LARIMER COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION

Minutes of November 17, 2004

 

The Larimer County Planning Commission met in a regular session on Wednesday, November 17, 2004, at 6:30 p.m. in the Hearing Room.  Commissioners’ Boulter, Huddleston, Pond, terMeer, Waldo and Wallace were present. Commissioners Korb and Nelson were absent.  Commissioner Morgan presided as Chairman.  Also present were Rob Helmick, Principal Planner, Jill Bennett, Principal Planner, Al Kadera, Principal Planner, Russell Legg, Chief Planner, Roxann Hayes, Engineering Department, Doug Ryan, Environmental Health, and Jill Albracht, Planning Technician and Recording Secretary.

 

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 OCTOBER 20, 2004 MEETING: MOTION by Commissioner Pond to approve the minutes; seconded by Commissioner Huddleston.  This received unanimous voice approval.

 

AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA:  None

 

CONSENT ITEMS:

 

ITEM #1 RESERVOIR RIDGE LOCATION AND EXTENT #04-Z1528: Mr. Helmick provided background information on the request for the Reservoir Ridge Natural Area Open Space trailhead parking lot.

 

Commissioner Pond moved that the Planning Commission adopt the following Resolution:

 

      BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission approve the Reservoir Ridge Location and Extent #04-Z1528.

 

Commissioner terMeer seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioners’ Boulter, Huddleston, Pond, terMeer, Waldo, Wallace, and Chairman Morgan voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED: 7-0

 

ITEMS:

 

ITEM #2 DRY CREEK RESERVOIR LOCATION AND EXTENT #04-Z1527:  Mr. Helmick provided background information on the request for an 8,800 acre-foot water storage reservoir, new pipelines and pumping facilities for the Little Thompson and Central Weld Water Districts.  The area was located southwest of Berthoud and southeast of Carter Lake between County Roads 6 and 8E and west of County Road 23.

 

 

 

 

 

Hank Whittet, District Manager of Little Thompson Water District, also represented John Zedel, District Manager of the Weld County Water District.  He stated that the Little Thompson Water District provided domestic water to a 300 square mile service area in Larimer, Weld, and Boulder Counties.  The District currently served approximately 7,300 taps, providing water to approximately 27,000 customers.  The Central Weld County Water District provided water to a 250 square mile area in Weld County.  They currently served approximately 9,500 taps, providing service to approximately 40,000 people.  The Districts currently own the Carter Lake Filter Plant located at the base of the dam at Carter Lake, which treated Colorado Big Thompson water supplied by a single supply canal coming out of the dam.  The plant currently had no water storage, which had been an ongoing concern and issue.  Consequently, the Districts were entirely dependent on the availability of water from Carter Lake.  The new water storage facility would augment the limited water supply and potentially provide anywhere from three to six months storage of water to treat.  It would also help to overcome possible eruptions in supply from Carter Lake maintenance issues as work was performed on the dam.  The Districts were trying to enhance operations from their existing Carter Lake Filter Plant and the reservoir would accomplish the following:  create additional storage for the current Colorado Big Thompson supplies allowing the water to be efficiently and immediately delivered to a customer; provide carryover storage for the Districts existing Colorado Big Thompson Water supply for future years and for drought protection; and reduce the reliance on the Colorado Big Thompson Water delivery infrastructure by providing an additional method of delivering existing well-water supplies to the Colorado Filter Plant.  He stated that the Districts had reviewed staff’s comments and were willing to comply with all of the recommendations. 

 

Commissioner Wallace asked if the additional storage would be filled with water they had rights to or new water that they did not have the rights to in the past?

 

Mr. Whittet stated that the Districts planned to fill the reservoir with water rights that they currently owned in the Colorado Big Thompson Project.

 

Commissioner Wallace asked if the water would be pumped up through the water filtration system or pumped downstream?

 

Mr. Whittet stated that the filter plant was above the reservoir, and the water would flow through a bi-directional pipe.  He explained that currently there was a 20 inch water line in place that would be taken out of service for potable water and made into a non-potable system.  The delivery of the water would be taken from the canal down to the reservoir and then the pump station would reverse the flow and pump it back up to the filter plant to be used for treatment.

 

Commissioner Wallace asked what kind of energy the pump station used?

 

Mr. Whittet replied electricity supplied by Poudre Valley REA.

 

Commissioner Wallace mentioned that one staff recommendation was to have on-site wetland mitigation with the Districts being responsible to perform the appropriate mitigation.  She asked what the anticipated mitigation plan was?

 

 

 

 

Tom Keith, EDAW, Inc., 240 E. Mountain Ave., explained that the Districts were trying to maximize the amount of suitable terrain available to establish wetlands, which would amount to approximately two acres of land below the damn.  He stated that it was fairly difficult to establish wetlands around a reservoir that had a degree of fluctuation, and the selected location was best due to a project design that was meant to be non-depleting in terms of the South Platte River Basin.  The two acres were limited by the steep terrain located on the west edge of the reservoir, yet it may be possible to enhance the shoreline from a wildlife perspective and mitigate some impacts.  Nonetheless, establishing wetlands in that environment would be a challenge, but something that could be examined.

 

Chairman Morgan asked if any carryover water would be stored in the reservoir?

 

Mr. Whittet replied yes.  Ongoing concerns had been expressed as to how much water would be taken on an annual basis and/or hold carryover water.  He stated that a reservoir of that size would allow the Districts to hold a full year’s delivery of their water.  During the present year 20 percent was carried over, which could have been put in the reservoir.

 

Chairman Morgan asked if the reservoir would be used as a dependency reservoir, by which it would be filled up and used if required or be depleted and filled up in the winter? 

 

Mr. Whittet replied that the staff’s hope was that the reservoir would be filled and kept relatively full at all times.  However, a drought still existed and in past years, if the reservoir had been in place, the release would have been greater than anticipated.  In spite of that the desire was to operate it at a higher level instead of having dramatic fluctuations.

 

Commissioner Wallace asked if there would ever be overflow from the reservoir?  She also asked if it would have the capacity to be used for irrigation?

 

Mr. Whittet stated that it was not designed to have an overflow and that it was not a reservoir for irrigation.  It was purely designed to store water for treatment. 

 

Commissioner Wallace asked what happened to the water that was not currently being used?

 

Mr. Whittet stated that the water stayed in the Colorado Big Thompson system and became a part of the general pool. 

 

Commissioner Wallace asked if the water was anticipated to go towards the growth and development or toward current residents?

 

Mr. Whittet explained that the reservoir had been needed for 25 years in order to serve the current Little Thompson and Weld County Water Districts tap owners more effectively.

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY:

None

 

DISCUSSION:

Commissioner terMeer asked if the County would monitor the wetland mitigation progress? 

 

 

Mr. Helmick explained that the County would not be directly informed of the process and had limited authority over the Districts operations concerning the wetland mitigation.  The County had included a condition requiring the County Planning staff the ability to review and comment on the plan for the wildlife/wetland mitigation on the western side of the reservoir. 

 

Commissioner Wallace felt that it was important to promote mitigation and encouraged the Districts to do as much wetland mitigation as possible given the constraints of the situation. 

 

Chairman Morgan commended the Districts for looking towards the future and well-being of the community. 

 

Commissioner Huddleston moved that the Planning Commission adopt the following Resolution:

 

      BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission approve the Dry Creek Reservoir Location and Extent #04-Z1527, subject to the following conditions:

 

The Districts shall provide a plan for wetland and wildlife enhancement along the western edges of the reservoir prior to construction.  The plan shall be reviewed and commented on by the Larimer County Planning staff.

 

The Districts shall coordinate with the local residents either by meetings or newsletter and possibly a hotline to address complaints regarding construction noise and traffic.

 

The Districts shall coordinate construction and delivery traffic with the Thompson R2-J school district to avoid conflicts and safety concerns regarding school bus schedules and routes.

 

This approval is for a non-public access non-recreational reservoir.  Any change in the surface and surrounding land proposed by the Districts shall be subject to further review by Larimer County. 

 

Commissioner Waldo seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioners’ Boulter, Huddleston, Pond, terMeer, Waldo, Wallace, and Chairman Morgan voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED: 7-0

 

ITEM #3 AMENDMENTS TO THE LARIMER COUNTY LAND USE CODE: Ms. Bennett provided background information on the request to delete Section 8.7 Signs of the Land Use Code and replace it with a rewritten Section 10 Signs, which would allow Larimer County to become more flexible in determining signage and more compatible with the municipalities.  The request also included to add Section 8.19.1.D regarding the maximum height of flagpoles, permitting a height of 40 feet in all zoning districts.  The new amendments would become effective March 1, 2005.  Ms. Bennett also presented a memorandum to the Commission outlining minor changes to the proposed Code after receiving comments from the Cities of Fort Collins and Loveland. 

 

 

Commissioner Huddleston asked Ms. Bennett to summarize what Section 10.8 was reserved for.

 

Ms. Bennett explained that Section 10.8 was reserved for Sign Plazas, Tourist Oriented Directional Signs, or another off-premises directional sign programs to be developed.  Many items such as off-premise identification signs had not been allowed by Larimer County in the past and were currently being examined.  The reserved section would allow for future amendments to the Code as continued information was gathered on topics such as that one. 

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY:

None

 

DISCUSSION:

Commissioner Wallace asked if the “easements” mentioned in Section 10.2.B should be identified as “utility easements?”

 

Ms. Bennett stated that a conscious decision was made to use “easements” as a general reference because of other easements such as drainage and access that would need to be avoided as well. 

 

Commissioner Boulter asked if any business owners had a reaction to the proposed Sign Code?

 

Ms. Bennett stated that the County had not received a lot of direct contact with business owners except for the few that had recently applied for sign permits.  When informed, they chose to wait to apply, feeling that the new Sign Code would better serve their needs.  She also mentioned that existing, non-conforming signs were commonly referred to as “grandfathered” and meant that the signs did not need to change unless the owner initiated change.  In that case, the County would ask that the existing signs on the property come into conformance with the new Sign Code. 

 

The Commission was in favor of the amendments presented in the memorandum.

 

Commissioner Pond moved that the Planning Commission adopt the following Resolution.

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission recommend to the Board of County Commissioners approval of the following Larimer County Land Use Code amendments effective March 1, 2005:

 

1.    Amend the Land Use Code by deleting Section 8.7 Signs.

 

2.    Amend the Land Use Code by adding Section 10 Signs:

 

10.1 Purpose

The purpose of this section is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public; to provide the public and property owners with an opportunity for safe and effective identification of uses and locations within the county; and to avoid clutter and protect and maintain the visual appearance and property values of the agricultural, residential, business, commercial and industrial areas of the county.

 

 

 

 

10.2. General Sign Regulations

A. The regulations of this Section 10.0 shall apply to all signs in all zoning districts including signs not requiring a sign permit, except for official government signs, street name signs and bus stop signs.

 

B. Signs may not be placed on or over public roads or rights-of-way, or in easements except for utility warning signs.

 

C. No sign shall be located to impair traffic visibility or the health, safety and welfare of the public.  Sight Triangle Standards for signs are contained in the Larimer County Road Manual Section 4.3.F.

 

D. Any light used to illuminate a sign must be oriented to reflect light away from nearby residential properties and away from the vision of passing motorists and pedestrians.  See also Section 8.4.5.B.6 regarding wildlife development standards for exterior lighting.

 

E.  All signs must be permanently affixed or attached to the ground or to a structure, except for those temporary signs and vehicle signs that are specifically allowed in this chapter 10.0.

 

10.3. Calculation of Sign Area

The following methods shall be used to calculate the total square footage of the sign area of any sign. 

 

A. All sign faces shall be counted and considered part of the maximum total sign area allowance.  The sign area of building mounted signs shall not include structural elements used to attach or support the sign that do not contribute to the display.

 

B. Cabinet signs and signs other than individual letter signs.  Sign area shall be determined by the outer edge of the sign background, frame or cabinet that encompasses all text, decorative artwork, logos, or other information displayed.  In instances where the background, frame or cabinet is an irregular shape, the sign area shall be calculated as the entire area within a continuous perimeter drawn with not more than eight straight lines enclosing the extreme limits of the background, frame or cabinet encompassing the background material.

 

C. Individual letter signs.  Signs which consist of individual letters that are mounted to a wall, or “race-way” type signs that consist of individual letters that are mounted to a base that is mounted to a wall, which utilize the building wall as the background, and freestanding individual letters that are mounted to a monument base shall be considered individual letter signs.  The sign area of such signs shall be calculated as the entire area within a continuous perimeter drawn with not more than eight straight lines enclosing the extreme limits of the sign.

 

 

 

 

D. Freestanding base measurement.  The sign area of a freestanding sign shall include, in addition to the sign face area, any portion of the freestanding sign base which exceeds one and one-half times the area of the sign face.  The base shall include any structural component of the sign, including raised landscape planter boxes. 

 

                        10.4. Calculation of Sign Height and Setback

A. The height of a freestanding sign shall be measured as the vertical distance from the average finished grade of the ground below the sign excluding any filling, berming, mounding or excavating solely for the purposes of increasing the height of the sign, to the top edge of the highest portion of the sign including any architectural appurtenances.  For purposes of this Section, average finished grade shall be considered the lower of: 

 

1. The lowest elevation where the base of the sign meets ground level or

2. The nearest public or private sidewalk within 25 feet of the sign.

 

B.  The required setback for freestanding signs shall be the distance between the sign’s leading edge and the edge of the road right-of-way.

 

10.5. Signs Not Subject To Permit 

Due to their small size, limited time duration, limited aesthetic impact and strong community interest in identifying land uses, locations and historic structures, the following signs may be erected without a sign permit, but shall meet all applicable standards of this Section 10.0 and any other applicable requirements of the County or the State of Colorado.  These signs are not included in the Total Allowable Sign Area for non-residential districts, as described in Section 10.14.

A.   Nameplate signs.  One nameplate sign which does not exceed a total of two square feet in area, per street frontage.

B.   Rural property identification signs.  One sign per primary driveway entrance to the property and located at that entrance, not exceeding six square feet of total sign area for properties that are less than ten acres and thirty-two square feet of total sign area for properties that are ten acres or greater.

C.   Agricultural product signs.  One sign per frontage of a property, advertising agricultural products that are produced and available for sale on the property, not exceeding sixteen square feet in sign face area per sign.

D.   Business vehicle identification signs.  See Section 10.10.

E.    Commemorative signs.  One commemorative sign, tablet or plaque per property, not exceeding a total of two square feet in sign face area.

F.    Crop signs.  Signs identifying seed brands and varieties in use, test plots, and similar signs that are customary in agricultural production areas.

G.   Daily special signs. Signs for daily specials such as menu boards, sandwich boards or A-frame type signs shall be allowed for the purpose of advertising nonrecurring daily specials. Such signs shall be limited to one sign per business and a maximum of six square feet in area per side and two sides.  Signs shall be placed within fifteen feet of the business entrance and shall not impede pedestrian sidewalk circulation. Such signs shall be taken in daily at the close of business.

 

H.   Flags, commercial.  No more than one commercial flag per property, where no single side exceeds forty-eight square feet.

I.    Flags, non-commercial. No more than two governmental or other non-commercial flags per property, where no single side exceeds forty-eight square feet. Note that flags of the United States are not defined as signs.

J.    Home occupation signs. Signs for home occupations and uses approved by minor special review shall be limited to one flush-wall nameplate sign, not to exceed three square feet in area, at or near the entrance to the business.

K.    Non-commercial signs. See Section 10.7.

L.    On-site traffic directional signs. Signs may not exceed four square feet per face or ten feet in height.  The minimum horizontal distance between such signs shall be fifteen feet, except for signs designating the purpose for which parking stalls may be used, such as for handicap parking.

M.    Private sale signs. One on-premise sign per street frontage which does not exceed four square feet per sign face.  Signs shall be displayed only during the sale or event specified.

N.    Real estate signs. One sign per street frontage on the property being advertised.  Each real estate sign advertising a single-family or two-family dwelling unit is limited to eight square feet in area per face and six feet in height.  Each real estate sign advertising vacant land or development other than single-family or two-family development is limited to forty-eight square feet in area per face and six feet in height.  Real estate signs may not be illuminated.

O.    Signs over gas pumps. One per pump that is no larger than two square feet per face. 

P.    Warning signs. Signs with messages of warning, danger or caution such as underground utility location signs, no trespassing, no hunting, and similar warning messages.

Q.    Window signs.

 

10.6. Prohibited Signs

The following signs are not allowed in any zoning district.

 

A. Rooftop signs.

 

B. Signs which contain any flashing, rotating, animated or otherwise moving features.  Signs with a changeable message must remain motionless for not less than one minute.

 

C. Strings of light bulbs used for commercial purposes other than traditional holiday decorations.

 

D. Wind-driven signs, except as allowed in Section 10.5 (flags) and Section 10.8.

 

E. Billboards, off-premises signs. 

 

F. Searchlights, whether stationary or revolving, beacons or other similar devices used for the purpose of advertising or attracting attention to a property.

 

 

G. Inflatable signs such as blimps, animals, inflatable representations of a product for sale and other inflatable devices used for the purposes of advertising or attracting attention, but not including ordinary balloons with a diameter of 2 feet or less that are used for temporary non-commercial displays.

 

H.  Signs mounted to landscaping, trees, traffic signage, utility and light poles or other similar structures.

 

10.7. Non-commercial signs

The following non-commercial signs are allowed in all zoning districts without a sign permit, but are subject to the standards below and all applicable standards of this Section 10.0.

 

A. Temporary signs that are not commercial in nature (such as campaign, election, community event or nonprofit fund raiser signs).

1. The maximum sign size is nine square feet in residential and rural districts.

2. The maximum sign size is thirty-two square feet in non-residential districts.

3. Signs must be removed within five days after the campaign, election or event.

 

B. Ideological signs. Any number of signs are allowed, provided such signs do not exceed ten square feet in area per face with a maximum aggregate of twenty square feet in face area per lot and are unlighted.  In addition, where an identification sign is allowed, all or any portion of said sign may be used as an ideological sign. 

 

10.8. Reserved.

[Note: this Section is reserved for Sign Plazas, Tourist Oriented Directional Signs, or another off-premises directional sign program to be developed]                    

 

10.9. Temporary commercial signs.

A. Temporary signs that promote a temporary commercial event such as a sale or grand opening on the property of a principal legal non-residential use may be erected on that property, subject to the following conditions: 

1.  Allowed sign types:

a. A banner or banners that do not cumulatively exceed 100 square feet in total sign area and which are mounted flush to a building wall.

                                    b. Pennants.

c. Balloons and other types of lighter than air objects which have no linear dimension greater than two feet.

2.  A temporary sign permit is required.  The permit may specify such conditions and limitations as are deemed necessary to protect adjoining properties and the public.

3.  A temporary sign permit may not be approved for a time period that exceeds thirty consecutive days, and a total of fifty days in any calendar year for each property, or each business in a multi-tenant center. 

4.  The applicant shall remove any temporary signs on or before the expiration date of the permit.

 

 

5.  If a person erects any temporary commercial signs without receiving a permit as herein provided, the person shall be ineligible to receive a temporary sign permit for the remainder of the calendar year.

 

10.10. Business Vehicle Identification Signs

The following business vehicle identification signs are allowed without a permit, but are subject to the standards below and all applicable standards of this Section 10.0.

 

A. All business vehicle identification signs shall be permanently affixed, painted, magnetically applied or otherwise mounted upon a vehicle.

 

B. For purposes of this section, the term vehicle shall include trucks, buses, vans, railroad cars, automobiles, tractors, trailers, motor homes, semi-tractors, hot air balloons or any other motorized or nonmotorized transportational device, whether or not such vehicle is in operating condition.

 

C. The primary purpose of any vehicle upon which a sign is affixed must be to serve a useful, current function in the transportation or conveyance of persons or commodities from one place to another, including transportation to and from work, and such intermittent delays and stops as are customary in the routine conduct of the business or activity for which the transportation or conveyance occurs.

 

D. No vehicle upon which a sign is affixed may be parked on any property for the primary effect of directing or attracting the attention of the public to a building, institution, product, service, organization, event or location offered or existing elsewhere than upon the same property where such vehicle is parked.

 

E.  Signs mounted on construction trailers directly related to construction on a site shall be allowed to be located on the site for the duration of construction, and shall be removed immediately upon receipt of the last certificate of occupancy for the site.

 

10.11. Temporary Construction and Project Marketing Signs

A permit is required for the following construction and project marketing signs.

 

A.  One construction sign shall be allowed per street frontage per property not exceeding sixteen square feet in area per face in residential districts or thirty-two square feet in area per face in non-residential districts.  Such signs must be removed within one week of final inspection or completion of the project.

 

B.  One project marketing sign per project shall be allowed per entrance from any adjacent street and no more than two signs per project or phase of a project.  The maximum sign face area shall be fifty square feet in residential districts and sixty-four square feet in non-residential districts and all such signs shall be located within the development.  

 

 

1.  Signs shall be allowed to remain for no more than two years following issuance of the temporary sign permit.

2.  In addition to the sign(s) above, a subdivision sales office shall be entitled to one indirectly lit sign not to exceed ten square feet in size.

 

10.12. Standards for Residential Districts

The following regulations shall apply to all signs in residential zoning districts.

 

A. In addition to those signs which are allowed without a permit, signs in residential zoning districts may include the following signs: 

 

1. One identification sign for a multi-family complex per driveway access from the public street, not exceeding thirty-two square feet in area per face, and one wall sign per multi-family structure, not exceeding twenty square feet in area per face per street frontage. 

2. One identification sign per entrance to the property identifying a residential subdivision or housing project, provided that such sign does not exceed thirty-two square feet in area per face.  When such signs are placed on subdivision entry wall structures, only the sign face shall be used to calculate the size of the sign.  In the event that entrance identification signs are proposed for both sides of the street at any one entrance, this “set” of signs shall be considered as one identification sign.

3. One identification sign per street frontage for a principal legal non-residential use in a residential district including non-conforming uses and uses approved by special review and special exception shall be allowed, subject to a maximum sign area of twenty square feet per sign face and not to exceed a total of two such signs per property.  

4.  One identification sign per street frontage or per structure for public or semipublic facilities, such as churches, libraries, schools, fire stations and public recreation facilities, subject to a maximum sign area of thirty-two square feet per sign face and not to exceed a total of two such signs per property.  

 

B. All freestanding and ground signs in residential zoning districts are limited to six feet in height, excepting rural property identification signs located on entryway arches over private driveways.

 

C.  All signs in residential districts shall be unlit or indirectly illuminated.  All lighting shall be aimed and/or shielded to insure that no direct light is seen upon any nearby street or upon any nearby residential property.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10.13. Standards for Rural Districts

The following regulations shall apply to all signs in rural zoning districts.

 

A. In addition to those signs which are allowed without a permit, signs in rural zoning districts may include the following signs: 

1. One identification sign for a multi-family complex per driveway access from the public street, not exceeding thirty-two square feet in area per face, and one wall sign per multi-family structure, not exceeding twenty square feet in area per face per street frontage. 

2. One identification sign per entrance to the property identifying a residential subdivision or housing project, provided that such sign does not exceed thirty-two square feet in area per face.  When such signs are placed on subdivision entry wall structures, only the sign face shall be used to calculate the size of the sign.  In the event that entrance identification signs are proposed for both sides of the street at any one entrance, this “set” of signs shall be considered as one identification sign.

3. One identification sign per street frontage for a principal legal non-residential use in a residential district including non-conforming uses and uses approved by special review and special exception shall be allowed, subject to a maximum sign area of thirty-two square feet per sign face and not to exceed a total of two such signs per property.  

4.  One identification sign per street frontage or per structure for public or semipublic facilities, such as churches, libraries, schools, fire stations and public recreation facilities, subject to a maximum sign area of thirty-two square feet per sign face and not to exceed a total of two such signs per property.  

5. Signs for home occupations and uses approved by minor special review shall be limited to one flush-wall nameplate sign, not to exceed three square feet in area, at or near the entrance to the business.

 

B. All freestanding and ground signs in rural zoning districts are limited to six feet in height, excepting rural property identification signs located on entryway arches over private driveways.

 

C.  All signs in rural districts shall be unlit or indirectly illuminated.  All lighting shall be aimed and/or shielded to insure that no direct light is seen upon any nearby street or upon any nearby residential property.

 

10.14. Standards for Non-Residential Districts

All permanent signs in non-residential zoning districts shall be subject to the following standards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A. Total Allowable Sign Area.

1. The total sign area for all signs for which permits are required shall not exceed two square feet per linear foot of building frontage for the first two hundred linear feet of building frontage, plus one square foot per linear foot of building frontage thereafter.  No more than two sides of a building may be counted as building frontage.  The total sign area shall include all sign faces and shall be calculated according to the standards of Section 10.3.

2. For the purpose of this section, the sign allowance shall be calculated on the basis of the length of the one building frontage which is most nearly parallel to the street it faces.  If a building does not have frontage on a dedicated public street, the owner of the building may designate the one building frontage which shall be used for the purpose of calculating the sign allowance

3. However, each property shall be at a minimum entitled to the lesser of one square foot of sign allowance per linear foot of lot frontage, or one freestanding sign per street frontage of fifty square feet per face and one wall sign per business of thirty-two square feet in size so long as all other requirements of this Section 10.0 are met.  If permits are approved for signs based on the minimum provisions of this paragraph, the allowable sign area based on the building frontage as set forth above shall not be recognized as allowable sign area for the property.

 

B. Freestanding Signs.

1. The total number of freestanding signs allowed shall be one per street frontage per property.

2.  The maximum size per side for freestanding signs shall be ninety square feet per side.  The maximum height for freestanding signs shall be eighteen feet above grade.  No freestanding sign shall be built within fifteen feet of any interior side lot line.  (See accompanying table below.)

 

Requirements for Freestanding Signs

 

Setback (feet)

Maximum height (feet)

Maximum size allowed per side (square feet)

0

8  

20  

5

8  

27  

10

10  

33  

15

12 

50 

20

14 

60 

25

16 

70 

30

18 

80 

36 and more

18 

90 

 

 

3. The required setback of any freestanding sign shall be measured from the right-of-way line.

4. When electrical service is provided to freestanding signs, all such electrical service shall be underground.

 

 

 

5. A drive-in restaurant shall be allowed one freestanding sign per drive-thru lane, for the sole purpose of a menu board for drive-thru customers that shall not be included in the number of such signs allowed for the property.  Such sign(s) shall not exceed five feet in height and thirty-five square feet in sign face area.  Fifty percent of the square footage of such sign(s) shall be exempted from the total allowed for the property.  Individual drive-in menu boards that are four square feet or less shall be exempted from the total sign area allowed for the property.

6. In order to encourage their use, the following modification of the freestanding sign requirements table is allowed for monument signs.

 

Requirements for Monument Signs

 

Setback (feet)

Maximum height (feet)

Maximum size allowed per side (square feet)

0

7

45

5

8.5

60

10

10

75

15 and more

12

90

 

 

C. Signs Mounted to Structures.

1. Wall Signs.

No wall sign or individual letter sign shall exceed one hundred square feet in sign area or seven feet in height.  A wall sign may not extend above the top of the wall or parapet wall of the building to which the wall sign is attached.  Signs may not project more than twelve inches horizontally from the face of the building on which they are erected. Signs that are mounted on mansards or similar architectural features may not project more than twelve inches horizontally, measured at the bottom of the sign, from the surface to which they are mounted. 

2. Canopy signs.

No canopy sign shall project above the top of the canopy upon which it is mounted.  No canopy sign shall project from the face of a canopy.  Under-canopy signs which are perpendicular to the face of the building shall be deemed to be projecting signs.  Under canopy signs which are parallel to the face of the building shall be deemed flush wall signs and shall be a minimum of eight feet above grade.

3. Projecting Signs.

No sign may project over a public right-of-way. Signs may not project more than six feet from the face of the building or into the minimum required building setback for the zone district in which they are located.  Such signs shall not exceed fifteen square feet per face and must be a minimum of eight feet above grade. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Awning Signs.

Awning signs shall not be allowed above the first story of a building. No awning sign shall project above the top of an awning on which it is mounted.  No awning sign shall project from the face of an awning.  The maximum amount of sign area allowed on an awning per street frontage shall be fifty square feet excluding banding and striping. When extended over either a public or private sidewalk, the minimum clearance from the lowest point of the awning to the top of pavement shall be eight feet.  No awning sign shall be allowed to project over a private or public vehicular way.

 

10.15. Maintenance

A.  All signs shall be maintained in good condition at all times.  All signs shall be kept neatly finished and repaired, including all parts and supports.  The Building Official may inspect any sign governed by this code and shall have authority to order the painting, repair, alternation or removal of a sign which constitutes a hazard to safety, health or public welfare by reason of inadequate maintenance, dilapidation or obsolescence.

 

B.  The Building Official shall have the power to order a change in the illumination of any sign that becomes a hazard or nuisance.

 

                        10.16. Sign permits

A. A sign permit is required prior to the placement or remodeling of any sign except that no permit shall be required for those signs regulated by Section 10.5.

 

B. Electrical signs.

1.  All electrical signs placed in Larimer County shall bear the label of Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.

2.  All electrical service to a freestanding sign that is illuminated shall be underground.

 

C.  Approval criteria.  No permit for a new sign shall be approved unless such sign is in conformance with the requirements of this Section 10 and with an approved sign plan if one is required.  See Section 10.18.

 

10.17. Nonconforming signs

A. A nonconforming sign shall not be:

1.  Structurally or physically changed to another non-conforming sign, although its content may be changed;

2.  Structurally or physically altered in order to prolong the life of the sign, including a change from the original materials of the sign, except to meet safety requirements;

3.  Altered so as to increase the degree of non-conformity of the sign; or

4.  Enlarged.

 

B. All nonconforming signs on a property must be brought into conformance with this Section 10.0 when a change of use, as defined in the Land Use Code, occurs on the property.

 

C.  A nonconforming sign shall not be re-established after damage or destruction if the estimated cost of reconstruction exceeds fifty percent of the appraised replacement cost.

 

D.  A nonconforming sign and sign structure shall be removed from a property in the event that the sign is blank or displays obsolete advertising material for a period 12 consecutive months.

 

10.18. Sign Plans

A.  A Sign Plan shall be prepared for all permanent signs in non-residential districts that require a sign permit under this Section 10.  The plan shall include a graphic representation showing a comprehensive detailed presentation of all existing and/or proposed signage for the subject property.

 

B.  Properties and uses subject to the Site Plan requirement (Section 6.0) shall include a Sign Plan as part of the Site Plan review process.

           

            10.19. Definitions

As used in this Section 1.0, the following words and phrases have the meanings set out in this section:

 

Agricultural product sign.  A sign advertising agricultural products that are produced and available for sale on the property

Awning sign.  A sign which is mounted on a temporary shelter supported entirely from the exterior wall of the building.

Banner.  A sign which is constructed of cloth, canvas or other type of natural or man-made fabric, or other similar light material which can be easily folded or rolled, but not including paper or cardboard.

Billboard.  See off-premises sign. 

Building frontage.  The side of the building which aligns with a street or parking lot.

Bus stop sign.  Signs located on benches or shelters placed in the public rights-of-way or in private property adjacent to public rights-of-way at a bus stop pursuant to a written agreement with the county which sets forth the regulations for the size, content, placement, design and materials used in the construction of said signs, benches and shelters. 

Business.  An activity concerned with the supplying and distribution of goods and services.  For purposes of this section, the term “business” shall not include an activity which is accessory to a residential use, such as a home occupation.  The term “business” shall include principal agricultural uses.  See also “Multi-tenant center” regarding two or more businesses located on a single property.

Business vehicle identification sign.  A sign which is painted on, affixed to or otherwise mounted on any vehicle or on any object which is placed on, in, or attached to a vehicle.  For purposes of this definition, the term “vehicle” shall include trucks, buses, vans, railroad cars, automobiles, tractors, trailers, hot air balloons, motor homes, semi-tractors or any other motorized or non-motorized transportational device, whether or not such vehicle is in operating condition.

 

 

Cabinet sign.  A sign that contains all the text, artwork, logos and/or other information displayed within an enclosed cabinet.

Canopy sign.  A wall sign which is mounted on a permanently-roofed shelter covering a sidewalk, driveway or other similar area, which shelter may be wholly supported by a building or may be wholly or partially supported by columns, poles or braces extended from the ground.

Commemorative or memorial sign.  A sign, table or plaque commemorating or memorializing a person, event, structure or site.

Construction sign.  A temporary sign erected on the property on which construction, alteration or repair is taking place, during the time of active continuous construction, displaying only the names of the architects, engineers, landscape architects, contractors or similar artisans, and the owners, financial supporters, sponsors and similar individuals or firms having a role or interest with respect to the structure or project.

Flag, commercial. A flag displaying the name, insignia, emblem or logo of a for-profit entity.

Flag, non-commercial.  A flag displaying the name, insignia, emblem or logo of any nation, state, county, municipality or non-profit organization.

Freestanding sign.  A non-moveable sign that is anchored directly to the ground or supported by one or more posts, columns, or other vertical structures or supports, and not attached to or dependent for support from any building.

Government sign.  A sign erected and maintained by or on behalf of the United States, the state, or a county or city for the purpose of regulating traffic or for civic purposes.

Identification sign.  A sign giving only the name, logo or other identifying symbol, address, or any combination of name, symbol and address of a building, business or residential development, establishment or rural property.

Ideological sign.  A sign conveying a philosophical, religious, political, charitable or other similar non-commercial message.

Indirect lighting.  A source of external illumination of any sign.

Menu board sign.  A wall or freestanding sign which lists the foods or other products available at drive-through facilities.

Monument sign. A freestanding sign where the base of the sign structure is on the ground or a maximum of twelve inches above the adjacent grade.  The width of the top of the sign structure can be no more than one hundred twenty (120) percent of the width of the base.

Multi-tenant center.  One or more buildings, located on a single property, containing two or more separate and distinct businesses or activities which occupy separate portions of the building with separate points of entrance, and which are physically separated from each other by walls, partitions, floors or ceilings.  For purposes of this Section 10, the term “multi-tenant center” shall include buildings containing condominium units.  See also “Property.”

Nameplate sign.  A sign, located on the property, giving only the name or address or both, of the owner or occupant of a building or property.

Neon sign.  An illuminated sign consisting of a neon or gas tube that is bent to form letters, symbols or other shapes that advertise or identify a product, business, organization or location.  For purposes of this Section 10, neon tubing that is used as an architectural decoration is not considered to be a sign.

 

Non-commercial sign.  A sign containing no commercial content, including signs conveying a philosophical, religious, political, charitable or other similar message.

Nonconforming sign.  A sign that does not meet one or more of the requirements of this Section 10.0 but which was erected in conformance with any adopted standards and procedures in existence at that time.

Non-residential districts. The A-Accommodations, T-Tourist, B-Business, C-Commercial, I-Industrial, I-1 Industrial zoning districts, and areas of the AP-Airport and PD-Planned Development zoning districts approved for non-residential uses.

Obsolete advertising material.  Advertising material that has gone out of date; for example, the name of a business that no longer exists.

Off-premises sign. A sign which is used or intended for use to advertise, identify, direct or attract the attention to a business, institution, product, organization, event or location offered or existing elsewhere than upon the same property where such sign is displayed.

On-site traffic directional sign.  A sign intended solely for the purpose of guiding or directing pedestrian or vehicular traffic within an establishment and not including promotional advertising unnecessary to such directional purpose. Examples of such signs include “entrance”, “exit”, “no parking”, “loading only” and other similar directives.

Permanent sign.  A sign that is permanently affixed or attached to the ground or to a structure.

Portable sign.  A sign that is not permanently affixed or attached to the ground or to a structure and that is designed to be easily transportable from one location to another, including but not limited to a sign designed to be displayed while mounted or affixed to the trailer by which it is transported.

Premises.  See “property.”

Private sale sign.  A sign advertising a private sale of personal property such as a house sale, garage sale, rummage sale and the like.

Project marketing sign.  A sign that is placed at one or more locations within a project, which identifies the project and offers for sale or lease, as part of the original marketing of the project, the lots, tracts, structures or units within the project.

Property.  A lot, tract or parcel of land together with the buildings or structures thereon.  For purposes of this Section 10, individual condominium ownerships in a structure shall not be considered separate property.  See also “Multi-tenant center.”

Real estate sign.  A sign indicating the availability for sale, rent or lease of a specific parcel, building or portion of a building, and the name, address and telephone number of the owner or listing of the real estate broker. 

Remodeling.  A change in any aspect or character of a sign including addition or change in the type of lighting, increase in height or size, addition of sign faces or change from wood posts and frame to metal posts and frame, but not including a change in the content or message of the sign face.

 

 

 

 

 

Residential districts.  The FA-Farming, FA-1 Farming, FO-Forestry, FO-1 Forestry, E-Estate, E-1Estate, RE-Rural Estate, RE-1 Rural Estate, R-Residential, R-1 Residential, R-2 Residential, M-Multiple Family, M-1 Multiple Family and AP-Airport zoning districts; the O-Open zoning district located within a Growth Management Area (GMA) overlay zoning district of Larimer County or the LaPorte Plan Area; and areas of the PD-Planned Development zoning district which have been approved for residential use.

Rooftop sign.  A sign erected upon or above a roof or above a parapet wall of a building.

Rural districts.  The O-Open zoning district located outside a Growth Management Area (GMA) overlay zoning district of Larimer County, and located outside the LaPorte Plan Area.

Rural property identification sign. A sign intended to identify the entrance to a rural property.  For purposes of this Section 10.0, the term rural property shall be limited to properties that are located outside a Growth Management Area (GMA) overlay zoning district of Larimer County.

Setback.  The distance, measured perpendicular or radial from a street right-of-way or property line, between the leading edge of a sign and the right-of-way or property line.

Sign.  Any object, device or structure, or part thereof, which is visible beyond the boundaries of the property upon which it is located, and which advertises, identifies, directs or attracts the attention of the public to a business, institution, product, organization, event or location by any means, including, but not limited to, words, letters, graphics, fixtures, symbols, colors, motion, illumination and projected images. The term “sign” shall not include the following:

(1) works of fine art which in no way identify a product or business and which are not displayed in conjunction with a commercial enterprise, which enterprise may benefit or realize direct commercial gain from such display;

(2) temporary decorations or displays clearly incidental and customary and commonly associated with national, local or religious holiday celebrations;

(3) products, merchandise, materials or equipment which are offered for sale or used in conducting a business, along with any incidental and customary product labels on such items, when such items are kept or stored in a location which is designed and commonly used for the storage of such products, merchandise, materials or equipment; and

(4) flags of the United States, provided that such flags are sized and displayed in such a  located, and that they do not interfere with utility lines.

Sign face.  The area of a sign upon or through which the message is displayed.

Sign plan.  A graphic representation showing a comprehensive detailed presentation of all signage proposed for a particular property.

Street frontage.  A property line that abuts a public right-of-way that provides public access to or visibility to the property.

Temporary sign. A sign which, due to the materials used or the method, manner or location of display;  is suited only for brief display, including but not limited to those signs regulated under Section 10.7 and Section 10.8.

Wall sign.  A sign attached to, painted on or erected against the wall of a building or structure in such a manner that the wall is the supporting structure for, or forms the background surface of, the sign.

 

Warning sign.  A sign limited to a message of warning, danger or caution such as underground utility location signs, no trespassing, no hunting, and similar warning messages.

Wind-driven sign.  Any sign consisting of one or a series of banners, pennants, ribbons, spinners, streamers, captive balloons or other objects or material fastened in such a manner as to move, upon being subjected to pressure by wind or breeze.

Window sign.  A sign that is applied to or attached to the exterior or interior of a window or located in such a manner within a building that it is visible from the exterior of the building through a window.

 

3.    Amend the Land Use Code by adding Section 8.19.1:

 

D. The maximum height of flagpoles is 40 feet in all zoning districts, provided that the height of the flagpole does not exceed the distance to the nearest property line.

 

Commissioner Huddleston seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioners’ Boulter, Huddleston, Pond, terMeer, Waldo, Wallace, and Chairman Morgan voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED: 7-0

 

ITEM #4 AMENDMENTS TO THE LARIMER COUNTY LAND USE CODE : Mr. Kadera provided background information on the request to make a number of changes to the adopted Land Use Code.  The proposed changes applied to Sections 4, 5, 8, 9, 12, and 21 and involved minor wording changes due to typographical errors, inconsistencies between parts of the Code, and unintended consequences that resulted from the current wording.  He stated that Jim Reidhead, Director of the Rural Land Use Center, was in favor of all proposed amendments to the Land Use Code dealing with rural land plans.

 

Chairman Morgan recommended discussing each section separately to allow for questions from the Commission and/or the audience.

 

Mr. Kadera provided background information on the proposed amendments to Sections 4 and 5 of the Land Use Code. 

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY:

None

 

DISCUSSION:

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 approval of the following Larimer County Land Use Code amendments:

 

 

 

 

1.   Amend the Land Use Code in the subsection on “minimum lot size’ in each zoning district of Section 4 as follows:

 

Maximum density in a conservation development is calculated by dividing the total developable area by insert minimum lot sizeMaximum density in a Rural Land Plan is determined by subsection 5.8.6.A.  Lots in a conservation development or Rural Land Plan that use a well or an individual septic system must contain at least two acres (87,120 square feet).  Lots in a conservation development or Rural Land Plan connected to public water and either a public sewer or community sewer system are not required to meet minimum lot size requirements (except for the purpose of calculating density).

 

2.   Amend the Land Use Code, Section 5.4.3.A as follows:

 

The property is not part of an approved or recorded subdivision plat, conservation development, planned land division, rural land plan or planned unit development.

 

3.   Amend the Land Use Code, Section 5.5.2.B as follows:

 

Lots in recorded minor land divisions, subdivisions, conservation developments, planned land divisions or rural land plans.

 

4.   Amend the Land Use Code, Section 5.6.2.B as follows:

 

Lots in recorded subdivisions, conservation developments, planned land divisions, minor land divisions or rural land plans.

 

5.   Amend the Land Use Code, Section 5.8.5.b.1 as follows:

 

Volunteers:  The RLUC director will may maintain a list of persons who are willing to volunteer their time and expertise to assist the RLUC director, applicants and the neighborhood in the design and development of a RLUC project.

 

6.   Amend the Land Use Code, Section 5.8.6.A.6 as follows:

 

Subject to the requirements of section 5.8.4.A, plans may be submitted for projects involving two or more parcels, including non-contiguous parcels.  Development rights may be transferred between parcels, however the maximum number of dwelling units on the receiving parcel cannot exceed the maximum number of dwelling units allowed by the current zoning of the receiving parcel.  In deciding whether to approve projects involving the transfer of development rights, the county commissioners will consider the degree to which the receiving parcel and properties surrounding the receiving parcel benefit from the non-development of the sending parcel.

 

7.   Amend the Land Use Code by adding Subsection 5.8.6.A.7 as follows:

 

Any remaining, undeveloped parcel that is not included in a rural land plan must contain at least 35 acres.

 

8.   Amend the Land Use Code, Subsection 5.13.2 as follows:

 

The processes for subdivision, conservation development, planned land division and rural land plans are described in the process section for each of these developments land divisions.

 

9.   Amend the Land Use Code, Subsection 5.13.5.A.1 as follows:

 

All applications for subdivision, conservation development, planned land division and rural land plan require final plat review by the county commissioners.

 

10. Amend the Land Use Code, Section 5.13.6 reference to “rural land use plan” to read, “rural land plan.

 

Commissioner Pond seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioners’ Boulter, Huddleston, Pond, terMeer, Waldo, Wallace, and Chairman Morgan voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED: 7-0

 

Mr. Kadera provided background information on the proposed amendments to Section 8 of the Larimer County Land Use Code.  He pointed out that the proposed Section 8 amendments only applied to new development.  He also stated that the first sentence of Section 8.14.2 would need to be reworded before going to the Board of County Commissioners to state that subsections O, P, and Q did apply to rural land plans.

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY:

Roger Seat, 2537 Brehm Road, felt that the County was overstepping their bounds concerning Sections 8.14.2.R and S - Gated Private Roads.  In Section 8.14.2.S.1 it stated that all property owners had to agree before a gate could be erected.  He remarked that gating the road was a private ownership issue that the County did not need to get involved in, and anyone who wanted to gate their private road would have to spend money in application fees just to put a gate up.  He stated that it should be a property right to gate off the road since it was nothing more than an extension of someone’s fence.  He added that Section 8.14.2.F. stated that all of the listed criteria had to be met in order to allow a private road.  That meant that the property owner would have to bring the road up to standards and create maintenance agreements, which did not relate to erecting a gate.  He also pointed out that Sections 8.14.2.F and 8.14.2.N were out of order with Section F discussing appealing Section N, which came later in the Land Use Code.  He also expressed concerns regarding the appeal process for roads.  He stated that it was confusing to require an appeal to connectivity in order to have a private road, which would then have to be followed up with a second appeal in order to gate the road.  He remarked that all of the new revisions were making the Land Use Code confusing, which contradicted the reason for creating the new Land Use Code. 

 

 

 

 

 

Georgina Minto, 425 Gunn Avenue, stated that the wording in Section 8.14.2.F.2 would cause a lot of confusion and undue hardships.  Road standards were different for different developments, and the cost of the appeals would be immense and should be left out of the Code.  She stated that road issues should be left up to the discretion of the County Commissioners and erecting a gate should be left up to the homeowner and/or landowner. 

 

Michael Urban, 2448 Brehm Road, stated that he lived on a gated, dead end private road.  He felt that the County was trying to take the rights away from the private land owner and was putting too many restrictions on private land rights. 

 

Mr. Kadera explained that if people wanted to gate a road they could do so as long as the property was along an existing private road in an existing development.  However, if a piece of property went through the land division process the County would be expected to ensure and address issues such as access and/or maintenance of that road.  Therefore, if a private road was desired in a new development there would need to be an agreement signed by the developer and by the County Commissioners that spelled out the provisions.  On the other hand, property owners that have an access easement through a vacant piece of land should have the opportunity to protest if the land owner decided to develop and gate that vacant land.

 

Commissioner Boulter asked if private homeowners were free to gate their road as long as it did not trigger a development review. 

 

Mr. Kadera replied yes.

 

Chairman Morgan remarked on the proposed appeal processes.  He stated that as he understood it a person would have to apply for a connectivity appeal only after a private road appeal was applied for and approved.  He asked if there was a way to eliminate having two appeal processes and paying two fees?

 

Mr. Kadera explained that appeals to different sections of the Code could be appealed concurrent with each other.  A person would not have to go through the appeal process twice.  The applicant could pursue the appeals within their project or separate from the project if desired. 

 

Mr. Waldo asked what the appeal fees were?

 

Russell Legg, Chief Planner, stated the fees for a new land division.  He explained that there were no fees if the appeal was part of the project review.  An appeal without a project submittal was $200.  A request to appeal a decision made by the Planning Director or County Engineer was $25, and the inability to obtain a building permit had a fee of $25. 

 

Commissioner Wallace asked if the road standards and guidelines could be grouped together in the Code rather than separated in Sections 8.14.2.F, N, R, and S?  She stated that it was difficult to read as it was written.

 

Mr. Kadera stated that the issue could be looked at and discussed with the County Commissioners.

 

 

 

Mr. Seat commented that the Land Use Code wording was confusing and could be misinterpreted in the future. 

 

Ms. Minto stated that Section 8 did not just apply to new development, but also applied to new businesses and entrepreneurs in a rural area.  She stated that the current definitions were broad and could be used for more than just a subdivision.  She suggested that the wording be examined because it could easily be misinterpreted and used against a new business owner.

 

The hearing recessed for 5 minutes.

 

Mr. Kadera revised the first sentence of Section 8.14.2 to state; “The following design standards apply to all development applications for subdivisions, conservation developments, planned land division, and site plan.  Sections 8.14.2.O, P, and Q apply to rural land plans. 

 

Ms. Minto suggested tabling the Section 8 amendments until the wording could be rewritten to be more comprehensible.

 

DISCUSSION:

Commissioner terMeer stated that she felt Mr. Kadera did a good job creating a compromise to the wording.

 

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 approval of the Larimer County Land Use Code Amendments; Section 8, subject to the amended language in 8.14.2 and the reorganization of the development design standards to create continuity among Code sections regarding roads.

 

            1.         Amend the Land Use Code, Section 8.01.E as follows:

 

The applicant is required to demonstrate compliance with the applicable standards for all rural land plans at the county commissioners’ hearing on any preliminary rural land plan.

 

2.    Amend the Land Use Code, Section 8.1.B as follows:

 

Applicability. Adequate public facilities requirements apply to all applications for conservation development, planned land division, subdivision, special review, site plan review, special exception and minor land division submitted under this code.  APF requirements also apply to rural land plans as specified in Section 8.1.

 

3.    Amend the Land Use Code, Section 8.1.1.B as follows:

 

B.   New development, including rural land plans, must comply with one of the following criteria:

 

 

 

 

4.    Amend the Land Use Code, Section 8.1.1.B.2 as follows:

 

a.   The development is not located within a GMA district, except in the case of a rural land plan, on-site sewage treatment systems may be allowed if the municipality recommends approval of the rural land plan with on-site sewage treatment systems.

 

5.    Amend the Land Use Code, Section 8.1.1.B.3 as follows:

 

a.   The development is not located within a GMA district, except in the case of a rural land plan, community sewer systems may be allowed if the municipality recommends approval of the rural land plan with a community sewer system.  

 

6.    Amend the Land Use Code, Section 8.1.2.A.1 as follows:

 

A.   New development must comply with one of the following criteria, except that wells may be allowed in a rural land plan pursuant to state statute.

 

7.    Amend the Land Use Code, Section 8.1.3.A as follows:

 

A.   General. Dedicated facilities for stormwater drainage pass-through flows and outfall to an acceptable point of discharge is [are] required for all developments in the county, except rural land plans. (See Section 5.8.6.D for drainage requirements for rural land plans). Adequate facilities may consist of natural drainages or manmade channels. To be adequate, facilities must be legally and physically acceptable (see Larimer County Stormwater Management Manual).

 

8.    Amend the Land Use Code, Section 8.9.1 as follows:

 

Supplementary regulations are contained in a separate volume from the land use code.  The supplementary regulations listed below are an integral part of the land use code and the development review processes described in the code.  Subsections 8.9.1.D and E apply to rural land plans.

 

9.    Amend the Land Use Code, Section 8.10.2 to delete the references to rural land use plans and replace with “rural land plans”.

 

10.   Amend the Land Use Code, Section 8.14.1 as follows:

 

8.14.1.  Planning Considerations.

 

Planning Considerations apply to all development applications, except Rural Land Plans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A.  Applicants must identify resources and environmental conditions potentially impacted by proposed development at the earliest stage of the development review process. Applicants must complete a site inventory at the concept review (or optional sketch plan review) stage of the process. The inventory must include existing manmade features, floodplains, geologic hazards, drainage, topography, wildfire hazards, special places of Larimer County, wetlands, important wildlife habitat and corridors, rare and endangered plants and animals and commercial mineral deposits. These land conditions must be identified on the site and within at least 1,200 feet of the site.

 

B.  Land found by the county commissioners to be unsuitable for development due to physical constraints can not be developed unless methods authorized by this code are used to solve the problems created by these unsuitable land conditions.

 

C.    Consideration will be given to topography.  Building sites can not be placed on land with a slope of 30 percent or greater; with geological hazards greater than 5, 6, or 7 on geological hazard maps adopted by the County Commissioners, or in 100 year floodplains.

 

C.  Applicants who do not develop an entire parcel must indicate the intended plans for the remainder of the parcel.  Any remaining undeveloped parcel must be at least 35 acres if it is not included in the development.

 

E.         All development must be designed to permit the continuation of streets, roads, trails, pedestrian access, utilities and drainage facilities into adjacent property, unless there is sufficient justification for an alternate design.  The connection must proved a logical, safe, and convenient circulation link for vehicular, bicycle and/or pedestrian traffic with existing or planned circulation routes and, in particular, to destinations such as schools, parks, and business or commercial centers.

 

            11.       Amend the Land Use Code, Section 8.14.2 as follows:

 

8.14.2  Development design standards.

 

The following design standards apply to all development applications for subdivisions, conservation developments, planned land division, and site plan.  Sections 8.14.2.O, P, and Q apply to rural land plans. 

 

A.        All land divisions must create lots that can be developed consistent with this code and other adopted county standards and regulations;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B.         The development must be designed to avoid, eliminate or mitigate potential effects of natural hazards and other hazardous site conditions. New building sites and building envelopes cannot be placed on land with a slope of 30 percent or greater, with geologic hazards rated 5, 6 or 7 on geologic hazard maps adopted  by the county commissioners or in a designated floodplain, unless the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved a letter of map amendment or a conditional letter of map revision (see the technical supplement for amendments and revisions to National Flood Insurance Program maps);

 

C.        Lots must be laid out to provide positive drainage away from all building sites, and the overlot grading must be designed and maintained consistent with the general storm drainage pattern for the area;

 

D.        Lot area, width, depth, shape, location and orientation must conform to this code;

 

E.         In cases where the access route between the subject site and a county road identified on the Larimer County Functional Road Classification Map is anything but a public right of way, the applicant must demonstrate by, competent evidence, the legal right to use any and all portions of that access route to the extent required for the pending development.

 

F.  All roads within the boundaries of land divisions and site plans, in both urban and rural areas, must be a public right of way.  An appeal to this requirement may be approved by the county commissioners if In order for the County Commissioners to approve an appeal to allow a private road within a land division or site plan, the County Commissioners must find that both of the following criteria are met:

1.  The County Engineer has determined that there clearly is no current or future need for connectivity of the road(s) in the subject parcel with existing or potential roads in adjacent parcels;

1.  There would be no foreseeable public purpose or benefit in having a public right of way; and

 

2.  There is an easement, agreement, covenant or other appropriate document to be recorded in the county records that grants the right of access for emergency and service vehicles and that defines the persons/entities entitled to use the roads, the purpose for and manner in which the roads may be used, any limitations on the use of the roads, the persons/entities authorized and responsible to construct and maintain the roads, the persons/entities authorized to enforce the terms of the easement and the penalties for violation of the terms of the easement;

3.  The design and construction of the private road will meet applicable county road or street standards;

 

4.  Provisions acceptable to the county commissioners have been made for maintenance of the private roads; and

 

 

5.  County requirements for road naming, road name signs and addressing have been or will be met prior to the issuance of any building permit.

 

2.  The county commissioners have found that road connectivity to adjacent parcels is not needed or practical and have granted an appeal to Section 8.14.2.M (connectivity).

If an appeal to this Subsection F is granted, the following standards shall apply to the private road:


1.  There is an easement, agreement, covenant or other appropriate document to be recorded in the county records that grants the right of access for emergency and service vehicles and that defines the persons/entities entitled to use the roads, the purpose for and manner in which the roads may be used, any limitations on the use of the roads, the persons/entities authorized and responsible to construct and maintain the roads, the persons/entities authorized to enforce the terms of the easement and the penalties for violation of the terms of the easement;

2.  The design and construction of the private road will meet applicable county road or street standards;

3.  Provisions acceptable to the county commissioners have been made for maintenance of the private roads; and

4.  County requirements for road naming, road name signs and addressing have been or will be met prior to the issuance of any building permit.

 

FG.      The maximum length of a dead-end access must be 660 feet in Ranges 68 and 69 and 1,000 feet west of Range 69. Land divisions that cannot meet this standard must provide a second point of access. The second access must be either a dedicated, public right-of-way or an easement specifically granted for emergency access purposes;

 

GH.      Lots can not be divided by a municipal or county boundary line, road, alley or another lot;

 

HI.       Corner lots must have adequate width and depth to meet applicable setbacks from and orientation to both roads. Setbacks on corner lots must be designated on the final plat;

 

IJ.        Side lot lines must be substantially at right angles or radial to road right-of-way lines;

 

JK.       Irregular or wedge-shaped lots must have sufficient width at the front setback line to permit construction of a building that meets side setback requirements;

 

KL.      Lots can not exceed a depth-to-width ratio of 3-to-1. Lots can not exceed a width-to-depth ratio of 1.5-to-1;

 

 

LM.     Reserve strips to prevent access to roads are prohibited;

 

MN.     All roads in new land divisions must be designed to connect to adjacent property to allow a neighborhood traffic circulation system and to improve emergency and service access;  All development must be designed to permit the continuation of streets, roads, trails, pedestrian access, utilities and drainage facilities into adjacent property.  The connection must provide a logical, safe and convenient circulation link for vehicular, bicycle and/or pedestrian traffic with existing or planned circulation routes to allow a neighborhood traffic circulation system and to improve emergency and service access.  Particular attention must be given to access to destinations such as schools, parks and business or commercial centers.

 

NO.     Outlots. All parcels that are to be used only for drainage easements, rights-of-way or other uses that do not need any buildings must be labeled "Outlot" followed by consecutive letter designations beginning with "A";

 

OP.      Residual lots. All parcels in conservation developments and rural land plans that are considered to be residual land must be labeled "Residual Lot" followed by consecutive letter designations beginning with "A". Residual lots must be further identified by one of the following applicable designations that must be placed in parentheses after the residual lot label:

 

1.         “Buildable/residence(s)" for those residual lots that may be occupied by one or more single-family dwellings;

2.         “Buildable/support buildings only" for those residual lots that may be occupied by buildings that are accessory to the use of the residual lot;

3.         "Nonbuildable" for those residual lots that are not intended to be occupied by any buildings.

 

PQ.      Common area lots. All parcels in subdivisions, conservation developments, rural land plans, planned land divisions and minor land divisions that are common open space for the development must be labeled "Common Area Lot" followed by a consecutive letter designation beginning with "A". Common area lots must be further identified by one of the following applicable designations that must be placed in parentheses after the common area lot label:

 

1.         “Buildable/support buildings only" for those common area lots that may be occupied by buildings or structures that are intended for use by the lot owners in the development;

2.         "Nonbuildable" for those common area lots that are not intended to be occupied by any buildings or structures.

 

R.  Gated public roads are prohibited.

 

 

 

 

S.  Gated private roads are prohibited unless the County Commissioners approve an appeal allowing private gated roads.  In order for the county commissioners to approve gated private roads, the county commissioners must find that all the following criteria are met:

1.  The subject road is a private road and all owners of property having a legally established right to access via the private road have approved gating the road;

2.  The standards for private roads in Subsection 8.14.2.F are met;

3.  The appeal request has been referred to the applicable fire protection entity and the Sheriff’s Department, Emergency Services for their review and comment, and such comments have been duly considered; and

4.  The design provides for adequate vehicle stacking distance and turn around.

 

            12.       Amend the Land Use Code, Section 8.14.5 as follows:

 

                        8.14.5 Easement and Utility Standards.

 

The following easement and utility standards apply to all development, except rural land plans:

 

A.        Utility easements must be a minimum of eight feet on each side of abutting rear lot lines. Rear lot lines not adjacent to subdivided property must have ten-foot utility easements. Side lot line easements, where needed, must be five feet wide. Front lot line easements, where needed, must be 15 feet wide. These are minimum standards. Additional or wider easements may be needed to accommodate certain utilities;

 

B.         Utility easements must be approved by utility companies serving the project;

C.        Utility easements must be designed to allow efficient installation and maintenance of utilities and multiple installations wherever possible;

 

D.        Utility lines must be placed underground unless the applicant demonstrates to the county commissioners specific engineering considerations t        hat necessitate aboveground utility installations;

 

E.         Transformers, switching boxes, pedestals and other such necessary facilities may be placed aboveground. All such facilities must be placed within easements or rights-of-way provided for these facilities; and

 

F.   Utilities must be extended to each lot or building site.

 

13.       Amend the Land Use Code, Section 8.14.6 as follows:

 

8.14.6. Block standards.

 

The following block standards apply to all development, except rural land plans:

 

A         Block lengths must be designed to provide safe and convenient access to the lots; and

 

B.         Block lengths in excess of 1,000 feet may require pedestrian access approximately midway through the block.

 

14.   Amend the Land Use Code, Section 8.14.7 as follows:

 

8.14.7.   Road surfacing requirements.

 

The following road surfacing requirements apply to the interior roads of all development, except rural land plans:

 

A.        The selection of road surfacing material should be based on factors including but not limited to safety; convenience; dust control; and maintenance considerations. Acceptable road surface types vary with traffic volumes and location: urban (within GMA districts) versus rural (outside GMA districts) and plains versus mountains.

B.         The minimum road surfacing requirements for various traffic volumes and locations are:

 

TABLE 8.14.7(B).II

 

MINIMUM ROAD SURFACING REQUIREMENTS

 

Pavement Type

Traffic Volume (ADT)

Material

Rural-Mountains

Less than 50

Native Material1

Rural-Mountains

51--200

Gravel

Rural-Mountains

Greater than 200

Chip seal2 or pavement

Rural-Plains

Less than 200

Gravel

Rural-Plains

Greater than 200

Chip seal2 or pavement

Urban

All roads

Pavement

 

1 Native material surfaces will normally not be acceptable but may be allowed in exceptional cases when, in the opinion of the county engineer, the location, material characteristics, drainage conditions, road geometry and traffic volumes are suitable for this type of surface.

 

2 Chip seals will normally not be acceptable but may be allowed in exceptional cases when, in the opinion of the county engineer, the location, drainage conditions, road geometry and traffic volumes are suitable for this type of surface

______________________________________________________________________________

 

C.   Pavements must consist of either asphaltic concrete pavement or Portland cement concrete pavement, with base course and subbase course where required, placed on compacted subgrade.

 

D.   Structural design criteria for road surfaces are contained in chapter 5, structural design criteria, of the technical supplement to this code, Larimer County road standards.

 

Commissioner Pond seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioners’ Boulter, Huddleston, Pond, terMeer, Waldo, Wallace, and Chairman Morgan voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED: 7-0

 

Mr. Kadera provided background information on the request to amend Sections 4, 8, 9, 12, and 21 of the Larimer County Land Use Code. 

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY:

None

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Commissioner Pond moved that the Planning Commission adopt the following Resolution.

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission recommend to the Board of County Commissioners approval of the following Larimer County Land Use Code amendments:

 

1.    Amend the Land Use Code, Section 9.2.2 as follows:

 

This section applies to all plats and plans approved by the county commissioners under any application as a subdivision, conservation development, planned land division or rural land plan.

 

2.    Amend the Land Use Code, Section 9.2.3.E as follows:

 

Drainage basin master plans must contain an estimate of the cost of all such major drainage system facilities within the basin.  Drainage/stormwater facility fees must be a dollar amount per acre of developable land calculated by dividing the total cost of major drainage facilities by the number of acres within the basin.  Fees for individual building sites will be based on the developed area within the project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.    Amend the Land Use Code, Section 9.2.5.A as follows:

 

Prior to final approval of a subdivision, conservation development or planned developmentplanned land division plat or plan and prior to commencement of construction on any lot or parcel of land, the owners of the lot or parcel of land must (at the owners' expense) prepare and submit to the county engineer a detailed drainage report and construction plans for the installation of all stormwater facilities required for the lot or parcel, including any off-site facilities required to convey stormwater to existing drains, streams, channels, detention ponds or other points.  All of these facilities must conform to the drainage plan for the respective drainage basin as adopted under subsection 9.2.3 of this code and comply with the Larimer County Stormwater Management Manual included in the technical supplement to this code.

 

4.    Amend the Land Use Code, Section 9.2.5.B as follows:

 

The report must contain an estimate of the cost of all major drainage system facilities required for construction of the subdivision land division improvements in conformity with the applicable drainage basin master plan.

 

5.    Amend the Land Use Code, Section 9.3.2.C as follows:

 

As of the effective date of this regulation, the community park land dedication/in-lieu fee standards shall apply to all landsapplications for subdivision, conservation development, and planned land division in the unincorporated county within the Fort Collins and Loveland GMA districts, within the Berthoud GMA as shown in the intergovernmental agreement dated August 22, 2000, or as amended and within the Estes Park GMAValley Planning Area.

 

6.    Amend the Land Use Code, Section 9.4.3.C as follows:

 

The regional park land dedication/in-lieu fee standards apply to all applications for subdivision, conservation development, and planned land division in the unincorporated county and, under intergovernmental agreements, all other lands within the boundaries of participating local governments.

 

7.    Amend the Land Use Code, Section 9.7.2 as follows:

 

Right of way dedications apply to all applications for conservation development, subdivision, planned land division, minor land division, rural land use plan rural land plan, special review, site plan review and special exception submitted under this code.

 

8.    Amend the Land Use Code, Section 12.2.5 as follows:

 

A general development plan is an intermediate step in the land division process.  It is required for all land divisions, except rural land plans, that will be completed in more than one phase.

 

9.    Amend the Land Use Code, Section 12.3.4, to delete the reference to “rural land use plan” and replace it with “rural land plan”.

 

10.   Amend the Land Use Code, Section 12.5 as follows:

 

Prior to the commencement of any improvements associated with an approved project, except rural land plans, the applicant must obtain a construction permit from the Larimer County Engineer.

 

11.   Amend the Land Use Code, Section 21.1.E as follows:

 

It is unlawful to commence construction of roads or other improvements until a construction permit is issued by the county engineer after final approval by the county commissioners and all post-approval requirements are met.  For rural land plans, construction cannot commence until the Director of the Rural Land Use Center authorizes the commencement of construction in writing. The county engineer may permit.…

 

12.   Amend the Land Use Code, Subsections 8.3.8.D and 8.3.11 to replace:

 

Wildfire Mitigation Plan Standards and Guidelines (Appendix D), written by the Colorado State Forest Service, April , 1977” with “Colorado Landowner Forest Stewardship Plan (LFSP) Guidelines (Code 30), prepared by the Colorado State Forest Service.”

 

13.   Amend the Land Use Code, Section 4.3.3.L.5 to replace the word “mariner” with “manner”.

 

            14.       Amend the Land Use Code, Section 4.3.3.A.B to replace the word “tricks” with “trucks”.

 

Commissioner Wallace seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioners’ Boulter, Huddleston, Pond, terMeer, Waldo, Wallace, and Chairman Morgan voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED: 7-0

 

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

 

ADJOURMENT:  There being no further business, the hearing adjourned at 9:19 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.

 

 

 

_______________________________                      ______________________________

Roger Morgan, Chairman                                             Jason Waldo, Secretary