Chairman Korb recommended approval of the proposed service plan for the Estes Park Fire Protection District with the condition that the plan meet the minimum requirements of the State statute regarding the formation of a special district. 

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY:

None

 

DISCUSSION:

 

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

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission recommends to the Board of County Commissioner that the Estes Park Fire Protection District Service Plan #04-G0059 be approved subject to the following condition:

 

 

1.   The plan shall meet the minimum requirements of State statute regarding the formation of a new special district.

 

Commissioner Boulter seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioners' Boulter, Huddleston, Morgan, Nelson, terMeer, Waldo, Wallace, and Chairman Korb voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED: 8-0

 

ITEMS:

 

 

ITEM #4 2003 INTERNATIONAL RESIDENTIAL BUILDING CODE:  Mr. Timm provided information on the request to adopt the 2003 International Residential Building Code (IRC), proposed amendments, and the repealing of all provisions regulating one and two-family dwellings in the currently adopted 1997 Uniform Building (UBC), Plumbing (UPC), and Mechanical (UMC) Codes.

 

Mr. Garton provided background on the 2003 International Residential Building Code (IRC).  He explained that the building department had met with the Home Builders Association, City of Fort Collins, and Larimer County in a joint committee to review the International Residential Code and make amendments to the code.  He stated that the committee informed the public of the code, and received comments.  Mr. Garton also addressed concerns that arose from the Planning Commission members during their work session and discussed the revisions that were made.

 

Commissioner Huddleston expressed his concerns that the Planning Commission had not seen the International Residential Code (IRC) amendments.  He also asked how the public could access the changes of the International Residential Building Code (IRC) amendments for Larimer County?

 

Mr. Timm pointed out that the amendments had been available to the public in the building department. 

 

Commissioner Huddleston asked if there was a link to the code on the Larimer County website?

 

Mr. Garton replied yes.

 

Commissioner Waldo asked for a summary of the main changes that were incorporated into the new code.

 

Mr. Garton explained the two main changes of a newly adopted energy code and the rise and run of stairs.

 

Commissioner Waldo asked how the new energy code would affect the public?

 

 

 

 

Mr. Garton explained that the average price of a home would increase by $3,000 with the energy code.  This would equate to an $18 a month increase in mortgage payments, which would be offset by the savings of energy. 

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY:

 

Michelle Jacobs, Director of Community Affairs, Home Builders Association, read a position letter in regards to the code adoption.  Ms. Jacobs stated the Home Builders Association of Northern Colorado concurred with Mr. Garton and asked for the approval of the recommendations.

 

Bill Vanhorn, Chairman of the Board of Appeals, pointed out that people will see some differences in the code due to the code being under a county and rural area, not an urban area.  He felt the new code was a positive change that would be more user-friendly.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

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

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission recommend to the Board of County Commissioners the adoption of the 2003 International Residential Building Code (IRC) and proposed amendments, and the repealing of all provisions regulating one and two family dwellings in the currently adopted 1997 Uniform Building (UBC), Plumbing (UPC), and Mechanical (UMC) Codes all effective on November 17, 2004.

 

Commissioner Nelson seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioners' Boulter, Huddleston, Morgan, Nelson, terMeer, Waldo, Wallace, and Chairman Korb voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED: 8-0

 

ITEM #5 RAVENCREST BIBLE COLLEGE SPECIAL REVIEW AND APPEAL REQUEST #00-Z1368:  Ms. Ponce-Pore provided background information on the special review request of a non-public school in the O-Open District accommodating up to 120 students on approximately 26 acres; an Appeal to Section 4.5.E.1 of the Larimer County Road Manual regarding vertical alignment, and an Appeal to Section 8.1.5.A, regarding level of service for safe and adequate access. 

 

Roxann Hayes, Senior Civil Engineer, stated that the main outstanding issue of the request had to do with the need for auxillary turn lanes on Highway 36 at County Road 122 (Pole Hill Road), and the requested appeals. Matt Delich, Traffic Engineer, had sent a letter to the Engineering Department, which stated that per the State Highway Access Code, Ravencrest should not be required to build the turn lane.  Ms. Hayes explained that Larimer County encompasses Insignificant Impact, which states that if a proposal generates 20 trips or less, then they are at Insignificant Impact and do not have to abide by adequate public facility requirements for roads.  She stated that the Ravencrest application was above that threshold.  Ms. Hayes also stated her concern regarding Section 4.3.E.1of the Larimer County Road Manual (Vertical Alignment) in

 

that Pole Hill Road did not meet the maximum grade criteria, and Section 4.3.G of the Larimer County Road Manual (Sight Distance) and whether the applicant met the requirements.

 

Ms. Ponce-Pore discussed the vertical alignment appeal.  The applicant had requested that the road for the proposed expanded campus not be required to meet the rural road standard.  She stated that the paving appeal granted in 2000 anticipated this request, and that the issue had been put to rest.  She explained that the appeal granted regarding the vertical alignment was due to the grade steepness and the lack of feasibility in paving Pole Hill Road.  

 

Chairman Korb asked if the issue of vertical alignment and paving were the same issue?  He also asked for clarification on planning staff’s position of the appeal versus Engineering staff’s position. 

 

Ms. Ponce-Pore replied yes, that the issue of vertical alignment and paving were the same.  She understood that the applicant was recommended for denial of the appeal by Engineering previously and to be consistent, Engineering was recommending denial again.  She explained that staff recommended approval of the appeal, and it was no longer an issue at the present time.

 

Ms. Hayes explained that Engineering denied the appeal due to the traffic increase.

 

Commissioner Waldo asked if the appeal granted in 2000 addressed the turn lane and sight distance? 

 

Ms. Ponce-Pore explained the 2000 appeal only addressed the vertical alignment and paving issues.  Ms. Ponce-Pore then went on to explain the second appeal for the special review which addressed Section 8.1.5.A regarding the level of service for safe and adequate access.  She stated staff recommended denial with the feeling that the proposal would not meet the requirement for the turn movement that occurred at the intersection of Pole Hill Road and Highway 36; specifically, the left turn movement from Highway 36 on to Pole Hill Road.  

 

Ms. Hayes explained the reason the turn lanes were not looked at with the subdivision application was due to the subdivision meeting the Insignificant Impact.  She stated the applicant was under the threshold and did not have to provide a traffic impact study or analyze the intersection; however, they were now over the threshold.  Ms. Hayes went on to explain that according to Section 8.15.A of the Larimer County Land Use Code there were two issues to look at; the State Highway Access Code which determines the need for a turn lane, and the Larimer County Road Manual (Section 4.5.G) that states specific sight distances, which the applicant was not meeting.  She stated that staff recommended denial of Ravencrest’s appeals on both components.

 

Commissioner Nelson asked why Ravencrest was not meeting the site distance?

 

Ms. Hayes stated that in the traffic impact study Ravencrest had 534 feet, and 550 feet of sight distance was required.

 

Commissioner Waldo asked if there was a certain number of new development homes that would trigger the left hand turn lane?

 

 

Ms. Hayes stated that the 1998 State Highway Access Code required ten vehicle trips per hour.  Therefore, building ten new houses would require the addition of a left hand turn lane.

 

Commission Boulter asked if the new water wells would impact the new neighbors’ wells?

 

Doug Ryan, Larimer County Health Department, stated the Health Department had looked at the water rights of Ravencrest, and there was authorization to drill additional wells and pump additional water.  He felt the location that Ravencrest wanted to drill the new well may help the situation because the area was away from other wells in the immediate neighborhood.  Mr. Ryan believed it to be a reasonable approach.

 

Commissioner Wallace stated that the proposed expanded facility would demand a ten acre foot per year, and ten percent of that would have to be augmented.  He asked how this ten acre foot per year was calculated, and how the augmentation worked?

 

Mr. Ryan stated the first issue was to figure out how much water would need to be pumped and used.  He said that most of the water was returned back to the water table through the sewer system, but there was an approximate ten percent lost through consumptive loss. 

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY:

Wayne Weissman, Director of Ravencrest Chalet, expressed his appreciation to the Larimer County staff and his work team consisting of Steve Lane of Basis Architecture and Bill Van Horn, Lonni Sheldon, and Paul Bennett of Van Horn Engineering.

 

Lonni Sheldon, Van Horn Engineering spoke regarding the turn lane and provided visual pictures for the Commissioners.  He explained that Vanhorn Engineering performed a preliminary traffic study in which Ravencrest employees performed specific traffic counts at the intersection of Highway 36.  Mr. Sheldon presented the peak hour turning movements, which showed the a.m. peak trips at twelve percent, and the p.m. trips at an eleven percent impact on the intersection.  He explained the counts were done in October when the schools semester was in full swing, and the background traffic was at one of the lowest points of the year.  Mr. Sheldon presented a letter written by Matt Delich that the Commission had not seen discussing traffic access considerations. 

 

Commissioner Morgan suggested tabling the item due to the inadequate timeframe in which the new information was presented from Mr. Delich and because the applicant and staff could not come to an agreement on some of the issues.

 

Commissioner Nelson disagreed with tabling the issue.  He felt the disagreement between staff and the applicant was due to the left turn lane and possibly the site distance that would not be resolved with additional time. 

 

Discussion continued between the Commission members and staff on the turn lane issue and whether or not to table the item.  After much discussion the Commissioners decided to proceed with the hearing.

 

Mr. Sheldon discussed Matt Delich’s letter, addressing the intersection overload and left hand turn lane concerns.  He explained that Ravencrest was over the ten trip threshold at 28 trips,

 

stating it was a minor modification.  He also stated that the intersection was safe based on accident history records and adequate based on the level of service.  He felt a left hand lane should not be required.

 

Ms. Hayes stated that Ravencrest was at a Grade A level of service.  The accident history was only reported by the State Patrol.  She explained that at ten trips or over a left hand turn lane was required.  The State Highway Access Code also required 550 feet of site distance, and Ravencrest was not meeting the criteria. 

 

The Commission members discussed the issue of the left hand turn lane and the trip threshold minor modification.

 

Mr. Sheldon proceeded to discuss the site distance issue measured in October.  He explained the sight distance was measured at 534 feet and 542 feet, short of the 550 foot requirement.  He explained that in order to obtain 550 feet of site distance at the intersection the survey instrument was raised one inch, which allowed a measurement of 551 feet.  He stated that Ravencrest proposed to overlay the intersection one inch to overcome the site distance problem. 

 

Commissioner Waldo asked how much the left hand turn lane would cost to construct?

 

Mr. Sheldon was not sure but estimated it would cost approximately $50,000 to $100,000.  He stated there was no need for the left hand turn lane because the level of service was good with no delays and no accident history.  He explained that there was a wide shoulder that allowed vehicles to go around other stopped vehicles safely. 

 

Commissioner Wallace asked what would have to be done to create a turn lane?

 

Mr. Sheldon explained that a deceleration lane would need to be provided which would be approximately 500 feet long.  It would require excavation of the rock pile to the right of the intersection, stabilization of the sub-grade to meet CDOT’s strength requirements, a design provided to CDOT, and a pavement analysis.

 

Larry Olson, neighbor of Ravencrest Bible College, discussed his concern of shared resources of the water and roads between the homeowners and Ravencrest.  He explained that the water wells produced very little water and was concerned the well drilling and increase in students would decrease the water production supply.  Mr. Olson also felt that the road maintenance was not sufficient for current traffic and an increase in traffic would make it worse.  He stated the current left hand turn lane was dangerous and felt there was a need for the construction of a turn lane. 

 

Robin Telfer, resident of Meadowdale Hills, stated the traffic increase was due to the increased development in the area.  She did not feel that Ravencrest should be held responsible for the cost of the left hand turn.  She felt the main traffic problem was tourists, not students or residents.  She stated that the left hand turn lane was challenging due to the number of cars on Highway 36, not the number of people turning onto Pole Hill Road.  She said Ravencrest had been a good neighbor, working with the Home Owner’s Association on different problems.  She supported Ravencrest being able to continue development and felt they should not be held responsible for the left hand turn lane cost. 

 

 

Bill Vanhorn, Van Horn Engineering retiree, expressed his concern that Ravencrest was being held responsible for the full amount of the turn lane.  He stated that there would be a problem with the turn lane even if Ravencrest was not in the area; therefore other community members should also be held responsible for the road upgrade. 

 

Mr. Sheldon asked Ms. Hayes what was needed to prove that the site was safe and adequate? 

 

Ms. Hayes stated that the applicant was over the ten trips per vehicle threshold, and abiding by that standard was necessary for the type of traffic in the area.

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Commissioner terMeer asked if the information on site distance presented by the applicant was adequate for staff?

 

Ms. Hayes stated yes.

 

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

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission recommends to the Board of County Commissioners that the Ravencrest Bible College Special Review #00-Z1368 for the property described on "Exhibit B" to the minutes and the Appeal to Section 4.5.E.1 of the Larimer County Road Manual be approved subject to the following conditions:

 

1.   Operation of the Ravencrest Chalet Bible College Special Review shall be as specified in the representations of the applicant and in the information contained in file #03-Z1368 unless modified by conditions of approval.

 

2.   The plans submitted by the applicant constitute a Site Specific Development Plan.  All proposed improvements shall be constructed in strict compliance with these approved plans and shall be consistent with the information contained in the file #03-Z1368.

 

3.   Prior to recordation of the Development Agreement, a Deed Restriction shall be drawn up that specifies that the lot and the portion of the adjacent lots that comprise this Special Review will not be sold separately or this Special Review shall become null and void.

 

4.   Prior to issuance of the first building permit the applicant shall execute a Final Development Agreement for approval by the County to be recorded in addition to the Findings and Resolution of the County Commissioners.  The Development Agreement shall specify details of the project including, but not limited to, completion and maintenance of all improvements and plans required to serve the project.

 

5.   Facility operation, structures, and land at the Ravencrest Bible College shall at all times be in compliance with the Forest Management Plan.

 

 

6.    Prior to issuance of the first building permit, the applicant must follow the specific recommendations of the Larimer County Wildfire Specialist, including:  the creation of defensible space around all pre-existing structures, the use of heavy timber construction and a Class A roofing material for all new structures; and areas within 200 feet of the proposed structures footprint shall be thinned to the fire mitigation objectives defined in the forest management plan.

 

7.   Prior to issuance of the first building permit, the applicant shall create a weed management plan (to be reviewed by Larimer County Weed District) that includes the revegetation of all disturbed areas with native vegetation.

 

8.   The applicant shall remove wildlife attractants and assure all food sources and trash containers are properly secured from wildlife.

 

9.   Documented proof that all permits required by the State of Colorado Health and Human Services have been approved shall be provided to the Larimer County Health Department prior to the issuance of the first building permit for the expansion.

 

10.   The operator shall maintain a license from the Colorado Department of Human Services for the summer youth camp program.

 

11.   Plans for the water system shall be approved by the County and State Health Departments prior to issuance of building permits for the dorm, lecture hall or dining hall, and treatment and distribution systems shall be installed and operational prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy

 

12.   Permits for the new sewer systems need to be issued by the County Health Department prior to the issuance of building permits for the new dorm, lecture hall or dining hall.

 

13.   Plans for the dining hall and any other satellite food services operations shall be approved by the County Health Department prior to issuance of the first building permit.

 

14.   Prior to issuance of the first building permit, the applicant shall construct a left-hand deceleration lane on Hwy. 36 at the intersection of Pole Hill Road (CR 112) that meets the requirements of the 1998 State Highway Access Code, and the proposed elevation of the apron would be adequate to meet the site distance requirements.

 

Commissioner Nelson seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioner Waldo voted against the Motion.

 

Commissioners' Boulter, Huddleston, Morgan, Nelson, terMeer, Wallace, and Chairman Korb voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED: 7-1

 

 

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

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission recommends to the Board of County Commissioners that the Appeal to Section 8.1.5.A of the Larimer County Land Use Code regarding left hand turn lane access at Highway 36 and Pole Hill Road (County Road 112) be denied.

 

Commissioner Boulter seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioner Waldo voted against the Motion.

 

Commissioners' Boulter, Huddleston, Morgan, Nelson, terMeer, Wallace, and Chairman Korb voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED:  7-1

 

ITEM #6 MILNER MOUNTAIN CMRS FACILITY SPECIAL REVIEW #02-Z1455:  Ms. Knauf provided background information on the request for a special review on four existing (zoning violation) free-standing CMRS and Radio/Television transmission towers ranging in height from 51.9 to 89.1 feet, a 12’ roof mounted antenna and other communication equipment for telephone companies, radio stations, quasi-governmental entities, paging companies, ambulance services and hospitals, along with the addition of two carriers to the facility.

 

John Pharris, Gemini Communications Attorney, explained the background on the tower site.  He stated that the towers were built when the area was not regulated by the county.

 

Chairman Korb stated that the AT&T tower on the mountain was approved by the county, but asked how the other towers were approved and built?

 

Mr. Pharris stated that the four Gemini towers were all constructed before the AT&T tower.  He explained that no new towers had been built since 1988, and many companies had installed authorized and/or unauthorized antennas on the existing tower, which were now abandoned.  Mr.

Pharris stated that Gemini had sent professionals to remove the abandoned antennas, which helped to increase the tower’s collocation ability. 

 

Chairman Korb asked what kind of tower was built by Gemini in 1984?

 

Mr. Pharris stated that the tower was a configuration with multiple aspects to it.  He explained that towers one and two were tied together, and towers three and four were tied together. 

 

Commissioner Wallace asked why Gemini had not argued their position that they were non-conforming when they obtained the zoning violation?

 

Mr. Pharris stated Gemini did, but lost the argument with staff and did not pursue it further.

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY:

None

 

 

DISCUSSION:

Commissioner Morgan asked if the special review would resolve the non-conforming issues?  He also asked what would trigger a review if another entity wanted to build other antennas on the mountain?

 

Ms. Knauf stated the special review would resolve the non-conformity, and if another entity would want to build other antennas they would need to amend the special review.  Ms. Knauf noted that condition 11 of staffs’ recommendations provided this information.

 

Mr. Helmick explained that it was now required of all applicants to identify the maximum number of possible users on the facilities. 

 

Commissioner Boulter questioned if Milner Mountain was an appropriate place to have continued tower development.

 

Mr. Helmick stated that the current and proposed facility would comply with the code.  He did not feel that staff could make a recommendation on whether the Milner Mountain site would be an appropriate place to add additional towers and/or antennas in the future.

 

Chairman Korb stated that he felt that the kind of facility that was requested by the applicant to have on Milner Mountain was not appropriate and would oppose the special review.

Commissioner terMeer asked why the towers did not show up during the special review from Cellular One? 

 

Mr. Helmick stated that in the special review only one tower was reported by staff while the AT&T application discussed a telecommunications complex adjacent to the site.  He explained that there was a record of something on the site, but could not be sure at the time the special review was done for Cellular One.  He went on to state that if the special review was denied that the towers would essentially “go away” because it would be looked at as an illegal, non-conforming site.  He explained that Gemini wanted to bring the area into conformity to make it a legal commercial property that was merchantable.  Mr. Helmick also pointed out that the AT&T tower was the most visible tower from the site. 

 

Mr. Pharris clarified that Gemini was not stating that their towers were in violation or illegal.  He felt that Gemini should be measured by the 1984 standards since that was when the towers were constructed.  However, he stated that Gemini agreed to be measured by the standards set for today.  He stated that he had scientific information that showed that the Milner Mountain location was a good place for a tower site due to the geographic range that could be covered.  He also elaborated on the fact that the AT&T tower was much more visible to the community than the Gemini towers.  He explained that the 1988 special review for AT&T determined that there was no significant impact by their tower. 

 

Commissioner Morgan 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 Milner Mountain CMRS Facility Special Review #02-Z1455 for the property describe on “Exhibit C” to the minutes be approved subject to the following conditions:

 

1.   The plans submitted by the applicant constitute a Site Specific Development Plan.  Operation of the Milner Mountain CMRS Special Review shall be as specified in the representations of the applicant and consistent with the information contained in file #02-Z1455 unless modified by conditions of approval.

 

2.   Within 90 days of the of the date of the Findings and Resolution approving the Special Review the applicant shall execute a Final Development Agreement for approval by the County to be recorded with the Findings and Resolution of the County Commissioners.  The Development Agreement shall specify details of the project, including the requirement for long term maintenance of the access road.  

 

3.   The applicant shall obtain a private road construction permit from the Engineering Department within 90 days of the of the date of the Findings and Resolution approving the Special Review, for the purpose of improving and repairing the access road to the facility.  As part of this permit the Larimer County Environment and Access Specialist will work with the applicant to determine a scope of repair for the site access road.  All repairs shall be completely constructed by November 1, 2004.

 

4.   All new equipment or replacement parts shall be painted or designed to be a non-reflective grey color to match the existing facilities

 

5.   The applicant shall comply with the requirements for safeguards for the proper use of propane, including protection from the parking area, as outlined in the memo from the Ron Gonzales, Assistant Fire Marshall, Poudre Fire Authority dated October 4, 2002.

 

6.   Existing vegetation on the property shall be preserved and maintained. 

 

7.   Building permits are required for all structures, including the existing tower and structures.  All applications for building permits shall be submitted within 90 days of the date of the Findings and Resolution approving the Special Review and finaled within 180 days of building permit issuance.

 

8.   The small wood equipment building shall be removed within 180 days of the date of the Findings and Resolution approving the Special Review.

 

9.   All equipment identified for removal in the Special Review application materials shall be removed within 180 days of the date of the Findings and Resolution approving the Special Review.

 

10.   The site shall be in compliance with the FCC radio frequency exposure limits at all times.

 

11.   The addition of equipment or users to the site shall require prior amendment of this Special Review.

 

12.   Failure to comply with the conditions of the Special Review approval may result in reconsideration of the use and possible revocation of the approval by the Board of Commissioners.

 

 

Commissioner Nelson seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioners’ Boulter, terMeer, and Wallace voted against the Motion.

 

Commissioners' Huddleston, Morgan, Nelson, Waldo, and Chairman Korb voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED: 5-3

 

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

 

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, the hearing adjourned at 10:34 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.

 

 

 

_______________________________                      ______________________________

Mark Korb, Chairman                                                  Rodney Nelson, Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Background Image: Rocky Mountain National Park by Sue Burke. All rights reserved.