Loveland Bike Trail
 

LARIMER COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION

Minutes of August 18, 2010

 

The Larimer County Planning Commission met in a regular session on Wednesday, August 18, 2010, at 6:30 p.m. in the Hearing Room.  Commissioners’ Cox, Dougherty, Glick, Hess, Miller, Wallace, Weitkunat and Wendt were present.  Commissioner Hart presided as Chairman.  Also present were Matt Lafferty, Principle Planner, Rob Helmick, Senior Planner, Michael Whitley, Planner II, Sean Wheeler, Planner II, Jeff Goodell, Engineering Department, Doug Ryan, Health Department and Jill Wilson, Planning Technician and Recording Secretary. 

 

Mr. Lafferty accompanied Commissioners Dougherty, Glick, Hart, Miller, Wallace, Weitkunat and Wendt on a site visit to Burr Special Review, Freeman Special Review, and Front Range Vet Clinic Special Review.  Commissioner Hess 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 JULY 21, 2010 MEETINGS:   MOTION by Commissioner Cox to approve the minutes, seconded by Commissioner Glick.  This received unanimous voice approval.

 

AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA:

None.

 

CONSENT ITEM:

 

ITEM #1  FRONT RANGE VET CLINIC SPECIAL REVIEW #10-Z1792:  Mr. Wheeler provided background information on the request to allow an outdoor use area for up to 30-40 dogs as part of a Pet Animal Facility in the C-Commercial zone district located on the north side of Mulberry between Delozier Road and I-25. 

 

Commissioner Weitkunat asked about Condition 12, which required the applicant to obtain an Agreement to Annex to the City of Fort Collins.

 

Mr. Wheeler explained that Larimer County had an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Fort Collins; therefore, it was a standard requirement to require the agreement to annex.

 

DISCUSSION:

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 Front Range Vet Clinic Special Review, file #10-Z1792, for the property described on “Exhibit A” to the minutes, be approved with the following conditions:

 

 

 

 

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.  The Site shall be developed consistent with the approved plan and with the information contained in the Front Range Veterinary Clinic Special Review, File #10-Z1792, 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 Front Range Veterinary Clinic.

 

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

 

3.   This application is approved without the requirement for a Development Agreement.  In lieu of a Development Agreement, the Findings and Resolution shall be a servitude running with the Property.  Those owners of the Property or any portion of the Property who obtain title subsequent to the date of recording of the Findings and Resolution, their heirs, successors, assigns or transferees, and persons holding under applicants shall comply with the terms and conditions of the Special Review approval.

 

4.   In the event the applicant fails to comply with any conditions of approval or otherwise fails to use the property consistent with the approved Special Review, applicant agrees that in addition to all other remedies available to County, County may withhold building permits, issue a written notice to applicant to appear and show cause why the Special Review approval should not be revoked, and/or bring a court action for enforcement of the terms of the Special Review.  All remedies are cumulative and the County’s election to use one shall not preclude use of another.  In the event County must retain legal counsel and/or pursue a court action to enforce the terms of this Special Review approval, applicant agrees to pay all expenses incurred by County including, but not limited to, reasonable attorney’s fees.

 

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.   At time of building permit application, the owner is responsible for obtaining all required building permits for the modifications to existing structures and for new structures related to the Front Range Veterinary Clinic.  All applicable fees, including permit fees, the Transportation Capital Expansion Fees and the Boxelder Drainage Basin fees, shall apply to this use.  The Transportation Capital Expansion Fee and the Boxelder Drainage Basin fee shall be paid when  application is made for the new kennel structure for the Front Range Veterinary Clinic.

 

7.   Site Plan Review and approval by Larimer County is required prior to the addition of any new structures on the property, subject to the requirements in Section 6 of the Land Use Code.

 

 

 

8.   Approval of the Site Plan will require connection of the site to the public sanitary sewer system, and the provision of a Deed of Dedication for rights-of-way subject to the requirements of the Colorado Department of Transportation at the time of Site Plan approval.

 

9.   The use is subject to the requirements of the Larimer County Noise Ordinance.  In the event valid noise complaints are received by the County, the kennel operation will convert to an indoor facility with only supervised outdoor canine activities allowed.  The indoor facility will need to be fitted with adequate heating and air conditioning equipment to allow operation with closed doors and windows.

 

10  The applicant shall provide a plan for screening the outdoor use area per the requirements in Section 8.5 of the Land Use Code within three years of the date of approval by the Board of County Commissioners, or as part of the Site Plan approval, whichever should come first.

 

11. Within six months of the date of public hearing approval by the Board of County Commissioners, the applicant shall provide a signed agreement with the Lake Canal Reservoir Company regarding requirements for development of the site in relation to the irrigation ditch.  In the event the applicant is unable to reach agreement with the Ditch Company, he may request  Board of County Commissioner approval for alteration of this condition.  The request to modify this condition of approval must be made within six months of the date of the public hearing with the Board of County Commissioners.

 

12. Within six months of the date of the public hearing approval by the Board of County Commissioners, the applicant will provide a copy of a signed Agreement to Annex with the City of Fort Collins.

 

Commissioner Glick seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioners' Cox, Dougherty, Glick, Hart, Hess, Miller, Weitkunat, Wendt and Chairman Wallace voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED:  9-0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ITEMS:

 

ITEM #2  FREEMAN MEDICAL MARIJUANA SPECIAL REVIEW #10-Z1800:  Mr. Helmick provided background information on the request for a medical marijuana grow operation and dispensary in the C-Commercial zoning district located at 813 Smithfield Drive, which was south of Mulberry and west of I-25.  He described the surrounding area and uses.  He stated that the site met the setback distances required in the Medical Marijuana section of the Land Use Code.  He mentioned that the applicants held a neighborhood meeting but no neighbors attended.  Staff also had not received any opposition from surrounding properties owners.  The Development Services Team was recommending approval.  He noted that a condition 10 needed to be added as the site was in the Fort Collins Growth Management Area, and the applicants would need to obtain an agreement to annex from the City of Fort Collins.  He recommended the language to state, “An agreement to annex shall be executed no later than 90 days after the Board of County Commissioner final action.”

 

Erica Freeman, applicant, thanked staff for their time and effort.  She realized that the business proposal caused controversy but also realized that it had potential to help people and help the healthy economic growth of Larimer County.  She stated that the business model was based upon the regulations put forth by the Larimer County Board of Commissioners and the State of Colorado.  She asked for a recommendation of approval based on the fact that the site was zoned properly and that there had been no opposition including from the other tenants in the building. 

 

Seth Gustin, applicant, stated that in the meeting minutes from January 4, 2010 the process, requirements, and permissible locations or zones to open a medical marijuana center and grow operation were clearly defined.  Those requirements were voted on and passed by the Planning Commission and the County Commissioners and adopted in to the Larimer County Land Use Code.  The proposal met those requirements and deadlines, and they had encountered no negative feedback from both their public meeting or by the phone number listed in the send out for that meeting.  Given those reasons, as well as the recommendation from the Planning Department, he asked that the commission recommend approval of the project.

 

Brian Freeman, applicant, stated that there were not any legally permitted medical marijuana businesses in unincorporated Larimer County, therefore money generated was not staying in the community.  Examples included sales tax revenues, application fees, card revenues, and the ability to rent buildings.  He stated that those were all excellent reasons why a recommendation of approval should be made to the County Commissioners.

 

Sara Gustin, applicant, pointed out that they did not have any appeals to the standards and that no one had attended their neighborhood meeting.  In the previous hearings regarding medical marijuana location and compatibility were issues as it related to the proximity to areas where children congregated.  There were also concerns raised regarding the sale of alcohol near those locations.  Given the proposed location those issues did not relate to their application.  The business location was compatible with the original intent of the regulations approved in January.  To date there had been no opposition to the proposal.  She asked that a recommendation of approval be forwarded to the County Commissioners.

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY:

Bob Weisser, owner of the building of the proposed medical marijuana business, stated that from a business prospective he had never seen or been associated with a group of people who had tried as hard as the applicants to do things professionally and in a licensed and legal manner. 

 

Commissioner Cox asked if there would be a delivery service.

 

Mr. Helmick replied no.

 

Commissioner Dougherty asked if Transportation Capital Expansion Fees would be assessed.

 

Mr. Helmick explained that the total traffic compared to the historic traffic needed to be evaluated.  If a fee was required from that evaluation, it would be assessed.  He noted that it was included as a condition of approval. 

 

DISCUSSION:

Commissioner Glick stated that the application met all the requirements of the Land Use Code.  Therefore he was in favor of the application.

 

Commissioner Weitkunat agreed with Commissioner Glick.  She appreciated the presentation, attitude, and demeanor of the applicants.  She also felt that it was invaluable for the property owner to also address the commission. 

 

Commissioner Hess agreed with Commissioners Glick and Weitkunat. 

 

Commissioner Dougherty thanked the applicants for addressing the Land Use Code regulations in their presentation,   and not addressing the emotional, medicinal, or personal reasons for wanting approval of the special review.

 

Commissioner Miller recommended approval.

 

Commissioner Wallace pointed out that the proposal met the criteria in the Land Use Code.  However, meeting the distance requirements did not necessarily mean that it met the primary criterion which was that the proposed use would be compatible with the surrounding existing and allowed uses in the area and be in harmony with the neighborhood.  She stated that the proposal was in harmony with the neighborhood and met that criteria.

 

Commissioner Glick 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 Freeman Medical Marijuana Special Review, file #10-Z1800, for the property described on “Exhibit B” to the minutes, be approved with the following conditions and added condition 10:

 

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.

 

 

 

2.   The Site shall be developed consistent with the approved plan and with the information contained in the FREEMAN MEDICAL MARIJUANA (CHOICE ORGANICS) File # 10-Z1800 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 FREEMAN MEDICAL MARIJUANA (CHOICE ORGANICS).

 

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

 

4.   This application is approved without the requirement for a Development Agreement.

 

5.   In the event the applicant fails to comply with any conditions of approval or otherwise fails to use the property consistent with the approved Special Review, applicant agrees that in addition to all other remedies available to County, County may withhold building permits, issue a written notice to applicant to appear and show cause why the Special Review approval should not be revoked, and/or bring a court action for enforcement of the terms of the Special Review.  All remedies are cumulative and the County’s election to use one shall not preclude use of another.  In the event County must retain legal counsel and/or pursue a court action to enforce the terms of this Special Review approval, applicant agrees to pay all expenses incurred by County including, but not limited to, reasonable attorney’s fees.

 

6.   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.

 

7.   The Findings and Resolution shall be a servitude running with the Property.  Those owners of the Property or any portion of the Property who obtain title subsequent to the date of recording of the Findings and Resolution, their heirs, successors, assigns or transferees, and persons holding under applicants shall comply with the terms and conditions of the Special Review approval.

 

8.   The applicant shall pay the Transportation Capital Expansion Fees (TCEF) before the use commences, or within 120 days of the recordation of the Findings and Resolution approving the Special Review, whichever occurs first.

 

9.   The applicant shall install back flow prevention devices in coordination with ELCO prior to beginning the grow operations.  Applicant shall provide written confirmation of the approved installation prior to commencing operation. 

 

10.    The applicant shall execute an Agreement to Annex to the City of Fort Collins within 90 days of approval by the Board of County Commissioners.

 

Commissioner Dougherty seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioner Cox abstained from voting.

 

Commissioners' Dougherty, Glick, Hart, Hess, Miller, Weitkunat, Wendt and Chairman Wallace voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED:  8-0

 

 

ITEM #3  BURR SPECIAL REVIEW #10-Z1779:  Mr. Whitley provided background information on the request for a medical marijuana grow operation and dispensary in the I-Industrial zoning district located at 312 N. Link Lane, which was east of Link Lane approximately 260 feet north of the intersection of Link Lane and Duff Drive.  He described the surrounding area which was a mix of commercial and industrial uses.  The applicant’s plan was to have a grow operation for up to 1800 plants and a medical marijuana dispensary serving up to 300 patients.  There would also be up to 15 employees.  There would be limited delivery service to patients with mobility issues.  He noted that the lot did not currently contain paved parking; therefore, if the application was approved nine parking spaces would be provided on site.  He stated that the application did meet all the separation requirements stipulated in the Land Use Code.  He stated that the Development Services Team was recommending approval.

 

Commissioner Hess asked if the application met the City of Fort Collins requirements regarding medical marijuana businesses.

 

Mr. Whitley replied yes.

 

Jerry Eschbaugh, applicant, thanked the commission and thanked staff for their time and effort.

 

Commissioner Wallace asked if there was an association in the area.

 

Mr. Eschbaugh replied that there was a Fort Collins Business Center Association, which was a formal association of the local business owners in the area.  He stated that he spoke before the association board at their annual meeting. 

 

Commissioner Weitkunat asked about the number of plants that was being proposed.

 

Mr. Eschbaugh explained that he was asking for 1800 plants.  By following the State guidelines he multiplied the number patients (300) by 6 plants per patient which equaled 1800.  He stated he would start out with 100 plants and did not intend to have 1800 plants.  He asked for more plants just as a safe guard.  He noted that his landlord approved the business in the building. 

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY:

Gene Spencer, owned property next to the proposed site, stated that he was opposed to the business.  He stated that his tenant was concerned about the business being next door.  Parking was also a concern as there was limited parking, and he did not want the applicant’s customers to use his parking lot.  He noted that he was on the board for the business park association and was at the annual meeting when the applicant spoke.  He stated that he was unaware of any other opposition besides his own.

 

Mr. Eschbaugh understood that there was opposition to his business. 

 

 

Mr. Whitley noted that there was a condition of approval that required nine parking spaces to be provided if the Special Review was approved. 

 

Commissioner Cox asked if there was an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for medical marijuana operations.

 

Mr. Whitley explained that the Health Department, water service, sewer service, and fire department reviewed those issues and expressed their requirements. 

 

Commissioner Cox mentioned that the proposed application went into great detail regarding their operations.  Nevertheless, she was concerned that there were no guidelines in place regarding hazardous materials or how plants were grown with nutrients and fertilizers.  She felt that the county regulations had not caught up to the issues that pertained to the business such as EPA perspectives, impacts to the neighborhood, utility standards/requirements, etc.  She also felt that the applications were inconsistent and needed to have more information and detail regarding their grow operations.  She explained that she abstained from voting from the last application because she could not make a decision applicable to the code due to the above reasons. 

 

DISCUSSION:

Commissioner Dougherty commented that the fire department required MSDS sheets on all fertilizers.  He noted that there were fertilizers used with other agricultural uses in the county and did not see a difference with the fertilizers used for those uses and the fertilizers used for the medical marijuana.  He appreciated the applicant’s information about his operation.

 

Commissioner Wallace commented that just because the application met the separation requirements of the code regarding medical marijuana businesses it did not necessarily mean that it met the review criterion in the code regarding compatibility and harmony with the surrounding area. 

 

Commissioner Cox explained that the medical marijuana business was in a confined building in an area with many other surrounding buildings, which made it different from using fertilizers in a farming community.  The grow operation applications discussed using chemicals yet there were no requirements for those issues.  She stated she wanted to see consistency with the applications.

 

Commissioner Miller understood Commissioner Cox’s concerns but pointed out that there were many greenhouses in the county that operated under similar circumstances.  He did not see the fertilizers being a high pollutant. 

 

Commissioner Weitkunat 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 Burr Special Review, file #10-Z1779, for the property described on “Exhibit C” to the minutes, be approved subject to the following conditions:

 

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.

 

 

 

2.    The Site shall be developed consistent with the approved plan and with the information contained in the Burr Special Review File # 10-Z1779 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 Burr Special Review.

 

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

 

4.    This application is approved without the requirement for a Development Agreement.

 

5.    In the event the applicant fails to comply with any conditions of approval or otherwise fails to use the property consistent with the approved Special Review, applicant agrees that in addition to all other remedies available to County, County may withhold building permits, issue a written notice to applicant to appear and show cause why the Special Review approval should not be revoked, and/or bring a court action for enforcement of the terms of the Special Review.  All remedies are cumulative and the County’s election to use one shall not preclude use of another.  In the event County must retain legal counsel and/or pursue a court action to enforce the terms of this Special Review approval, applicant agrees to pay all expenses incurred by County including, but not limited to, reasonable attorney’s fees.

 

6.    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.

 

7.    The Findings and Resolution shall be a servitude running with the Property.  Those owners of the Property or any portion of the Property who obtain title subsequent to the date of recording of the Findings and Resolution, their heirs, successors, assigns or transferees, and persons holding under applicants shall comply with the terms and conditions of the Special Review approval.

 

8.    The applicant shall obtain all necessary building and/or change of occupancy permits and shall comply with the applicable Building and Fire Code requirements which may vary depending on the type and quantities of chemicals used and stored within the building.

 

9.    The applicant shall provide a letter from ELCO indicating the installation of a back flow prevention device has been completed.  

 

10.   The property owner shall sign an Annexation Agreement to the City of Fort Collins within 60 days from the date of approval.

 

Commissioner Dougherty seconded the Motion.

 

 

Commissioner Cox abstained from voting.

 

Commissioners' Dougherty, Glick, Hart, Hess, Miller, Weitkunat, Wendt, and Chairman Wallace voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED:  8-0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

ADJOURNMENT:   There being no further business, the hearing adjourned at 7:35 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.

 

 

 

 

_______________________________                      ______________________________

Gerald Hart, Chairman                                               Jana Hess, Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT A

 

 

 

 

PT SW 9-7-68 DESC AS BEG AT PT ON S LN OF SW WH SW COR BEARS N 89 12' W 458.76 FT, S 89 12' E 199.57 FT TO C/L LAKE CANAL, TH ALG SD C/L N 13 37' W 239.1 FT, N 15 15' W 97.92 FT, N 57 46' W 132.4 FT, TH LEAV SD C/L S 0 48' W 394.72 FT TPOB (1.266 AC M/L) (C43N8912W)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT B

 

 

LOT 24, SMITHFIELD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT C

 

 

 

Lot 9, Fort Collins Business Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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