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 Donnelly presided and Commissioners Gaiter and Johnson were present. Also present were: Toby Stauffer, Planning Department; Traci Shambo, Engineering Department; Bill Ressue, County Attorney’s Office; and Gael Cookman, Deputy Clerk.
Chair Donnelly opened the hearing 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 Donnelly explained that that there was one item on the consent agenda, and it would not be discussed unless requested by the Board or members of the audience:
1. TOWN OF BELLVUE LOT 2 AMENDED PLAT CORRECTION, FILE #11-S3044: This is a request for a correction to the lot title on an amended plat heard by the Board on July 11, 2011.
The amended plat heard by the Board on July 11, 2011, and accepted on August 2, 2011, was a request to amend the plat of Lot 1, Town of Bellvue to vacate the alley to the west of Lot 1 and incorporate all land into Lot 1. Subsequent to the completion of the Amended Plat process, corrections were noted by the County Land Surveyor and changes were made to the legal title of the plat by the land surveyor in charge of the project. These changes indicated that the lot amended was actually Lot 2, not Lot 1 of the plat of the Town of Bellvue.
This report is to clarify the record and amend the previous approval to indicate that action was taken on Lot 2, not Lot 1. Once complete, the title of the amended plat should be:
“Amended plat of Lot 2 of the Amended Plat of Lots 1, 3, and 5 and the North Half of Lot 7 Block 2, Town of Bellvue and a Portion of a 20’ Alley.”
The action taken on this amended plat shall have been to vacate a portion of a 20’ alley directly adjacent to the west line of Lot 2 of the Town of Bellvue plat and combine it with Lot 2. The entire alley will be included in Lot 2, the adjacent property owner to the west has given up his ownership of the vacated alley and provided it by quit claim deed to the owner of Lot 2.
The Development Services Team recommends approval of Town of Bellvue Lot 2 Amended Plat Correction, File# 11-S3044.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gaiter moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Town of Bellvue Lot 2 Amended Plat Correction, File# 11-S3044, as outlined above.
Motion carried 3-0.
2. MAXEY SIGN APPEAL: This is a request for an appeal to Section 10.11 of the Land Use Code. Section 10.11 allows a non-residential use to have a one freestanding sign that is up to 18 feet tall, 90 square feet in sign area per face, and the sign would need to be setback at least 36 feet from the property line.
The Maxey property is requesting to keep an existing freestanding sign that is currently 25 feet tall, 7 feet taller than the maximum height allowed by the code. The existing sign is 94 square feet per sign face, 4 square feet larger than the maximum allowed by the current code, and the sign is at the edge of the property, zero feet from the property line instead of at least 36’ as required. The existing sign was permitted in 1993 and it was in compliance with the regulations at the time it was installed. The sign is non-conforming with regard to the current code.
At some point in the past an electronic message sign and an additional smaller sign were added to the freestanding sign poles, below the original sign. Both signs are illegal as they were never permitted and did not conform to regulations for signage at any time in the past. With this request the applicant seeks to remove one sign from the poles and add a new LED sign to replace the existing electronic message sign, and also keep all other existing signage on the property. The addition of the new LED sign causes all signage on the property to be brought into compliance with the code.
Section 10 allows each property to have one freestanding sign of 90 sq. ft. This appeal will allow the property to have one set of freestanding poles, with two signs attached, one at 94 sq. ft. and the other at 22.5 sq. ft. This would exceed the maximum allowed square footage for a freestanding sign.
Based upon the area calculation formula in Section 10, the property is allowed 200 sq. feet of signage. The property has one double faced freestanding sign with 94 square feet of signage, building signs that total approximately 61 square feet in signage and two illegal signs on the freestanding poles that total approximately 39 square feet, bringing total existing signage on the property to 194 square feet. The applicant has indicated one sign from the freestanding poles will be removed, so to keep the existing non-conforming freestanding sign, the existing building signs, and add the new LED sign, total signage on the property would be 177.5 square feet. Of that 177.5 sq. ft. freestanding sign square footage is 116.5 sq. ft.
To approve an appeal from the applicable requirements in Section 10 of this Code, the County Commissioners must consider the following review criteria and find that each criterion has been met or determined to be inapplicable:
A. Approval of the appeal is consistent with the purpose and intent of this Code;
The purpose of the sign code is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public, provide property owners with an opportunity for safe and effective identification of uses, avoid clutter, and protect and maintain the visual appearance of various areas of the county.
The existing sign is non-conforming and has been on the site for 18 years and it’s likely that building signs have been on the site for an equally long amount of time so it does not appear that existing signage impairs the health, safety or welfare of the area. For that same amount of time the existing signage has also provided an opportunity for the business to advertise in a prominent position along I-25 without need for additional signage.
Replacing an illegal LED sign with a new more advanced and flexible LED sign would add visual clutter along a major highway and it may impair safety for drivers. The new sign would impact the visual appearance of an entrance to our community and expand a non-conformity. Given that the existing freestanding sign is larger than what is allowed currently and because the property has an adequate amount of signage that safely and effectively identifies the use; the additional sign is not needed, may detract from the area, and the approval of the appeal is not consistent with the intent and purpose of the code.
B. There are extraordinary or exceptional conditions on the site which would result in a peculiar or undue hardship on the property owner if Section 10 of this Code is strictly enforced;
There are no extraordinary or exceptional conditions on this site which result in a hardship to the owners if the sign code is enforced. If the signs were to come into compliance with the regulations, advertising for the business would still be visible from the highway. The property has adequate area to advertise the business and the current signage is visible from the highway and it directs people to the main entrance to the site.
C. Approval of the appeal would not result in an economic or marketing advantage over other businesses which have signs which comply with Section 10 of this Code.
Approval of the appeal may result in an economic or marketing advantage over other businesses in the area. This specific property has been able to effectively advertise the use on the property for many years with existing signage. The appeal would allow an additional sign, the extension of a non-conformity, and the freestanding sign would exceed the maximum allowable sign square footage. The business would have an advantage over others because any other business in the area would need to appeal the sign code to achieve the same level of advertising. Additionally, the approval may not be equitable to other property owners that have complied with the code.
In regard to signage for other businesses in the area; one neighboring sign, the United Rentals sign, is 40’ tall, 90 sq. ft, setback 30 feet, it is non-conforming. Other signs in the area comply with Section 10; they are smaller and shorter than the Maxey sign.
Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has no issues with the proposed sign type, size or location. However, CDOT does note that the CODT sign code for the electronic portion of the sign will not allow “scrolling” messages or any other message with a movement intensive display. Messages must fade in and fade out in a static fashion. Larimer County code allows the electronic messaging sign to change messages no more frequently than once per minute
The Development Services Team recommends denial of this request, Maxey Sign Appeal, given that is does not meet review criteria A, B, or C as listed above.
However, should the Commissioners wish to approve this request, the Development Services Team offers the following conditions for consideration:
1. The electronic messaging sign shall conform to the requirements outlined in both the CDOT code and the County code.
2. No additional signage shall be added to the property without prior approval.
3. All signs shall comply with building codes and all other requirements in Section 10 of the Land Use Code.
4. Building permit application for the existing and proposed signs shall occur within 90 days from the date of this approval.
5. This approval is the maximum allowable for the proposed sign(s) as presented in the application materials and given only for the signs included in this request.
6. This approval does not constitute approval of the uses on the site.
Ms. Stauffer briefly described the application, as outlined above.
Carl Maxey, applicant, stated that in his opinion the public will benefit greatly from the improved signage, and that it is difficult to grow a business in that location and the signage will help them draw attention for their business.
Chair Donnelly opened up the hearing for public comment and the following individuals addressed the Board in support of the application: Jack Gerdes, Pete Ybarra, Fred Irvin, Brad Baker, and Loren Maxey. All agreed that the new sign is more energy efficient, more aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and they requested the Board approve the appeal.
There was no further public comment.
Under discussion, the Board agreed that the applicants are presenting a more attractive, functional, and energy efficient sign that will better meet their needs.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Johnson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Maxey Sign Appeal, with the conditions as outlined above.
Motion carried 3-0.
The hearing adjourned at 3:50 p.m.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2011
The Board of County Commissioners met at 9:00 a.m. with Frank Lancaster, County Manager. Chair Donnelly presided and Commissioners Gaiter and Johnson were present. Also present were: Neil Gluckman, Deni LaRue, and Donna Hart, Commissioners’ Office; Susie Trabant, Friends of the Red Feather Lakes Community Library President; Gary Buffington, Natural Resources Department; Matt Robbing, Colorado Lottery; Randy Lesher, Thompson Valley Emergency Medical Services; Ginny Riley, Human Services Department; Joe Schreurs, and Andy Paratore, Facilities and Information Technology Division; John Gamlin, Human Resources; George Hass, County Attorney’s Office; and Gael Cookman, Deputy Clerk.
1. PUBLIC COMMENT: Richard Seaworth noted concerns with the Boxelder Stormwater Authority, stating that some of the information they were sharing was contradictory and confusing. Some discussion ensued.
The following individuals addressed the Board with concerns regarding the Bender Mobile Home Park being sold to a developer: Cheryl Distaso, Wiley McCallum, Mary Greeley, Arnie Combs, Marie Engle, and Gail Kennedy-Holder. They asked the Board for assistance in relocating approximately 70 homeowners from this mobile home park.
Lisa Maser, Robert Maser, and Rose Brinks requested that the Board enact 1041 Powers to dispute placement of the Greeley Pipeline slated to run through Bellvue.
2. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FOR THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 3, 2011:
M O T I O N
Commissioner Johnson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the minutes for the week of October 3, 2011.
Motion carried 3-0.
3. REVIEW OF THE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK OF OCTOBER 17, 2011: Ms. Hart reviewed the schedule for the upcoming week.
4. CONSENT AGENDA:
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gaiter moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Consent Agenda as outlined below:
10112011A001 SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BY AND BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND ANHEUSER-BUSCH, INC.
10112011A002 THIRD ADDENDUM TO DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT FOR BENNETT CONSERVATION DEVELOPMENT (FILE NO. 03-S2142) BY AND BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND BEN AND BLANCA DURAN
10112011A003 LAW ENFORCEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND THE TOWN OF WELLINGTON, THROUGH THE LARIMER COUNTY SHERIFF
10112011A004 LAW ENFORCEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND THE TOWN OF TIMNATH, THROUGH THE LARIMER COUNTY SHERIFF
10112011A005 THIRD ADDENDUM TO DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT FOR TIMBERLINE RESOURCES SPECIAL REVIEW (FILE #02-Z1432) BY AND BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND HAWKEYE RANCH INVESTMENT GROUP, LLC
10112011A006 PROGRAM YEAR 2011 VETERANS WORKFORCE INVESTMENT ACT AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, THE LARIMER COUNTY WORKFORCE CENTER, AND THE COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYEMENT
10112011A007 STIPULATION AS TO TAX YEAR 2008 ACTUAL VALUE – ANHEUSER-BUSCH, INC.; DOCKET NO. 57630, SCHEDULE NO. R1180649
10112011A008 STIPULATION AS TO TAX YEAR 2009 AND 2010 ACTUAL VALUE – ANHEUSER-BUSCH, INC.; DOCKET NO. 52331 AND 56109, SCHEDULE NO. R1180649
10112011A009 STIPULATION AS TO TAX YEAR 2011 ACTUAL VALUE – ANHEUSER-BUSCH, INC.; SCHEDULE NO. 41180649
10112011R001 FINDINGS AND RESOLUTION APPROVING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART THE NEIDIGH APPEAL
MISCELLANEOUS: Appointment of Linda Bell to the Red Feather Mountain Library District Board of Trustees, through December 31, 2013; Impact Assistance Grant – GOCO; Employment Issue.
LIQUOR LICENSES: The following licenses were approved and issued: Riverbend Resort – 3.2% - Loveland; Best Western Crossroads – Tavern - Loveland.
Motion carried 3-0.
5. NATIONAL FRIENDS OF LIBRARIES WEEK: Susie Trabant, David Christopher, Creed Kidd, and Gary Drieth requested that the Board proclaim October 16 – 22, 2011, as National Friends of Libraries Week. Commissioner Gaiter read the proclamation aloud.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gaiter moved that the Board of County Commissioners proclaim October 16 – 22, 2011, as National Friends of Libraries Week for the Red Feather Library District.
Motion carried 3-0.
6. COLORADO LOTTERY STARBURST AWARD: Mr. Robbins presented Larimer County with the Starburst Award for the Colorado Front Range Trail and Trailhead Development Project at River Bluffs Open Space.
7. DISCUSSION OF APPOINTMENT DEADLINE FOR THOMPSON VALLEY EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES: Chief Randy Lesher explained that the Thompson Valley Health Services District (TVHSD) had one of seven board member seats vacated at the end of July, and under Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS), TVHSD has 60-days to appoint a new member to fill the vacancy. Chief Lesher stated that they are continuing efforts to fill this position; however, CRS dictates they must inform the Board of County Commissioners of the status once the 60-days have expired. The Board thanked Chief Lesher for the update.
8. PLEDGE TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES (TANF) REFUND: Ms. Riley proposed using $277,914 of the refund share of a TANF performance bonus for replacement of the county wide FileNet imaging system. Ms. Riley stated that the Human Services department is a major user of the current FileNet system due to be upgraded or replaced in the very near future. Discussion ensued, and the Board agreed this was an appropriate use of the funds.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Johnson moved that the Board of County Commissioners TANF Maintenance of Effort refund/performance bonus for Federal Fiscal Year 2009 be used by the Department of Human Services as a pledge on behalf of the entire Health and Human Services Division to the Content, Collaboration, and Communication (C3) project for the upgrade/replacement of FileNet or the implementation of a new content management system for Larimer County.
Motion carried 3-0.
9. CONVERT 5.5 FTE FROM LIMITED TERM STATUS TO REGULAR STATUS: Ms. Riley requested the ability to covert 5.5 limited term status employees to regular status. Much discussion ensued and the Board asked Ms. Riley to bring back additional information and/or set up a worksession to allow for further consideration.
10. ASSISTANT COUNTY MANAGER WORKSESSION: There were no worksession items to discuss.
11. COMMISSIONER ACTIVITY REPORTS: The Board detailed their attendance at events during the previous week.
12. LEGAL MATTERS: There were no legal matters to discuss.
There being no further business, the Board recessed at 11:10 a.m.
The Board of County Commissioners reconvened at 3:00 p.m. for an Abatement Hearing. Chair Donnelly presided and Commissioners Johnson and Gaiter were present. Also present were: Davin Stephens, and Kathy Thornton, Assessor’s Office, Debbra Tamlin-Zdenek, Petitioner; Pavlou and Marina Skevos, Petitioners; and Gael Cookman, Deputy Clerk.
1. PETITION FOR ABATEMENT, PARCEL NUMBER 98364-42-005: Mr. Stephens described the subject property noting it was vacant land, and he presented the packet of comparables used to arrive at the assessed value of $109,100.
Mrs. Tamlin-Zdenek presented her comparables, noting that vacant land has not sold in this subdivision for many years, and that the values have dropped significantly.
Discussion ensued. Chair Donnelly and Commissioner Gaiter both agreed that a lower value was appropriate. Commissioner Johnson stated that he needed more data in order to determine a value that was fair and equitable.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gaiter moved that the Board of County Commissioners partially approve the Petition of Abatement for parcel number 98364-42-005, and lower the value to $65,000 for this parcel for tax years 2009 and 2010.
Motion carried 2-1; Commissioner Johnson dissenting.
2. PETITION FOR ABATEMENT, PARCEL NUMBER 85062-23-021: Ms. Thornton described the subject property and presented the comparables she used to arrive at the assessed value of $536,200. She noted that the property had already been lowered in value for the 2011 tax year, but that in her estimation the value of $535,200 was accurate for 2009 and 2010.
Mr. Pavlou asked some questions and then stated that he did not have much else to add, as he now understood the method in which property values are set and reevaluated every two years. However, after review of comparables of like properties in the enclave at Horseshoe Lake, the Board decided to adjust to $520,000 to make the property fair and equitable.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Johnson moved that the Board of County Commissioners partially approve the Petition of Abatement for parcel number 85062-23-021, and lower the value to $520,000 for this parcel for tax years 2009 and 2010.
Motion carried 3-0.
The meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m.
TOM DONNELLY, CHAIR
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
CLERK AND RECORDER
Gael M. Cookman, Deputy Clerk