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LARIMER COUNTY RURAL LAND USE ADVISORY BOARD

MEETING MINUTES

Monday, June 20, 2011

5:00 p.m.

Larimer County Courthouse Lake Estes Conference Room (Suite 333)

 

Rural Land Use Advisory Board:

Planning Division Staff:

Present:

Brenda Gimeson

Suzanne Bassinger

Pam Stringer

Kristin Grazier

 

John Hatfield

 

Mark Korb

 

Mike Lynch

 

William Prewitt

 

Bill Spencer

 

 

 

Absent:

 

Lauren Light

 

Bill Sears

 

 

AGENDA TOPICS:

 

  1. Approval of March 7, 2011 - RLUAB Minutes

Member Hatfield made a motion to approve the minutes as written.  Member Bassinger seconded the motion.  All were in favor.  Minutes adopted as written.

 

·  Secretary Korb was acknowledged for his service to the RLUAB.  This is his last meeting.

 

  1. Three Bells – Action Item

Brenda gave an overview of the Three Bell Ranch RLUP project which included a slide presentation. The property is generally located north of County Road 32E at the intersection of County Road 3, northwest of the Town of Windsor and just south of the Town of Timnath.  The applicant, Timnath Farms Investments, LLC, is proposing to divide approximately 340 +/- acres in the FA-1 Farming District into 8 lots.  There are two existing conservation easements which were recently purchased by Larimer County Parks and Open Lands on this property.   As part of the conservation agreement, the applicants retained the ability to place 8 homesites on the property.  The southern portion of the property is in the Windsor Growth Management Area, which means the Town has to give permission for the RLUP development.  The Town of Windsor has given approval of the RLUP development.  The Town of Timinath does not have an IGA but had no comment regarding the project.  Because the density is limited, one unit per 42.5 acres, this project qualifies for administrative review.   The number of homesites they are requesting is less than what they could have if they divided into 35 acres parcels. Therefore, no community meeting is required.  The only notice to adjacent property owners will be mailed when a BCC Hearing is scheduled.  

 

Within the 8 homesites, there will be 6 single family residential lots ranging in size from 3-6 acres and two larger residual lots that will remain free from further development.  Each residual lot will have a 5-acre building envelope to accommodate the homesites, and those building envelopes will be determined at final plat stage.  Uses allowed on the residual land will be the same as in the conservation easement.  Larimer County Natural Resources will be monitoring the residual land for compliance.  There is also an existing gravel mine on the northern parcel which Lafarge will be mining.  The Board of County Commissioners just approved a 5-year extension for the gravel mining, until 2016.  This is also allowed by the conservation easement. 

 

The majority of the property is in the floodplain and the floodway.  When Larimer County adopted the flood insurance maps, in the 1970’s, they adopted the half foot floodway line.  FEMA regulations go to the one foot floodway line.  All of the homesites and the access to these homesites are in the floodplain but not all of them are in the floodway.  Brenda pointed out on an aerial map both the half-foot floodway line and the FEMA one-foot floodway line.  Lots 1-3 are outside the floodway so building envelopes will not be required.  Lots 4-8 all have a portion of the lot located in the floodway zone.  Each of these lots will have a designated building envelope outside of the floodway where all the development will occur. 

 

This development will be done in two phases.  Phase 1 consists of the access road and lots 7 & 8 (two southern lots).  Phase 2 will only occur after the mining is completed, when all material is removed and the final contours of the land are determined.  Phase 2 will include the remaining Lots 1-6 and the remaining road along with a new bridge.   The applicants determined that the existing bridge will not be rebuilt.  The exact location of the new bridge will be determined at a later date.  The bridge is also in the floodway.  The RLUP requires the bridge to meet the standards for a 10 year storm event.  Because the bridge is in a floodway, the bridge design will need to be reviewed and approved by the Floodplain Review Board.  The applicant and the Engineering department agreed that the approaches could pass the 10 year flood event but the bridge decking must meet the 100 year event.  The RLUP code does not address fire standards. The applicants are requesting fire sprinkling not be required.  Instead we are asking the applicant to work with the Fire District to come up with a fire plan. 

 

Referral Agencies:

The following agencies were sent a referral notice:  Engineering, Health, Addressing, Water District, Windsor / Severance Fire District, DOW, US Fish & Wildfire, Army Corp of Engineers and Neighboring Towns (Windsor and Timnath).

 

Technical Issues:

Engineering:

·  Floodplain/floodway issues throughout property. 

·  Portions of the lots in the floodway zone

·  Bridge and access road in the floodway

·  Floodplain throughout the property

·  Basements

Health:

·  Septic Systems – flood potential and soils

Fire Protection

·  RLUP doesn’t not address fire requirements

·  Applicant requesting fire sprinkler systems not be required.

 

Staff Request:

Approve the Three Bell Ranch RLUP with the standard conditions that require compliance with RLUP standards, as well as additional conditions regarding lot locations, roadway and bridge design, floodway modeling and basements as outlined by staff in this presentation.

 

–  Additional floodway modeling will be required before development occurs.

–  All building envelopes, homesites, and septic systems will be located outside the ½’ floodway area and the lowest floor of all residential structures will be elevated at least 18” above the 100-year base flood elevation.

–  The old bridge will be replaced and the new bridge must meet 10-year storm event and the approaches must meet the 100 year storm event.  The bridge design will be required to be reviewed and approved by the Flood Review Board.

–  Add disclosures notifying purchaser that these are non-building permit ready lots and they may never be buildable until the modeling, design and construction of access and bridge is complete for affected lots.

–    Need letter of commitment for water service.

–    Condition of approval will require each lot to include at least 2 acres outside the floodway and each lot must demonstrate septic system feasibility at building permit issuance.

–    Applicant to work with Fire District to come up with a fire protection plan. 

–    Make condition of approval that requires disclosure notice that standards for this development are different than a standard subdivision and that no additional fire protection was required for the RLUP.

 

Discussion from the Board:

 

Member Grazier was unclear if the flawed modeling was for the better or worse.  Brenda stated she was unsure but thought the new floodway modeling would be better for the development.  Engineering is aware that the modeling is flawed clear up to the LaPorte area and they will not know how much until new modeling is complete. 

 

Member Prewitt questioned why we have the 2 acre requirement for each lot.  Brenda replied that the Health Department requires area for a new/current septic system and enough area for a replacement system.  The applicants will have to meet all technical requirements. 

 

Member Grazier asked if basements will be allowed.  Brenda replied that basements will not be allowed.  Member Prewitt questioned if a basement is 18” above base flood elevation, why no basements.  Brenda replied that typically FEMA doesn’t want to build up 18” and then dig a basement.  Member Prewitt feels we shouldn’t stop them from building a basement and feels that FEMA’s and County’s requirements on the 100-year base flood level is more of a stipulation put on a developer than needed and feels this is just regulations instead of a state statue and feels it’s not necessary.  Member Prewitt questioned if this is an ordinance or is it something just written in a code?  Brenda stated that this is a standard requirement.  She also stated that she would research Member Prewitt’s question and get back with him.

 

Member Prewitt requested clarification on the involvement of the Army Corp of Engineers has regarding building bridges.  Brenda stated they only get involved when the river bank is disturbed while the bridge is being constructed.  Member Prewitt asked does the Army Corp approve bridge design.  Brenda replied no, they only regulate what is done to the river channel/bank. 

 

Member Hatfield questioned if the applicants agreed to this condition.  Brenda stated the applicants have agreed to these conditions.  Member Grazier questioned if the floodway is narrower where the lots are.   Member Grazier would like to see a second point of access.  Brenda indicated that we are not requiring a second access of this project as RLUP’s generally don’t require secondary access points.  Member Bassinger stated her opinion on allowing residential units to be isolated in the 100 year flood event.  She also feels the road standards maybe misleading.  This is a serious event.  More discussion took place regarding the floodway and how it affects the lots and the access. 

 

All members were in agreement to re-word the basement requirement.  A unanimous agreement amongst the members of the new wording was made and agreed upon.  The new wording would be reflected in their motion.

 

Secretary Korb asked if this development had municipal services.  Brenda stated they had water but she was unsure if the applicant’s were installing any fire hydrants.  She also stated that we are encouraging them to work with the fire district.  Secretary Korb indicated if they had enough water then sprinklers would work.

 

Member Prewitt stated that requiring sprinkling as a condition would be a major expense to the home owners.  Even if you have supplied water, a pump will be needed which also is an added expense.  Also, with a fire hydrant, they would have to negotiate with their fire department.  Brenda mentioned that the RLUP does not have any fire protection requirements in our Code. 

 

Motion by Secretary Korb to approve the project as presented with the revised conditions.  Seconded by Member Lynch. 

 

MOTION #1:

 

Approve the Three Bell Ranch RLUP with the standard conditions that require compliance with RLUP standards as well as the additional conditions regarding lot locations, roadways and bridge design, floodway modeling and basements as outlined by staff in this presentation and with the addition that the improvements will be sprinklered unless the Windsor / Severance Fire District approves an alternate plan in accordance with a Fire Plan.

 

–  Additional floodway modeling will be required before development occurs.

–  All building envelopes, homesites, and septic systems will be located outside the ½’ floodway area and the lowest floor of all residential structures will be elevated at least 18” above the 100-year base flood elevation.

–  The old bridge will be replaced and the new bridge must meet 10-year storm event and the approaches must meet the 100 year storm event.  The bridge design will be required to be reviewed and approved by the Flood Review Board.

–  Add disclosures notifying purchaser that these are non-building permit ready lots and they may never be buildable until the modeling, design and construction of access and bridge is complete for affected lots.

–  Need letter of commitment for water service.

–  Condition of approval will require each lot to include at least 2 acres outside the floodway and each lot must demonstrate septic system feasibility at building permit issuance.

–  Applicant to work with Fire District to come up with a fire protection plan. 

–  Make condition of approval that requires disclosure notice that standards for this development are different than a standard subdivision and that no additional fire protection was required for the RLUP.

–  Improvements will be sprinklered unless the Windsor / Severance Fire District approves an alternate plan in accordance with a Fire Plan

 

Roll Call Vote:

 

Suzanne Bassinger

No

Kristin Grazier

No

John Hatfield

Yes

Mark Korb

Yes

Lauren Light

Absent

Mike Lynch

No

William Prewitt

No

Bill Sears

Absent

Bill Spencer

Yes

 

Motion failed with a 4 to 3 vote.

 

The board discussed sprinklers vs. hydrant and who would have to sign off on this. Brenda stated that no one would need to sign off on the building permit unless the condition is made as there is no requirement for fire sprinklers unless a condition is made on the project.  At this time Brenda is unaware if the Windsor Severance Fire District has an adopted fire code that would require fire sprinklering but has a call into them to find out.

 

Motion by Member Prewitt to amend the previous motion.  Seconded by Member Hatfield. 

 

MOTION #2:

 

Approve the Three Bell Ranch RLUP with the original standard conditions that require compliance with RLUP standards as well as the additional conditions regarding lot locations, roadways and bridge design, floodway modeling and basements as outlined by staff in this presentation.  With the addition that a fire protection plan be developed and approved with the Windsor / Severance Fire Protection District adequately taking into account the site conditions and accessibility issues of the homesites.

 

Roll Call Vote:   

 

Suzanne Bassinger

No

Kristin Grazier

No

John Hatfield

Yes

Mark Korb

Yes

Lauren Light

Absent

Mike Lynch

No

William Prewitt

Yes

Bill Sears

Absent

Bill Spencer

Yes

 

Motion carried with a 4 to 3 vote.

 

Member Bassinger stated that she could not approve this project without secondary access.  Member Grazier agreed.  Member Bassinger explained the reason of why she has to vote no – because of the federal government has gone through great lengths to identify floodways and floodplains. There not that many properties affected by floodplains.  When they are they are serious jeopardized especially when access is compromised by floodway.  She can only support this development with a secondary access.  Member Prewitt stated he does not want to see the entire project die. 

 

MOTION #3:

 

Motion by Member Bassinger to approve the project as presented with the revised condition requiring secondary access.  Seconded by Member Grazier. 

 

Approve the Three Bell Ranch RLUP – with the standard conditions that require compliance with the RLUP standards as well as the additional conditions regarding lot locations, roadway and bridge design, floodway modeling and basements as outlined by staff in this presentation.  Amendment to the amendment that secondary access be provided to each residential lot and not cross the floodway. 

 

·  To amend the amendment to add a requirement that secondary access be provided to each residential lot and that access cannot cross the floodway.

·  With the addition of a fire protection plan be developed and approved with the Windsor / Severance Fire Protection District adequately taking into account the site conditions and accessibility issues to the homesites.

 

Roll Call Vote:   

Suzanne Bassinger

Yes

Kristin Grazier

Yes

John Hatfield

Yes

Mark Korb

Yes

Lauren Light

Absent

Mike Lynch

No

William Prewitt

No

Bill Sears

Absent

Bill Spencer

Yes

 

Motion carried with a 5 to 2 vote.

 

Member Prewitt asked the question of how the developer is going to complete the secondary access condition.  Member Prewitt again stated how he does not want to see the entire project die.  Member Prewitt also stated he doesn’t have a secondary access on his property.  Chair Spencer stated his subdivision does have a secondary access that is gated and has never been used. 

 

Member Hatfield stated that the applicant’s were paid two and a half million dollars for a conservation easement on the property.  They are not poor farmers that want to sell off a couple of lots to keep farming.  They then turn around and want to development more lots.

 

Motion by Member Prewitt to approve the project as presented with the revised conditions regarding a secondary access and a fire protection plan.  Seconded by Member Lynch.

 

Member Hatfield said “I’m going recuse myself from voting on this because I have a personnel bias on this project so I’m not going to vote at all.”

 

RECONIDERATION OF ALL PREVIOUS MOTIONS #4:

 

Approve the Three Bell Ranch RLUP – with the standard conditions that require compliance with the RLUP standards as well as the additional conditions regarding lot locations, roadway and bridge design, floodway modeling and basements as outlined by staff in this presentation.  With the amendments to add a requirement that secondary access be provided to each residential lot and that access cannot cross the floodway along with a fire protection plan be developed and approved with the Windsor / Severance Fire Protection District adequately taking into account the site conditions and accessibility issues to the homesites.

 

–  Additional floodway modeling will be required before development occurs.

–  All building envelopes, homesites, and septic systems will be located outside the ½’ floodway area and the lowest floor of all residential structures will be elevated at least 18” above the 100-year base flood elevation.

–  The old bridge will be replaced and the new bridge must meet 10-year storm event and the approaches must meet the 100 year storm event.  The bridge design will be required to be reviewed and approved by the Flood Review Board.

–  Add disclosures notifying purchaser that these are non-building permit ready lots and they may never be buildable until the modeling, design and construction of access and bridge is complete for affected lots.

–  Need letter of commitment for water service.

–  Condition of approval will require each lot to include at least 2 acres outside the floodway and each lot must demonstrate septic system feasibility at building permit issuance.

–  Applicant to work with Fire District to come up with a fire protection plan. 

–  Make condition of approval that requires disclosure notice that standards for this development are different than a standard subdivision and that no additional fire protection was required for the RLUP.

–  Secondary access will be required to each residential lot and that access cannot cross the floodway.

–  A fire protection plan be developed and approved with the Windsor / Severance Fire Protection District adequately taking into account the site conditions and accessibility issues to the homesites.

 

Roll Call Vote:   

 

Suzanne Bassinger

Yes

Kristin Grazier

Yes

John Hatfield

Recusal

Mark Korb

Yes

Lauren Light

Absent

Mike Lynch

Yes

William Prewitt

Yes

Bill Sears

Absent

Bill Spencer

Yes

 

Motion carried unanimously.

 

     

            _____________________________                           _________________________                   

        Chair                                                                                 Secretary-

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