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MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

 

 

Monday, July 12, 2010

LAND USE HEARING

 

The Board of County Commissioners met at 3:00 p.m. with Matt Lafferty, Principal Planner. Chair Johnson presided and Commissioners Donnelly and Gaiter were present. Also present were: Martina Wilkinson, Engineering Department; Doug Ryan, Environmental Health Department; Eric Fried and Samantha Mott, Planning Department; William Ressue, County Attorney’s Office; and Melissa Lohry, Deputy Clerk.

 

Chair Johnson opened the hearing with the Pledge of Allegiance and asked for public comment on the Land Use Code and County Budget. No one from the audience addressed the Board regarding these topics.

 

Mr. Lafferty noted that file #06-G0196, regarding the Deep Water Metro District 1 and 2, was being withdrawn from the agenda, and would be rescheduled to a later date.

 

1.         HACIENDA REAL APPEAL, FILE #10-G0196:   This is a request for approval of an appeal to Sections 9.5.5 and 9.6.6 of the Larimer County Land Use Code, specifically, to not apply the 12-month time frame for existing traffic, regarding the Transportation Capital Expansion Fees for the use of an existing building.

 

According to the land use code, when a new traffic generating development is proposed at any location, Transportation Capital Expansion Fees (TCEFs) are determined by comparing the estimated new traffic against the traffic generated by the most intense use of the land within the 12-month period prior to commencement of the new use. 

 

The applicant is proposing a sit down restaurant at the property located at the northwest corner of Centro Way and East Mulberry Street. The site was previously used as a fast food restaurant with a drive through window. The fast food restaurant closed about 2-years ago and the property has remained vacant since that time.

 

Sections 9.5.5 and 9.6.6 of the Larimer County Land Use Code provide definitions that affect when and how non-regional and regional transportation impact fees are collected.

 

Section 9.5.5 Non-regional Road Capital Fee

Existing traffic-generating development. The most intense use of land within the 12-months prior to the time of commencement of new traffic-generating development.

 

Section 9.6.6 Regional Road Capital Expansion Fee

Existing traffic-generating development. The most intense use of land within the 12-months prior to the time of commencement of new traffic-generating development.

 

Because the site in question has been vacant for more than 12-months, the land use code requires staff to estimate that the existing traffic at the site is zero, which would require the applicant to be charged TCEFs for all new traffic. If the 12-month time limit is not applied to this instance, the applicant would be able to compare his anticipated traffic for the proposed new use (sit-down restaurant) with the estimated traffic from the previous use (fast food restaurant). The newly proposed sit down restaurant is estimated to generate ¼ of the traffic associated with the previous use. If the appeal to the 12-month time frame is approved, the new use will generate significantly less traffic than the previous use, and therefore, no TCEFs would be charged.

 

Staff and the Development Services Team recommend approval of the Hacienda Real appeal.

 

Ms. Wilkinson explained that it was not the intent of the land use code to penalize individuals for purchasing properties that sit vacant for more than a year. She stated that due to the current economic climate, it is not unusual for commercial properties to be vacant for extended periods of time; therefore, staff is currently working to revise the code in an effort to remove the 12-month penalty.

 

Chair Johnson opened the hearing to the applicant and Jose Alfredo Cardena Ibarra addressed the Board. Mr. Ibarra stated that he did not want to pay the TCEF because his business will generate considerably less traffic than the previous business.

 

Chair Johnson noted that there was no public present to speak on behalf of the application.

 

Chair Johnson stated that he did not feel it was the intention of the code to charge new business owners who’s operations generate less traffic; therefore, he did not support charging Transportation Capital Expansion Fees at this time.

 

M O T I O N

 

Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Hacienda Real Appeal, file #10-G0196.

 

Motion carried 3-0.

 

2.         CROSBY ZONING VIOLATION:  The property owner is in violation of Larimer County Land Use Code Section 4.1.11. A (R-1 Residential – Principal Uses) by virtue of using a residential property for commercial purposes without first obtaining special exception zoning approval. The property is currently zoned R-1 Residential and is being utilized for a landscaping business, a single-family rental dwelling, and outdoor storage of vehicles by a person other than the dwelling occupant.

 

This property is located on a dead-end residential street in the Floyd Hicks 2nd Subdivision, approximately 1,000-feet southeast of the intersection of Highway 287 and 42nd Street SW. 

 

The Larimer County Code Compliance Office received a neighborhood complaint on April 15, 2010, regarding a landscaping business that has been operating on the subject property without county approval. The complaint also alleged that between four and eight recreational vehicles, not owned by the resident of the rental dwelling, were being stored on site. Lastly, the complaintant questioned whether a building permit had been issued for the 6-foot high chain link fence topped by three strands of barbed wire.

 

Mr. Fried, Code Compliance Officer, visited the site on April 22, 2010, and verified the complaint. On April 28, 2010, Mr. Fried called Ian McCrary, proprietor of McCrary & Sons Landscaping, who indicated that he moved his landscaping business to the site within the last year, and that the property owner, Mr. Crosby, also rented out the residence and parking spaces. He did not know there was a zoning conflict, as there are other landscaping businesses located nearby.

 

On May 3, 2010, Mr. Fried spoke with Charles Crosby, property owner. Mr. Fried explained that a commercial use was only allowed in the R-1 Residential zoning district with special exception zoning approval. Mr. Crosby said the prior owner had used the property for a business, and since there are other businesses in the neighborhood, he assumed there would not be a conflict. Mr. Crosby stated the recreational vehicles stored on the property belong to him, family members and family friends. Mr. Crosby also confirmed that the house (built in 1920 according to the county assessor’s office) has been rented to occupants who are not associated with the landscaping business or the recreational vehicle storage.

 

On May 12, 2010, Mr. Crosby met with county planner Rob Helmick. After an explanation of the Special Exception process, Mr. Crosby indicated he did not wish to submit an application due to the expense and time involved.

 

A check of county records revealed a prior zoning violation, file #99-CC0060, on the same site for a non-permitted business use. The complaint alleged storage of large equipment, work crews coming and going, and excessive noise. Code compliance staff visited the site in 1999 and confirmed that the property was being utilized for commercial storage.

 

As part of a building permit application for a pole barn (00-B0114), then-owner Gary Alexander signed a zoning affidavit affirming that the use of the property and structures would be in compliance with county land use code. The code in effect at the time also allowed storage buildings as accessory uses to residences in the R-1 Residential zoning district, home occupations (so long as they did not change the residential character of neighborhoods), and prohibited outdoor storage of vehicles not owned by the occupant of the residence. Based on the affidavit, code compliance staff closed the violation file.

 

For the record, building permits are not required for fences that do not exceed 6-feet in height, and the land use code allows an additional three strands of barbed wire to be placed on top of any fence 6-feet in height or less.

 

Staff recommends that the Board find a violation exists, require compliance with Larimer County Land Use Code, set a deadline for compliance, and authorize legal action if the deadline is not met. The following items must be completed in order to reach compliance with the Larimer County Land Use Code:  cease the commercial use on the property and remove all vehicles that are not operable and licensed to the dwelling occupant; or apply for and receive Special Exception zoning approval for the commercial and storage use.

 

Chair Johnson opened the hearing to the applicant, Charles Crosby, who stated that he was unaware of the zoning violation until May 2010, and requested approval to the existing business to remain at the location until the end of the year due to a familial crisis. Mr. Crosby also verified that the recreational vehicles stored on the property were not owned by the tenant of the residential dwelling.

 

Chair Johnson opened the hearing to public comment. Garland Pennington, Shirley Pennington, and Karen Thielman addressed the Board to request immediate vacation of the business use, removal of the recreational vehicles not owned by the dwelling occupant, and removal of the 6-foot fence topped with barbed wire.

 

Mr. Fried informed the Board that the fence with barbed wire was not a violation of the land use code, and therefore, the Board could not order it removed.

 

Chair Johnson stated that while he was sympathetic to the business owners familial crisis, the business and property owners have been aware of the violations since April/May and have not taken any steps towards compliance.

 

Commissioner Gaiter stated that he was in favor of allowing the business to continue until December 31, 2010. Commissioner Donnelly agreed.

 

M O T I O N

 

Commissioner Gaiter moved that the Board of County Commissioners find a violation of the Larimer County Land Use Code exists, require compliance as shown below, and authorize legal action if compliance is not reached, and the business is not ceased, on or before December 31, 2010.

 

Motion carried 3-0.

 

The Board recessed at 4:00 p.m.

 

LAND USE HEARING

 

The Board of County Commissioners reconvened at 6:30 p.m. with Matt Lafferty, Principal Planner. Chair Johnson presided and Commissioners Donnelly and Gaiter were present. Also present were:  Jeff Goodell, Engineering Department; Doug Ryan, Environmental Health Department; Rob Helmick, Planning Department; William Ressue, County Attorney’s Office; and Melissa Lohry, Deputy Clerk.

 

Chair Johnson opened the hearing and asked for public comment on the Land Use Code and County Budget. No one from the audience addressed the Board regarding these topics.

 

1.         CSU SOLAR EXPANSION 1041 PERMIT, FILIE #10-Z1794:   This is a request for approval of a 1041 permit to allow the expansion of an existing solar power facility on the Foothills Campus of Colorado State University. If approved, the expansion would increase the area of the solar facility to 16.1-acres and generate an additional 3.3 mW of power.

 

The application was presented to the Larimer County Planning Commission at their meeting on June 16, 2010. The application was on the consent agenda, where it remained and was ultimately approved. Planning Commission members had a few questions regarding the noted concerns on insuring land cover restoration. No members of the public spoke on the issue. 

 

Staff and the Development Services Team recommends approval of the CSU Solar Expansion 1041 Permit, file #10-Z1794, subject to the following conditions:

 

1.    The site development shall be consistent with the approved plan and with the information contained in the CSU Solar Expansion 1041 Permit, file #10-Z1794, except as modified by the conditions of approval or agreement of the county and applicant. The applicant shall be subject to all other verbal or written representations and commitments of record for the CSU Solar Expansion 1041 Permit.

 

2.    The applicant must obtain all necessary state and local permits prior to construction, including air and water quality construction permits.

 

3.    Conduct an evaluation for the possible existence at/adjacent to the site of Ute’s Ladies Tresses and avoid if necessary any impacts to any populations. 

 

Chair Johnson noted that the applicant did not wish to speak on behalf of this application, nor was there any public present to speak on behalf of this item.

 

M O T I O N

 

Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioner approve the CSU Solar Expansion 1041 Permit, file #10-Z1794, subject to the following conditions:

 

1.    The site development shall be consistent with the approved plan and with the information contained in the CSU Solar Expansion 1041 Permit, file #10-Z1794, except as modified by the conditions of approval or agreement of the county and applicant. The applicant shall be subject to all other verbal or written representations and commitments of record for the CSU Solar Expansion 1041 Permit.

 

2.    The applicant must obtain all necessary state and local permits prior to construction, including air and water quality construction permits.

 

3.    Conduct an evaluation for the possible existence at/adjacent to the site of Ute’s Ladies Tresses and avoid if necessary any impacts to any populations. 

 

Motion carried 3-0.

 

2.         LOVELAND GAS LINE REPLACEMENT 1041 PERMIT, FILE #10-Z1793:   This is a request for approval of a request to construct a new 8-inch to 16-inch-diameter high pressure natural gas transmission line.

 

This application was presented to the Larimer County Planning Commission, on the discussion agenda, during their meeting on June 16, 2010.  Although there was no disagreement between staff and the applicant, regarding the review and conditions of approval, the magnitude of the project and the number of potentially affected citizens was large enough to warrant discussion.  Staff had been contacted prior to the hearing by approximately a half dozen citizens expressing a variety of concerns, related to the safety and impact of the project. A number of those citizens spoke at the Larimer County Planning Commission hearing with specific concerns relating to the proximity of the proposed line to homes, the proposed depth of the line, and the adequacy of the alternative analysis.

 

The Planning Commission spent a great deal of time discussing the alternatives analysis, the relationship of the applicants to the affected landowners, the timing of the request and construction, and the need for a new line. At the conclusion of their deliberations, the Planning Commission forwarded a recommendation of conditional approval to the Board of County Commissioners.

 

The Larimer County Planning Commission and the Development Services Team recommends approval of the Loveland Gas Line Replacement 1041 Permit, File #10-Z1793, subject to the following conditions:

 

1.    The final plat shall be consistent with the approved preliminary plan and with the information contained in the Loveland Gas Line Replacement 1041 Permit File #10-Z1793, except as modified by the conditions of approval or agreement of the county and applicant.  The applicant shall be subject to all other verbal or written representations and commitments of record for the Loveland Gas Line Replacement 1041 permit.

 

2.    The applicants shall conduct a burrowing owl survey for those areas of the preferred route crossing prairie dog towns.

 

3.    The applicants shall coordinate all ditch crossings with the appropriate ditch companies and insure that all licenses and agreements are in place prior to construction.

 

4.    The applicant shall coordinate all bores of  the county roads affected by the route and obtain all necessary permits and permissions. 

 

5.    The applicant shall obtain all necessary and require State and Federal permits for the construction of the pipeline.

 

The approval of this pipeline designates a corridor along the alignment and deviations to accommodate field issues will not affect the approval. Significant alterations to the route shall be evaluated by the county prior to commencing activity, and may be subject to further review.

 

Commissioner Gaiter asked staff the advantage of creating an new corridor versus placing an new pipe within the existing corridor, along Taft Avenue. Mr. Helmick stated that the Public Service Company wishes to relocate the section of pipeline to avoid construction and traffic constriction within the Cities of Loveland and Fort Collins.

 

Chair Johnson opened the hearing to the applicant. Dan Tecavec and Sarah Robinson, representatives of the Public Service Company, addressed the Board. Mr. Tecavec stated that the current pipeline is 82-years old and is losing pressure as a result of leakage. He explained that the line was taken out of service in 2009 due to its poor integrity and must be replaced to ensure that gas will be provided to customers in the area during the upcoming winter. Mr. Tecavec also stated that the ultimate goal of the Public Service Company is to relocate the entire line west of its current location to avoid disrupting major downtown areas along Taft Avenue.

 

Much discussion ensued between the Board and Mr. Tecavec regarding the proposed placement of the transmission line, the company’s preference towards private easements versus public easements, the size of easements, and the possible effects of the transmission line on residents and land owners.

 

Chair Johnson opened the hearing to public comment and Henry Hetzel addressed the Board in opposition to the new transmission line. Mr. Hetzel stated that instead of rendering citizens’ personal properties useless, the Public Service Company should utilize the existing public right-of-way along Taft Avenue and replace the line in its current position.

 

Chair Johnson closed the hearing to public comment and more discussion ensued between the Board, staff, and Mr. Tecavec regarding the proposed placement of the new transmission line.

 

Chair Johnson expressed his opinion that the Public Service Company had done adequate research and made a good case to the expenditure of customer money and the safety of county citizens; therefore, he supported the application.

 

Commissioner Gaiter stated that because the cost and traffic impact would be greatly increased if the current location of the line, along Taft Avenue, were utilized, he supported the application.    

 

Commissioner Donnelly stated that Mr. Tecavec did not fully address the concerns of the residents affected by the proposed pipeline relocation, nor did Mr. Tecavec succeed in convincing him that the proposed corridor is the best option; therefore, Commissioner Donnelly stated that he did not support approval of the application.

 

M O T I O N

 

Commissioner Gaiter moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Loveland Gas Line Replacement 1041 Permit, file #10-Z1793, subject to the following conditions:

 

1.    The final plat shall be consistent with the approved preliminary plan and with the information contained in the Loveland Gas Line Replacement 1041 Permit File #10-Z1793, except as modified by the conditions of approval or agreement of the County and applicant.  The applicant shall be subject to all other verbal or written representations and commitments of record for the Loveland Gas Line Replacement 1041 permit.

 

2.    The applicants shall conduct a burrowing owl survey for those areas of the preferred route crossing prairie dog towns.

 

3.    The applicants shall coordinate all ditch crossings with the appropriate ditch companies and insure that all licenses and agreements are in place prior to construction.

 

4.    The applicant shall coordinate all bores of  the county roads affected by the route and obtain all necessary permits and permissions. 

 

5.    The applicant shall obtain all necessary and require State and Federal permits for the construction of the pipeline.

 

The approval of this pipeline designates a corridor along an alignment and deviations to accommodate field issues will not affect the approval. Significant alterations to the route shall be evaluated by the county prior to commencing activity, and may be subject to further review.

 

Motion carried 2-1, Commissioner Donnelly dissenting.

 

There being no further business, the hearing adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

 

TUESDAY, JULY 13, 2010

 

ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS

 

The Board of County Commissioners met at 9:00 a.m. with Frank Lancaster, County Manager. Chair Johnson presided and Commissioners Donnelly and Gaiter were present. Also present were:  Donna Hart and Deni LaRue, Commissioenrs’ Office; Eric Fried, Candace Phippen, and Michael Whitley, Planning Department; William Ressue, County Attorney’s Office; and Melissa Lohry, Deputy Clerk.

 

1.         PUBLIC COMMENT:  There was no public present for comment.

 

2.         APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FOR THE WEEK OF JULY 5, 2010: 

 

M O T I O N

 

Commissioner Gaiter moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the minutes for the week of July 5, 2010.

 

Motion carried 3-0.

 

3.         REVIEW OF THE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK OF JULY 19, 2010:   Ms. Hart reviewed the upcoming schedule with the Board.

 

4.         CONSENT AGENDA:

 

M O T I O N

 

Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the consent agenda as follows:

 

ABATEMENTS:   As recommended by the County Assessor, the following abatement was presented for approval:  Hochberger Living Trust.

 

07132010A001           DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT FOR HOFF CONSERVATION DEVELOPMENT BY AND BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, STANLEY FARM INVESTMENTS LLC, AND HOFF FARM HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION

 

07132010A002           DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT FOR COTTONWOOD ACRES SUBDIVISION (FILE #09-S2927) BY AND BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, NORMA SQUIRES, AND EDWARD SQUIRES

 

07132010R001           RESOLUTION RESCINDING FINDING & RESOLUTION THAT APPROVED THE AMENDED PLAT OF LOTS 4 & 5 IN THOPSONS LAKESIDE SUBDIVISION

 

07132010R002           RESOLUTION RESCINDING FINDINGS & RESOLUTION THAT APPROVED THE AMENDED PLAT OF LOTS 1 & 3 IN SIERRA VISTA TERRACES

 

07132010R003           RESOLUTION FOR STATUTORY VESTED RIGHTS FOR HOFF CONSERVATION DEVELOPMENT

 

07132010R004           RESOLUTION FOR STATUTORY VESTED RIGHTS FOR COTTONWOOD ACRES SUBDIVISION

 

MISCELLANEOUS:  Mid-Term Appointment to Vacant Seat on PID #36 Bonnell West – Douglas Jones – to serve a term from July 13, 2010 to November 30, 2014; Final Plat – Hoff Conservation Development; Final Plat – Cottonwood Acres Subdivision; Red Feather Mountain Library District Trustees; Maryanne Lyon and Marilyn Colter – to serve terms from July 13, 2010 to December 31, 2010.

 

LIQUOR LICENSES:  The following liquor licenses were approved and issued: Bar SS Tavern – Tavern – LaPorte.

 

5.         COUNTY MANAGER WORKSESSION:  Mr. Lancaster did not have any items to discuss today.

 

6.         COMMISSIONER ACTIVITY REPORT:  The Board detailed their attendance at events during the past week.

 

7.         LEGAL MATTERS:  Mr. Fried, Mr. Ressue, Ms. Phippen, and Mr. Whitley, requested direction from the Board regarding Medical Marijuana facilities operating within the county that have not received county or state authorization. According to the current land use code regulations, these facilities are non-compliant with county standards.

 

Mr. Ressue stated that because these facilities have not gone through the proper channels to receive authorization, they are considered to be engaging in criminal activity. Therefore, the Board has the ability to decide whether they would like to pursue a code compliance case against the facilities or whether they would prefer Planning Department staff to convey their information to the Sheriff’s Office for criminal action.

 

Chair Johnson stated it was his preference to notify the Sheriff’s Office of all grow operations and allow the Sheriff’s Office staff to pursue a criminal case.

 

Commissioner Gaiter asked how staff had become aware of the facilities and Mr. Whitley stated that most of the facilities had contacted staff to inquire about licensing. Commissioner Gaiter stated that he would like staff to inform the business owner that their operations are illegal and that the Sheriff’s Office will be notified.

 

Some discussion ensued regarding whether staff should inform business operators that the Sheriff’s Office will be notified or whether staff should simply gather information and report the facility to the Sheriff’s Office.

 

The Board ultimately directed staff to inform business owners of the illegal nature of their operation and that the legal authorities will be notified. Then, the Board would like staff to contact the Sheriff’s Office to allow legal proceedings.

 

The Board requested an update on County Road 6, near Berthoud, at the next Administrative Matters meeting.

 

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:00 a.m.

 

THURSDAY, JULY 15, 2010

 

ABATEMENT HEARING

 

The Board of County Commissioners met at 1:30 p.m. with David Muse, Senior Appraiser. Chair Johnson presided and Commissioner Gaiter was present. Also present were:  Steve Graham, Assessor’s Office; and Melissa Lohry, Deputy Clerk.

 

ABATEMENT HEARING FOR DIBZEE INVESTMENTS, LLC:   Mr. Muse reviewed the comparable properties and explained that when appraising commercial properties, the Assessor’s Office is required, by statute, to use three methods (cost approach, income approach, and market approach) to determine a reconciled value for any given property. He stated that the subject property sold during the statutory timeframe for $4,100,000, which was time adjusted (and adjusted for the cost of roof repairs at the request of the applicant), resulting in a cost approach value of $3,539,839. Furthermore, the market approach indicated a value of $3,423,300 to $3,770,500, and the income approach indicated an estimated value of $3,614,300. Mr. Muse explained that Mr. Khanzada did not submit the requested financial records, therefore, the income approach is only an estimated value. Lastly, Mr. Muse noted that all of the indicators were consistent with the Assessor’s indicated value of $3,580,000.

 

Mr. Khanzada, building owner, addressed the Board and explained that due to contractual obligations, poor lease agreements, tenant loss, foreclosure, and bankruptcy, he did not believe the building was worth the estimated $3,580,000.

 

Mr. Muse stated that Mr. Khanzada did not provided information regarding many of the financial difficulties noted; however, if Mr. Khanzada could submit records to illustrate those hardships, the estimated value could be recalculated.

 

Mr. Khanzada stated that he did not have those records at this time and requested the hearing be tabled so that he could gather the information and provide it to Mr. Muse.

 

Then Board agreed to table the hearing for approximately two to three weeks to allow the applicant to gather information.

 

M O T I O N

 

Commissioner Gaiter moved that the Board of County Commissioners table the Abatement Hearing for Dibzee Investments, LLC for approximately two to three weeks.

 

Motion carried 2-0.

 

The Board adjourned at 3:00 p.m.

 

 

 

__________________________________________

   STEVE JOHNSON, CHAIR

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

 

 

SCOTT DOYLE

CLERK AND RECORDER

 

ATTEST:

 

______________________________________

Melissa E. Lohry, Deputy Clerk

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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