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LARIMER COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION

Minutes of September 16, 2009

 

The Larimer County Planning Commission met in a regular session on Wednesday, September 16, 2009, at 6:30 p.m. in the Hearing Room.  Commissioners’ Boucher, Cox, Glick, Hart and Hess were present.  Commissioners Benton, Morgan, and Weitkunat were absent.  Commissioner Wallace presided as Chairman.  Also present were Matt Lafferty, Principle Planner, Jill Bennett, Principle Planner, Traci Shambo, Engineering Department, Doug Ryan, Health Department and Jill Wilson, Planning Technician and Recording Secretary. 

 

The field trip was cancelled and no sites were visited.

 

COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC REGARDING THE COUNTY LAND USE CODE: 

None

 

COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC REGARDING OTHER RELEVANT LAND USE MATTERS NOT ON THE AGENDA:  

None

 

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FOR THE AUGUST 19, 2009 MEETINGS:   MOTION by Commissioner Glick to approve the minutes, seconded by Commissioner Boucher.  This received unanimous voice approval.

 

AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA:

None

 

ITEMS:

 

ITEM #1  COLLEGE LAKE SUBSTATION 1041 APPEAL  #09-G0176:  Mr. Lafferty provided background information on the request to appeal the requirement in Section 14 of the Larimer County Land Use Code regarding the 1041 permit process for an electric power substation for Colorado State University and Xcel Energy on the Foothills Campus located west of Overland Trail, north of the intersection of Mulberry Avenue.  Section 14.4.G stated, “Siting of an electrical substation or transition site designed to provide switching, voltage transformation or voltage control required for the transmission of electricity at 69,000 volts or greater.”  However Section 14.7 allowed applicants to appeal the 1041 regulations.  He noted that the Engineering Department commented that the site was part of CSU’s Drainage Master Plan which showed the site as a detention basin.  As a result, CSU stated that the master plan was not fixed and could be adjusted to surround the site.  He noted that the Development Services Team was recommending denial. 

 

Commissioner Hart asked if the abandoned substation to the south could be an option for use. 

 

Gene Leach, Colorado State University Construction Services, stated that the substation was a critical need for the university as they were in a situation where they were out of power for the Foothills Campus.  They had explored using the existing City of Fort Collins substation to the south and annexing the campus but nothing came out the negotiations.  In the interim, the City of Fort Collins had closed that substation down, and now it was just a switching station.  He stated that alternative sites had been looked at but none of the sites were feasible, and time was of the essence so the needs of the university could be met. 

 

 

Commissioner Cox asked when the annexation discussions took place and if the conversations could be reopened?

 

Mr. Leach replied that the discussions terminated about 2 years ago.  He stated that the City did mention wanting emergency access to the proposed site.

 

Commissioner Hart asked what the capacity of the site was?

 

Mr. Leach replied that it was 230,000 volts. 

 

Commissioner Hart asked if CSU had done any public outreach?

 

Mr. Leach replied no. 

 

Commissioner Wallace wondered what the other reasons were for not wanting to go through the 1041 process besides time.

 

Mr. Leach stated that the university projects had the desire to continue on the same path historically taken regarding project reviews within the county.  He mentioned that they had a good working relationship with the county and always took comments and recommendations to heart. 

 

Commissioner Cox asked why no public outreach was done?

 

Mr. Leach stated that they were receptive to doing so; however, after hearing the procedure of what the county did they had not yet done anything.

 

Mr. Lafferty stated that when the appeal process was discussed with the applicants they were considering a site behind the existing substation and relocating some of the CSU facilities.  However, after that meeting the applicant decided on another site because costs would have been too great to relocate some of the facilities.

 

Commissioner Glick asked if CSU’s future plans would end up using 100% capacity of the substation?

 

Mr. Leach did not believe that CSU would be a 100% user.  He explained that in Phase I they would have 28 kilowatt capacity which could be expanded to 56 kilowatt capacity. 

 

Commissioner Glick asked how the power requirements of the buildings were overlooked in the planning?

 

Mr. Leach replied that other funding sources did not come through or dried up; therefore, they began planning for the issue.

 

Commissioner Cox asked what the time difference was of going through the 1041 process compared to the appeal process?

 

 

 

Mr. Lafferty stated that Section 14.9.C stated that it could be a total of 90 days.  If the applicant’s appeal was granted then they would still have to file a Location and Extent application which would be submitted and heard within 30 days.

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY:

Keith Volk, 235 S. Overland Trail, stated that the county put in certain safeguards for a reason.  When he purchased his property that backed up to the CSU nursery he did not expect that it could be opened up for a large, industrial use.  He encouraged the commission to use the safety measures that were in place.  He understood that CSU was a prominent entity in the community but input from the neighbors should also be taken into consideration.  He opposed the location of the substation as they owned plenty of other properties where it could be placed and buffered away from residential communities.  He felt that cost was not a satisfactory reason not to do so.

 

Randy Evans, 328 S. Overland Trail, stated that not completing a 1041 process could cause the drainage issues to be overlooked.  Property values were also of concern and asked that it be set back and buffered from the neighborhood. 

 

DISCUSSION:

Commissioner Cox felt that precedence would be set for appeals regarding time issues so she was reluctant to grant an appeal.

 

Commissioner Hart stated that it was a good candidate for appeal; however, there were outstanding technical issues along with local land use issues.  Along with that 1041 regulations were adopted so there could be public outreach. 

 

Commissioner Hess agreed with Commissioners Cox and Hart.

 

Commissioner Glick agreed.  He also felt that 1041 regulations were adopted so the county could have more input from the citizens.

 

Commissioner Hart stated that it was not clear to him whether CSU would be a partial user or a major user of the substation.  The location of the substation could have a significant impact on the ability to expand and grow in that part of Larimer County.

 

Commissioner Wallace agreed that the project and its impacts were much larger then just a simple location and extent review.  She did not support an appeal to the 1041 regulations. 

 

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 College Lake Substation 1041 Appeal, file #09-G0176, for the property described on “Exhibit A” to the minutes, be denied.

 

Commissioner Cox seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioners' Boucher, Cox, Glick, Hart, Hess, and Chairman Wallace voted in favor of the Motion.

 

 

MOTION PASSED:  6-0

 

 

ITEM #2  AMENDMENTS TO THE LARIMER COUNTY LAND USE CODE:  SECTION 14 #09-CA0100:  Ms. Bennett provided background information on the request to amend Section 14 of the Larimer County Land Use Code to designate domestic water and sewer pipelines as Matters of State Interest.  She noted that the siting and development of domestic water and sewer transmission lines could have substantial impacts on the environment, public and private property and citizens of Larimer County.  As a result, the new proposed language was as follows:

 

J.  Siting and development of new or extended domestic water or sewer transmission lines which use 24 inch or larger diameter pipelines or two or more pipelines of any size which are parallel to and located within 100 feet of one another and have a total diameter equal to or greater than 24 inches.  Domestic water transmission lines include those used to transport both raw and treated water.  This designation shall not include the maintenance, repair, adjustment or removal of an existing pipeline or the relocation of an existing pipeline within the same easement or right-of-way.  The designation shall also not include the addition, replacement, expansion or maintenance of appurtenant facilities on existing pipelines.

 

Commissioner Hess clarified that the 24” diameter would be the outside diameter and suggested that the wording be added to help clarify.

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY:

Mary Humstone, 4420 Bingham Hill Road, was in support of the proposed regulations as her property would be disturbed by the northern segment of Greeley’s water transmission line.  She stated that the transmission line went through the Location and Extent process and many neighbors came to that hearing to voice their opposition.  However, the Location and Extent process allowed little consideration from some of the resources that could be damaged by pipelines and other projects.  As a result, she believed it was important to the have the 1041 regulations.  Over the past two years her neighbors and she had been fighting to prevent the disturbance to the land because the pipeline route selected by Greeley went right through a national historic district, and the 1041 regulations stipulated that a national register could not be disturbed.  The area had relatively been untouched for the last 100 years and there was vast vegetation and trees along with wildlife habitat.  The people of LaPorte did not have any kind of say in what route of the pipeline was chosen.  It seemed to be a route chosen by Greeley that was based on cost and ease.  They had 18 different routes but the concerns raised by the LaPorte Area Plan Advisory Committee along with other committees and the petition signed by 2000 residents of LaPorte asking Greeley to take the pipeline around LaPorte was powerless to do anything.  She hoped that the citizens of Larimer County would gain more of a say of what happened to the county and their properties with the new regulation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fred Walker, General Manager Boxelder Sanitation District, 3201 E. Mulberry, was the spokesman for a number of service providers in Larimer County such as the City of Loveland, East Larimer County Water District, Fort Collins-Loveland Water District, Little Thompson Water District, North Weld Water District, and South Fort Collins Sanitation District.  The providers believed that the stated goal was the consideration of the direct land use and environmental impacts and siting and development of pipelines and there were multiple processes already in place that addressed that goal like the Location and Extent process, and the site application process from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.  He also stated that the 24” diameter seemed arbitrary as there were differences in the amount of fluid that could go through a domestic pressurized water line versus a 24’ gravity line that wasn’t pressurized.  Along with that, the topography of the land was also a major factor in sizing sanitary sewer infrastructure.  He also remarked that timing was an issue in certain circumstances.  They requested that the County Commissioners form a task force including a cross section of the general public to formulate an amendment(s) that better addressed the stated goal, which was supported by a majority of the providers in the area.

 

Harold Evans, Chairman Greeley Water and Sewer Board, 1821 Frontier Road, had previously submitted written comments and had Jill Bennett come to a board meeting to present the proposal.  He provided the history of Greeley Water and Sewer in Larimer County.  He encouraged the county not to designate the siting and development of new or extended domestic water or sewer transmission lines as activities of state interest.  The Board felt there were existing regulatory controls that included opportunities for public comments.  Along with that, the existing Location and Extent review process provided the county with a significant regulatory tool for review of potential impacts of pipelines in Larimer County.  It allowed the county ample opportunity to review and comment on transmission line projects while also allowing public notice and comment.  In addition, conditions were often included with the Location and Extent approvals to address concerns raised by the public and the county.  Greeley had followed the conditions placed on them in the past and were unaware of any time when providers did not comply with the conditions placed on their Location and Extent approvals.  Along with that there was strong opposition from service providers to have an additional regulatory control placed on them.  He felt that the providers should not have to abide by a new regulatory measure that did not provide any new, noticeable benefits, created delays, and increased the cost to the residents. 

 

Steve Adams, City of Loveland Water and Utility Manager, 200 N. Wilson Avenue, stated that there was nervousness and concerns.  It was a complicated process for the service providers which was why a task force was a benefit.  They needed to understand how it was going to work with all of their other process that such as would the processes be sequential or have to be parallel because the timing would be critical.  The timing after an approval was also critical, and there were not many details addressing the issues.  They needed more input on the development of the regulation so all the questions that had not been answered could be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mike DiTullio, General Manager Fort Collins-Loveland Water District/South Fort Collins Sanitation District, 5150 Snead Drive, stated that the districts had went through Larimer County processes for installations of water and sewer lines throughout the most extensive growth periods in Larimer County, and to his knowledge those installations had been installed with satisfaction to all the governmental entities.  Their board of directors were elected by the citizens of the districts, and had specifications of how the pipelines/waterlines should be installed.  It was their thought that those elected officials knew the utilities better than the county.  The district asked that the 1041 regulations not be approved because they had proven that the growth could be dealt with along with the installation of utilities necessary to provide services to the community without other additional regulations.

 

DISCUSSION:

Commissioner Wallace asked what the difference would be between the Location and Extent process compared to the 1041 process?

 

Ms. Bennett replied the major difference would be that the alternatives, if applicable, would be presented. 

 

Commissioner Hart thought that another difference would be the level of input the people of Larimer County would have regarding concerns. 

 

Commissioner Glick asked if a task force could be established.

 

Ms. Bennett stated that the request was forwarded to the County Commissioners but they had not acted on it yet.

 

Mr. Lafferty clarified that Location and Extent reviews did not require public notification.  The 1041 process would require notification.

 

Commissioner Wallace stated that she would recommend approval based on the importance of the public knowing what the alternatives were along with public notification and comment.  Plus, it gave the county commissioners the opportunity for analysis and final review.  She also felt that the 24” diameter should stay and in the future it could be changed if necessary. 

 

Commissioner Glick agreed.

 

Commissioner Boucher stated that he would recommend approval.  He felt that the public needed the opportunity and ability to voice their concerns to their elected officials.

 

Commissioner Hess respected the concerns from the service providers but felt that the current process did not allow for the community to be heard.  For that reason she was in support of the amendment.

 

Commissioner Cox felt that there was a lot of due diligence to move the regulation forward and she also agreed that changes could be made in the future if needed.  Therefore she supported the 1041 regulations.

 

 

 

Commissioner Hart stated that Larimer County had responsibilities to the citizens, and the 1041 regulations met those responsibilities.

 

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 Amendments to the Larimer County Land Use Code, file #09-CA0100, be approved as follows:

 

14.4. Designated Matters of State Interest.

 

Add the following Section:

 

J.  Siting and development of new or extended domestic water or sewer transmission lines which use 24 inch or larger diameter pipelines or two or more pipelines of any size which are parallel to and located within 100 feet of one another and have a total diameter equal to or greater than 24 inches.  Domestic water transmission lines include those used to transport both raw and treated water.  This designation shall not include the maintenance, repair, adjustment or removal of an existing pipeline or the relocation of an existing pipeline within the same easement or right-of-way.  The designation shall also not include the addition, replacement, expansion or maintenance of appurtenant facilities on existing pipelines.

 

Commissioner Cox seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioners' Boucher, Cox, Glick, Hart, Hess and Chairman Wallace voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED:  6-0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REPORT FROM STAFF:  Mr. Lafferty reminded the Commission of their upcoming meetings. 

 

ADJOURNMENT:   There being no further business, the hearing adjourned at 9:05 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.

 

 

 

 

_______________________________                      ______________________________

Nancy Wallace, Chairman                                          Gerald Hart, Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT A

 

 

 

An easement situated in the SE 1/4 of Section 8, Township 7 North, Range 69 West, of the Sixth Principal Meridian, Larimer County, Colorado, said parcel being more particularly described as follows:

 

 

Commencing at the Southeast corner of said Section 8 (as monumented by a 2" aluminum cap in range box, stamped LS 24307); whence the East ¼ corner of said Section 8 (as monumented by a 3 1/4" aluminum cap, stamped LS 34990) bears N00°03'04"E, a distance of 2639.97 feet, with all bearings contained herein relative thereto;

Thence N03°35'24"W, a distance of 472.36 feet to a point of non-tangent curvature on the westerly Right of Way of South Overland Trail, said point being the Point of Beginning:

 

Thence departing the westerly Right of Way line of South Overland Trail along a curve to the left whose radius point bears S54°26'15"W, a distance of 20.00' and whose central angle is 54°26'55" and whose arc length is 19.01 feet to a point of tangency;

Thence N90°00'00"W, a distance of 34.99 feet;

Thence N00°00'00"W, a distance of 29.55 feet;

Thence N45°00'00"W, a distance of 46.57 feet;

Thence N90°00'00"W, a distance of 272.07 feet;

Thence N00°00'00"W, a distance of 10.00 feet to a point of curvature;

Thence along a curve to the right whose radius point bears N90°00'00"E, a distance of 30.00' and whose central angle is 90°00'00" and whose arc length is 47.12 feet to a point of tangency;

Thence N90°00'00"E, a distance of 223.79 feet to a point of curvature;

Thence along a curve to the right whose radius point bears S00°00'00"W, a distance of 50.00' and whose central angle is 45°00'00" and whose arc length is 39.27 feet to a point of tangency;

Thence S45 °00'00"E, a distance of 47.89 feet to a point of curvature;

Thence along a curve to the left whose radius point bears N45°00'00"E, a distance of 20.00' and whose central angle is 45°00'00" and whose arc length is 15.7 1 feet to a point of tangency;

Thence N90°00'00"E, a distance of 2.89 feet to a point of curvature;

Thence along a curve to the left whose radius point bears N00°00'00"W, a distance of 20.00' and whose central angle is 54°44'09" and whose arc length is 19.11 feet to a point of non-tangency on the westerly Right of Way line of South Overland Trail;

Thence along the westerly Right of Way line South Overland Trail, S00°03'05"W, a distance of 64.93 feet to the Point of Beginning.

 

The above described easement contains 14869 square feet (0.341 acres) of land, more or less.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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