MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
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: Sean Wheeler, Planning Department; Eric Tracy, Engineering Department; Eric Fried, Code Compliance; Jeanine Haag, County Attorney; and Gael Cookman, Deputy Clerk.
Chair Johnson opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and asked for public comment on the County Budget and Land Use Code. No one from the audience addressed the Board regarding these topics.
Chair Johnson explained that item 1 is on the consent agenda and would not be discussed unless requested by the Board, staff, or members of the audience:
1. GORDON MINOR SPECIAL REVIEW, FILE #10-Z1817: This is a request for a Minor Special Review approval to operate an artist glass blowing studio in a detached structure, and an appeal to Section 184.108.40.206.B of the Code to allow the use of more than 800 square feet.
The applicants own a single-family residential lot on the west side of South County Road 29, which includes a residence and detached accessory structure. They seek formal approval to operate an artist studio for glass blowing business in the detached structure. Because the applicant’s purchased the site with the structure already built, they are appealing the size limitation on Home Occupations required by the Land Use Code. As noted in the applicant’s project description, she does not have customers or students that come to her site and the structure will be used as a private studio. The applicant is also not seeking approval for a sign to identify the use and work produced on the site will be sold through local galleries. The applicant held the required neighborhood meeting on July 28, 2010, in the studio with six neighbors in attendance. None in attendance raised objections to the proposed use, and no neighbors have subsequently contacted Staff with concerns. Access to the site is provided directly off S. County Road #29 via a private drive. T he surrounding neighborhood consists of various sized single-family residential lots. The zoning is O-Open. None of the reviewing agencies raised objections to approval of the studio or of the appeal. Assessments from the reviewing agencies are also attached to this report for consideration.
Based on the information provided, approval of the request will have a minimum impact on the surrounding area as there will be no employees, customers, students or even a sign to identify the use. Approval of the appeal will allow the applicant to use all of the existing structure for the studio and personal storage. The presence of the pole barn is not a concern, because these structures are allowed in residential areas provided the property owners obtain the correct building permits and inspections, as this applicant is doing. Home occupations are allowed by zoning, if the applicant can show they comply with the review criteria for a Minor Special Review. As noted above in there are no concerns in this area. Also, the Health and Engineering Departments did not indicate any concerns with the standards they monitor in these areas, nor did any of the other referral agencies. In summary, the request satisfies the requirements and intent of the Larimer County Land Use Code in Section 4.10. Staff’s assessment is that the use is appropriate at this location based on its size and scope, and the low level of impact created. The Development Services Team supports approval.
The Development Services Team findings are as follows:
1. The proposed Gordon Inc. home occupation is compatible with existing and allowed uses in the surrounding area and shall be in harmony with the neighborhood. Approval of the home occupation and appeal requests are not anticipated to have any negative impacts on properties surrounding the site.
2. The proposed use is consistent with the requirement and intent of the Larimer County Land Use Code including Section 4.3.10. along with the intent of the Larimer County Master Plan.
3. The recommendations of referral agencies have been considered.
The Development Services Team recommends approval of the Gordon Minor Special Review, File # 10-Z1817 subject to the following conditions:
1. The Site shall be developed consistent with the approved plan and information contained in the Gordon Minor Special Review, File # 10-Z1817, except as modified by the conditions of approval or agreement of the County and applicant. The application is subject to all other verbal or written representations and commitments of record for the Gordon Minor Special Review, File # 10-Z1817.
2. This application is approved without the requirement for a Development Agreement. In the event the applicant fails to comply with any conditions of approval, or fails to use the property consistent with the approved Minor Special Review, the applicant agrees that in addition to all other remedies available to County, County may withhold building permits; issue a written notice to applicant to appear and show cause why the Minor Special Review approval should not be revoked; and/or bring a court action for enforcement of the terms of the Minor Special Review. All remedies are cumulative and the County’s election to use one shall not preclude use of another. In the event County must retain legal counsel and/or pursue a court action to enforce the terms of this Minor Special Review approval, applicant agrees to pay all expenses incurred by County including, but not limited to, reasonable attorney’s fees. County may conduct periodic inspections to the property and reviews of the status of the Minor Special Review as appropriate to monitor and enforce the terms of the Minor Special Review approval.
3. The Findings and Resolution shall be a servitude running with the Property. Those owners of the Property (or any portion of the Property) who obtain title subsequent to the date of recording of the Findings and Resolution, their heirs, successors, assigns or transferees and persons holding under applicants, shall comply with the terms and conditions of the Special Review approval.
4. The Home Occupation is limited to use of the existing detached pole barn structure as defined by the Larimer County Land Use Code.
5 The single-family character of the property must be maintained.
6. The applicant will obtain all building permits and inspections, and pay all required fees by May 8, 2011.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the consent agenda, as presented and outlined above.
Motion carried 3-0.
2. KAHLE ZONING VIOLATION, FILE #10-CC0252: The property owners are in violation of Larimer County Land Use Code Section 4.1.1. A (FA - Farming – Allowed Uses) by virtue of operating Mighty Earthworks excavation company from their residential property.
This property is on the south side of Southwest 42nd St., approximately one third of a mile east of South Taft Avenue (County Road 17) between Loveland and Berthoud. See vicinity map attached.
Notice of this hearing was mailed certified and regular mail to the owners as well as by regular mail to all adjacent property owners within 500 feet of the property.
The Code Compliance section received a complaint on August 25, 2010, that the Kahles were operating an excavation company from their property that involved employees moving heavy equipment, sometimes starting at 6:30 a.m. and continuing throughout the day. The complaint also alleged that Mr. Kahle or his employees performed maintenance outside on the heavy equipment, including sanding and painting.
Code Compliance Officer (CCO) Eric Fried visited the site on August 27, 2010, and knocked on the front door of the house. Receiving no answer, he walked around to the rear of the property to see if anyone was in the buildings or yard with which he could discuss the matter. CCO Fried observed numerous vehicles and equipment associated with the business and what appeared to be an office in a detached accessory building. CCO Fried knocked on the door of the office, but no one was present. He then took photographs of the vehicles and yard, and left a courtesy notice at the front door asking the Kahles to call about the apparent land use code violation.
On August 30, Carrie Kahle called CCO Fried in response to the courtesy notice. After discussing the allowable uses under the Land Use Code, Mrs. Kahle affirmed that the business would fit under the Use by Right criteria for a Home Occupation. The Kahles submitted their Home Occupation Registration Certificate on September 13, 2010. However, planning staff questioned whether the earthworks operation actually met several home occupation criteria: “vehicle repair or similar activities” are specifically prohibited as home occupations; home occupations must “not unreasonably interfere with the enjoyment of life, quiet, comfort or outdoor recreation of an individual of ordinary sensitivity and habits;” and to be a use by right there can be “no outside storage associated with the home occupation, except that no more than one vehicle used in the home occupation may be stored outside, and such vehicle must be registered as either a passenger vehicle or light duty truck.” CCO Fried suggested to the Kahles that they consider applying for Minor Special Review for a Home Occupation that exceeds the use by right criteria, but the Kahles to this point have not chosen to pursue that option.
CCO Fried offered to arrange a meeting between the Kahles and a county planner regarding allowable uses of the property under the Land Use Code. County planner Matt Lafferty met with the Kahles on September 24, 2010. The Kahles indicated they were considering moving some or all of their equipment off site. At the time of this report, no such change has occurred.
Adjoining property owners have raised concerns about impacts on their safety and quality of life from noise, lights, dust and vehicle traffic caused by this business. The site is a residential lot, and property owners may reasonably assume that adjoining residential properties will not become commercial in nature.
Staff findings are as follows:
1. The property is zoned FA- Farming.
2. Principal uses allowed in the FA zoning for this lot include agriculture, single family residential and residential group homes.
3. The property is being used for commercial purposes, specifically Mighty Earthworks, a company specializing in commercial and residential excavation services.
Staff recommends that the Board of County Commissioners find that a violation exists, require compliance with the 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: either cease the commercial use or restrict it to comply with the Home Occupation requirements of Land Use Code Section 4.3.10 B.
Mr. Fried briefly explained the history of the violation, as outlined above, and displayed some aerial photography of the site. He stated that they are recommending the Board find the owners in violation; however, they could apply for a Minor Special Review and outdoor storage if they so desired.
The owners of the property, Ed and Carrie Kahle, addressed the Board. They stated that they are simply trying to operate their business with respect to the neighbors. Mr. Kahle stated that the activity is grossly exaggerated and that he only moves equipment to the property every couple of weeks. Mrs. Kahle explained that they have one employee that generally comes to the site and that they never work on vehicles for others, they only service their own equipment.
Chair Johnson opened up the hearing for public comment.
Debbie and Bonnie Torrez addressed the Board. Debbie Torrez explained that she was the neighbor that filed the complaint, and that there is a pending personal injury lawsuit regarding this issue so she has been advised not to discuss matters at today’s hearing. However, Debbie Torrez stated that she does have a horse arena and that the heavy equipment spooks her horse. Bonnie Torrez also stated that there are lots of bigger pieces of equipment moved in and out of the site.
Glenn Hodges Jr., Kathryn Horn, Martin Pond, Stacy Gear, John Horn, Bryce Hopkins, and Virgil Hedger, all addressed the Board in support of the Kahle’s business operation. Some also own horses and stated that the equipment is not a problem for them or their animals and they have not experienced any safety issues at all.
Mr. Kahle thanked his neighbors for their support.
Under Commissioner discussion, Commissioner Donnelly stated that he would support the operation as it stands. He stated that it is already an area of mixed use with a major roadway going through it. However, Chair Johnson and Commissioner Gaiter agreed that the proper course of action would be to find that a violation exists, and encourage the Kahles to apply for the Minor Special Review to address the home business and outside storage issues.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gaiter moved that the Board of find a violation of the Larimer County Land use Code exists, require compliance as shown below, and authorize legal action if the deadlines are not met. The business use is allowed to continue during the compliance process at its current level of activity, conditioned on the following: the owners must submit complete application for a Minor Special Review approval for a home occupation within 90 days, and if the application is withdrawn or denied, commercial operation must cease within 90 days of termination of application.
Motion carried 2-1; Commissioner Donnelly dissenting.
The hearing adjourned at 4:30 p.m.
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2010
The Board of County Commissioners met at 9:00 a.m. with Frank Lancaster, County Manager. Chair Johnson presided, and Commissioners Gaiter and Donnelly were present. Also present were: Donna Hart, and Deni LaRue, Commissioners’ Office; Gary Buffington, and Kerri Rollins, and Mark Caughlan, Department of Natural Resources; Kathryn Rowe, Purchasing Department; Linda Knowlton, Russell Fruits, and Chad LaChance, Parks Advisory Board; Marc Engemoen, Public Works Department; Russ Legg, Planning Department; and Gael Cookman, Deputy Clerk.
1. PUBLIC COMMENT: Chuck Washington and Dennis Spencer addressed the Board regarding the proposed expansion of the Fort Collins/Loveland Airport. Mr. Washington stated they were concerned with noise, declining property values, and lack of information regarding aviation easements. He stated that he is interested in developing an improved business plan for the expansion, and noted that he would keep the county planning department abreast of the progress regarding this matter.
Linda Bersch, Gene Stout, and Glen Rothgery raised concerns with the proposed realignment of Boyd Lake Avenue. Ms. Bersch presented a handout that highlighted their concerns, and stated that redirecting traffic through a neighborhood is a bad idea and it will negatively affect their property values. Mr. Stout noted the possibility of negative impacts to wildlife in the area. Mr. Rothgery stated that the City of Loveland should be working with Larimer County more closely regarding this road realignment, and encouraged discussion between the two entities.
Don Waldburger explained his position with regards to operating the Carter Lake Marina, stating a 22-year history with running the marina, his knowledge of the particulars surrounding Carter Lake, and stated that he provides exceptionally good customer service for the patrons.
Glenn Werth stated that he wished to improve the dock system at Carter Lake, and to attract more motorized boaters to Carter Lake. Mr. Werth stated that he believes that Carter Lake has untapped potential and would like to make it more appealing to all types of individuals.
Todd Rogers, Steve Johnson, Austin Andrews, and Jeff Grubers all stated that they have been boating on Carter Lake for many years, and they expressed their support for the contract to be awarded to Mr. Waldburger. All stated that Carter Lake is geared towards sailboats due to the high winds. They stated concerns with incorporating a rigid docking system, noting that it could damage their boats. They agreed that Mr. Waldburger provides exceptional customer service, and they noted that is more at stake than just money. All were very opposed to changing the character of Carter Lake.
2. COLORADO LOTTERY PRESENTATION OF THE 2010 STARBURST AWARD FOR THE HORSETOOTH RESERVOIR REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT: Matt Robbins with the Colorado Lottery presented the Colorado Lottery Starburst Award to the Larimer County Department of Natural Resources. He explained that the Starburst Award recognizes excellence in the use of Lottery funds for community and conservation projects, and that Larimer County won the award for the Horsetooth Reservoir Redevelopment Project. The Board congratulated Mr. Buffington and his staff for this achievement.
3. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FOR THE WEEK OF NOVEMBER 1, 2010:
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gaiter moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the minutes for the week of November 1, 2010.
Motion carried 3-0.
4. REVIEW OF THE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK OF NOVEMBER 15, 2010: Ms. Hart reviewed the upcoming schedule with the Board.
5. CONSENT AGENDA:
M O T I O N
Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the consent agenda, as listed below:
PETITIONS FOR ABATEMENT: As recommended by the County Assessor, the following Petitions for Abatement are approved: Detailed Landscape; Gerald Olech; Dwayne and Carol Herman; William and Meriam Hanson; and Fort Collins Mortgage, LLC.
The following abatements were denied: James Railsback; Registry Ridge Partners, LLC.
11092010A001 AGREEMENT #1 TO CONTRACT #9893, ENCUMBRANCE #F10CH00192 BY AND BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND THE STATE OF COLORADO, ACTING BY AND THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL AFFAIRS
11092010R001 SPECIAL REVIEW FINDINGS AND RESOLUTION DENYING THE PETITION OF JERRY ESCHBAUGH
11092010R002 SPECIAL REVIEW FINDINGS AND RESOLUTION APPROVING THE PETITION OF BRIAN FREEMAN AND CHOICE ORGANICS, INC.
11092010R003 RESOLUTION DECLARING LARIMER COUNTY PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NO. 39 RAINBOW LAKES ESTATES ORGANIZED
11092010R004 RESOLUTION DECLARING LARIMER COUNTY PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NO. 43 GRAYHAWK KNOLLS ORGANIZED
11092010R005 RESOLUTION DECLARING LARIMER COUNTY PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NO. 46 KORAL HEIGHTS ORGANIZED
11092010R006 RESOLUTION DECLARING LARIMER COUNTY PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NO. 47 PARK HILL ORGANIZED
11092010R007 RESOLUTION DECLARING LARIMER COUNTY PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NO. 48 PUEBLA VISTA ESTATES ORGANIZED
11092010R008 RESOLUTION DECLARING LARIMER COUNTY PUBLIC IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT NO. 49 WAGON WHEEL ORGANIZED
MISCELLANEOUS: Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Property Requisition Authorization Form.
LIQUOR LICENSES: The following licenses were approved and/or issued: Young’s Liquor – Retail Liquor Store – Fort Collins.
Motion carried 3-0.
6. PROCESS FOR THE SELECTION OF A CONCESSIONAIRE TO PROVIDE MARINA SERVICES AT CARTER LAKE: Mr. Buffington, Ms. Rowe, Ms. Knowlton, Mr. Fruits, and Mr. LaChance presented the results of the request for proposals for the marina concession services at Carter Lake. Ms. Rowe explained the process and reviewed the bids with the Board. Much discussion ensued amongst all, regarding differences between the bids received, and what the ultimate goals were for the marina. The Board was not inclined to change the climate of Carter Lake, and in fact, believed that offering diverse experiences will positively benefit the community as a whole. The Board supported awarding the bid to Don Waldburger; however, no formal action was taken.
7. DISCUSS THE CITY OF LOVELAND’S BOYD LAKE AVENUE EXTENSION PROJECT: Mr. Peterson explained that, as heard in public comment this morning, the City of Loveland is pursuing the extension of Boyd Lake Avenue and he asked if the Board would like to have a work session with the City of Loveland and staff regarding this topic. The Board stated that they would like to be involved in this and directed Mr. Peterson to set up a work session with the appropriate individuals.
8. COUNTY MANAGER WORK SESSION: There were no work session items to discuss.
9. COMMISSIONER ACTIVITY REPORTS: The Board discussed their activities at events during the past week.
10. LEGAL MATTERS: There were no legal matters to discuss.
The meeting ended at 12:05 p.m., with no further action taken.
STEVE JOHNSON, CHAIR
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
CLERK AND RECORDER
Gael M. Cookman, Deputy County Clerk