MINUTES OF THE LARIMER COUNTY BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

 

October 28, 2008

 

            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., October 28, 2008.  Members Jean Christman, Matt Strauch, Eric Berglund, Greg Christensen and Evelyn King were present.  Also in attendance were County Planning Staff member 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 September 23, 2008 was dispensed with and such Minutes were approved.

 

File No:           #08-BOA0733  (Pitts Setback Variance)

Owner:           Shawn and Elissa Pitts

Applicant:      Jeffrey Schneider

Property Description:

 

Lot 6, Setzler's Subdivision of Lot I of Walpole Subdivision, which, considering the South line of said Lot 6 as bearing N80°50'00"W and with all bearings contained herein relative thereto, is contained within the boundary lines which begin at the Southeast Corner of said Lot 6, and run thence along said South line, N80°50'00"W 208.14 feet to the Southwest Corner of said Lot 6; thence along the West line of said Lot 6, N11°42’00"W 149.97 feet to the Northwest Corner of said Lot 6; thence along the North line of said Lot 6, S80°50'00"E 260.54 feet to the Northeast Corner of said Lot 6; thence along the East line of said Lot 6, S08°45'00"W 140.13 feet to the point of beginning, containing 32,840 square feet, more or less, and being subject to all easements and rights-of-way which are existing or are of record.

 

            The Application of Jeffrey Schneider, requesting a variance was presented to the Board.  The Application requested a setback variance upon the above-described property to allow a detached accessory living area with an attached garage to be located 13 feet 8 inches from the rear property line rather than the required minimum of 25 feet in the R-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-36-8-69; 2533 Terry Lake Road, Fort Collins; located approximately ˝ mile south of the intersection of Gregory Road and Terry Lake Road on the west side of the road.

 

3.         Site data is as follows:

 

a.         Land Area:                              0.76 Acres

b.    Proposed Use:                         Single Family Residence

c.    Existing Zoning:                     R-Residential

d.    Surrounding Zoning:               R-Residential

e.    Existing Land Use:                 Single Family Residence

f.    Surrounding Land Uses:         Residential, Recreational

g.    Access:                                    Terry Lake Road

 

4.         The applicant proposes to construct a detached accessory living area with a garage on the property.  The proposed building would be located 13 feet 8 inches from the rear property line.  The R-Residential zoning district requires 25 feet from the rear property line, as stated in Section 4.1.10.B.2 of the Larimer County Land Use Code.

 

5.         Currently there is an existing nonconforming detached garage on the property built prior to permit requirements.  This nonconforming building will be replaced by a new building.  If the applicant had kept the existing nonconforming building and added on to it, as long as the addition was less than 25% of the square footage of the existing structure and outside of the required setbacks no planning process would be required.  If the addition was more then 25% of the existing nonconforming structure then the applicant would have had to appeal to the Board of County Commissioners to expand a nonconforming structure.  Once the existing nonconforming building is torn down, the nonconformity goes away and any new buildings must meet the requirements of the Land Use Code, including setbacks.  A review of the proposed new building location does not take into account a previous nonconformity on the property and it is reviewed based on the existing site constraints on the lot.

 

6.         The detached accessory living area requires approval from the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) through the Minor Special review process.  The Pitts Minor Special Review was approved by the BCC on October, 27, 2008.

 

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 0.76 acres in size.  The property has some slopes, some generally level terrain, and back ups to Terry Lake.  There is an existing single family dwelling with an attached garage and a separate detached garage on the property.  The existing detached garage currently does not meet the minimum required setback from the rear property line The new building will be located farther away from the rear property line.  If the building is moved forward to meet the setback requirement, there will only be three feet from the retaining wall next to the driveway.  Additionally, the further north the building is placed, the more it will encroach into utilities.

 

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

 

The special circumstances (retaining wall, encroachment into utilities) are not the result of 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.

 

Strict interpretation and enforcement of the provisions of the Code will cause unnecessary and undue hardship.  Setback variances have been granted to others in the area. 

 

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 and still maintain adequate distance between the structure and the retaining wall and utilities.

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 for the garage will adversely affect property in the vicinity.  No objections have been received from 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 not be contrary to the purposes of the Land Use Code or Master Plan because it allows applicant a reasonable use of the property without adversely impacting other properties.

 

 

 

 

G.        The recommendations of referral agencies have been considered.

 

Referral agency comments 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.

 

Evelyn King moved and Greg Christensen 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.         All future additions or buildings on the property shall conform to the required setbacks as defined by the Land Use Code and must obtain approval through the proper county review and planning process.

 

            3.         The approval for the variance for the detached accessory living area is contingent upon the Board of County Commissioners approving the Pitts Minor Special Review, File #08-Z1714.

 

4.         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, Matt Strauch, Eric Berglund, Greg Christensen and Evelyn King voted in favor of the Resolution.  The Findings and Resolution were duly adopted and the setback variance was granted subject to conditions.

 

File No:           #08-BOA0732  (Popejoy Setback Variance)

Owner:           William & Joan Popejoy

Applicant:      William & Joan Popejoy

Property Description:

 

LOT 142 CRYSTAL LAKES 8TH FILING, COUNTY OF LARIMER, STATE OF COLORADO

 

            The Application of William and Joan Popejoy, 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 6 feet 3 inches from the side property line and 23 feet 8 inches from the rear property line rather than the 25 feet required from the side and rear property lines in the E1-Estate zoning district.

 

            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 12-10-74; 341 Ottawa Way, Red Feather Lakes; located on the southwest corner of the intersection of Ottawa Way and Chippewa Way.

 

3.         Site data is as follows:

 

a.         Land Area:                              1.44 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

g.         Access:                                    Ottawa Way

 

4.         The applicant proposes to construct a detached garage on the property.  The proposed structure would be located 6 feet 3 inches from the side property line and 23 feet 8 inches form the rear property line.  The E1-Estate zoning district requires 25 feet from the side and rear property lines, as indicated in Section 4.1.7.B.2 of the Larimer County Land Use Code.

 

5.         The property consists of 1.44 acres.  There is a 15 foot utility easement along the side and rear property lines for this lot.  The applicant has met with planning to discuss the steps involved and the review criteria for vacating an easement.  If this variance is granted, the applicant will need to vacate a portion of the utility easement along the side lot line.  An easement vacation goes to the Board of County Commissioners for approval. 

 

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

 

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, 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 relatively small lot with an existing single family dwelling located in the northwest corner of the lot.  There is a gentle slope to the lot. The property has a lengthy through driveway from Ottowa Way to Chippewa Way.  Applicants purchased the lot with the existing house and driveway in their existing configuration.   The area gets heavy snowfalls during the winter.  The applicants intend to use the garage for their truck to which a plow can be affixed for snow removal.  The applicants desire to back the truck into the garage to avoid the necessity of backing the truck out into the snow.  The proposed located of the garage and current through drive way accommodate this use.  To construct the garage on another location on the property would necessitate removal of large quantities of dirt and a number of trees, would eliminate the through driveway feature, and would make it impossible for vehicles, including personal and emergency vehicles, to turn around. 

 

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

 

The special circumstances (small lot, dirt removal due to grade, tree removal, through driveway, lack of room to turn without the through driveway and location of the house in the upper corner of the lot) are not the result of actions or inactions by the applicants.

 

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 an unnecessary and undue hardship because it will require the removal of dirt and trees and will require all vehicles to back out of a lengthy driveway. 

 

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. 

 

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 for the garage will adversely affect property in the vicinity.  No objections have been received from any of the neighboring property owners at this time for any portion of this variance request.

 

F.         Granting the variance is consistent with the purpose of the Land Use 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 allows reasonable use of the property without adverse impacts to neighboring properties. 

 

G.        The recommendations of referral agencies have been considered.

 

Referral agency comments have been considered.  No objections were offered from other agencies or departments.

 

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.

 

Jean Christman moved and Matt Strauch 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.    All future additions or buildings on the property shall conform to the required setbacks as defined by the Land Use Code and must obtain approval through the proper county review and planning process.

 

3.    Prior to issuance of a building permit for the garage, the owner will need to obtain Board of County Commissioners’ approval for an easement vacation for the portion of the 15 foot utility easement along the side property line where the proposed garage is to be located.

 

 

 

4.         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, Matt Strauch, Greg Christensen and Evelyn King voted in favor of the Resolution.  Member Eric Berglund 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 8:35 p.m.

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

            By Motion duly made, seconded and carried the above and foregoing minutes were approved on the _____ day of __________________, 2008.

 

                                                            LARIMER COUNTY BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

 

 

                                                By:      __________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

ATTEST:

 

 

 

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