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 Johnson and Gaiter were present. Also present were: Terry Gilbert, Planning Department; Eric Fried, Building Department; Eric Tracy, Engineering Department; Chad Gray, Amy White, and Tony Brooks, Code Compliance Department; Jeannine Haag, County Attorney’s Office; and Gael Cookman, Deputy Clerk.
Chair Donnelly opened the hearing with the Pledge of Allegiance. Mr. Lafferty then requested that the Board add item #2 to the consent agenda, as long as no one in the audience was in attendance to address the Board on this item. Chair Donnelly ensured there was no opposition to this request by the Board or members of the audience. Seeing none; item #2 was moved to consent:
2. ADOPTION OF THE POUDRE FIRE CODE: This is a request to approve application of the 2012 International Fire Code as amended by Poudre Valley Fire Protection District.
The Poudre Valley Fire Protection District (PVFPD) has adopted the 2012 International Fire Code as amended and has requested the Larimer County Board of County Commissioners approve application of this code within the unincorporated portions of their fire district. Under Colorado state law, such codes shall only apply within the unincorporated portion of any county if the governing body of such county adopts a resolution stating that such code or specific portions thereof shall be applicable within the fire protection district’s boundaries. Please see attached PVFPD 2012 IFC.
Like the International Residential and Building Codes, International Fire Codes are updated and published in three year cycles. Poudre Fire is currently under the 2006 International Fire Code, and the fire district board has voted to update to the most current code. Before adopting their code, Poudre Fire convened a code review committee consisting of their staff and representatives of Larimer County, the City of Fort Collins, the Town of Timnath, Colorado State University, Loveland Fire, Poudre School District, water districts, private contractors and fire protection companies. Please see attached PVFPD Request.
Although fire code updates are traditionally approved at Administrative Matters meetings, the Board of Commissioners requested this proposed code be brought to a Land Use Hearing for increased opportunity for public comment.
Staff recommends that the Board of Commissioners approve application of the fire code.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gaiter moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the 2012 International Fire Code as amended by Poudre Valley Fire Protection District.
Motion carried 3-0.
04282014R001 FINDINGS AND RESOLUTION APPROVING APPLICATION OF THE 2012 INTERNATIONAL FIRE CODE AND CERTAIN APPENDICES AND MODIFICATIONS THERETO REGULATING AND GOVERNING THE SAFEGUARDING OF LIFE AND PROPERTY FROM FIRE AND EXPLOSION HAZARDS, PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUANCE OF PERMITS, AND COLLECTION OF FEES THEREFORE BY THE POUDRE VALLEY FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT WITHIN UNINCORPORATED LARIMER COUNTY
1. TABLED CODE COMPLIANCE PUBLIC MEETING ITEM FROM APRIL 14, 2014, REGARDING THE SWISHER ZONING VIOLATION, FILE #13-CC0297: The property owner is alleged to be in violation of Section 4.1.1 FA-Farming of the Larimer County Land Use Code by storing construction materials, unlicensed/inoperable vehicles and outdoor storage of junk/debris on a vacant lot, which is not an allowed use in the FA-Farming zoning district. Also, section 4.2.2 D 19, of the Larimer County Land Use Code for storing anything buoyant, flammable, explosive, or could be injurious to human, plant, or animal life is prohibited in the floodway. The property owner is also in violation of section R105.1 of the 2012 International Residential Code for constructing a storage building greater than 120 square feet in size without a building permit.
The property is located along the south side of 1st Street and just over a thousand feet east of South Taft Avenue in Loveland. The property is 800 feet south of the Big Thompson River. The property is located in a designated floodway.
Notice of this public meeting was mailed certified and regular mail to Mr. and Mrs. Swisher as well as by regular mail to the City of Loveland and adjacent property owners, including seven complainants.
On December 9, 2013, Code Compliance received a complaint about outdoor storage of junk and debris on the property from the City of Loveland. Since then, Code Compliance has received six other complaints including one letter from a complainant purportedly speaking on behalf of 58 neighbors. Code Compliance Officer Tony Brooks visited the property on December 4, 2013 and verified the property has outdoor storage of tires, construction materials, cargo containers, semi-trailers, storage buildings, junk vehicles and junk/debris. This outdoor storage is located directly in the floodway. On January 2, 2014, the Swishers were sent a 15-day letter to inform them of the violations of the Land Use Code. On January 17, 2014, Patricia Swisher responded to the letter. Officer Brooks replied by stating all outdoor storage needed to be removed from the property. Research of County records for the property confirm that in October 1971, the Board of County Commissioners denied a rezoning petition from Leroy Swisher to rezone the property from FA-Farming to I-Industrial. Also, County staff members have found no building permits of record for this property. To date, no movement has been made in starting to clean up the property.
The City of Loveland along with adjacent property owners have raised concerns about what might happen when another flood occurs. The complainants are concerned about pollutants that may have gone into Jayhawker Pond from the recent flood.
Staff findings are as follows:
1. The property is zoned FA-Farming.
2. Outdoor storage as a principal use is not allowed in the FA-Farming zoning district.
3. Outdoor storage or processing of material that in time of flooding are buoyant, flammable, explosive, or could be injurious to human, plant or animal life is prohibited.
4. In October 1971, the Board of County Commissioners denied a petition from Leroy Swisher to rezone the property from FA-Farming to I-Industrial.
5. Per Section R105 of the International Residential Code, permits are required for buildings that exceed 120 square feet.
The Development Services Team recommends that the Board of County Commissioners set a deadline for the property to be brought into compliance and authorize legal action if deadlines set by the Commissioners are not met.
Chair Donnelly explained that this hearing was being reconvened to allow the Swisher’s opportunity for rebuttal after their review of the transcripts from the April 14, 2014, hearing.
Property owner, Mrs. Swisher, stated that she did not receive the transcripts until Friday, April 25, 2014; therefore, they have not had much opportunity to review them. However, she had a series of questions for code compliance staff pertaining to the City of Loveland annexation, floodway issues, and options for curing code compliance violations. Mrs. Swisher stated that she believes the City of Loveland is trying to “de-value” their property and force them out without proper compensation. Mrs. Swisher also stated that she feels her privacy was violated by the photos that were posted during the previous hearing, and she takes offense to her property being described as a “junkyard” and an “eyesore.”
Ms. Haag explained the options for curing the violation in that the Board can find that a violation exists, ask that it be corrected, and authorize legal action if it is not brought into compliance within a designated timeframe.
Mr. Tracy explained that structures and storage of items is prohibited in the floodway, but agricultural uses such as horse grazing are permitted.
Mrs. Swisher respectfully requested that the commissioners give her enough time to work with the City of Loveland to arrive at an acceptable plan for this property.
Under discussion, Commissioner Johnson stated that it is their job to determine if a violation exists, regardless of pending annexation, and he believes that the owners are in violation of the land use code; the only question in his mind is how much time to allow for clean up of the property.
Commissioner Gaiter agreed that there is a violation; however, he stated that it feels as though the City of Loveland is using the Larimer County Land Use Code as a negotiating strategy and he does not think it is right for another government entity to force the issue at hand. However, should the Board find that a violation exists; Commissioner Gaiter requested an extended period of time be afforded to the Swishers for their clean up efforts.
Chair Donnelly stated that he believes the violation exists and will support enforcement of the clean up.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Johnson moved that the Board of County Commissioners find that a violation exists and set a deadline of 90-days for the property owner to remove everything from the property, except for the horses on the property; and further move to authorize legal action if the property is not in compliance with county regulations by the deadline.
Motion carried 2-1; Commissioner Gaiter dissenting.
The hearing adjourned at 4:05 p.m.
TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 2014
The Board of County Commissioners met at 9:00 a.m. with Neil Gluckman, Assistant County Manager. Chair Donnelly presided and Commissioners Johnson and Gaiter were present. Also present were: Linda Hoffmann, Donna Hart, and Deni LaRue, Commissioners’ Office; Marc Engemoen, Public Works Department; Mark Peterson, and Charlie Johnson, Engineering Department; Chad Gray, and Tony Brooks, Code Compliance Department; Jeannine Haag, County Attorney’s Office; and Gael Cookman, Deputy Clerk.
Chair Donnelly opened the meeting for public comment during which John Hatfield, and Mel Hilgenberg addressed the Board.
Chair Donnelly then led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance
1. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FOR THE WEEK OF APRIL 21, 2014:
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gaiter moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the minutes for the week of April 21, 2014.
Motion carried 3-0.
2. REVIEW OF THE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 5, 2014: Ms. Hart reviewed the upcoming schedule with the Board.
3. CONSENT AGENDA:
M O T I O N
Commissioner Johnson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the consent agenda as outlined below:
04292014A001 THIRD ADDENDUM TO DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT FOR MEADOWLARK RIDGE CONSERVATION DEVELOPMENT, FILE NO. 04-S2268
04292014D001 DEED OF DEDICATION: JOHN L. HARVEY
04292014D002 DEED OF DEDICATION: ROBERT L. GRAVES
LIQUOR LICENSES: The following licenses were issued and/or approved: Project Self-Sufficiency – 6% Special Events Permit – Fort Collins; Sandy’s Convenience Store – 3.2% Beer Retail – Fort Collins; Turning Point Center for Youth & Family Development – 3.2% Special Events Permit – Fort Collins.
Motion carried 3-0.
4. COUNTY MANAGER WORKSESSION: There were no worksession items to discuss.
5. COMMISSIONER ACTIVITY REPORTS: The Board reviewed their involvement at events during the past week.
6. LEGAL MATTERS: Mr. Engemoen updated the Board on progress being made regarding detouring traffic around the narrows; he noted that he has met with FEMA on several occasions and he expects a decision sometime this week.
Ms. Haag, Mr. Brooks, and Mr. Gray requested direction from the Board regarding disposing of a recreational vehicle (RV) from a property as it is in violation of the Rubbish Ordinance. Much discussion ensued, and ultimately the Board agreed to allow the code compliance staff to dispose of the RV by towing it, pursuant to the Rubbish Ordinance.
Ms. Haag requested that the Board go into executive session for confidential legal advice regarding possible litigation on a land use decision made regarding the Pope Event Center on Bingham Hill.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Gaiter moved that the Board of County Commissioners go into executive session for conferences with an attorney for the purpose of receiving legal advice on specific legal questions, as outlined in 24-6-402 (4)(b) C.R.S.
Motion carried 3-0.
The executive session ended at 10:35 a.m., with no further action taken.
LIQUOR LICENSE HEARING FOR
BEST WESTERN CROSSROADS INN & CONFERENCE CENTER
The Board of County Commissioners reconvened at 2:30 p.m. with County Attorney Jeannine Haag. Chair Donnelly presided, and Commissioners Johnson and Gaiter were present. Also present were: Ashley Sommars, Applicant; Kevin Ott, Registered Manager; Dana Polley, and Gael Cookman, Clerk and Recorder’s Office.
Ms. Haag presented Exhibit A, Notice of Public Hearing which was posted in the Loveland Reporter Herald newspaper on April 6, 2014, and April 13, 2014. She then presented Exhibit B & C, diagrams of the premises; Exhibit D, posting of the notice on the premises; and Exhibit E, petitions of the surrounding neighborhoods. Ms. Cookman then put the applicant, Ashley Sommars, and the manager, Kevin Ott, under oath.
Ms. Haag asked Ms. Sommars a series of questions regarding her business, when food is served, and what percentage of sales comes from the food versus the beverages. Ms Haag then questioned who circulated the petitions. Mr. Ott stated that all of their employees took turns circulating the petitions. Ms. Haag asked if there was any opposition with regards to the petition process. Mr. Ott stated that all who signed were in favor; however, the employees of some of the businesses they approached were hesitant to sign on behalf of their owner. Finally, Ms. Haas questioned how they would handle intoxicated individuals and serving to minors. Mr. Ott stated that he was TIPS trained, and that they will not serve visibly intoxicated individuals and will check ID’s on anyone who might be questionable.
Commissioner Johnson asked if Ms. Sommars had ever received and citations for liquor code violations. Ms. Sommars replied that she had never received any violations, while she has been owner, or previously when the hotel was under different management.
M O T I O N
Commissioner Johnson moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the application for a Hotel and Restaurant license for the Riess Hospitality, Inc., dba the Best Western Crossroads Inn and Conference Center, located at 5542 East U.S. Hwy 34, Loveland, Colorado.
Motion carried 3-0.
The meeting ended at 2:50 p.m.
TOM DONNELLY, CHAIR
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
CLERK AND RECORDER
Gael M. Cookman, Deputy Clerk