Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park
 

LARIMER COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION

Minutes of July 20, 2005

 

The Larimer County Planning Commission met in a regular session on Wednesday, July 20, 2005, at 6:30 p.m. in the Hearing Room.  Commissioners’ Boulter, Huddleston, Oppenheimer, Pond, terMeer, and Wallace were present. Commissioner Morgan presided as Chairman.  Commissioners Karabensch and Waldo were absent.  Also present were Rob Helmick, Principal Planner, Karin Madson, Planner II, Porter Ingrum, Environmental Planner, Traci Downs, Engineering Department, Doug Ryan, Environmental Health, and Jill Wilson, 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 JUNE 01, 2005 AND JUNE 15, 2005 MEETINGS:  Commissioner Wallace referenced the June 15, 2005 minutes regarding the Bingham Hill Estates Subdivision and stated that the amendment to the Motion should come before the Motion.  MOTION by Commissioner Pond to approve the minutes subject to the suggested correction, seconded by Commissioner Huddleston.  This received unanimous voice approval.

 

AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA:  

Mr. Helmick stated that new officers needed to be elected for 2005/2006.

 

ELECTION OF NEW OFFICIALS:

Commissioner Pond nominated Commissioner Boulter for Chairman. Commissioner Huddleston seconded the nomination.  Chairman Morgan moved to elect Commissioner Boulter as Chairman by acclimation, seconded by Commissioner Pond.  MOTION PASSED.

 

Commissioner terMeer nominated Commissioner Pond for Vice Chairman. Commissioner Huddleston seconded the nomination.  Chairman Morgan moved to elect Commissioner Pond as Vice Chairman by acclimation, seconded by Commissioner terMeer. MOTION PASSED.

 

Commissioner Pond nominated Commissioner Wallace for Secretary.  Commissioner Oppenheimer seconded the nomination.  Chairman Morgan moved to elect Commissioner Walace as Secretary by acclimation, seconded by Commissioner Pond.  MOTION PASSED.  

 

CONSENT ITEM:

 

ITEM #1 CSU INVASIVE SPECIES LAB LOCATION & EXTENT #05-Z1549:  Mr. Helmick provided background information on the Location and Extent review for the construction of a building for the research of invasive species, which would be located on Colorado State University’s Foothills Campus west of Fort Collins.

 

Commissioner Huddleston referenced the comments made by Cameron Gloss, City of Fort Collins, concerning the character of the building, and by Doug Ryan, Health Department, concerning the BSL 3 decontamination, and asked if those issues had been addressed.

 

Mr. Helmick replied that Larimer County did not have standards concerning building character.

 

Mr. Ryan replied that the comments were implying that the Health Department had confidence in CSU’s ability to oversee a biological safety 3 level laboratory and recommended approval of the Location and Extent.

 

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

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission approve the CSU Invasive Species Lab Location & Extent, file #05-Z1549, subject to 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 reach agreements on how and when a fair and equitable agreement can be reached to address issues and concerns regarding public facilities and infrastructure in the area.

 

Commissioner Oppenheimer seconded the Motion.

 

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

 

MOTION PASSED:   7-0

 

ITEMS:

Chairman Morgan recused himself from the Timberline Resources Special Review due to his affiliation with a ditch company wherein comments were provided regarding the application.  He asked Commissioner Boulter to reside as Chair.

 

ITEM #2 TIMBERLINE RESOURCES SPECIAL REVIEW #02-Z1432:  Ms. Madson provided background information on the request for a Special Review for open mining of sand and gravel on a 295 acre site with a mining/reclamation area of 78.1 acres in four phases with temporary  access onto Highway 287.  The area is located northeast of LaPorte, south of Highway 287 bypass, ½ mile north of County Road 54G and east of Overland Trail.  The request also includes an Appeal to Section 8.2.8 (2) of the Larimer County Land Use Code to allow a landscaping berm within the 100 foot buffer from a wetland. 

 

Doug Ryan, Health Department, outlined the issues that the Health Department evaluated.  He explained that the highest priority issues with regards to the proposed application were air quality, water quality, and noise.  A fugitive dust control plan and a air quality modeling analysis were submitted by the applicant, which was evaluated and comments were given to the applicant.  Aggregate Industries agreed to pave and maintain the roadway from Highway 287 up into the processing area, which would result in significant dust reduction.  He acknowledged the applicant for assuming the task.  In terms of water quality, he explained that a stormwater management plan was also submitted.  He stated that the most important element was to utilize the mine pit in each phase as a stormwater detention basin so any stormwater runoff would go to the bottom of the pit and be pumped off.  He stated that the control standards outlined in the water quality management plan would adequately protect the water quality.  Lastly, he noted that the applicant had prepared a noise analysis that identified noise levels from particular sources and

 

projected what the noise impacts would be out to the property lines.  Several mitigation measures were outlined in the staff report, which included restricting the hours of operation to not overlap with the evening hour County noise standards, placement of berms to block the path of sound transmission particularly to the residential area to the south, a speed limit for trucks on the “haul” road, and the use of white-noise generators instead of back-up beepers.  The Health Department felt that the noise mitigation ideas identified would be effective in lowering the noise.  He stated that two additional conditions were added to the proposal, which were to have no routine hours of operation on Saturdays and to use electric grid power rather than diesel generators.  He also spoke about the water rights and explained that the final use on the property would be a series of two ponds. 

 

Traci Downs, Engineering Department, stated that the Engineering Department had reviewed the proposal with respect to drainage, ground water, and transportation issues.  Mark Peterson, County Engineer, reviewed the ground water modeling analysis, approved the methods used, and was comfortable with the final results.  A ground water monitoring and mitigation plan was also prepared and reviewed by Mr. Peterson, and he was in support of the results along with the State of Colorado.  Lisa Dunn, Engineering Department, reviewed the drainage aspects of the proposal and found that the detailed drainage report showed that the proposal would not have an adverse affect on the existing drainage facilities and drainage patterns during the mining operation.  Roxann Hayes, Engineering Department, examined the transportation impacts associated with the proposal and determined that the preferred access for the site would be off of Highway 287.  Ms. Downs explained that based on the results of the traffic impact study it was determined that a north bound, left turn deceleration lane into the site would be required along with a south bound, right turn acceleration lane out of the site.  A majority of the trips were to and from the east and based on those results the lanes would be required and built by the applicant.  She noted that prior to commencing construction the detailed construction plans for those turn lanes would have to be reviewed and approved by the Colorado Department of Transportation and the Larimer County Engineering Department.  The applicant would also be required to obtain appropriate Colorado Department of Transportation access permits. 

 

Commissioner Wallace asked when the berms would be constructed?     

 

Ms. Madson explained that the landscape screening and buffering would be installed prior to the mining of each phase, which was included in one of the conditions of approval for the application.  Berms would be put in place to the south prior to the mining of phases 1 and 2 and prior to the mining of phases 3 and 4.

 

Commissioner Wallace asked if any information had been provided concerning the noise level to the west from phase 1 and 2 if the berms for phase 3 and 4 were not put into place yet?

 

Mr. Ryan explained that the noise model prepared by the applicant indicated that even without the berms the decibel levels would be below the noise ordinance, which was 55 decibels.  The model further stated that the addition of berms would be expected to further reduce the noise but would not be necessary to be below the County noise standard. 

 

Commissioner Wallace asked if there was a crushing process that would be involved with the mining, and if so to discuss the issues that would be associated with that process.

 

 

Mr. Ryan replied yes.  The noise model that the applicant prepared indicated that the noise from the source (crushers) and the mitigation of distance of the noise levels at the south property line would be 55 decibels or less. 

 

Commissioner Wallace asked if the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) would have to review the access off of Highway 287 before construction of that process?

 

Ms. Downs replied yes.  It was a condition of approval for the application.

 

Barb Brunk, Landscape Architect with Resource Conservation Partners, commended the County Staff for working with the applicants through the process.  She stated that the proposed mining acreage had decreased from the original proposal of 212 acres down to 78.1 acres.  She addressed the noise concerns and clarified where and when the berms would be in place.  She also explained that the crusher equipment would be approximately ¼ of a mile away from the residential area and after removal of the overburden set below grade.  She stated that it would be about 7 feet below the existing grade with additional stock piles around the edge.  She also noted that the neighborhood concerns had been taken into consideration while evaluating the application.  She stated that the applicant was in complete consensus with Staff except for a couple of conditions that she wanted to discuss.  She stated that the first Staff condition of concern was Condition D, which stated that the applicant would provide documents dedicating an easement for the ditches on the property prior to or concurrent to recording the Development Agreement.  The applicant took the position that it was more appropriate to dedicate easements at the time the property was developed.  Condition H, which dealt with hours of operation was also a concern.  She explained that there were approximately 2.5 million tons of resource on the site and if the hours were changed and Saturdays excluded it would be about a 25% reduction in the time that Aggregate Industries could work on the property; therefore, it may impair the ability to complete the project in 7-10 years.  The other piece of that problem was that there was a demand for concrete on Saturdays in which material would be needed.  In addition, Condition I, which dealt with electric grid power, was an area of concern.  It was felt that the noise issue around the generator could be solved by putting the generator in a berm hole.  The noise analysis revealed that the noise level standards could be met with the generator on the site without electrical power.  Finally, the last concern was the landscape plan which was addressed in Condition P.  There was no issue with installing landscaping and berming, the only problem was the requirement of the installation of a fence.  She stated that in her opinion installing a fence would not be with the character of the neighborhood and would not screen the operation any better than the grass berms that were going to be constructed.      

 

Commissioner Huddleston asked how many tons would be excavated per year?

 

Ms. Brunk replied it could possibly be 0.5 million tons per year but could be as low as 250,000 tons.  That was why there was a range in the time schedule. 

 

Commissioner Oppenheimer asked why there was reluctance to have the electric power?

 

Ms. Brunk replied it was due to the cost.

 

Commissioner Wallace asked if the “crusher” would have to be used on Saturdays?

 

 

Mike Refer, Aggregate Industries – 1707 Cole Boulevard, replied that the plan was to have stock piles on the ground, which would only require usage if there was shortage of a product.  If demand was high, the staff would work overtime on Saturday, but unless the demand was there, it wouldn’t be made a practice to work on Saturdays.

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY:

Bill Seaworth, 2305 N. Taft Hill Road, stated that he was familiar with the property and felt that mining was the best use for it.  He felt that Aggregate Industries had previously not been compliant with their activities at the Stegner Pit, therefore he had worries how activity would be conducted by them at the proposed site.  He realized that the mining needed to be done but felt that the applicant’s proposed hours of operation during the week and on Saturdays would be a nuisance to the community. 

 

Sue Radford, 2732 Wakonda Drive, stated that another gravel pit near her home had hours of operations at times when the County did not staff noise enforcement.  She said that the Health Department staff was the only qualified employee that could address noise complaints because the sheriff could not address industrial noise.  She remarked that in the past the Stegner Pit had noise levels of 68 decibels, which was in violation of the noise ordinance.  She felt that their needed to be a County employee, qualified to handle noise complaints, on staff during the hours of operation.  As a result, the hours needed to be limited to 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

 

John Cochran, 3332 N. Overland Trail, stated that he had a concern regarding the hours of operation and noise level at very early or very late hours due to the back-up beepers.  He also wondered about the access road that went from the property to Overland Trail and did not want that to be used for access.  He also felt that the time limit should be more stipulated because it did have a financial impact to the neighbors.

 

John Gross, 3400 Orchard Drive, acknowledged that Aggregate Industries had changed their plans substantially in ways that were favorable.  However, he had concerns regarding a few issues.  The first was the hours of operation.  He did an informal survey over the telephone and called six of the local gravel pits.  Only one of them had hours on Saturday and had hours that were as long as what was being proposed.  The argument that there needed to be operation hours on Saturday or have long hours for economic viability was spurious.  He acknowledged that there would need to be compromise from all angles.  As citizens they would be living with the gravel pit which would compromise the quality of life for some sustained period and hoped that Aggregate Industries would be willing to make similar compromises.  He hoped that they would try to exceed the minimum regulations that had to be met and try to help out the citizens.  He hoped that the hours of operation would be modified and suggested a start time of 8:00 a.m. with 7:30 a.m. being a rationale compromise.  He noted that the amount of area that would be mined had been reduced but the length of time had not.  He also stated that the operation did impact the economics of the people in the area, and the values of properties would decline.  A reasonable compromise would be to have the length of time of mining be reduced.  He also had hopes that the landscaping plan would be more specific stating that the visual buffers would have to block 80% of the view from the mine and achieve a visual barrier.  In terms of the company’s dispute resolution and annual meetings he was concerned that one annual meeting a year would not resolve a lot of disputes.  He hoped for more regular interaction.  He remarked that the first annual meeting proposed by the applicant was after the equipment went in, and he did not foresee

 

the applicant wanting to rearrange the operation because of neighborhood complaints and issues. 

 

Bobbie Randolph, 3212 N. Overland Trail, spoke more on the potential traffic issues.  She had concerns about the traffic coming out of the pit turning to the north.  She asked if there would be stipulations on whether a left hand turn could be made onto Highway 287 to the north because if not it would put all of the truck traffic going north onto Overland Trail.  That meant that a south bound turn would be made out of the pit, a right turn taken onto County Road 54G, and a track would be made to the north from Overland Trail to Highway 287.  She saw the potential for north bound traffic to have to back track and loop back onto Overland Trail to get to the intersection where they could safely go left.  She also had a concern regarding the hours of operation.  She owned a business that held wedding ceremonies and stated that she could live with hours of Monday through Friday to 5:00 p.m.  However, Saturday hours would be an issue since they had wedding ceremonies mainly on that day. 

 

Terry Waters, 3200 Tharp Drive, commented that DMG did approve the permit but for a different mining plan than what was being reviewed at the present time.  She stated that more information was asked for regarding the asphalt recycling plant, but none had been provided.  Consequently, little information was known about the noise impact and what the intent was of the plant.  She was also concerned about the noise and pollution impacts the plant may have.  She remarked that the phase 4 south berm would not be in place until phase 3 or 4, which according to the plan would be about 7 years, and there were residents to the south that would be effected.  She stated that the traffic study did not acknowledge the safety of Highway 287, which was an issue.  She explained that the reason she got involved with the application was due to a lack of trust. 

 

Mandy Kotzman, 3400 Orchard Lane, had a question about the site of the crushing equipment.  The plan said that the crusher would be set below grade yet she wondered how high the actual equipment was.  She remarked that if it was tall equipment setting some of it below grade would not do much to stop the noise, and wondered where the noise generation would actually be made in terms of grade level.  She also wondered what information a citizen would need in order to file a noise complaint.  She understood that there were County standards regarding the noise but a noise level that was legal could still be offensive to the neighbors.  An operation located in a residential area needed to be more accommodating of people’s needs than stipulated by the law.  She wondered if there would be a request to extend the mining time of the process if the economic need and demand was not there in the next few years. 

 

William Friehauf, 2504 County Road 54G, asked when the Stegner Pit would be completed?  He agreed that the company was not delivering on anything that they had promised to the citizens.  He thought they needed to be held to what they commit to. 

 

Sue Radford, 2732 Wakanda Drive, asked about the water rights.  It was her understanding that the pits would not be lined; therefore, the pits would function like wells.  She explained that there was no possibility for the pits to be dry and dusty when they were reclaimed.  The water rights needed to be procured because water would evaporate. 

 

 

 

 

 

Dennis Harmon, 1326 Truxun Drive, was the manager of the Jackson Ditch Company.  He encouraged the Commission to leave the stipulation regarding the ditch easement in the Conditions of Approval for the project.  He remarked that there was concern regarding groundwater monitoring of the wells in the area and asked for any information regarding that to be sent to him so it could be tracked. 

 

Commissioner terMeer asked why the ditch company wanted to have the ditch easement stipulation since the ditch was not close to the actual mining site?

 

Mr. Harmon replied that it was an opportunity to get the process done and there would be less complication in the future.  

 

Commissioner Wallace asked if there would be a mechanism other than having an annual meeting for citizens to leave complaints such as a voice message system?

 

Connie Davis, Aggregate Industries, stated that an annual meeting would be the initial step or a bi-annual meeting could also be held.

 

Commissioner Wallace felt that a generic complaint line would be beneficial. 

 

Ms. Brunk stated that there would be no back-up beepers just back-up alarms, which were significantly different.  She addressed the access road and said that it would not be utilized by the mining activities.  She also stated that the operation would not devalue the properties.  She explained that the CDOT access permit would specify the direction of traffic.  The traffic pattern would be 80% of traffic towards Fort Collins and 20% traffic to the north.  She explained that after a ruling was made by the County the applicant would go to the Department of Minerals and Geology to make sure their project maps were up to date from when the last DMG permit was obtained.  She also remarked that the recycling plant was accounted for in the noise analysis and dust study, and the DMG permit specifically stated how often it would be done.  It was concrete and asphalt and would run three to four times a year. 

 

Commissioner terMeer asked for Ms. Brunk’s feelings regarding a complaint mechanism.

 

Ms. Brunk responded that communication was very important.  She stated that semi-annual meetings may be needed or even meetings at every 90 day period.  The idea of having a separate phone number for people to call and leave complaints was an attractive mechanism.  She noted that significant measures had been taken to mitigate the noise on the site. 

 

Tom Hesemann, Tetra Tech RMC, spoke regarding the groundwater model. 

 

Mike Refer, Aggregate Industries, stated that the Jackson Ditch Company would be included in the mailings of the groundwater reports.  He explained that the height of the equipment was about 12 feet at the maximum except for the stacking conveyors which were typically 20-25 feet.  As a result, when the topography was lessened by removing 5-7 feet of the overburden, the crusher would have a reduced height leaving approximately half of it above ground.  He admitted that there had been poor communication at their other operations, and they were trying to set a higher precedent for communication with the current application.

 

 

Chairman Boulter asked about the dedication of the easement.

 

Mr. Refer replied that the timing of the dedication of the easement would be dealt with after the reclamation was completed. 

 

Commissioner Wallace asked about using electric power versus the diesel generators.

 

Mr. Refer explained that there were already generators on their equipment, and it would be a considerable cost to install electric.  He stated that the noise engineer would be able to come to the site to test the noise level of the generators to determine if berms needed to be built in different areas and if possibly electrical lines would need to be installed. 

 

Ms. Krotzman remarked that the statements made by the applicant regarding communication were not reassuring.

 

Mr. Ryan explained how the Health Department responded to noise complaints. 

 

Ms. Downs explained that the percentages in the amendment to the traffic impact study dated October 18, 2004 conveyed assumptions that 90% of the traffic were to and from the east and 10% of the traffic was to and from the west.  That information was based on current market conditions, and the auxiliary lanes were based on those percentages.  In the event the market changed an amendment to the Special Review and additional traffic impact studies would be required.

 

Chairman Boulter asked if there would be any restrictions on the truck routes?

 

Ms. Downs replied that the applicant had committed to the 90% / 10% distribution. 

 

Mr. Helmick explained that the purpose of the proposed condition regarding the ditch easement was based on Section 8.8 of the Land Use Code, which discussed protecting irrigation facilities, specifically from adverse development impact.  With the modified plan it was difficult to make a judgment that the Jackson Ditch would be adversely affected by the proposed development.  He stated that he did not disagree with Mr. Harmon’s comments, which expressed that the present time was an opportune time to obtain that easement.  Yet, the applicant did indicate in the record that the property owner had every intention of dedicating that easement at the time a development application was pursued on the broader area of the property.  The Land Use Code, however, suggested that the dedication be recommended.  Nonetheless, it would not be a problem if the condition was removed from the application. 

 

Commissioner Wallace stated that consistency with applications seemed to be a goal and asked what other gravel pit and mining operation’s hours were?

 

Mr. Helmick replied that there was not a standard.  Generally, the usual hours were 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with the earliest start at 6:30 a.m. and latest stopping hour at 7:30 p.m.  There were no operations on Sunday and sometimes operation on Saturdays.  It just depended on the situation and location. 

 

 

 

Commissoner Huddleston asked about the dust and noise mitigation regarding a limited speed on the haul road?

 

Mr. Ryan replied that the applicant committed to limit the speed on the haul road to 15 miles an hour. 

 

Commissoner Huddleston stated that an acceleration lane would be wise to have on the west side of the road.

 

Commissioner terMeer ask how far the berm would be into the wetlands?

 

Ms. Madson replied that the berm would not go into the wetlands but would be located within the 100 foot wetland buffer. 

 

DISCUSSION:

The Commission discussed the various issues that arose from the application.

 

Commissioner Huddleston stated that he agreed with the proposed Condition D regarding the ditch easement. 

 

Commissioner terMeer stated that she would like to see operating hours of 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with normal operation activities occurring from only 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday with no Saturday operations.

 

Commissioner Huddleston agreed with those hours. 

 

Chairman Boulter felt that it was reasonable to restrict the hours and would support Commissioner terMeer’s request.

 

Commissioner Pond stated that he did not see a problem with Saturday operation as long as it was limited to no crusher operation and just load-out.  He recommended starting at a later hour on Saturdays and having Saturday operation occur particularly during summer hours.

 

Commissioner Wallace felt that the issue regarding the turning lanes should be left up to CDOT.

 

Commissioner Huddleston stated that an acceleration lane requirement for the west side of the road should be added into Condition N.  He suggested wording which stated that CDOT would review the westbound traffic impact. 

 

Commissioner Wallace suggested that the applicant set up a process for semi-annual meetings beginning six months before the operation began continuing as long as needed, and a telephone system set up that allowed the public to call and express concerns, which would be responded to.  It would become an additional condition – Condition T. 

 

The Commission had the consensus that Condition D regarding the ditch easement remain. 

 

Commissioner Wallace stated that she felt that the operation should have electrical power. 

 

 

The Commission had the consensus that Condition I regarding electrical power remain. 

 

Commissioner Wallace 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 Timberline Resources Special Review, file #02-Z1432, for the property described on “Exhibit A” to the minutes, and the Appeal to Section 8.2.8 (2) of the LCLUC to allow a landscaping berm within the 100 foot buffer from a wetland be approved subject to the following conditions:

 

A.   The Site shall be developed consistent with the approved plan and with the information contained in the Timberline Resources Special Review (File #02-Z1432), 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 Timberline Resources Special Review.

 

B.   The applicant shall provide a Development Agreement for review and approval by the Board of County Commissioners prior to commencement of the use and no later than December 31, 2005.

 

C.   Prior to or concurrent with the recordation of the Development Agreement the applicant shall dedicate any needed right-of-way along CR 21/Overland Trail as well as along Hwy. 287 (as required by CDOT).  Right-of-way dedication for this project must be accomplished by a properly executed Deed of Dedication (or other property transfer mechanism as determined by CDOT) as a condition of the Special Review.

 

D.   Prior to or concurrent with the recordation of the Development Agreement the applicant shall provide the necessary documents to dedicate an easement for the ditches on the property.

 

E.   The operator shall provide the Larimer County Planning Department a copy of their annual report to the State MLRB concurrent with submittal of the report to the State.

 

F.   The time allowed to complete mining operations is a maximum of 10 years beginning on the date of completion of mining for the Stegner Pit (file #98-Z1281).

 

G.   Prior to the removal of material from the site the internal haul route shall be paved with Hot Mix Asphaltic Concrete (HMAC). The pavement should be placed from the edge of pavement on Hwy. 287 to the processing area (past the scale house). This pavement shall be in place before material is removed from the site. The site access road must be maintained as necessary to prevent excessive silt loading.

 

 

 

 

H.   All routine operations related to this site shall be conducted between 7:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday with start-up and maintenance occurring at 7:00 a.m., normal operations beginning at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m., and the site be closed at 5:30 p.m.

 

I.   Electric grid power shall be used for dewatering, processing and transfer equipment in order to limit noise from diesel generators.

 

J.   Noise mitigation measures identified in the Noise Emission Analysis by Engineering Dynamics Incorporated, dated July 10, 2003 and revised September 16, 2004, shall be implemented in conjunction with the operation of the mine.

 

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

 

L.   State air emission and stormwater discharge permits shall be obtained prior to starting operations, and shall be complied with during the operation of the mine.

 

M.   Except for the permits identified in #L above, the applicant shall obtain all required permits and approvals prior to commencement of the use, including wetland permit from the Army Corps of Engineers and an approved Temporary Substitute Supply Plan for water use associated with mining. 

 

N.   Prior to commencement of the use the applicant shall be responsible for constructing auxiliary lanes at the direct access to Hwy. 287 as recommended in a traffic impact study supplemental memorandum dated 18Oct04 by Matt Delich including the following:

·  The applicant shall construct a northbound left-turn deceleration/storage lane, as well as a southbound right-turn acceleration lane.

·  The applicant shall provide plans to CDOT and Larimer County Engineering Department for review and approval.

·  The applicant shall acquire a CDOT access permit and meet all permit obligations before the use may commence.

·  These lanes shall be constructed and approved by CDOT and Larimer County before the special review use commences.

·  This off-site construction shall be memorialized in the Development Agreement and appropriate collateral provided by the applicant.

·  County Staff and CDOT review the issue of west side left acceleration lanes for feasibility and security. 

 

O.   Transportation Capital Expansion Fees (TCEF) shall be paid before the use commences, or within 120 days of the recordation of the Findings and Resolution approving the Special Review, whichever occurs first. The Larimer County Land Use Code does not have a land use category that covers gravel mining operations, so the fees will be calculated based on the projected average daily traffic submitted with traffic study.

 

 

 

P.   Prior to recordation of the Development Agreement the applicant shall submit a revised landscape plan for County approval by the Larimer County Planning Department.  The landscape plan shall meet the requirements of Section 8.5 of the Land Use Code.

 

Q.   Landscape screening and buffering shall be installed prior to mining of each phase to be mined.  Landscape screening and buffering shall be installed as designed and be maintained as identified on the landscape plan and in good condition. Any dead or dying plant materials shall be replaced within the current or next subsequent growing season.

 

R.   The applicant shall notify Larimer County in writing no later than 30 days prior to commencement of the use for Planning Staff to review the location of silt fencing.  No disturbance of the site shall occur prior to Planning Staff approval of the silt fencing location.  Silt fencing shall be placed at the edge of the 100-foot wetland buffer with the exception of the landscaped berm area where the silt fencing will be placed at the edge of the 50-foot wetland buffer.

 

S.   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.

 

T.   The applicant shall supply sufficient notification and conduct semi-annual dispute resolution meetings prior to the start-up date of the operation continuing every six months thereafter.  The applicant shall also establish an actively monitored telephone system to allow for public comment and concern.

 

Commissioner Huddleston seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioners' Boulter, Huddleston, Oppenheimer, Pond, terMeer, and Wallace voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED:  6-0

 

Commissioner Pond still felt that Saturday operations should be allowed and were needed.

 

Commissioner Huddleston stated that the Commission was trying to establish a pattern for gravel mining operations.

 

Commissioner Wallace appreciated and commended the applicant’s efforts in bringing the application into compliance with the community needs. 

 

ITEM #3 THE GROVE METROPOLITAN DISTRICTS 1, 2, & 3 SERVICE PLAN #05-G0081:  Mr. Helmick provided background information on the request to form a new Metropolitan District to provide for provision of sewer service and to facilitate the provision of other services, including water, roads, and storm drainage.  The new district would be located in the Laporte Planning Area on the north side of County Road 54G immediately east of Kintzley Plaza. 

 

 

David O’Leary, White Bear Ankele, P.C., requested that the 69-acre parcel proposing development of standard public infrastructure be approved and stated that it was necessary to serve the proposed development.  He explained that the development proposed 263 residences with approximately 25,000 square feet of commercial/mixed-used space, and the standard public infrastructure such as water, sewer, drainage, roadways, operation, and maintenance had been cost estimated in the service plan.  A financing plan had also been added to demonstrate the financial feasibility of discharging any debt that was proposed for the districts in a reasonable and financially feasible way.  He noted that there was the possibility of a future inclusion area and/or future expansion of either services or inclusion of additional properties into the districts at a future time.  However, for the purpose of a recommendation, the proposed area was only the 69 acre area for the formation of the districts

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY;

Alden Hill, 160 W. Mountain Avenue, attorney for the West Fort Collins Water District, gave background on the West Fort Collins Water District.  He stated that the District had concerns about the ability to service the proposed district, maintain adequate pressure for other customers, and have passable fire protection.  The District had an obligation to try to provide water service, and a neutral stance concerning growth; nonetheless, there was a concern regarding cost and the ability to work effectively while not inhibiting people already a part of the West Fort Collins Water District.  He questioned whether the proposed district at the present time was capable of providing economical and sufficient service within the proposed boundaries. 

 

Bill Seaworth, 2305 N. Taft Hill Road, was President of the Taylor and Gild Ditch.  He stated that he would like there to be a requirement for the proposed district to finish tiling the ditch to the north.  He stated that he was not against the development; he just did not want to see the ditch be affected. 

 

John Cochran, 3332 N. Overland Trail, reiterated that there were a lot of other properties in the area that would benefit and would appreciate the ability to go to a sewer service.  He remarked that because of the groundwater level and the individual septic systems that existed general sewer service would be positive, yet he did not know if that would help or hinder the situation.  He wondered if it would be first come, first serve basis.  He asked the Commission to take that into consideration. 

 

Tim O’Hara, 1929 W. County Road 56, stated that he was the Chairman for the LaPorte Area Plan Advisory Committee (LAPAC).  He gave background regarding the City of Fort Collins supplying sewer service in the LaPorte Plan area.  He remarked that the applicant was instrumental in getting sewer service to the LaPorte Area Plan.  He stated that a lot of work needed to be done and people needed to be educated about the proposal; however, he felt the plan should be able to occur 

 

Commissioner Wallace asked how confident he was that the proposed Grove Metropolitan District would be able to serve other areas?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. O’Hara replied that an Intergovernmental Agreement was very important.  LAPAC commented that they would like to see the areas that the district could expand into be much larger.  He wanted to see a bigger inclusion area but starting out with a 69-acre area got things going and additional inclusion areas could be brought on later.  He felt that incremental movement was a good plan. 

 

Mr. Hill remarked that a determination had to be made regarding what price public water service could be provided and the area in which to expand. 

 

Mr. O’Leary stated that cost estimates had been provided for water, sewer, drainage, and irrigation systems.  “Will serve” letters had also been obtained from both West Fort Collins Water District and the City of Fort Collins for sanitary sewer treatment. 

 

Commissioner Wallace was concerned that there was a focus on the 69-acres; however, she was focused on whether the proposed district was going to be a process that would work for other areas within the LaPorte area. 

 

Mr. O’Leary stated that there was the capacity and ability to provide additional service and expand the boundaries of the district, which was why a future inclusion area was looked at outside the 69-acre boundary.  He stated that in setting up the district there was a responsibility to the public to attempt to provide services within the district.

 

Chairman Morgan stated that districts like the one proposed had the potential to be very successful or very unsuccessful, and it was important to know if it could be financially viable.  He posed the question of whether it was the mechanism, which would allow goals to be accomplished in LaPorte where problems were occurring such as failing septic lines.  He also had serious questions about the financial viability of the service plan.  He referenced the “District Absorption Level” in the Grove Metropolitan Districts’ service plan and questioned the numbers in the spreadsheet, finding the numbers to be incorrect.  He pointed out that there were not enough funds due to a calculation error.  He also had a concern with the time frame to get the service plan approved because there was not a basis to move forward due to the numbers.  He wondered how the Planning Commission could move forward thinking that the district would be financially viable with incorrect numbers. 

 

Peggy Doswall, Pinnacle Consulting, explained that initially developers would bear the burden and would advance all the costs to do the public improvements.  If those values did not reach a point where public bonds could be issued they would not get repaid.

 

Chairman Morgan stated that the Planning Commission had a responsibility to the people potentially living in the proposed area.  He was reluctant to take the responsibility lightly since the financial numbers did not make sense and felt it was best for the applicant to rework the numbers to see if the service plan and debt service plan worked.  He saw three major problems with the service plan:  1) the viability of the plan, 2) the adequate consideration of the sanitation vs. the metro-district, and 3) a sufficient mechanism to expand the inclusion areas that would effectively get sewer systems.  He felt that there was a need to provide a mechanism to get the sewer service but did not want to compromise the opportunity for the City of Fort Collins to provide sanitary sewer treatment. 

 

 

Mr. O’Leary informed the Commission that a more comprehensive financing plan with a cash flow analysis could be provided to demonstrate feasibility of the plan.

 

Chairman Morgan stated that based on the inadequate information he would recommend to the Board of County Commissioners denial of the service plan. 

 

Mr. O’Leary respectfully requested that an opportunity be given to cure all of the issues rather than recommend denial. 

 

DISCUSSION;

Mr. Helmick stated that his understanding from the City Council’s resolution was that the LaPorte Water and Sanitation District negotiation was far down on the priority list, and the formation of a new district was the preferred alternative.  In regards to the financing issues raised, it was still Staff’s position that the proposal was the appropriate vehicle to facilitate sewer service to the LaPorte area and particularly the proposed property. 

 

Commissioner terMeer asked how people in the community would know they were receiving quality product.  She stated that she would vote to deny the application.  She remarked that she honored Chairman Morgan’s leadership on the proposal.

 

Commissioner Boulter seconded Commissioner terMeer’s appreciation of Chairman Morgan.  He stated that he appreciated the time and effort that was made in examining the proposal and stated that he would support whatever motion Chairman Morgan made because he felt that he had a better understanding of the service plan. 

 

Chairman Morgan stated that he was not at all averse to allowing the developer to develop the land.  His two major concerns were the viability of the long term commitment to the LaPorte area to obtain sewer and whether or not it was the right mechanism. 

 

Commissioner Wallace was concerned about the other alternatives and/or options that would be available for LaPorte if the service plan was denied.  She agreed that the proposed plan had to show that it could potentially work and be financially feasible.

 

Chairman Morgan stated that based on the service plan there was not a level of information that would give reassurance that if approved it would take care of anything else other than its district. 

 

Commissioner Wallace stated that there were two issues of concern involved with the application.  The first was the financial viability wherein documents could be provided to show whether or not it was viable.  The other issue was an alternative mechanism for provision of sewer service to the rest of the residents of LaPorte and some kind of cohesive plan for LaPorte that would provide sewer. 

 

Chairman Morgan stated that it still had to be determined whether the City of Fort Collins would want to deal with multiple districts.  He wondered if the Planning Commission was in a rush to judgment under the time constraints.

 

Commissioner terMeer remarked that fear that the service plan might be the only option available was not a reason to approve it.

 

Commissioner Wallace stated that she was inclined to deny the application because it was unknown what the mechanism for expansion would be.  She felt that there was not enough information to feel comfortable telling the community that the plan would work for the area. 

 

Commissioner terMeer moved that the Planning Commission recommend to the Board of County Commissioners denial of The Grove Metropolitan Districts 1, 2, & 3 Service Plan, file #05-G0081.

 

Commissioner Boulter seconded the Motion.

 

Mr. Helmick noted that the Motion should state what the basis was for denial so the applicant would have the opportunity to respond before the Board of County Commissioner hearing. 

 

Commissioner terMeer stated that the denial was based on a lack of information that brought forth a sense of viability or longevity of the project in the fact that the financial figures did not match, and the plan was not financially feasible.

 

Chairman Morgan referenced the State statue which required the service plan to be disapproved unless satisfactory evidence was presented.  The service plan did not satisfy two aspects listed in the State statue 32-1-203 (2c): The proposed special district is capable of providing economical and sufficient service to the area within its proposed boundaries, and (2d): The area to be included in the proposed special district has, or will have, the financial ability to discharge the proposed indebtedness on a reasonable basis. 

 

Chairman Morgan asked that the Motion be restated.   

 

Commissioner terMeer moved that the Planning Commission recommend to the Board of County Commissioners that The Grove Metropolitan Districts 1, 2, & 3 Service Plan, file #05-G0081, be denied on the basis of State statue 32-1-203 (2c) and (2d) which addressed responsible economic and sufficient service and reasonable indebtedness of the service plan. 

 

Commissioner Boulter seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioner Wallace offered a Friendly Amendment to the Motion to add that “the service plan does not provide substantial and/or sufficient information for expansion of potential inclusion areas and/or withholding or approving additional service annexations or maintenance facilities.” 

 

Commissioner Boulter seconded the Friendly Amendment to the Motion.

 

Commissioner terMeer accepted the Friendly Amendment.

 

Commissioner terMeer 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 Grove Metropolitan Districts 1, 2, & 3 Service Plan, file #05-G0081, be denied on the basis of State statue 32-1-203 (2c) and (2d) which addressed responsible economic and sufficient service and reasonable indebtedness of the service plan, and the service plan does not provide substantial and/or sufficient information for expansion of potential inclusion areas and/or withholding or approving additional service annexations or maintenance facilities.

 

Commissioner Boulter seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioner Huddleston mentioned that when applications submitted were incorrect the County would work with the applicant through the process to correct the information.  He stated that he was inclined to approve the application with the caveat that the applicant worked with Staff to make the appropriate changes. 

 

Commissioner Huddleston voted against the Motion. 

 

Commissioners' Boulter, Oppenheimer, Pond, terMeer, Wallace, and Chairman Morgan voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED:   6-1

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, the hearing adjourned at 11:15 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_______________________________                      ______________________________

Roger Morgan, Chairman                                             Jason Waldo, Secretary

 

EXHIBIT A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT B

 

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