Loveland Bike Trail
 

MINUTES OF THE LARIMER COUNTY BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

 

August 28, 2007

 

            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., August 28, 2007.  Members Jean Christman, Evelyn King, Eric Berglund, Matt Strauch and Greg Christensen were present.  Also in attendance were County Planning Staff members Matt Lafferty and Samantha Mott.

 

            By Motion duly made, seconded and carried, the reading of the Minutes of the meetings of June 26, 2007 and July 24, 2007 was dispensed with and such Minutes were approved.

 

File No:           #07-BOA0664  (Ryan Setback Variance) 

Owner:            Thomas & Deborah Ryan

Applicant:       Thomas & Deborah Ryan

Property Description:

 

LOT 7, LOST BROOK SUBDIVISION, COUNTY OF LARIMER, STATE OF COLORADO

 

            The Application of Thomas and Deborah Ryan, requesting a variance was presented to the Board.  The Application requested a setback variance upon the above-described property to allow a detached garage to be located 13 feet from the east property line rather than the required minimum of 25 feet in the FO-Forestry zone.

 

            The Board having heard the testimony and arguments concerning the Application, 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.         The property location is NE 27-4-73; 235 Lost Brook Drive, Estes Park; located approximately ¼ mile north of the intersection of Lost Brook Drive and Gillette, Lot 7 of the Lost Brook Subdivision.

 

3.         Site data is as follows:

 

a.         Land Area:                               5.41 Acres

b.    Proposed Use:                          Residential

c.    Existing Zoning:             FO-Forestry

d.    Surrounding Zoning:                  FO-Forestry

e.    Existing Land Use:                    Residential

f.    Surrounding Land Uses:            Residential, Vacant, Recreational

                                                            Salvation Army

g.    Access:                                    Lost Brook Drive

 

4.         The applicant requests a setback variance to allow a detached garage to be located 13 feet from the east property line rather than the required minimum of 25 feet from all property lines in the FO-Forestry zone.

 

5.         The owners received a building permit for the footings and foundation for a single family home in December of 2006 and in May of 2007 received a 6 month extension to start construction.  When staff conducted the site visit for this application no construction had started.

 

6.         This application doesn’t meet the review criteria, namely the lack of special conditions.  The property consists of 5.41 acres and has sufficient area that is suitable for constructing the garage while still maintaining the setback requirement of 25 feet from the property lines. 

 

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

 

8.         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, or other extraordinary and exceptional situation or condition of such piece of property, that are peculiar to the land or structure for which the variance is requested.

 

The lot is 5.41 acres in size.  The lot consists of numerous topographical constraints such as steep slopes and numerous rock outcroppings.   

           

            B.        The special circumstances are not the result of actions or inactions by the applicant or the current owner.

 

The special circumstances described above are not the result of the actions or inactions by the applicant.

 

            C.        The strict interpretation and enforcement of the Land Use Code provisions 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.

 

Because of the topography of the lot the strict interpretation and enforcement of the provisions of the Code would cause unnecessary and undue hardship.

 

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

 

Granting a variance is the minimum action that will allow the applicant to construct and use the proposed structure.

 

            E.         Granting the variance will not result in a substantial adverse impact on other property in the vicinity of the subject land or structure.

 

It is not anticipated that granting the variance would adversely affect any neighbors or their property.  A letter in support of this variance has been submitted by a neighboring property owner.

 

            F.         Granting the variance is consistent with the purpose of the Land Use Code and the Master Plan.

 

Granting the setback variance requested would not impair the intent and purpose of the Code or Master Plan.  Granting the variance will allow the owner reasonable use of the land and will not adversely impact neighboring properties or their owners.

 

      G.  The recommendations of referral agencies have been considered.

 

No objections were offered from pother agencies or departments.

 

9.         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.

 

Jean Christman moved and Evelyn King 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 applicants be and they hereby are granted their setback variance as requested subject to the following condition:

 

1.         This approval shall automatically expire one year from the date of this Resolution unless prior to expiration the applicants (a) take affirmative action consistent with this approval or (b) submit a written request showing good cause to extend the one year time limit.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that 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 Jean Christman, Evelyn King, Eric Berglund, Matt Strauch and Greg Christensen voted in favor of the Resolution.  The Findings and Resolution were duly adopted and the setback variance was granted subject to the condition.

 

File No:           #07-BOA0669  (McCormick Setback Variance)

Owner:            Mike and Cindy McCormick

Applicant:       Steve Bush / Turning Leaf Custom Homes

Property Description:

 

BEG AT PT ON W LN LOT 3, SIERRA VISTA TERRACES, WH PT BEARS S 17 53' E 11.86 FT FROM NW COR LOT 3, N 84 23' E 107.4 FT, S 6 3' 30" E 105.5 FT TO PT ON S LN LOT 3, TH ALG CUR L, RAD 281.45 FT, L/C S 71 20' W 19.09 FT, TH ON CUR R, RAD 219.92 FT, L/C S 77 14' W 60 FT, S 85 9' W 5.7 FT TO BEG CUR R, RAD 25 FT, L/C N 52 30' W 35.75 FT N 7 3' W 92.24 FT TO BEG

           

            The Application of Turning Leaf Custom Homes, Steve Bush appearing, requesting a variance was presented to the Board.  The Application requested a setback variance upon the above-described property to allow a partially built detached garage to be located 2 feet 9 inches from the north property line rather than the required minimum of 25 feet in the R1-Residential zone.

 

            The Board having heard the testimony and arguments concerning the Application, 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.         The property location is NW 25-5-69; 201 Sierra Vista Drive, Loveland; located at the intersection of Sierra Vista Drive and South Cleveland Avenue in the Sierra Vista Terraces Subdivision.

 

3.         Site data is as follows:

 

a.         Land Area:                               0.28 Acres

b.         Proposed Use:                          Residential

c.         Existing Zoning:             R1-Residential

d.         Surrounding Zoning:                  R1-Residential

e.         Existing Land Use:                    Residential

f.          Surrounding Land Uses:            Residential, Business

g.         Access:                                    Sierra Vista Drive

4.         The applicant requests a setback variance to allow a partially built detached garage to be located 2 feet 9 inches from the north property line.  The required setback in the R1-Residential zoning district feet in the R1-Residential zoning district is 25 feet from the rear property line.

 

5.         The applicant met with the Planning Department on June 11, 2007 for a variance pre-application conference.  On June 26, 2007, an anonymous call came in concerning the location of the structure and whether or not a permit had been issued.  That same day the County’s Building Inspector posted a stop work order at the site.  On June 27, 2007, the applicant came in and applied for a building permit.  The permit could not be issued or approved because the building does not meet setbacks.  (See the letter from Carol Evans dated July 3, 2007.)

 

6.         Planning staff has concerns with the variance request due to the building’s proposed location in proximity to the property line.  Section 4.9.2 of the Larimer County Land Use Code allows architectural features such as cornices, canopies, eaves, awnings, bay windows, window wells, cantilevered walls, chimneys and mechanical equipment to extend two feet into a required setback. It goes on to say that in all cases a minimum setback of three feet for any structural component or architectural feature must be maintained from all property lines. In addition, there are restrictions to open, unenclosed, uncovered porches or decks, 30 inches or less above the average finished grade, may extend six feet into a required side or rear setback. However a minimum setback of three feet must be maintained from all property lines. If a two foot 9 inch setback is granted then potentially the eave of the garage may extend 9 inches from the property line.  Staff recommends against granting of a variance as requested, but could support a variance of a lesser degree from the property line due to the location of the leach field and the difference in elevation form the McCormick’s property to the property to the north.

 

7.         No structure or any portion or extension of a structure (i.e. eaves, window wells, patios, etc.) shall be located within an easement.  If this variance is approved, the applicant should provide documentation to the Planning Department prior to issuance of a building permit indicating there are no easements on the property and if there are, that no structures or portions of any structures are within the easements.

 

8.         One person objected to the request stating that the structure blocked their views.  Even if the structure met setbacks it may compromise views.  The County doesn’t protect views.

 

9.         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, or other extraordinary and exceptional situation or condition of such piece of property, that are peculiar to the land or structure for which the variance is requested.

The property is a small 0.28 acre lot tha slopes to the west.  There is an existing leach field located to the south of the garage location.  There is a significant difference in elevation between this property and the property immediately to the north.  There currently exists a single family home on the property.  The small size of the lot combined with the location of the leach field limits the area available for the garage.

 

B.        The special circumstances are not the result of actions or inactions by the applicant or the current owner.

 

The circumstances outlined above, including the size of the property and the location of the leach field are not results of any action or incation of the applicant.

 

C.        The strict interpretation and enforcement of the Land Use Code provisions 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.

 

Because of the location of the existing house, leach field, and the topography, strict interpretation and enforcement of the provisions of the Code would cause on unnecessary and undue hardship unless the requested variance is granted. 

 

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 use of the land and structures in their existing locations.

 

E.         Granting the variance will not result in a substantial adverse impact on other property in the vicinity of the subject land or structure.

 

Granting the variance would not adversely affect property in the vicinity.  Only one neighbor showed up at the Hearing and had concerns about views being obstructed.  There were numerous complaints prior to submittal of the variance application.  There is an e-mail included with this application, as well as a phone call from a different neighbor, not necessarily in support or against this request but concerned with the concept of building first without a permit and then asking for a variance after construction has already started.  There were phone calls from two neighbors in support of this request as well as a letter.

 

F.         Granting the variance is consistent with the purpose of the Land Use Code and the Master Plan.

 

Granting the setback variance requested would not impair the intent and purpose of the Code or Master Plan.  Granting the variance will allow reasonable use of the land.

 

G.        The recommendations of referral agencies have been considered.

 

No objections were offered from othe agencies or departments.

 

10.       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.

 

Evelyn King moved and Jean Christman 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 applicant be and it hereby is granted its setback variance as requested subject to the following conditions:  

 

1.         The owner must obtain the necessary structural analysis of the retaining wall,      complete all corrections, if any, required to stabilize the retaining wall under a valid             building permit and comply with all fire-resistive building requirements for the garage.

 

2.         The applicant must provide documentation to the Planning Department prior to issuance of a building permit indication there are no easements on the property and if             there are, that no structures or portions of any structures are within easements.         

 

3.         The owner shall install a safety rail that extends an adequate distance along and beyond the facade of the garage along the retaining wall on the north property line.

 

4.         No portion of the garage, including any eaves, may extend further into the setback         than the approved 2 feet 9 inches from the north property line.                     

 

5.         This approval shall automatically expire one year from the date of this Resolution unless prior to expiration the applicants (a) take affirmative action consistent with this approval or (b) submit a written request showing good cause to extend the one year time limit.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that 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 King, Christman, Strauch, and Berglund voted in favor of the Resolution.  Member Christensen voted against the Resolution. The Findings and Resolution were duly adopted and the setback variance was granted subject to conditions.

 

 

 

                                                    ***

 

By Motion duly made, seconded and carried, the meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

            By Motion duly made, seconded and carried the above and foregoing minutes were approved on the _____ day of __________________, 2007.

 

                                                            LARIMER COUNTY BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

 

 

                                                By:       __________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

ATTEST:

 

 

 

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