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MINUTES OF THE LARIMER COUNTY BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

 

February 27, 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., February 27, 2007.  Members Larry Chisesi, Eric Berglund, Evelyn King and Kent Bruxvoort were present.  Also in attendance were County Planning Staff members Matt Lafferty and Samantha Mott, and Assistant County Attorney Jeannine S. Haag.

 

            By Motion duly made, seconded and carried, the reading of the Minutes of the meeting of January 23, 2007 was dispensed with and such Minutes were approved the following changes:

 

            The Gottlieb/MacFarlane Setback Variance #06-BOA0638 is amended to reflect that

Paul MacFarlane appeared and testified in support of the variance and Robert Ohlm, Mike Graf and Gary McCulvey appeared and testified in opposition to the variance and to also reflect a finding by the applicant’s son that there are other sites available on the subject property for placement of the dwelling and garage, however, these sites would require grading and excavation.

 

File No:           #06-BOA0637  (Haas Setback Variance)

Owner:            Frank and Karen Haas

Applicant:       Frank and Karen Haas

Property Description:

 

Parcel No. 2

 

All that portion of a tract lying South of the Highway now constructed included in the following described land as set forth on Deed recorded in Book 1255 at Page 167:

 

Beginning at the SE corner of the SW1/4 of the SE1/4 of Section 15, Township 5 North, Range 72 West of the 6th P.M., thence North 150 feet, thence West 150 feet, thence South to the center of the Big Thompson River, thence Easterly and Northerly to the point of beginning, County of Larimer, State of Colorado.

 

And that tract of land lying East and between the above described tract and the line of the boundary line agreement as agreed to September 1996 (being more particularly described as: Commencing at a point whence the SE corner of Section 15, Township 5 North, Range 72 West of the 6th P.M., bears South 88 degrees 53 minutes 24 seconds East, 1,314.78 feet, all bearings hereinafter relative thereto, thence North 7 degrees 57 minutes 15 seconds West 14.18 feet to the True Point of Beginning, thence South 7 degrees 57 minutes 15 seconds East 70 feet more or less to the center of the Big Thompson River)

 

County of Larimer, State of Colorado.

 

            The Application of Frank and Karen Haas, 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 44 feet from the centerline of U.S. Highway 34 rather than the required minimum of 100 feet and 65 feet from the centerline of the Big Thompson River rather than the of 100 feet, and 1 foot from the west property line rather than the required minimum of 5 feet in the O-Open 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 Northeast Quarter of Section 22, Township 5 North, Range 72; U.S. Highway 34; located approximately 2 ˝ miles east of Estes Park.

 

3.         Site data is as follows:

 

a.         Land Area:                               0.22 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:                                    U.S. Highway 34

 

4.         The applicant requests a setback variance to allow a detached garage to be 44 feet from the centerline of U.S. Highway 34, 65 feet from the centerline of the Big Thompson River, and 1 foot from the west property line.  The setback requirement for a river is 100 feet from the centerline, the setback from U.S. Highway 34 is 100 feet from the right-of-way centerline, and the setback from the west side property line is 5 feet

 

5.         Planning staff originally had concerns with the variance request due to the building’s proposed location in proximity to the side lot line.  Section 8.17.2 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.  After reviewing the proposal with Ed Woodward, Senior Engineering Tech in the Drainage/Improvements Districts Section of the Larimer County Engineering Department, it was determined that if the applicant was to relocate the garage any further to the east it would be in the flood way of the river as reflected in the e-mail for Ed Woodward’s Findings.  Since submitting for this variance request, the owner has agreed to execute a covenant agreeing that his two metes and bounds parcels will not be sold or conveyed separately so that one parcel so that the building does not encroach into the side setback. 

 

6.         The garage would run parallel with the existing residence on the adjacent lot, and would therefore not come any closer to the road.  In fact, the garage would be farther back from the road due to the fact that the existing residence and garage are at an angle to the road, but parallel to each other.

 

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 property in question is a small and narrow lot.  The lot is bordered on one side by the Big Thompson River and on the other side by U.S. Highway 34.  Given the setback requirements for these two features, 100 feet from the centerline of the river and 100 feet from the right-of way centerline of U.S. Highway 34, this lot would not have any buildable area.  The only way to build on this lot is to grant some type of variance.

 

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

 

            The size and shape of the lot are not the result of action or inaction 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.

           

            Strict interpretation and enforcement of the Code would cause an unnecessary and undue hardship on the owner because there would be no buildable area on the lot because the river setback and the highway setback overlap.

 

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

 

            Granting the variance is the minimum action that will allow use of the land and structures.  The setbacks for the river and highway prohibit any buildings on this property without obtaining a variance.

 

            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.  No objections have been received by any of the neighboring property owners at this time.

 

                        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 variances 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 other 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.

 

Eric Berglund moved and Kent Bruxvoort 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 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 this approval.

 

3.         Within thirty days following Board approval of these minutes, the owners will execute and submit to the County Planning Department a covenant agreeing that that their two adjacent metes and bounds parcels will not be sold, conveyed or otherwise transferred separately so that the building does not encroach into the side setback.

 

 

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in the event the Applicants Frank and Karen Haas 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 Application 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 Larry Chisesi, Eric Berglund, Evelyn King and Kent Bruxvoort voted in favor of the Resolution.  The Findings and Resolution were duly adopted and the setback variance was granted subject to conditions.

 

File No:           #06-BOA0641  (Wood Setback Variance)

Owner:            Sue Wood

Applicant:       Rhonda Maas / Thunderpup Construction

Property Description:

 

LOT 27, AMENDED PLAT OF THE TRAILS AT VISTA BONITA P.U.D., AMD 20001015889, COUNTY OF LARIMER, STATE OF COLORADO.

 

Also known as: 128 Orilla Del Lago, Fort Collins,                                             CO 80524

 

            The Application of Thunderpup Construction, Sue Wood appearing, requesting a variance was presented to the Board.  The Application requested a setback variance upon the above-described property to allow an existing dwelling with an ‘as-built’ deck to be located 14 feet from the rear 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 SE 10-7-68; 128 Orilla Del Lago, Fort Collins; located at the intersection of Camino Del Mundo and Orilla Del Lago in the Trails of Vista Bonita P.U.D.

 

3.         Site data is as follows:

 

a.         Land Area:                               0.40 Acres

b.         Proposed Use:                          Single Family Residence

c.         Existing Zoning:             R1-Residential

d.         Surrounding Zoning:                  R1-Residential

e.         Existing Land Use:                    Single Family Residence

f.          Surrounding Land Uses:            Residential, Recreational

g.         Access:                                    Orilla Del Lago

 

4.         The applicant requests a setback variance to allow an existing dwelling with an ‘as-built’ deck to be 14 feet from the rear property line rather than the 25 feet normally required in the Larimer County Land Use Code, Section 4.1.11.B.2.c.

 

5.         The owner applied for a permit to add a cover to the deck in 2004.  At that time it was discovered that the deck did not meet setbacks and a variance would need to be applied for to allow the deck to remain.  At this time the owner is not planning to cover the deck, but may wish to do so at a later date.  The current owner bought the house as is after the deck had already been added.  Please refer to the attached applicant's project description and responses to review criteria for the circumstances she addresses.

 

6.         The existing house includes 2 decks on the rear of the building.  One deck is at grade and, according to the applicant, it meets setbacks.  The other deck, the subject of this variance request is higher than 30 inches above grade and into encroaches into the rear setback.  The portion of this deck outside of the required setback could remain without a variance.

 

7.         Denying this variance would result in the owner having to remove the portion of the deck that encroaches into the rear setback which was done prior to her ownership of this property.     

 

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

 

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 generally level 0.40 acre lot.  The current owners purchased the property with the deck in place.  Evidence indicates that the County did not discover the encroachment of the deck at the time the house was originally constructed and inspected.  It is inequitable to penalize the current owners for this oversight.  Both the house and the back door out of the house are above ground.  If the deck is moved back, it will encroach onto the window well and bring the drainage in the area closer to the house.

 

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

 

The deck was added to the property prior to the owner purchasing the property.  In an effort to resolve outstanding building permit issues and clear up issues related to the building and setbacks, the owner has submitted this variance application.

 

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.

 

Strict interpretation and enforcement of the provisions of the Code will cause unnecessary and undue hardship because the property already includes a deck. The property owner would incur the costs associated with removing or cutting back the portion of the deck beyond what was built prior to setback requirements.  . 

 

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

 

Granting the variance is the minimum action that will allow use of the land and structure.  Not granting the variance would result in the applicant having to remove a portion of the deck, the portion that encroaches into the rear setback. 

 

            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.  No objections have been received by any of the neighboring property owners at this time.  An adjacent neighbor spoke in favor of the variance.  The Homeowner’s Association has no objection to the deck.

 

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

 

Granting the variance is consistent with the purposes of the Land Use Code or Master Plan because it does not satisfy the review criteria for granting a variance.  The property has sufficient area that is suitable for building and could satisfy the setback requirement.

 

            G.        The recommendations of referral agencies have been considered.

 

No objections were offered from other 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.

 

Kent Bruxvoort 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 applicants be and they hereby are granted their setback variance as requested.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in the event the Applicants Thunderpup Construction and Rhonda Maas 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 Application 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 Larry Chisesi, Eric Berglund, Evelyn King and Kent Bruxvoort voted in favor of the Resolution.  The Findings and Resolution were duly adopted and the setback variance was granted.

 

File No:           #06-BOA0642  (Jupp Setback Variance)

Owner:            Bill and Jean Jupp

Applicant:       Joe Ladick

Property Description:

 

POR LOTS 12 & 17, BLk 2, Glen Haven, DESC ASBEG AT NW COR LOT 17, TH ALG N LN LOT 123 & S LN LOT 17 S71 12' 40'E 29.2 FT, S6 0' 40' W 213.44 FT TO S LN LOT 12, TH ALG SD S LN S 71 10' 34' E 98.93 FT TO E LN OF W 1/2 LOT 12, TH ALG SD ELN N 0 28' 59" E 112.87 FT, S 88 57' 16" E 13.6 FT, N7 4' 42" E 98.97 FT TO N LN LOT 12 & S LN LOT 17, N 7 4' 42" E 37.42 FT, N 78 22' 26" W 29.82 FT TO E LN OF SW 1/4 LOT 17, TH ALG SD E LN N 0 28' 59" E 82.78 FT TO N LN SW 1/4 LOT 17, TH ALG SD N LN N 80 13' 11” W 102.4 FT TO W LN LOT 17, TH ALG SD W LN S 0 29' 27" W 100.56 FTTPOB

 

Also known as: 575 Fox Creek Rd., Glen Haven                                              Colorado 80532.

 

            The Application of Joe Ladick, requesting a variance was presented to the Board.  The Application requested a setback variance upon the above-described property to allow an existing dwelling with an ‘as-built’ deck to be 4 feet from the west side property line and 20 feet from the east side property line rather than the required minimum of 25 feet in the E1-Estate 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 SE 28-6-72; 575 Fox Creek Road in the Glen Haven Subdivision, located approximately 1/2 mile west of the intersection of Fox Creek Road and North Fork Road which is approximately 800 feet west of the intersection of North Fork Road and County Road 43.

 

3.         Site data is as follows:

 

a.         Land Area:                               0.74 Acres

b.         Proposed Use:                          Single Family Residence

c.         Existing Zoning:             E1-Estate

d.         Surrounding Zoning:                  E1-Estate

e.         Existing Land Use:                    Single Family Residence

f.          Surrounding Land Uses:            Residential, Recreational

g.         Access:                                    Fox Creek Road

 

4.         The applicant requests a setback variance to allow an existing dwelling with an ‘as-built’ deck to be 4 feet from the west side property line and 20 feet from the east side property line rather than the 25 feet normally required in the Larimer County Land Use Code, Section 4.1.7.B.2.b.

 

5.         The owners recently applied for a building permit to expand the existing house by converting a patio to additional indoor space for the house.  This remodel comes no closer to the side setbacks than the existing house.  This variance request would include the conversion of the patio into a 150 square addition to the house that would be in line with the west side of the existing house as shown on the plot plan. 

 

6.         When researching the existing house it was determined that the house is nonconforming with regards to both side setbacks.  Looking at the assessor's records for the house, it was determined that the deck on the west side was added without a permit and after the setback requirements were in place encroaching further into the side setback.  The current owners bought the house as is in 1999 after the deck had already been added.  Although the house was nonconforming, because the deck was added without a permit the owners must seek a variance to allow it to remain.

 

7.         The existing house is nonconforming with respect to both side setbacks. staff cannot support the expansion of the deck further into the west side setback.  Staff has no major concerns with the request to be 20 feet from the east lot line, but has concerns regarding the close proximity of the structure to the west side lot line.  Staff can support the request for the deck on the west side, including the 150 square foot addition/remodel of the existing patio, to the extent that it keeps in line with the west side of the existing house as shown on the attached plot plan.  If any portion of this variance is approved, any future additions to the house or the deck would still need to meet the applicable setback requirements for the E-1 Estate Zoning District or go through the go through the proper county process, such as applying for another variance.  Not granting this variance would result in the owner having to remove the portion of the deck expanded without a permit prior to their ownership of this property. 

 

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

 

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 lot is 0.74 acres in size.  The property has significant site constraints such as slopes and a narrow lot.  Currently there is an existing nonconforming home built in 1937 prior to the setback requirements which encroached into both side setbacks.  The addition of the deck to the west encroached into the side setback more.  In addition to the sloping terrain, the narrow lot and that it in close proximity to a stream; complying with the setback requirements severely restricts the buildable area of the lot.  The original house already included a deck.  This variance request is for a deck addition. 

 

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

 

The above circumstances are not the result of action or inaction of the applicant.  The property’s physical characteristics and location were not created or altered by the applicant.

 

In an effort to resolve outstanding building permit issues and clear up all nonconforming issues related to the building and setbacks, the owner has submitted this variance application. 

 

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.

 

Strict interpretation and enforcement of the provisions of the Code will cause unnecessary and undue hardship because the property owner would incur the costs associated with removing or cutting back the portion of the deck beyond what was built prior to setback requirements.  In addition, review of properties in the surrounding area indicates that encroachment into the side setback is a right commonly enjoyed by other buildings in the area.  There are other buildings in the immediate vicinity that do not meet the required setback distances because they were either granted variances or were built prior to setback requirements. 

 

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

 

Granting the variance is the minimum action that would allow use of the land or structure.  Not granting the variance would result in the applicant having to remove a portion of the deck, the portion that was expanded without a permit.  Strict interpretation of the review criteria does not take this into account.

 

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.  No objections have been received by any of the neighboring property owners at this time.

 

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

 

Granting the variance would be consistent with the purposes of the Land Use Code and Master Plan because it allows reasonable use of the property without adverse impacts on neighboring properties.

 

G.        The recommendations of referral agencies have been considered.

 

No objections were offered from other 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.

 

Kent Bruxvoort 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 applicant 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 this approval.

 

3.         All future additions or buildings that would be within setbacks as defined in the Land Use Code must go through the proper county review prior to construction.

 

4.         Building plans for the approved portion of the existing deck added without a permit will need to be submitted with the plans already submitted for Building Permit #07-B0028.  The permit can then be issued upon review approval of the deck plans and payment of fees owing under the permit.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in the event the Applicant Joe Ladick 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 Application 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 Larry Chisesi, Eric Berglund, Evelyn King and Kent Bruxvoort voted in favor of 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 8:30 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:

 

 

 

________________________________

 

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