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LARIMER COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION
Minutes of August 15, 2007
The Larimer County Planning Commission met in a regular session on Wednesday, August 15, 2007, at 6:30 p.m. in the Hearing Room. Commissioners Cox, Hart, Morgan, Waldo, Wallace, and Weitkunat were present. Commissioners Karabensh and Oppenheimer were absent. Commissioner Boulter presided as Chairman. Also present were Matt Lafferty, Principal Planner, Sean Wheeler, Planner II, Matt Johnson, Engineering Department, Christie Coleman, Engineering Department, Naomi O’Connor, Customer Advocate and Jill Wilson, Planning Technician and Recording Secretary.
Matt Lafferty accompanied Commissioners’ Cox, Hart, Morgan, Waldo, Wallace, and Weitkunat today on a site visit to Marez Subdivision and Trail Ridge Timber Frames Special Review. Commissioners’ Karabensh and Oppenheimer were absent. Commissioner Boulter visited the site independently.
Chairman Boulter welcomed back Commissioner Morgan.
COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC REGARDING THE COUNTY LAND USE CODE:
COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC REGARDING OTHER RELEVANT LAND USE MATTERS NOT ON THE AGENDA:
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FOR THE JULY 18, 2007 MEETINGS: MOTION by Commissioner Cox to approve the minutes, seconded by Commissioner Wallace. This received unanimous voice approval.
AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA:
Mr. Lafferty requested that the Marez Subdivision, file #05-S2535, be removed from the consent agenda.
ITEM #1 MAREZ SUBDIVISION 05-S2535: Mr. Wheeler provided background information on the request to subdivide 18 acres into three single-family residential lots located on the east side of Glade Road (County Road 25E) approximately ½ mile north of the intersection of County Road 24H and Glade Road. The request also included an appeal to Section 8.14.2.Q (maximum road length) of the Larimer County Land Use Code. He explained that the reason that Planning Staff requested that the proposed subdivision be moved off of the consent agenda was because there were representatives of the Home Owner’s Association from the subdivision next to the site, which was South Moffett Park. He stated that it was typical for a lot in a new development to sign on to a road maintenance program if it used an existing subdivision road which had an existing road maintenance program in place for that subdivision. He believed that the applicant was willing to do so. He noted that the engineering improvements that were required to be completed were the responsibility of the applicant.
Marty Kuebler, Treasurer of the South Moffett Park Homeowner’s Association, remarked that some of the Association members did not get notified of the proposal, and he did not see a sign posted on the property. The concern was to make sure that the new owners would pay the South Moffett Park Homeowner’s Association fee which was for road maintenance because they would be using the road. He understood that part of Otero Avenue would be widened and wanted to be sure that it would be done appropriately. He noted that some improvements were recently done to the road and if the homeowner’s association would have known about the subdivision improvements ahead of time those improvements probably would have been delayed.
John Teumer, lived on the south side of Otero Avenue, stated that he agreed with Mr. Kuebler. He stated that the subdivision had worked hard on maintaining the road and was just concerned about keeping it up to the standard that it currently was. He understood that the applicant would need to do improvements but it was going to affect the work that the subdivision had just completed.
Commissioner Morgan remarked that two lots would be served by Otero Avenue and one lot by Glade Road. He asked if all three lots would be subject to the home owner’s association fee or just the two lots?
Mr. Wheeler replied that it would be the two lots that were served by Otero Avenue.
Matt Johnson, Engineering Department, addressed some of Mr. Keubler’s concerns by explaining that through the design and review process done by the Engineering Department during the Final Plat process, development construction permit process, and inspection process the Department would assure that the road was improved to an equal or better condition. The Engineering Department was asking that Otero Road be widened to 24 foot width for safe and adequate access.
Matt Lafferty, Planning Department, stated that it would be appropriate to determine how many homeowners participated in the home owner’s association to determine a proportioned share of the road maintenance costs.
Commissioner Hart asked how many lots in the subdivision were apart of the road maintenance agreement?
Mr. Keubler believed that there were 72 lots were a part of the association. He stated that the HOA was an annual flat fee.
Rueben Marez, owner of the proposed subdivision, stated that a letter was mailed to the homeowners, it was advertised in the paper, and a sign was up on the entrance to the property. He spoke to the president of the HOA and explained that he was in the process of subdividing and one of the regulations would be to widen the road. He asked the road to be bladed to widen the road so when the recycled concrete was put down it would stay. He stated that he had always paid the homeowner’s association fee and would continue to do so. He stated that a neighborhood meeting was held.
Commissioner Weitkunat asked if it was arbitrary to belong to a homeowner’s association or only if you lived along the road?
Mr. Johnson explained that new and additional subdivision roads were to be maintained by the HOA or property owners in the area either by the HOA or road maintenance agreement. The County did not accept new local subdivision roads for maintenance.
Commissioner Morgan recapped that the proposed subdivision did not have to join the existing homeowner’s association but may considered have to pay a fee equal to the road maintenance portion.
Terri Marez, owner of proposed subdivision, stated that there was not a separate fee for road maintenance. The association fee was one fee for everything.
Mr. Kuebler commented that the Planning Department only mailed out notices to people within 500 feet of the subject property, which was what was required by the Land Use Code and why he was not aware of the proposal.
Mr. Lafferty stated that he was at the site today and a sign was posted on the property.
Mr. Wheeler stated that he had a draft condition regarding the road maintenance agreement for the Planning Commission to consider, which would become Condition 10 and would state, “Lots 2 and 3 of the Marez Subdivision shall participate in a shared road maintenance program for the adjoining subdivision.”
Commissioner Morgan asked if the road maintenance agreement would be just for Otero Avenue or for the entire subdivision?
Chairman Boulter suggested that the maintenance fee be per lot.
Mr. Wheeler revised the draft Condition 10 to state, “Lots 2 and 3 of the Marez Subdivision shall participate in a per lot shared road maintenance program for the adjoining subdivision.”
The Commission agreed with the suggested language.
Commissioner Hart moved that the Planning Commission adopt the following Resolution:
BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission recommend to the Board of County Commissioners that the Marez Subdivision and appeal to Section 8.14.2.Q of the Larimer County Land Use Code, file #05-S2532, for the property described on “Exhibit A” to the minutes, be approved subject to the following conditions and added Condition 10:
9. The applicant shall obtain an access permit for Lot 1 off County Road 25E (Glade Road) for work on Lot 1, no later than one year from the date of recording of the Final Plat.
10. Lots 2 and 3 of the Marez Subdivision shall participate in a per lot shared road maintenance program for the adjoining subdivision.
Commissioner Wallace seconded the Motion.
Commissioners' Cox, Hart, Morgan, Waldo, Wallace, Weitkunat, and Chairman Boulter voted in favor of the Motion.
MOTION PASSED: 7-0
ITEM #2 TRAIL RIDGE TIMBER FRAMES SPECIAL REVIEW #07-Z1652: Mr. Wheeler provided background information on the request for a Special Review of an existing timber frame sawmill business located on two lots of the “Forget-Me-Not Farm” Minor Residential Development (MRD), which was northwest of Masonville on the north side of County Road 38E. The request also included an appeal to remove the MRD condition of approval that limited the site to single-family residential uses, and two appeals to the Larimer County Land Use Code: Section 8.6.3.C (off road parking standards) and Section 8.1.4.C (requirement to use structural fire sprinklers in commercial uses in rural areas). The applicant was asking for four new structures; a 48’ x 80’ metal building, a 52’ x 24’ sawmill that would be open on the south and east sides, and two 24’ x 60’ timber sheds. They were also asking that the number of employees be increased from four craftsmen to six. They also wanted to vacate their current residence on Lot 2 and convert it to business uses at that time. He stated that he was recommending one additional condition of approval stating that if either lot sold and the applicant’s transferred ownership that the Special Review would locate to the remaining lot and the vacated lot would become strictly single family residential.
Commissioner Wallace asked if the business lot could be sold as an independent business?
Mr. Wheeler remarked that the Special Review use could be for the timber frame business; therefore, if the lot was sold to another timber frame business that was willing to live within the restrictions imposed by the lot then the impact would be unchanged and the owner could change hands. If the applicant decided to sell one lot then the Special Review use would have to move to the lot that the applicant was not selling. He explained that the ownership was under one applicant, the Millers, and the Special Review for both lots could not be divided up between different owners. He noted that the residence on the lot would be accessory to the Special Review.
Chairman Boulter asked if the residential qualities on the lots would be abandoned and become strictly business if the Special Review was approved?
Mr. Wheeler stated that the applicant’s house was on the site, and the Development Services Team felt that with the size and the scope of the business that it was compatible with the rural area. If the applicant wanted to build their new home on Lot 1 and convert the existing home to office use it would still be accessory to the Special Review on Lot 2. He explained that there were two lots that would be used for the Special Review, and both lots could have a residential component that would become accessory to the Special Review which would mean that either the owners or someone working for the sawmill would have to live there.
Deanne Frederickson, The Frederickson Group, stated that she was Mark and Kathy Miller’s representative for the project. She explained the operation of the timber frame business. She explained that the business began ten years ago and had grown to employing four full time craftsmen and did not expect to employ more than eight staff including craftsmen and office support staff. She stated that the Miller’s sought approval of a 85’ x 40’ structure, an open shed for their sawmill, up to two additional open ended storage sheds, and hoped to build a new home on the site in the next few years. She explained that the timber frames were delivered to the site approximately every two months and there was very little dust, sanding, or loud noises associated with the use. She showed a map of the site and pointed out that the existing shop was on Lot 1 and the existing home and garage was on Lot 2. She stated that the applicants wished to erect a new shop on Lot 1 and three smaller sheds on Lot 2, which would clean up the yard and protect the employees and the operation from the elements. She also noted that Section 8.6.3.C of the Land Use Code which required fire sprinklers was asked to be waived. She stated that the Millers along with herself had discussed the fire protection in the area with Tim Haag of the Loveland Fire Protection Department. The site was not in an area with very good response time of a local fire house; however, Mr. Haag understood what the property was doing and gave the Millers a list of suggestions of what to do to minimize and prevent fire hazards. As a result, the Millers increased the number of fire extinguishers in the building, drew up written plans for housekeeping and safety that were part of their program, planned to install earth berms on the south and west side of the property, and clear 40 feet of area around the building so there would be no combustible material. Mr. Haag stated that he wanted to see the building plans before he would give approval on the overall project. She quoted Mr. Haag in saying, “I do believe that if we address as many of these fire protection items as possible we can find a solution to keep this project moving ahead. I do not see anything that would prevent me from finding solutions to these problems and approving the review.” She concluded by stated that the production of timber frame components was a craft that kept the rural culture, character, and value system throughout Masonville. The site conveyed a sense of rural character that was complementary to the Masonville properties and thus did not diminish property values. Trail Ridge Timber Frames provided a service and a product that met a regional demand for local, energy efficient building materials and construction techniques. The owners of the timber frame business took great pride in their work and were committed to strict housekeeping practices. The requested buildings would serve to protect employees and materials from the elements and provide better aesthetic quality to the site. She added that the Millers were hoping to increase the employee count to 8 employees not including themselves, which would make a total of 10 employees. A traffic study was done for the proposal and indicated that 10 employees would be the threshold to not put it into a different category in terms of traffic generation and improvements that were needed. The applicants were also inquiring what the options were for the existing home if they were to build a new home on the site. They wondered if it had to be used as a business use or if it could be used as a rental property. Finally, the Millers also wanted to find out if they could sell both properties and maintain as a sawmill use.
Mr. Wheeler stated that increasing the number of employees to eight not including the applicants would not be a problem.
Christie Coleman, Engineering Department, explained that the Larimer County Rural Area Road Standards had a definition of an insignificant traffic impact development as being a development that generated fewer than 20 trips a day. Being in an insignificant traffic impact meant that paving thresholds studies were exempt and a traffic study did not have to be completed. The applicant was seeking to stay below the threshold because it was appropriate for the type and size of business they wanted to have. With eight employees 16 trips a day would be created going to and from work, which would also allow a buffer for deliveries, etc. If a rental component was added to the site then additional trips would be generated and most likely would trip the insignificant traffic threshold of 20 trips a day. If that was the desire then pavement thresholds and a traffic study would need to be examined.
Commissioner Weitkunat stated that there could be different scenarios that occur with employees; therefore, trip generation should be looked at rather then the number of employees. She stated that it was an extremely unique business that had shown that it had been successful for 10 years. The site was not appropriate for a huge operation but for a successful operation, and the number of employees might be critical to that success but not necessarily to the lack of approval.
Mr. Wheeler replied that trip generation and number of employees were directly tied together.
Ms. Coleman stated that Staff tried to quantify with applicants the impacts a project would have on the County as a whole and its specific neighborhood.
Kathy Miller, owner of the property, stated that they had originally asked for six employees but then thought that there may be a need in the future for additional staff; as a result, they thought they better ask for eight employees.
Ms. Coleman stated that the owners were the existing historic use on the site and would not be counted in the trip generation.
Ms. Miller explained that the Minor Residential Development lots were created because they wanted to be able to use the lots as residential. She stated that she was unaware that the Special Review would make the business a primary use on the site and the residence secondary to the business.
Commissioner Cox asked what would happen with Special Review if both lots were sold?
Mr. Lafferty stated that the Special Review use could either run with the land or run with the owner.
Commissioner Wallace stated that it was an appropriate use for the area and having eight employees would be fine. The Special Review approval could continue on either Lot 1 or Lot 2 but not with both lots (could not have two separate businesses) and if the business was sold it would be sold with the lot. The residential use should be limited to the accessory use of the property and as long as it was one contiguous piece under one ownership there could only be one residence. If a new residence was built then the existing had to part of the present business and not as a rental use.
Commissioner Morgan agreed with Commissioner Wallace’s comments regarding the use and number of employees. He stated that a decision had been made that the use would now violate the M.R.D. condition of approval which was for residential only. He felt that a position should have been taken that there be either a M.R.D. or have O-Open zoning regulations with a residential use as an accessory use and no longer have the M.R.D. He felt that a bad precedence was occurring because a M.R.D. was in the Code for the purpose for residential use. He felt that the M.R.D. should end, and the site revert to O-Open and have an accessory use for one single family residence.
Chairman Boulter agreed with Commissioner Morgan. He also stated that he was not comfortable waiving fire sprinkler requirements in that area.
Mr. Wheeler stated that the suggestion was made that the M.R.D. be vacated but he did not think that was what the applicants wanted to do. The intention regarding the fire protection standards was that the Land Use Code requirements be applied unless a recognized expert (fire department) stated that they were comfortable and satisfied with other alternatives. If that occurred then Staff would support it with the understanding that the fire district had to acknowledge in a letter to Larimer County that they were in charge of monitoring those alternative plans. He noted that the Chief Building Official for Larimer County came to the conclusion that if the cutting process was done outside and there was no finely divided combustible waste being generated inside then the building code did not require fire sprinklers. He stated that Commissioner Wallace’s statement regarding the use and rental use was appropriate and increasing the number of employees to eight would work. He remarked that if two principal uses per lot were to be allowed then the property would take on an urban level of mixed use zoning which was inappropriate for the lot. On the other hand, if the applicant agreed to tie the rental of the existing house to an employee of the sawmill then it would be appropriate.
Ms. Frederickson stated that the Millers could forego the option of leasing the existing home as a rental home and could accept it as a business use. They did not want to vacate the M.R.D. They understood that the business needed to stay with one property.
Ms. Miller stated that they wanted to keep the two lots.
Mr. Wheeler stated that a Disclosure Notice would be used to make clear to anyone that may purchase the property in the future what was allowed and asked that it be made an additional condition of approval.
Commissioner Wallace adding the following as Condition of Approval 11; “If either property is sold the Special Review approval can continue with either Lot 1 or Lot 2 but not with both lots unless both lots are sold as unit. Residential use is limited to accessory use of the property. A second new residence can not be constructed unless the present structure is converted to business use (business use can be as an office or as a rental to employees to the business). The present residence may only be used as a non-business, residential use if the lot is sold as a residential lot. The applicants can not construct a new residence and use the present residence as a rental unit.” Condition of Approval 12 would require a Disclosure Notice to be recorded.
Commissioner Wallace moved that the Planning Commission adopt the following Resolution:
BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission recommend to the Board of County Commissioners that the appeal to Section 8.1.4.C of the Land Use Code that requires commercial uses in rural areas provide structural fire sprinklers, if the applicant provides written support for the appeal from the Loveland Rural Fire Prevention Bureau at time of building permit, or a commercial sprinkler system will be required., file #07-Z1652, be approved, and
BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission recommend to the Board of County Commissioners that the Trail Ridge Timber Frames Special Review, file #07-Z1652, for the property describe on Exhibit “B” to the minutes, be approved subject to the following conditions:
1. The Site shall be developed consistent with the approved plan and with the information contained in the Trail Ridge Timber Frames Special Review (File #07-Z1652) 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 Trail Ridge Timber Frames Special Review.
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 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 Special Review approval should not be revoked, and/or bring a court action for enforcement of the terms of the 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 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 Special Review as appropriate to monitor and enforce the terms of the 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. All applicable fees, including permit fees and the Transportation Capital Expansion Fee shall be paid within 90 days of the date of approval or at time of building permit application, which ever comes first.
5. County may conduct periodic inspections to the property and reviews of the status of the Special Review as appropriate to monitor and enforce the terms of the Special Review approval.
6. The applicants shall provide secondary containment for hazardous materials and fuel storage in outdoor storage areas, sized correctly to contain possible spills. All flammable or combustible liquids shall be stored per the requirements in the 2003 International Fire Code, and review and approval by the Loveland Rural Fire Prevention Bureau.
7. Applicants shall obtain written approval from Little Thompson Water District and pay their fees by time of building permit for the existing and expanded uses, or make alternative arrangements agreeable to the Water District and provide evidence to the County within 90 days of the date of approval or at time of building permit application, which ever comes first.
8. The applicants shall provide a Final Site Plan for review and approval by Staff consistent with the requirements outlined Section 6.0 of the Land Use Code, no later than 90 days from the date of approval. No building permits will be issued until Staff has reviewed and approved the Final Site Plan.
9. The applicants shall provide written approval from the Loveland Rural Fire Protection Bureau within 90 days of the date of approval or at time of building permit application in support of their alternative fire safety plans. Without a letter of support from the Fire Bureau at building permit, all new construction is subject to the applicable sprinkler system requirements in the Land Use Code, the International Building Code and the 2003 International Fire Code. The Fire Bureau, and not Larimer County, shall be responsible for monitoring compliance with approved alternative plans.
10. The business is limited to 8 full time employees, not including the applicants.
11. If either property is sold the Special Review approval can continue with either Lot 1 or Lot 2 but not with both lots unless both lots are sold as unit. Residential use is limited to accessory use of the property. A second new residence can not be constructed unless the present structure is converted to business use (business use can be as an office or as a rental to employees to the business). The present residence may only be used as a non-business, residential use if the lot is sold as a residential lot. The applicants can not construct a new residence and use the present residence as a rental unit.
12. A Disclosure Notice shall be recorded as a part of this Special Review approval.
Commissioner Waldo seconded the Motion.
Commissioners' Cox, Hart, Morgan, Waldo, Wallace, Weitkunat, and Chairman Boulter voted in favor of the Motion.
MOTION PASSED: 7-0
REPORT FROM STAFF: Mr. Lafferty reminded the Commission of their upcoming meetings.
ADJOURNMENT: There being no further business, the hearing adjourned at 9:00 p.m.
These minutes constitute the Resolution of the Larimer County Planning Commission for the recommendations contained herein which are hereby certified to the Larimer County Board of Commissioners.
Jeff Boulter, Chairman Mina Cox, Secretary
A portion of the South half of the Southeast quarter of Section 36. Township 6 North,
Range 70 West of the 6th Principal Meridian, County of Larimer, State of Colorado,
more particularly described as follows:
Beginning at the Northeast comer the South half of said Southeast quarter;
thence, along the North line of said South half, said North line also being the South line
of South Moffet Park Subdivision, North 89°48'06’’ West, 1345.65 feet to the true POINT OF BEGINNING;
thence South 00°25'00" West, 430.00 feet;
thence South 74°01'32" West, 1218.57 feet to the County Road Right-of-way;
thence, along said Right-of-way, North 15°58'28" West, 633.61 feet to the West line of
said Southeast quarter;
thence, along said West line, North 0l°12'25" East, 160.90 feet to the North line of the
South half of said Southeast quarter;
thence, along said North line, South 89°48'06" East, 1345.64 feet to the true POINT OF BEGINNING. CONTAINING 18.00 acres, more or less, and subject to all rights-of-way and easements of record.
Two tracts of land situated in the NE ¼ of Section 15. Township 6 North, Range 70 West of the 6th P.M., which considering east line of said NE1/4 as bearing N 01°25' E and with all bearings contained herein relative thereto, are contained within boundary line described as follows:
BEGINNING at n point on the northerly right-of-way line of a county road which 'bears S 89°'49' W, 403.80 feet, and again N 01°25' E, 67.29 feet; and again N 88°19' W, 250.00 feet from the E 1/4 corner of said Section 15, and run
thence N 88°19' W 101.77 feet;
thence N 16°10' W 82.19 feet;
thence N 01°05' W 362.18 feet;
thence S 88°19' E 142.38 feet;
thence S 01°25' W 440.00 feet to the POINT OF BEGINNING.
BEGINNING at a point on the Northerly right-of way line of a County Road. which bears S 89°49' W 403.80 feet, and again N 01°25' E 67.29 feet; and again N 88°'19' W 150.00 feet from the East 1/4 corner of said Section 15, and run
thence N 88°19' W 100.00 feet
thence N 01°25' E 440.00 feet;
thence S 88°19' E 100.00 feet;
thence S 01°25' W 440.00 feet; to the POINT OF BEGINNING. ,
-recorded at reception'# 94069789 Larimer county Courthouse
and TRACT 2.
A tract of land situated in the Northeast Quarter of Section 15, Township 6 North, Range 70 West of the 6th P.M.. which considering the East line of said Northeast quarter as bearing N 01°25' E and with all bearings contained herein relative thereto, are contained within the boundary lines described as follows:
BEGINNING at a point on the Northerly right-of-way lint of a County Road which bears S 89°49' W 403.80 feet and again N 01°25' E 67.29 feet and again N 88°19' W 50.00 feet from the E 1/4 cornet of said Section I5 and run
thence N 88° 19' W 100.00 feet;
thence N 01°25' E 440.00 feet;
thence S 88°19' E 1OO.00 feet;
thence S 01°25' W 440.00 feet; to the POINT OF BEGINNING.
-recorded at reception #94069790 Larimer County Courthouse