Elk in Rocky Mountain National Park
 

MINUTES OF THE LARIMER COUNTY BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

 

June 28, 2005

 

            The regular meeting of the Larimer County Board of Adjustment was held in the County Board Hearing Room in the Larimer County Courthouse, Fort Collins, Colorado at 7:00 p.m., June 28, 2005.  Members Jeanne Laudick, Eric Berglund, Larry Chisesi, Kent Bruxvoort and Vincent Costanzi were present.  Also in attendance were County Planning Staff members Al Kadera and Casey Stewart and Jeannine S. Haag, Assistant County Attorney.

 

File No:           #05-BOA0564  (Wolcott Setback Variance)

Owner:            Wolcott 8 Properties, LLC

Applicant:       Jerry Wolcott

Property Description:

 

                        Lot 2 Wolcott M.L.D. No. 01-S1730, County of Larimer, State of Colorado

 

            The Petition of Jerry Wolcott, requesting a variance was presented to the Board.  The Petition requested a setback variance upon the above-described property to allow an addition to the existing industrial building to extend closer to a rear property line, resulting in a rear setback of 12 feet rather than the minimum requirement of 20 feet in the C-Commercial zone.

 

            The Board having heard the testimony and arguments concerning the Petition, and having reviewed the record and being fully advised in the premises adopted the following findings:

 

Findings

 

1.         This hearing has been duly advertised in a newspaper of general circulation as required by law.

 

2.         There were no persons in attendance who objected to the request.

 

3.         The property location is NE 18-07-68; 1828 E. Mulberry Street, located on the north side of Mulberry, just east of Airpark Drive.

 

4.         Site data is as follows:

 

a.         Land Area:                               2.39 Acres

b.    Proposed Use:                          Office addition to existing use

c.    Existing Zoning             C-Commercial

d.    Surrounding Zoning:                  C-Commercial

e.    Existing Land Use:                    Commercial, Industrial

f.    Surrounding Land Uses:            Commercial, Industrial

g.    Access:                                    E. Mulberry Frontage Road

 

5.         The applicant proposes to enlarge the office of an existing diesel repair business.  The existing building is currently 25 feet from the rear property line.  The existing building was constructed in 1974, according to County Assessor’s records.  The addition would extend closer to the rear property line to the northeast, resulting in a final setback of 12 feet from the rear property line rather than 20 feet as required by the zoning district. 

 

6.         The applicant is aware that the project is in the flood fringe of the Cache la Poudre River and will be subject to regulations regarding that designation.  The applicant will need to work with the County Engineering Department on compliance with those regulations.  The project is also subject to drainage basin fees and Transportation Capital Expansion fees assessed by the Engineering Department and will be required to pay the fees prior to issuance of a building permit for the addition.

 

7.         The applicable review criteria for the variance have been met as follows:

 

  A.       There are special circumstances or conditions, such as exceptional topographic conditions, narrowness, shallowness or the shape of property, that are peculiar to the land or structure for which the variance is requested.

 

The irregular shape of the property and the configuration of the existing building are special conditions peculiar to this site.  The existing office is on the northeast side of the diesel repair garage which forces any expansion to it close toward the rear property line.

 

  B.       The special circumstances are not the result of action or inaction by the applicant.

 

The special conditions referred to are the result previous development on the site and are not direct results of the action/inaction of the applicant.

 

C.        The strict interpretation and enforcement of the provisions of the code listed above would deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by other land in the area or land with the same zoning designation and would cause an unnecessary and undue hardship.

 

The strict enforcement of the provisions of the code would deprive the applicant of similar rights enjoyed by buildings in the immediate area.  Many of the properties and buildings in the area were developed prior to the setback requirements.  Granting this request would be in harmony with the existing conditions in the area.

 

D.        Granting the variance is the minimum action that will allow use of the land or structure.

 

Granting the requested variance is the minimum action that will allow the applicant to construct and use the proposed office addition.

 

E.         Granting the variance will not adversely affect other property in the vicinity of the subject land or structure.

 

It is not anticipated that granting the variance will adversely affect neighboring properties.  No complaints or objections to the request for a rear yard setback variance have been received by staff.

 

F.         Granting the variance is consistent with the purpose of this code and the Master Plan.

 

Granting the variance would not be contrary to the purposes of the Land Use Code or Master Plan.

 

8.         To approve this request would promote the harmonious development of the area, would be in the best interest of the people of Larimer County, would promote the convenience, prosperity and general welfare of the applicant and the immediate inhabitants of the area, and would be in consonance with the intent and purposes of the Larimer County Land Use Code.

 

Jeanne Laudick moved and Eric Berglund seconded the Motion that the Board adopt the following Resolution:

 

Resolution

 

WHEREAS, the Board having adopted its Findings and said Findings being incorporated in this Resolution by this reference as though fully set forth herein;

 

NOW, BE IT RESOLVED that petitioner be and he hereby is granted his setback variance as requested subject to the following conditions:

 

1.         Failure to comply with any conditions of the variance approval may result in reconsideration of the use and possible revocation of the approval by the Board of Adjustment.

 

2.         This approval shall automatically expire in one year unless the applicant takes affirmative action consistent with the approval.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in the event the Petitioner Jerry Wolcott not act upon the setback variance granted herein by using the above-described property in accordance with this granted variance within one year from the date of this Resolution, this Resolution shall be null and void and of no further force and effect unless upon good cause shown to this Board, and said period of time shall have been extended; such application for an extension of time shall be made by Petition to this Board on or before one year from the date of this Resolution.  If this action involves approval of a use (or expansion of a use) not otherwise permitted on the subject property, and if in the future the subject property is divided, then this action shall only pertain to one parcel resulting from any such division(s) and the Board of County Commissioners shall in its discretion determine which one of the resulting parcels shall enjoy the benefits of this action.

 

The question was called and members Jeanne Laudick, Eric Berglund, Larry Chisesi, Kent Bruxvoort and Vincent Costanzi voted in favor of the Resolution.  The Findings and Resolution were duly adopted and the setback variance was granted subject to conditions.

 

File No:           #05-BOA0565  (Connie Carlson Setback Variance)

Owner:            Constance V. Connie

Applicant:       Allen D. Curtis

Property Description:

 

Lots 40, 41, and 42, Second Annex to Poudre Park and Lot 1, Amended Plat of Lots 43, 44, and 45 of the Second Annex to Poudre Park, County of Larimer, State of Colorado

 

            The Petition of Allen Curtis, requesting a variance was presented to the Board.  The Petition requested a setback variance upon the above-described property to allow a proposed replacement single-family dwelling to be located 15 feet from the centerline of Falls Creek rather than the required minimum of 100 feet and to be 10 feet from the front property line, rather than the required minimum of 25 feet in the O-Open zone.

 

            The Board having heard the testimony and arguments concerning the Petition, and having reviewed the record and being fully advised in the premises adopted the following findings:

 

Findings

 

1.         This hearing has been duly advertised in a newspaper of general circulation as required by law.

 

2.         There were no persons in attendance who objected to the request.

 

3.         The property location is SE 02-08-71; 117 Falls Creek Drive, located south of Poudre Park in the Poudre Canyon.

 

4.         Site data is as follows:

 

a.         Land Area:                               1.2 Acres

b.         Proposed Use:                          Single Family Residence

c.         Existing Zoning             O-Open

d.         Surrounding Zoning:                  O-Open

e.         Existing Land Use:                    Single Family Residence

f.          Surrounding Land Uses:            Residential, Recreational

g.         Access:                                    Falls Creek Drive

 

5.         There is an existing residence and detached garage on the subject property.  The applicant proposes to demolish and remove the existing buildings in order to replace them.  The current buildings are located 14 feet (residence) and 36 feet (garage) from Falls Creek and extend over the front property line.  Both of the proposed buildings would be located 15 feet from Falls Creek and 10 feet from the front property line.  The applicant has presented a request for the buildings to be located 15 feet from the center of Falls Creek and 10 feet from the front property line, rather than the required setbacks of 100 feet and 25 feet, respectively.

 

6.         There is concern with the proposed request that will need to be resolved before applying for a building permit for the new structures.  There is an existing, platted 20-foot utility easement that runs on the property and parallels the front property line.  The proposed buildings encroach into that easement.  The Board does not have authority to approve encroachment into the easement or to vacate the easement.  The owners could apply to the Board of County Commissioners to vacate all or a portion of the easement.  The recommendation for the variance request is to approve subject to the condition that the owner resolve the encroachment into the easement.

 

7.         The applicable review criteria for the variance have been met as follows:

 

  A.       There are special circumstances or conditions, such as exceptional topographic conditions, narrowness, shallowness or the shape of property, that are peculiar to the land or structure for which the variance is requested.

 

The extremely steep topography to the rear of the lot creates limited area for building.  The only suitable building area is right along the creek near the location of the existing buildings.  By reconfiguring the building layout with the new buildings, the owners are able to contain the buildings within the lot boundaries and correct the existing problem of buildings extending over the front property line.  The proposed building locations are approximately 10 feet above the creek elevation, which mitigates much of the flooding concern associated with close proximity to a creek.

 

  B.       The special circumstances are not the result of action or inaction by the applicant.

 

The special conditions above are not the result of any action or inaction of the applicant.  The owners had no control of the extreme terrain.  The lot configuration and the original residence existed prior to the current ownership.

 

C.        The strict interpretation and enforcement of the provisions of the code listed above would deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by other land in the area or land with the same zoning designation and would cause an unnecessary and undue hardship.

 

There are many other buildings in the vicinity that do not meet setback requirements from Falls Creek.  Two were granted variances in the past two years, and others have been there for 40-50 years.  The strict enforcement of the Code would prevent the applicant from enjoying similar rights of surrounding property owners. 

 

D.        Granting the variance is the minimum action that will allow use of the land or structure.

 

Granting the requested variance is the minimum action that will allow the applicant to construct and use the replacement single-family dwelling and detached garage.

 

E.         Granting the variance will not adversely affect other property in the vicinity of the subject land or structure.

 

It is not anticipated that granting the variance will adversely affect neighboring properties.  No objections or complaints from surrounding property owners have been received by the Planning Department.

 

F.         Granting the variance is consistent with the purpose of this code and the Master Plan.

 

Granting the variance would not be contrary to the purposes of the Land Use Code or Master Plan.

 

8.         To approve this request would promote the harmonious development of the area, would be in the best interest of the people of Larimer County, would promote the convenience, prosperity and general welfare of the applicant and the immediate inhabitants of the area, and would be in consonance with the intent and purposes of the Larimer County Land Use Code.

 

Jeanne Laudick moved and Eric Berglund seconded the Motion that the Board adopt the following Resolution:

 

Resolution

 

WHEREAS, the Board having adopted its Findings and said Findings being incorporated in this Resolution by this reference as though fully set forth herein;

 

NOW, BE IT RESOLVED that petitioner be and he hereby is granted his setback variance as requested subject to the following conditions:

 

1.         The applicant shall complete apply for a building permit for the proposed buildings and obtain all final inspections as necessary to finalize the permits.

 

2.         The owner shall correct the proposed encroachments into the 20-foot utility easement along the front property line by vacating or adjusting the easement lines OR by moving or modifying the buildings so they don’t encroach.  The encroachment problem shall be resolved and the building permits applied for prior to the one year expiration date of this variance approval.

 

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

 

4.         This approval shall automatically expire in one year unless the applicant takes affirmative action consistent with the approval.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in the event the Petitioner Allen Curtis not act upon the setback variance granted herein by using the above-described property in accordance with this granted variance within one year from the date of this Resolution, this Resolution shall be null and void and of no further force and effect unless upon good cause shown to this Board, and said period of time shall have been extended; such application for an extension of time shall be made by Petition to this Board on or before one year from the date of this Resolution.  If this action involves approval of a use (or expansion of a use) not otherwise permitted on the subject property, and if in the future the subject property is divided, then this action shall only pertain to one parcel resulting from any such division(s) and the Board of County Commissioners shall in its discretion determine which one of the resulting parcels shall enjoy the benefits of this action.

 

The question was called and members Jeanne Laudick, Eric Berglund, Larry Chisesi, Kent Bruxvoort and Vincent Costanzi voted in favor of the Resolution.  The Findings and Resolution were duly adopted and the setback variance was granted subject to conditions.

 

File No:           #05-BOA05  (Mahoney Setback Variance)

Owner:            Craig & Connie Mahoney

Applicant:       Van Horn Engineering/Surveying / Lonnie Sheldon

Property Description:

 

Lot 21 and the Easterly 1/2 of Lot 22, Block 1, Berthoud-Dale Subdivision, County of Larimer, State of Colorado.

 

            The Petition of Van Horn Engineering/Surveying, Lonnie Sheldon appearing, requesting a variance was presented to the Board.  The Petition requested a setback variance upon the above-described property to allow an addition to an existing, nonconforming structure that would result in a setback of 66 feet from the centerline of Big Thompson River rather than the required minimum of 100 feet, and 1.6 feet from the edge of an established road rather than the required minimum of 25 feet in the O-Open zone.

 

            The Board having heard the testimony and arguments concerning the Petition, and having reviewed the record and being fully advised in the premises adopted the following findings:

 

Findings

 

1.         This hearing has been duly advertised in a newspaper of general circulation as required by law.

 

2.         There were no persons in attendance who objected to the request.

 

3.         The property location is NE ¼ of 21-05-72; 2599 Highway 34, located on north side of Highway 34 at mile marker #66, northeast of Estes Park.

 

4.         Site data is as follows:

 

a.         Land Area:                               0.23 Acres

b.         Proposed Use:                          Single-family dwelling

c.         Existing Zoning             O-Open

d.         Surrounding Zoning:                  O-Open

e.         Existing Land Use:                    Single-family dwelling

f.          Surrounding Land Uses:            Recreational, Residential

g.         Access:                                    U.S. Highway 34

 

5.         The property owner proposes to remodel and expand an existing cabin on the subject property.  The existing cabin is nonconforming with respect to the building setback requirements from the existing road and the Big Thompson River.  The existing cabin is currently 71.6 feet (100 feet required) from the centerline of the Big Thompson River and 7.7 feet (25 feet required) from the edge of the existing road.  The proposal involves expanding the living area to extend 2 feet closer to the road, a bay window that extends another 2 feet from the addition and adding a second level deck.  The proposed, resultant setbacks would be 1.6 feet from the edge of the road and 66 feet from the center of the river.

 

6.         The owners’ representative testified that the Berthoud Dale Subdivision was Platted in l921.  The road is private and only serves approximately seven lots.  The Subdivision Plat is vague and lacks dimensions for the lots. The road is not within the platted right-of-way.  The proposed additions could meet setback if they were measured from where the road was platted instead of where the road is actually located.  The County Engineering Department has stated that the addition will not impact the road right-of-way.  There will be twenty feet of road between the post on which the deck will be mounted and the other edge of the road.  This will accommodate two fire trucks going full speed.  Two houses down from the subject have only twelve feet between them and a tree.       

 

7.         The applicable review criteria for the variance have been met as follows:

 

              A.       There are special circumstances or conditions, such as exceptional topographic conditions, narrowness, shallowness or the shape of property, that are peculiar to the land or structure for which the variance is requested.

 

The property consists of rocky terrain and is narrow in shape.  The existing dwelling is already nonconforming with respect to the setback from a road and the river.   There is an existing residence that has been there since 1920.  There was a variance granted in 2000 for an addition to the side of the house (west).  The applicant’s lot is 0.23 acres and the building envelope is very small--.11 acres.  This is restricted further by a 20-foot high rock wall that prohibits the owners from building on a large portion of their lot.  This results in a building envelope of 865 square feet.  The lots is a legal lot within the l921 platted Berthoud Dale Subdivision.  Also, most of the other existing houses in the subdivision violate the prescribed river and road setbacks of 100’ (+/- 63’ to 71’ from the centerline of the river and +/- 1.5’ to 5’ from the edge of the road.

 

              B.       The special circumstances are not the result of action or inaction by the applicant.

 

The physical characteristics of the lot, which were not the result of action or inaction of the applicant, make it difficult for any construction.

 

            C.        The strict interpretation and enforcement of the provisions of the code listed above would deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by other land in the area or land with the same zoning designation and would cause an unnecessary and undue hardship.

 

There are other residences along this same road and adjacent to the subject property that encroach into the setback from the road.

 

            D.        Granting the variance is the minimum action that will allow use of the land or structure.

 

   Granting the requested variance is the minimum action that will allow the applicant to use the property and existing dwelling for residential purposes.  The addition will provide approximately 170 square feet of living space and 300 square feet of deck addition.  The addition is proposed on the front of the house, the existing deck is to be remodeled into a living area (with a 2-foot addition toward the river) and the area to the west of the existing deck will be the location of the new deck.  The building addition is proposed outside of the floodplain limits.

 

            E.         Granting the variance will not adversely affect other property in the vicinity of the subject land or structure.

 

Granting the variance will not adversely affect neighboring properties.  Given the similar locations/positions of neighboring properties, there will be no negative impact on the neighborhood.  Also, the next group of houses to the east located on the river are much closer to the centerline of the river (+/- 30’ from the centerline of the river and +/- 10’ from the bank of the river).  This proximity to the river is not uncommon for the area.  No other property owners in the area objected to this proposal.

 

            F.         Granting the variance is consistent with the purpose of this code and the Master Plan.

 

Granting the variance would not be contrary to the purposes of the Land Use Code or Master Plan because it diminishes the public safety and welfare to residences along this road. 

 

8.         To approve this request would promote the harmonious development of the area, would be in the best interest of the people of Larimer County, would promote the convenience, prosperity and general welfare of the applicant and the immediate inhabitants of the area, and would be in consonance with the intent and purposes of the Larimer County Land Use Code.

 

Jeanne Laudick moved and Vincent Costanzi seconded the Motion that the Board adopt the following Resolution:

 

Resolution

 

WHEREAS, the Board having adopted its Findings and said Findings being incorporated in this Resolution by this reference as though fully set forth herein;

 

NOW, BE IT RESOLVED that petitioners be and they hereby are granted their setback variance as requested.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in the event the Petitioners Van Horn Engineering/Surveying and Lonnie Sheldon not act upon the setback variance granted herein by using the above-described property in accordance with this granted variance within one year from the date of this Resolution, this Resolution shall be null and void and of no further force and effect unless upon good cause shown to this Board, and said period of time shall have been extended; such application for an extension of time shall be made by Petition to this Board on or before one year from the date of this Resolution.  If this action involves approval of a use (or expansion of a use) not otherwise permitted on the subject property, and if in the future the subject property is divided, then this action shall only pertain to one parcel resulting from any such division(s) and the Board of County Commissioners shall in its discretion determine which one of the resulting parcels shall enjoy the benefits of this action.

 

The question was called and members Jeanne Laudick, Eric Berglund, Larry Chisesi, Kent Bruxvoort and Vincent Costanzi voted in favor of the Resolution.  The Findings and Resolution were duly adopted and the setback variance was granted.                  

 

***

 

By Motion duly made, seconded and carried, the meeting was adjourned at 7:35 p.m.

 


 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

            By Motion duly made, seconded and carried the above and foregoing minutes were approved on the _____ day of __________________, 2005.

 

                                                            LARIMER COUNTY BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

 

 

                                                By:       __________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

ATTEST:

 

 

 

________________________________

 

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