MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Monday, June 4, 2007
land use hearing
The Board of County Commissioners met at 3:00 p.m. with Rob Helmick, Principal Planner. Chair Wagner presided and Commissioner Gibson was present. Also present were: Samantha Mott, Planning Department; Christie Coleman, Engineering Department; Jeannine Haag, Assistant County Attorney; and Kristen Romary, Deputy Clerk.
Chair Wagner opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and asked for public comment on the County Budget and the Land Use Code. Don Weixelman, resident of Red Feather Lakes, explained that he was confused with the current Land Use Code as it pertains to off premise signs. He said that he applied for an off premise sign, and was granted a permit from the county. Mr. Weixelman then explained that the sign was taken down and the permit was cancelled without notice. He is questioning the process and procedures of the county, and would like clarification regarding the issuance and revocation of his off premise sign application. Chair Wagner said that staff will look into the specifics of this issue and would be in contact with Mr. Weixelman.
Chair Wagner then explained that Item 1 was on consent, and would not be discussed unless requested by the Board, staff, or members of the audience.
1. LOT CONSOLIDATION OF LETITIA LAKES SUBDIVISION LOTS 10, 11, AND 19, BLOCK 7 - #07-S2691: This is a request for a Lot Consolidation to combine three adjacent lots into one lot in the Letitia Lake Subdivision. If approved, the recording instrument will be a Findings and Resolution from the Board of County Commissioners.
There have been no objections to this proposal by surrounding neighbors. Additionally, the following Larimer County agencies stated that they have no objections to this proposal: The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment; the Larimer County Engineering Department Development Review Team; and the Larimer County Addressing Coordinator.
The proposed Letitia Lake Subdivision Lots 10, 11, and 19, Block 7, Lot Consolidation will not adversely affect any neighboring properties or any county agency. The Lot Consolidation will not result in any additional lots. Staff finds that the request meets the requirements of the Larimer County Land Use Code.
The Development Services Team recommends approval of the Letitia Lake Subdivision Lots 10, 11, and 19, Block 7, Lot Consolidation subject to the following conditions:
1. All conditions of approval shall be met and the final resolution of the County Commissioners recorded by December 4, 2007, or this approval shall be null and void.
2. The resultant lot is subject to any and all covenants, deed restrictions or other conditions that apply to the original lots.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gibson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Lot Consolidation of Letitia Lakes Subdivision Lots 10, 11, and 19, Block 7 - #07-S2691.
Motion carried 2-0.
The meeting ended at 3:12 p.m.
LAND USE HEARING
(#72 & #73)
The Board of County Commissioners reconvened at 6:30 p.m. with Neil Gluckman, Assistant County Manager. Chair Wagner presided and Commissioners Gibson and Rennels were present. Also present were: Marc Engemoen, Public Works Department; Gary Buffington, Parks and Open Lands Department; Dan Rieves, Blue Mountain District Manager; Mark Caughlan, Horsetooth District Manager; Jeannine Haag, Assistant County Attorney; and Kristen Romary, Deputy Clerk.
1. RECOMMENDATION TO THE PLANNING COMMISSION THAT THE PARKS MASTER PLAN BE ADOPTED AS AN ELEMENT OF THE LARIMER COUNTY MASTER PLAN: This is a request for a recommendation to the Planning Commission that the Parks Master Plan be adopted as an element of the Larimer County Master Plan; and that the 2007 Parks Master Plan supersede the 1993 plan.
Larimer County parks are exceptional public resources that provide outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities. The master plan has been updated to improve the already high quality recreational experience, minimize user conflicts, and respond to new recreation trends. Funding for park maintenance, operations, and capital replacements needs to keep pace with use levels or the life span of the facilities will deteriorate. Larimer County leaders recognize the important roles that parks fulfill in the overall lifestyle enjoyed by county residents and visitors. The master plan is organized into five chapters, including: Foundation, Vision, Trends, Park System, and Implementation.
This master plan celebrates, acknowledges, and integrates the work completed in the 1993 Parks Master Plan. Concurrent to the master plan update, a resource management plan and environmental assessment were prepared for the parks that are Bureau of Reclamation property and have been managed by the county since 1953.
A Parks Master Plan Task Force provided oversight during development of the plan and represented the county’s citizens in the process. The results of a park visitor survey (2005) were used to understand visitor preferences. The general public and park visitors were invited to participate in the process by attending four open houses, participating in one-on-one interviews, attending Task Force meetings, providing comments, and reviewing the draft plans on the project webpage. Multiple press releases and newspaper articles promoted public participation in the process.
The mission of the Larimer County Parks and Open Lands Department is to establish, protect, and manage significant regional parks and open lands, providing quality outdoor recreational opportunities and stewardship of natural resource values. We are committed to fostering a sense of community and appreciation for the natural and agricultural heritage of Larimer County for present and future generations.
On many weekends and holidays, the reservoirs are filled to capacity with visitors, and managers actually turn visitors away when capacity levels are reached. The Larimer County Park System will see a significant increase in recreational demand over the next 10 years based on recreation trends and population growth.
Stakeholder interviews, Task Force meetings, and public comments emphasized the need for:
· More and higher quality campsites
· More trails
· Diverse programs and facilities
· More education/interpretation information
· More picnic and waterfront day use areas
· Large RV/camper sites
· More services, such as electricity, water, sewer, and communications
· Developed facilities, such as showers and concessions
· Campground sites to accommodate multiple and extended families
· Facilities for extended stays, including new RV sites, cabins, and recreational opportunities
· Group use facilities next to the water and swim areas
· More youth-oriented programs
The Bureau of Reclamation owns Horsetooth, Carter, Flatiron and Pinewood Reservoirs as part of its Colorado-Big Thompson Water Diversion and Storage project. The parks and open lands in Larimer County combine to provide a diverse and extraordinary outdoor recreation system for county residents and others in the region.
The Master Plan provides a framework for the management and development of county parks for a 10-year period (from 2007-2017). Guiding statements were prepared for the park system and each park. The guiding statements provide a general description of the desired visitor experience, resource conditions, and managerial conditions. A series of goals and policies were developed to guide both the proposed actions identified in the plan as well as unforeseen opportunities. Facility changes are proposed for each of the parks to improve and expand the visitor experience. The plan calls for the additional development of two new swim beaches, four new camper services buildings, upgraded marina, new group camping and day use facilities, trail and trailhead development, campground upgrades, 37 additional RV campsites, 24 additional small cabins, 254 additional vehicle parking spaces, and 29 additional vehicles with trailer parking spaces.
The plan also considers future parkland to diversify recreation opportunities, conserve natural and cultural resources, and meet the demand of the growing population in the region. During development of the plan, Hermit Park, located in Estes Park, was purchased and is currently in a separate planning process. As other new parkland becomes available, the county will consider purchasing other lands or partner to manage them.
A new Parks Advisory Board and department staff will be working diligently on the implementation of this innovative and visionary Master Plan. Staff projects that if current funding from the Conservation Trust Fund (Lottery) is stable in the next ten years, an average of $500,000 would be available annually to meet the needs of the Master Plan. These funds will be used to match other grant opportunities from Great Outdoors Colorado, the Bureau of Reclamation, and others to stretch these funds so that the entire Master Plan can be accomplished within the next ten years. A complete implementation of the Master Plan within the ten year time frame is indeed an exciting goal that citizens and visitors should expect and that staff is confident in accomplishing.
Mr. Engemoen began the presentation by thanking all those involved over the past few months that made this proposal possible. He explained that staff, residents, and the consulting group are interested in the same goals which will ultimately create the best park system available to Larimer County and its residents.
Bruce Meighen, of EDAW Inc., the consulting group responsible for developing the Parks Master Plan, explained that extensive community involvement was used to gain feedback from as many interested parties as possible. He explained that there were stakeholder interviews, workshops, opportunities for public comment, and community surveys. Mr. Meighen stated that EDAW’s goal is to build on the previous plan which will include 36 proposed projects around Larimer County that will increase the diversity of recreation options throughout the region. Kara Lamb, with the Bureau of Reclamation, said that the Parks Master Plan will work in conjunction with the Resource Management Plan.
Linda Knowlton, Parks Task Force member, outlined specific aspects of the task force and explained that the committee consisted of 14 members. The task force held six meetings that were open to the public and allowed for resident feedback at that time. She explained that on April 10, 2007, the task force voted and approved the proposed Parks Master Plan. Ms. Knowlton stated that a permanent Parks Advisory Board will be created in order to help implement the plan. She said that applications can be submitted online for those who are interested in serving on the board.
Mr. Meighen outlined some of the objectives proposed for Horsetooth, Carter Lake, and Pinewood Reservoir. He emphasized that the projects associated with the new Parks Master Plan would be economically stable. Several specific projects within Larimer County received significant public comment. These projects include a potential archery range, new swim beaches, added cabins, and a group gathering area at Horsetooth.
At this time, Chair Wagner opened the hearing for public comment. Tom Barbour, Bellvue resident, had several questions for staff regarding a potential trail near his home leading to Lory State Park. He also had questions regarding the storage units that contain rowing equipment and boats east of Horsetooth Reservoir. Eric Stevens, resident, spoke in regards to the rowing equipment east of Horsetooth Reservoir.
Claudine and Antoni Szwaja, residents of Loveland, explained that their house overlooks Carter Lake. They are concerned with the potential increased size of swim beaches, and would prefer that no new cabins be built around the lake. Mr. Szwaja wanted to inform staff and the Board that sand from the current swim beach at Carter Lake accumulates in the road and on residential decks nearby.
Larry Lechner, Neal Spencer, Lewis Teich, Janette Prince, Douglas Prince, and Michael Eland, residents of Bellvue, spoke in regards to the potential archery range. All five residents explained that they were against the idea of an archery range north of Horsetooth Reservoir. Mr. Lechner said that he believed the idea of an archery range came from staff with no feedback from Bellvue residents. For the same area, he suggested a bike park, an equestrian park, wildlife viewing area, or and interpretation center. Mr. Spencer said that the archery range would need to be supervised at all times to reduce the potential for injuries. Mr. Price believes an archery range north of Horsetooth would be too close to other recreation activities and residents. He would like to see it removed from the Parks Master Plan.
Frank Cada, Park Task Force member, said that several groups were surveyed, including the Boy Scouts, and 4-H members, regarding the potential archery range. He feels as though an archery range should still be considered as part of the Parks Master Plan. Rob Harris, Task Force member, said that he would be against an archery range, but the Parks Master Plan is a forward thinking plan, focused on the future.
At this time, Chair Wagner closed public comment. Mr. Engemoen explained that although county staff requested and encouraged feedback from residents, the Parks Master Plan was not designed to be completely citizen driven. He stated that staff would never make any final decisions without additional research, and in no way will choices be made that would potentially cause unsafe situations to residents and visitors. Mr. Engemoen emphasized that the Parks Master Plan contains concepts for the future and all final decisions will be voted on by the Board of County Commissioners with the opportunity for citizens to voice their opinions again.
Commissioner Rennels said that the process for developing a master plan has been extremely professional, and she said that continual supervision is the key. She explained that a Parks Advisory Board will be established in order to discuss the future of the parks. Chair Wagner and Commissioner Gibson agree that the Parks Master Plan is ready to move forward as discussed.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gibson moved that the Board of County Commissioners recommend to the Larimer County Planning Commission that the 2007 Parks Master Plan be adopted as an element of the Larimer County Master Plan, superseding the 1993 Parks Plan.
Motion carried 3-0.
06042007R001 RESOLUTION RECOMMENDING ADOPTION OF THE 2007 PARKS MASTER PLAN AS AN ELEMENT OF THE LARIMER COUNTY MASTER PLAN
The meeting ended at 8:10 p.m.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
The Board of County Commissioners met at 9:30 a.m. with County Manager Frank Lancaster. Commissioner Wagner attended by phone and Commissioner Gibson presided. Commissioner Rennels was not present. Also present were: Donna Hart and Deni LaRue, Commissioners’ Office; Richard Guest and Nina Baumgartner, Health & Human Services; Marlys Sittner, Transfort; Eric Boyd, Berthoud Area Transportation System; Keith Reester and Marcy Abreo, Loveland Public Works Department; Molly Ford, Senator Wayne Allard’s Office; Jason Thielman, Representative Marilyn Musgrave’s Office; George Haas and Jeannine Haag, County Attorney’s Office; and Angela Myers, Deputy Clerk.
1. PUBLIC COMMENT: There was no public comment.
2. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 29, 2007
M O T I O N
Commissioner Wagner moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the minutes for the week of May 29, 2007, as presented.
Motion carried 2-0.
3. REVIEW THE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK OF JUNE 11, 2007: Ms. Hart reviewed the upcoming schedule with the Board.
4. CONSENT AGENDA:
M O T I O N
Commissioner Wagner moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the following items as presented on the Consent Agenda for June 5, 2007:
06052007A001 DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT FOR THE SILO ESTATES SUBDIVISION (FILE #05-S2394)
06052007A002 CONTRACT FOR PROJECT MANAGEMENT SERVICES WITH RKG, INC.
06052007A003 INTERGOVERNMENTAL CONTRACT
06052007D001 DEED OF DEDICATION FOR SILO ESTATES SUBDIVISION
06052007R001 RESOLUTION FOR STATUTORY VESTED RIGHTS FOR SILO ESTATES SUBDIVISION (05-S2394)
06052007R002 RESOLUTION REGARDING THE PARKS MASTER PLAN
06052007R003 RESOLUTION PROVIDING FOR THE DISSOLUTION OF LARIMER COUNTY LOCAL IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NO. 1989-1
06052007R004 RESOLUTION FOR ACQUISITION OF THE GALLEGOS PROPERTY
06052007R005 RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING COMPENSATION FOR DISTRICT ATTORNEY APPOINTED OFFICIALS
MISCELLANEOUS: Silo Estates Subdivision Final Plat.
LIQUOR LICENSE: The following liquor license was approved and issued: City Limit Liquor, Fort Collins – Retail Liquor Store. The following liquor license was approved: Supermarket Liquors, Inc., Fort Collins – Tasting Permit.
Motion carried 2-0.
5. FEDERAL WAIVER OF TRANSIT FUNDS. Richard Guest approached the Board and explained that this is a follow-up to request that the Board support a waiver of SAFETEA-LU transit provisions. Marlys Sittner of Transfort explained that the 2000 Census put Fort Collins, Berthoud and Loveland into one metropolitan grouping that has imposed a limit on the use of their federal transit funds. This change means that federal funds can no longer be utilized for general operating expenses, but must instead be spent only on capital expenditures and asset maintenance. She went on to explain that crossing this mandated threshold means that transit systems in these areas actually lose money and flexibility.
Ms. Sittner requested the Board’s support of HR 734 (SB 406), the Transit System Flexibility Protection Act, which would add a provision to current law allowing a waiver for urbanized areas exceeding 200,000 in population but operating fewer than 100 buses in total. She indicated that a video conference is planned with Senator Allard’s office on June 14, 2007, in an effort to persuade him to support this legislation, and she asked that the Board participate in that teleconference and/or provide a letter of support for the bill.
Commissioner Gibson asked if Senator Allard is in support of the bill at this time. Ms. Sittner explained that, at this time, Senator Allard does not believe this issue impacts Colorado and, therefore, sees no need to be in support of the bill. She then outlined the federal funds received as part of this program and how they are currently distributed. Discussion ensued regarding the situation.
Keith Reester, of the Loveland Public Works Department, stated that the 200,000 population threshold was set in 1977 and 1978. He stated that the boundaries of the census are arbitrary, and he detailed some areas where they are not accurate. He further explained the number of busses operating in each of the areas and said that, under these new requirements, federal monies could be spent to purchase new buses, but there would be no money for fuel or drivers (for which 73% of the money received is now spent). He expressed further concern that this effectively puts these communities under the same rules as Washington DC and, after the 2010 Census, will have a tremendous impact statewide.
Commissioner Wagner thanked those who took the time to come in and explain the situation and indicated that she would be in support of this legislation.
Molly Ford, representative from Senator Allard’s Office, relayed Senator Allard’s concern that the extension for compliance he previously secured for those impacted by this issue does not seem to have resulted in their effort to pursue a way to comply with the requirements. She indicated that he seeks a compromise that does not exempt these areas indefinitely, as he is concerned that it will not be fair for some cities to be treated differently than others who have complied as required. Discussion ensued regarding the 100-bus threshold being proposed in the bill and the lack of other avenues to pursue corrections to this situation.
Eric Boyd, Director of the Berthoud Area Transportation System, echoed the sentiments of Mr. Reester and Ms. Sittner. He explained that the public transit now active in the areas, and so dependent upon federal funding, is a necessity rather than a luxury for those who utilize it. He stated that the federal dollars are already dedicated to this purpose, and that this is not a request for additional funds; rather it is a request for continued flexibility in spending the funds being received.
Mr. Guest commented that there are many “rural” areas included in this grouping, even though the grouping as a whole is now being considered and held to the requirements for “urban” areas. Discussion ensued regarding the communities and individuals utilizing the current transit services.
Jason Thielman, of Representative Musgrave’s Office, shared an outline of HR 734 and commented that the current situation described is a typical case of “form over substance.” He expressed appreciation for Senator Allard’s efforts on behalf of those affected to delay the impact and urged support of HR 734. Discussion ensued regarding contact with the Senator’s office and the video conference planned for June 14, 2007.
Commissioner Wagner proposed that the Board send a letter of support for this bill and be present on the video conference call on June 14, 2007.
M O T I O N
Chair Wagner moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve supporting a waiver of SAFETEA-LU transit provisions that permits small urban areas to maintain operation funding.
Motion Carried 2-0.
6. UPDATE STATUS OF UTILITY RELOCATIONS FOR THE LARIMER COUNTY ROAD IMPROVEMENT PROJECT ON TAFT HILL ROAD AT VINE DRIVE. Mark Peterson approached the Board and explained that this was a follow-up meeting as requested by the Board on May 29, 2007. Kyle Arend updated the Board on the status of the project; including road closures and efforts by Excel Gas to dramatically increase manpower and scheduled hours on the project, in an effort to meet the project deadlines. He further shared that Excel Electric has not been on site in the last week, but has committed to meeting the required deadlines. Their delays have been partially due to the need for contact with property owners prior to cutting down or pruning trees affected by the project.
Commissioner Wagner expressed appreciation for the update and said she was glad that the project is moving along.
7. WORKSESSION: Frank Lancaster explained to the Board that he has met with staff from the City of Fort Collins regarding their desire to secure a study to determine the impact of a North College Urban Renewal Authority (URA). He suggested that such a study would provide a template for examining future URAs and their impact on all involved, and suggested that making this a joint effort with the City would more likely create a non-biased model to work with in the future as well. The cost of such a study would be $14,000; with half being paid by the City of Fort Collins and half being paid for by Larimer County.
Commissioner Wagner asked if this study would examine both residential and commercial impacts, and Mr. Lancaster indicated that indeed it would. The Commissioners agreed that such a model would be an invaluable tool.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Wagner moved that Board of County Commissioners approve $7,000 from Special Project Funds to join with the City of Fort Collins in their URA analysis/study.
Motion Carried 2-0.
8. COMMISSIONER REPORTS: Commissioner Gibson discussed his attendance at events during the past week.
10. EXECUTIVE SESSION: (Affidavit provided.)
M O T I O N
Commissioner Wagner moved that the Board of County Commissioners go into Executive Session for the purpose of receiving legal advice on specific legal questions as outlined in 24-6-402(4)(b) C.R.S.
Motion Carried 2-0.
The Executive Session ended at 11:00 a.m. with no further action taken.
PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT
HEARING FOR PARAGON ESTATES
The Board of County Commissioners reconvened at 6:30 p.m. with Rex Burns, Project Engineer. Chair Wagner presided and Commissioner Gibson was present. Also present were: Linda Sanders, Engineering Department; and Angela Myers, Deputy Clerk.
Mr. Burns outlined the location of this proposed Public Improvement District (PID) and explained that, if the Board approved this petition, the matter will then be placed on the November ballot to be voted on by the residents. He further explained that, if passed by the voters, a small taxing entity would be formed to raise funds for the maintenance and eventual resurfacing of roads in the proposed district. Mr. Burns indicated that 66% of the property owners in the area signed the petition to place this issue on the November ballot. He explained that the mill levy cannot exceed 32.865 and will result in an average tax on residents of $1,280 per year. Mr. Burns explained how PIDs work, their frequency of use in Larimer County and the requirement that a Commissioner-appointed PID Board, made up of residents in the proposed district, be formed.
Linda Sanders explained that there are 25 lots in the proposed district.
Chair Wagner opened up the hearing for public comment.
Jim Wetzler approached the Board and expressed his concern about a mill levy being the choice of funding for the roads in this area. He is concerned that it is not a fair distribution of debt load to use property value, rather than actual street use, to determine how much each homeowner should be required to pay. He also expressed concern about the 5% fee that will be required to fund the County’s interest in this effort. Mr. Wetzler commented that water rights in the area may be a better source for the dollars needed to maintain these roads. Discussion ensued regarding potential other formats for collecting funds, state statute regarding the formation of PIDs, and homeowner association ability to enforce the collection of funds for road improvements.
Ms. Sanders explained the dollars collected by the County from the PID and indicated that 5% is paid to the County Engineering Department and 2% is paid to the Treasurer. However, she said that there are also funds received from the County by the PID from vehicle licensing revenues, which more than make up for the 7% paid to the County. She went on to explain that the vehicle licensing revenues are an ongoing source of revenue for the PID, often outpacing interest earned on the tax monies collected.
Tim Podhajsky, President of the Homeowners Association, approached the Board in support of this PID, stating that, after much review, he believes this will be the least expensive alternative for everyone involved. He spoke about the condition of the road and the need for both short and long-term solutions.
Michael McGuire, also a homeowner in the proposed district, approached the Board stating that he is not, at this time, in favor of this PID. Discussion ensued regarding the appointed PID Board, the affect of this PID on current homeowner association agreements, and the potential for funds to jump-start repairs. Discussion continued regarding the potential for using the water rights, how the mill levy can be adjusted down as agreed upon by the residents, and the parameters for pursuing formation of a PID by residents in the future (if it is not passed at this time). Mr. McGuire expressed his appreciation for the work of the County Engineering Department in this effort.
Debra Kahn, Secretary for the Homeowners Association, approached the Board. She requested additional information from Ms. Sanders regarding the calculated revenue generated by the mill levy. Ms. Sanders indicated that the information will be sent to Ms. Kahn via email.
Chair Wagner closed public comment.
Commissioner Gibson indicated that he will support this petition for a PID, allowing the residents of the proposed district make the decision for their area when they vote in November. Chair Wagner indicated that the Board nearly always supports PID requests, because it does give the residents control over the decisions regarding road care in their area. She emphasized that the actions taken by the PID, if it is formed, are then controlled by the PID Board, which is made up of residents in the area who are appointed by the Commissioners. She indicated that she would support this petition for a PID.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gibson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve Resolution #06052007R006, a Resolution Approving Petition for the Organization of Larimer County Paragon Estates Public Improvement District No. 40.
Motion carried 2-0.
06052007R006 RESOLUTION APPROVING PETITION FOR THE ORGANIZATION OF LARIMER COUNTY PARAGON ESTATES PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NO. 40
The hearing adjourned at 7:15 p.m.
KATHAY RENNELS, CHAIR PRO-TEM
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
CLERK AND RECORDER
Kristen L. Romary, Deputy Clerk
Angela Myers, Deputy Clerk