MINUTES OF THE LARIMER COUNTY BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

 

June 14, 2005

 

            The regular meeting of the Larimer County Board of Adjustment was held in the County Board Hearing Room in the Larimer County Courthouse, Fort Collins, Colorado at 7:00 p.m., June 14, 2005.  Members Jeanne Laudick, Larry Chisesi, Eric Berglund, Evelyn King and Vincent Costanzi were present.  Also in attendance were County Planning Staff members Al Kadera and Casey Stewart.

 

File No:           #05-BOA0558  (Carter Lake Storage Building Setback Variance)

Owner:            U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Applicant:       Larimer County Parks & Open Lands / Dan Rieves

Property Description:

 

Two parcels of land herein designated Tract “A” and Tract “C” located in the Northwest Quarter (NE ¼) and in the Northeast Quarter of the Southwest Quarter (NE ¼ SW ¼) of Section 27, Township 5 North, Range 70 West of the Sixth Principal Meridian in  Larimer County, Colorado, being more particularly described as follows:

TRACT “C” -  A parcel of land located in said NW¼ and beginning at point 1 in the centerline of the existing Bald Mountain Road; whence the Northwest corner of Section 27 bears North 59°52’42” West 1,885.9 feet distant; thence South 0°43’40” West 378.2 feet to point 2 in the South line of the NE ¼ NW ¼; thence continuing South 0°43’40” West, 1,186.7 feet to point 3 hereinafter referred to as point 3 of Tract “A”; thence continuing South 0°43’40” West 140.5 feet to point 4 in the South line of said NW ¼, hereinafter referred to as point 2 of Tract “A”; thence with said South line, North 89°12’16” West 328.4 feet to point 5, also the Southwest corner of the SE¼NW¼, hereinafter referred to as point 1 of Tract “A”; thence continuing with the said South line North 89°12’16” West 328.4 feet to point 6 the Southwest corner of the E ½ E ½ SW ¼ NW ¼ of Section 27; thence with the West line of said E ½ E ½ SW ¼ NW ¼  North 0°43’14” East 1,332.0 feet to point 7 in the North line of the SW ¼ NW ¼; thence with said North line North 89°38’41” West 100.0 feet to point 8; thence due North 107.5 feet to point 9 in the center line of the Bald Mountain Road; thence with three courses of said road North 89°08’ East 53.2 feet to point 10; thence North 74°02’ East 447.6 feet to point 11; thence North 62°57’ East 312.5 feet to the point of beginning and containing 23.738 acres, more or less, all as shown on the plat attached hereto and by reference made a part hereof.

 

            The Petition of Larimer County Parks and Open Lands, Dan Rieves appearing, requesting a variance was presented to the Board.  The Petition requested a setback variance upon the above-described property to allow a proposed 3-sided metal storage building to be located 75 feet from the centerline of Cottonwood Creek rather than the required minimum setback of 100 feet in the O-Open zone.

 

            The Board having heard the testimony and arguments concerning the Petition, and having reviewed the record and being fully advised in the premises adopted the following findings:

 

Findings

 

1.         This hearing has been duly advertised in a newspaper of general circulation as required by law.

 

2.         There were no persons in attendance who objected to the request.

 

3.         The property location is NW 27-5-70; located at the southeast corner of County Roads 18E & 31, north of Carter Lake.

 

4.         Site data is as follows:

 

a.         Land Area:                               44 Acres

b.    Proposed Use:                          County Parks Dept. Maintenance facility

c.    Existing Zoning             O-Open

d.    Surrounding Zoning:                  O-Open

e.    Existing Land Use:                    County Parks Dept. Maintenance facility

f.    Surrounding Land Uses:            Agricultural, Residential

g.    Access:                                    S. County Road 31

 

5.         The Larimer County Parks & Open Lands Department has a visitor center and maintenance facility on the subject property.  Equipment such as utility vehicles, boats, and heavy tools are currently stored outside, within in the fenced compound.  The department proposes to construct a 3-sided metal building in which to store some of the equipment that is being stored outside.  The proposed location of the new storage building is at the north end of the compound and 75 feet from the center of Cottonwood Creek.  Section 8.17.2 of the Land Use Code requires a setback of 100 feet from all streams, creeks, or rivers.  The department is requesting a variance to place the building at the proposed 75’ distance, rather than 100’ from the creek.

 

6.         There are no major issues or concerns.

 

7.         The applicable review criteria for the variance have been met as follows:

 

  A.       There are special circumstances or conditions, such as exceptional topographic conditions, narrowness, shallowness or the shape of property, that are peculiar to the land or structure for which the variance is requested.

 

The fenced compound that houses the existing maintenance facility and would house the proposed building is subject to a variety of setback requirements.  The site is bordered on the north by Cottonwood Creek, by wetlands areas on the northeast, east, and southeast, and by a county road on the west.  Those features have respective setback requirements of 100 feet from centerline of watercourse (Section 8.17.2), 100 feet from edge of wetland (Section 8.2.8.A.3), and 100 feet from center of road (Section 8.17.1).  The existing building is generally located in the only spot that satisfies all three setback requirements.  The proposed building’s location would satisfy the road and wetlands setback requirements, but could not meet the stream setback at the same time.  The location of existing buildings in conjunction with the other physical features surrounding the site creates special conditions that are peculiar to the land.

 

  B.       The special circumstances are not the result of action or inaction by the applicant.

 

The special conditions outlined above are not the result of action or inaction by the applicant.

 

C.        The strict interpretation and enforcement of the provisions of the code listed above would deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by other land in the area or land with the same zoning designation and would cause an unnecessary and undue hardship.

 

The strict enforcement of the code setback provisions would deprive the applicant of rights enjoyed by other property owners in the area.  There are other buildings to the east that are within the required creek setback.

 

D.        Granting the variance is the minimum action that will allow use of the land or structure.

 

Granting the requested variance is the minimum action that will allow the applicant to construct and use the detached garage.

 

E.         Granting the variance will not adversely affect other property in the vicinity of the subject land or structure.

 

It is not anticipated that granting the variance will adversely affect neighboring properties.  No objections or complaints from surrounding property owners have been received by the Planning Department.  The topography between the proposed location and the creek is hilly and marshy and would likely prevent flood water from entering onto the building site.  Placing the building in the proposed location would not jeopardize any neighboring properties.

 

F.         Granting the variance is consistent with the purpose of this code and the Master Plan.

 

Granting the variance would not be contrary to the purposes of the Land Use Code or Master Plan.

 

8.         To approve this request would promote the harmonious development of the area, would be in the best interest of the people of Larimer County, would promote the convenience, prosperity and general welfare of the applicant and the immediate inhabitants of the area, and would be in consonance with the intent and purposes of the Larimer County Land Use Code.

 

Jeanne Laudick moved and Eric Berglund seconded the Motion that the Board adopt the following Resolution:

 

Resolution

 

WHEREAS, the Board having adopted its Findings and said Findings being incorporated in this Resolution by this reference as though fully set forth herein;

 

NOW, BE IT RESOLVED that petitioners be and they hereby are granted their setback variance as requested subject to the following conditions:

 

1.         Failure to comply with any conditions of the variance approval may result in reconsideration of the use and possible revocation of the approval by the Board of Adjustment.

 

2.         This approval shall automatically expire in one year unless the applicant takes affirmative action consistent with the approval.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in the event the Petitioner Larimer County Parks and Open Lands and Dan Rieves not act upon the setback variance granted herein by using the above-described property in accordance with this granted variance within one year from the date of this Resolution, this Resolution shall be null and void and of no further force and effect unless upon good cause shown to this Board, and said period of time shall have been extended; such application for an extension of time shall be made by Petition to this Board on or before one year from the date of this Resolution.  If this action involves approval of a use (or expansion of a use) not otherwise permitted on the subject property, and if in the future the subject property is divided, then this action shall only pertain to one parcel resulting from any such division(s) and the Board of County Commissioners shall in its discretion determine which one of the resulting parcels shall enjoy the benefits of this action.

 

The question was called and members Jeanne Laudick, Larry Chisesi, Eric Berglund, Evelyn King and Vincent Costanzi voted in favor of the Resolution.  The Findings and Resolution were duly adopted and the setback variance was granted subject to conditions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

File No:           #05-BOA0562  (George Carlson Setback Variance)

Owner:            George and Louise Carlson

Applicant:       George and Louise Carlson

Property Description:

 

A portion of the South ½ of Section 26, Township 4 North, Range 73 West of the 6th P.M., Larimer County, Colorado, being more particularly described as follows:

 

Beginning at the intersection of the South line of said Section 26, as surveyed and monumented by the United States General Land Office Dependent Resurvey of 1928, and the Easterly right-of-way line of Colorado Highway No. 7, SAID POINT being South 87°12’ East 129.5 feet more or less from the Southwest corner of said Section 26; thence Northwesterly along said Easterly right-of-way line 323.5 feet; thence East a distance of 1166.7 feet; thence South 375’ more or less to the South line of said Section 26; thence North 87°12’ West along said South line 1130’ more or less to the POINT OF BEGINNING.

 

            The Petition of George and Louise Carlson, requesting a variance was presented to the Board.  The Petition requested a setback variance upon the above-described property to allow an existing residence, proposed for remodeling and expansion, to be located 75 feet from the centerline of a stream, rather than the required minimum of 100 feet and to be 0 feet from a road easement, rather than the required minimum of 25 feet, as required in the FO-Forestry zone.

 

            The Board having heard the testimony and arguments concerning the Petition, and having reviewed the record and being fully advised in the premises adopted the following findings:

 

Findings

 

1.         This hearing has been duly advertised in a newspaper of general circulation as required by law.

 

2.         There were no persons in attendance who objected to the request.

 

3.         The property location is SW 26-4-73; 7230 Highway 7, located about 9 miles south of Estes Park, on the east side of the Highway.

 

4.         Site data is as follows:

 

a.         Land Area:                               9 Acres

b.         Proposed Use:                          Single-family dwelling

c.         Existing Zoning             FO-Forestry

d.         Surrounding Zoning:                  FO-Forestry

e.         Existing Land Use:                    Single-family dwelling

f.          Surrounding Land Uses:            Recreational, Residential

g.         Access:                                    State Highway 7

 

5.         The property owner proposes to remodel and expand an existing single-family dwelling on the subject property.  The existing residence consists of a double-wide manufactured home that was added onto later.  The proposal involves removing the manufactured portion of the dwelling and rebuilding in the same location with a slightly larger footprint that extends closer to a stream that runs through the property.  The existing dwelling is currently 82 feet from the centerline of the stream and zero feet from the edge of an access easement.  After remodeling, the building would be 75 feet from the center of the stream and zero feet from the edge of the access easement.

 

6.         The existing cabin is nonconforming with respect to the building setback requirements from the stream to the south and the established access easement to the north.  The project proposal didn’t satisfy the criteria for expansion without a variance because the addition would encroach further into the required setback from the creek.  The variance request also involves the setback from the easement because the replacement structure would extend the life of the nonconforming building.  If the variance from the easement is granted, then the nonconforming status would be eliminated.

 

7.         There are no major issues or concerns with the variance request other than clearing up the expired permit as recommended by the Building Code Enforcement department.

 

8.         The applicable review criteria for the variance have been met as follows:

 

  A.       There are special circumstances or conditions, such as exceptional topographic conditions, narrowness, shallowness or the shape of property, that are peculiar to the land or structure for which the variance is requested.

 

The shape of the lot, the location of the road easement, the location of the existing dwelling, existing topographic conditions create special circumstances that are peculiar to this land and structure.  The existing building was constructed in 1965 and is considered nonconforming with respect to road easement and river setback requirements.  The existing location is one of possibly two locations that are suitable for building and is high enough above the stream elevation to not likely be affected by flooding.

 

B.        The special circumstances are not the result of action or inaction by the applicant.

 

The special conditions above are not the result of any action or inaction of the applicant.  The lot configuration, topographic conditions, and existing dwelling location were pre-existing.

 

 

 

 

C.        The strict interpretation and enforcement of the provisions of the code listed above would deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by other land in the area or land with the same zoning designation and would cause an unnecessary and undue hardship.

 

There are other buildings in the Estes Park area that do not meet building setback requirements from similar streams.  The strict enforcement of the Code would force the house that has been there since 1969, without incident of flood damage, to be moved and create unnecessary hardship on the applicant.

 

D.        Granting the variance is the minimum action that will allow use of the land or structure.

 

Granting the requested variance is the minimum action that will allow the applicant to construct the proposed addition to the existing dwelling.

 

E.         Granting the variance will not adversely affect other property in the vicinity of the subject land or structure.

 

It is not anticipated that granting the variance will adversely affect neighboring properties.  No objections or complaints from surrounding property owners have been received by the Planning Department.  The building elevation is approximately 20 feet above the stream elevation and is unlikely to be affected by any flooding or displace additional flood waters onto adjacent properties.

 

F.         Granting the variance is consistent with the purpose of this code and the Master Plan.

 

Granting the variance would not be contrary to the purposes of the Land Use Code or Master Plan.

 

9.         To approve this request would promote the harmonious development of the area, would be in the best interest of the people of Larimer County, would promote the convenience, prosperity and general welfare of the applicant and the immediate inhabitants of the area, and would be in consonance with the intent and purposes of the Larimer County Land Use Code.

 

Jeanne Laudick moved and Eric Berglund seconded the Motion that the Board adopt the following Resolution:

 

Resolution

 

WHEREAS, the Board having adopted its Findings and said Findings being incorporated in this Resolution by this reference as though fully set forth herein;

 

NOW, BE IT RESOLVED that petitioners be and they hereby are granted their setback variance as requested subject to the following conditions:

 

            1.         Permit 75-9086 for an addition in 1975 must be renewed and a final inspection conducted and approved prior to final inspection of the permit for the remodeling project proposed with this variance.

           

            2.         Failure to comply with any conditions of the variance approval may result in reconsideration of the use and possible revocation of the approval by the Board of Adjustment.

 

3.         This approval shall automatically expire in one year unless the applicant takes affirmative action consistent with the approval.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in the event the Petitioners George and Louise Carlson not act upon the setback variance granted herein by using the above-described property in accordance with this granted variance within one year from the date of this Resolution, this Resolution shall be null and void and of no further force and effect unless upon good cause shown to this Board, and said period of time shall have been extended; such application for an extension of time shall be made by Petition to this Board on or before one year from the date of this Resolution.  If this action involves approval of a use (or expansion of a use) not otherwise permitted on the subject property, and if in the future the subject property is divided, then this action shall only pertain to one parcel resulting from any such division(s) and the Board of County Commissioners shall in its discretion determine which one of the resulting parcels shall enjoy the benefits of this action.

 

The question was called and members Jeanne Laudick, Larry Chisesi, Eric Berglund Evelyn King and Vincent Costanzi voted in favor of the Resolution.  The Findings and Resolution were duly adopted and the setback variance was granted subject to conditions.

 

File No:           #05-BOA0559  (Haines Setback Variance)

Owner:            Brandon Haines

Applicant:       Brandon Haines

Property Description:

 

            The Petition of Brandon Haines was tabled until August 23, 2005 at 7:00 p.m., at the request of the applicant.

 

            Eric Berglund moved and Evelyn King seconded the motion that the Board table this matter until August 23, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.

 

The question was called and members Jeanne Laudick, Larry Chisesi, Eric Berglund, Evelyn King and Vincent Costanzi voted in favor of the motion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

File No:           #05-BOA0560  (Janetta Williams Setback Variance)

Owner:            Janetta J. Williams Revocable Trust

Applicant:       Janetta J. Williams Revocable Trust

Property Description:

 

Lot 24, CRYSTAL LAKES NINTH FILING, County of Larimer, State of Colorado.

 

            The Petition of Janetta J. Williams Revocable Trust, requesting a variance was presented to the Board.  The Petition requested a setback variance upon the above-described property to allow a proposed detached garage to be located 20 feet from the side property line rather than the minimum requirement of 50 feet in the E-Estate zone.

 

            The Board having heard the testimony and arguments concerning the Petition, and having reviewed the record and being fully advised in the premises adopted the following findings:

 

Findings

 

1.         This hearing has been duly advertised in a newspaper of general circulation as required by law.

 

2.         There were no persons in attendance who objected to the request.

 

3.         The property location is SW 19-10-73; 42 Kiliwa Court, located about two miles north of intersection of County Roads 73C and 74E.

 

4.         Site data is as follows:

 

a.         Land Area:                               2.5 Acres

b.         Proposed Use:                          Residential w/detached garage

c.         Existing Zoning             E-Estate

d.         Surrounding Zoning:                  E-Estate

e.         Existing Land Use:                    Residential

f.          Surrounding Land Uses:            Residential

g.         Access:                                    Kiliwa Court

 

5.         The applicant proposes to construct a detached garage (24’x 24’) accessory to the existing single family dwelling.  The proposed garage would be located west of the residence, 20 feet from the side (west) property line.  The E-Estate zoning district requires a 50 foot side setback.

 

6.         The applicable review criteria for the variance have been met as follows:

 

              A.       There are special circumstances or conditions, such as exceptional topographic conditions, narrowness, shallowness or the shape of property, that are peculiar to the land or structure for which the variance is requested.

 

Locations for the proposed garage are limited by the location of the septic tank and trees.  Possible locations would interfere with views and would place the garage at a distance from the house that would create practical difficulties.  

 

              B.       The special circumstances are not the result of action or inaction by the applicant.

 

The special circumstances are not the result of the action or inaction by the applicant.

 

            C.        The strict interpretation and enforcement of the provisions of the code listed above would deprive the applicant of rights commonly enjoyed by other land in the area or land with the same zoning designation and would cause an unnecessary and undue hardship.

 

The strict interpretation and enforcement of the provision of the Code would deny the applicable of a close, safe, convenient access to a garage.

 

            D.        Granting the variance is the minimum action that will allow use of the land or structure.

 

Granting the variance is the minimum action that will allow use of the land and structure.  Requiring the owner to combine the lot with the adjacent lot which she owns in order to be able to build the garage without a variance is not reasonable.

 

            E.         Granting the variance will not adversely affect other property in the vicinity of the subject land or structure.

 

It is not anticipated that granting the variance would adversely affect any neighbors or their property.  No objections have been received by any of the neighboring property owners at this time.

 

            F.         Granting the variance is consistent with the purpose of this code and the Master Plan.

 

Granting the variance is not contrary to the purposes of the Land Use Code or Master Plan because it allows the property to be more fully used for its intended purpose of a single-family residence.

 

7.         To approve this request would promote the harmonious development of the area, would be in the best interest of the people of Larimer County, would promote the convenience, prosperity and general welfare of the applicant and the immediate inhabitants of the area, and would be in consonance with the intent and purposes of the Larimer County Land Use Code.

 

Jeanne Laudick moved and Evelyn King seconded the Motion that the Board adopt the following Resolution:

 

Resolution

 

WHEREAS, the Board having adopted its Findings and said Findings being incorporated in this Resolution by this reference as though fully set forth herein;

 

NOW, BE IT RESOLVED that petitioner be and she is hereby granted a setback variance as requested.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in the event the Petitioner Janetta J. Williams Revocable Trust not act upon the setback variance granted herein by using the above-described property in accordance with this granted variance within one year from the date of this Resolution, this Resolution shall be null and void and of no further force and effect unless upon good cause shown to this Board, and said period of time shall have been extended; such application for an extension of time shall be made by Petition to this Board on or before one year from the date of this Resolution.  If this action involves approval of a use (or expansion of a use) not otherwise permitted on the subject property, and if in the future the subject property is divided, then this action shall only pertain to one parcel resulting from any such division(s) and the Board of County Commissioners shall in its discretion determine which one of the resulting parcels shall enjoy the benefits of this action.

 

The question was called and members Jeanne Laudick, Larry Chisesi, Evelyn King and Vincent Costanzi voted in favor of the Resolution.  Member Eric Berglund voted against the Resolution. The Findings and Resolution were duly adopted and the setback variance was granted.

 

File No:           #05-BOA0561  (Young’s Liquor Sign Code Appeal)

Owner:            Gerald & Linda Granberg

Applicant:       Gerald & Linda Granberg

Property Description:

 

Lot 4, Block 1 of the East Mulberry Subdivision, Larimer County, Colorado, and said lot 4 was divided into the following described parcels:

NORTH PARCEL – Begin at the Northwest corner of Lot 4, Block 1 of the East Mulberry Subdivision and run thence N89°23’E 102.00 feet; thence S00°34’W 170.45 feet; thence S89°23’W 102.00 feet; thence N00°34’E 170.45 feet to the point of beginning, containing 17,385 square feet.

SOUTH PARCEL – Begin at the southwest corner of Lot 4, Block 1 of the East Mulberry Subdivision and run thence N00°34’E 97.05 feet; thence N89°23’E 102.00 feet; thence S00°34’W 89.20 feet; thence along the arc of a 15 foot radius curve to the right a distance of 24.43 feet, the long chord of which bears S47°14’W 21.82 feet; thence N86°06’W 86.25 feet to the point of beginning, containing 10,253 square feet. The location and dimensions of all buildings, easements, rights-of-way in evidence or known to me, and all encroachments by or on the premises are accurately shown.

 

            The Petition of Gerald and Linda Granberg for an appeal was presented to the Board.  The Petition presented an appeal of the Planning Director’s administration of Section 10.17 of the sign regulations in not allowing a nonconforming sign to remain on the property after a change of use of the property and in not allowing alteration of the nonconforming sign in order to prolong its life.

 

            The Board having heard the testimony and arguments concerning the Petition, and having reviewed the record and being fully advised in the premises adopted the following findings:

 

Findings

 

1.         This hearing has been duly advertised in a newspaper of general circulation as required by law.

 

2.         There were no persons in attendance who objected to the request.

 

3.         The property location is SW 7-7-68; 1432 E. Mulberry, located at the northwest corner of E. Mulberry Frontage Road and Link Lane, east of Fort Collins.

 

4.         Site data is as follows:

 

a.         Land Area:                               0.63 Acres

b.         Proposed Use:                          Nonconforming Sign for Store

c.         Existing Zoning             C-Commercial

d.         Surrounding Zoning:                  C-Commercial

e.         Existing Land Use:                    Retail – Liquor Store

f.          Surrounding Land Uses:            Commercial

g.         Access:                                    E. Mulberry Frontage Road & Link Lane

 

5.         Applicants appeal the Planning Director’s administration of Section 10.17 of the Land Use Code.  This section contains regulations for nonconforming signs.  This section requires that “all nonconforming signs on a property must be brought into conformance with this Section 10 when a change of use, as defined in the Land Use Code, occurs on the property.”  A change of use is defined as:

 

Any use that substantially differs from the previous use of a building or land,

 including a change from a public use to a private use, in which the new use

 requires additional parking, landscaping, screening, buffering, drainage

 facilities or other changes to the site addressed in section 8, standards for all        development.”

 

6.         The Planning Director has determined that a change of use will occur when the subject property is redeveloped into a multi-tenant commercial center.  The appeal contends that the Planning Director’s administration of Section 10.17 is inconsistent with the intent and purpose of the sign regulations.  The appeal requests that the Planning Director’s administration of regulations in the section be reversed and that applicants be allowed (i) to retain a nonconforming sign despite a change of use and (ii) to alter the sign by updating it in order to prolong its life.  The existing sign is nonconforming due to its setback from the front property line, its height, and its sign area.  The new sign regulations allow a maximum height of 18 feet, which would need to be setback at least 30 feet from the right-of-way and could have sign area up to 90 square feet (all faces included).  The existing sign is approximately 2.5 feet from the edge of the Highway 14 right-of-way, approximately 29 feet tall, and has a total area of 53 square feet. 

 

7.         The applicant has gone through the County Site Plan review process to demolish the existing Young’s Liquor store and replace it with a new multi-tenant commercial center that is intended to house the liquor store and other tenants.  The “change of use” occurs when going from a single liquor retail store to a multi-tenant commercial center.  Under the new sign regulations, this new center is allowed more signs and sign area than under the old regulations.  However, the new regulations factor in setback along with height and sign face size.  The sign was nonconforming under the previous regulations also, because of its sign area and the fact that there was more than one sign for the liquor store.

 

8.         The intent of the new sign regulations is to closely match the requirements of the municipalities within the County, especially for properties within the Growth Management Area such as this property, so that if the property is annexed into the city, then the sign will be conforming and will not require additional expense by the owner to conform in the future.  In general, sign codes of counties and cities across the state allow for larger signs when they are placed farther back on the property.  The County’s sign regulations follow this same premise.

 

9.         The degree of nonconformity of the sign is significant as it relates to the standards of the County and the City of Fort Collins.  The height and sign area of the subject sign are extreme compared to what would be allowed for a sign that close to a road – whether in the county or the city.  The subject sign does not meet the city’s sign regulations, which would require a sign in the location of the present sign to be no more than 10 feet high and not to exceed 20 sq. ft. in area per side.  The applicants claim that he is being singled out when in reality all land under the County’s jurisdiction is subject to the same Section 10.17 of the sign regulations.  Any property that experiences a change of use would be required to bring signs into conformance with the new regulations. 

 

10.       With the new commercial building on the site, the property will be eligible for a much greater total sign area that can be accommodated with various sign types and sizes.  Under the previous regulations, the liquor store was allowed only one sign.  The opportunities for signs on this property have significantly increased with the new sign regulations.

 

11.       If this appeal were approved under applicants’ reasoning that they need the large sign in this location to compete with surrounding businesses, then the surrounding businesses, or any use in the County, can make the same claim.  This creates a cycle of businesses requesting large signs so they can compete.  This, in turn, effectively does away with the current County and city sign standards. Granting an appeal of this magnitude so soon after the new sign regulations took effect would be very detrimental to County efforts to establish a level and fair playing field for signs.  Maintaining the standards of the new sign regulations will be crucial to aiding the success of their implementation and upholding the reasons behind the new regulations.

 

12.       The purpose and intent of Section 10.17 is clearly to establish requirements for bringing nonconforming signs into compliance with the sign regulations.  The section does allow for nonconforming signs to continue, except in the case when the sign is to be physically or structurally altered or when a change of use occurs on the property.  In regards to this request, the regulations are clear in the requirement that the nonconforming sign be brought into compliance.  The Planning Director’s administration of this section in response to the redevelopment of this property was not done in error and is consistent with the purpose and intent the section seeks to establish.

 

13.       At the appeal hearing, the board of adjustment will take relevant evidence and testimony from the appellant, the administrative officer or agency and any interested party. At the conclusion of the hearing, the board of adjustment will affirm, affirm with modifications or reverse the determination made by the planning director or county engineer. A concurring vote of four members of the board of adjustment is necessary to reverse any order, requirement, decision, or refusal of the administrative official or agency or to decide in favor of the appellant. A decision of the Planning Director shall not be reversed unless the appellant shows by a preponderance of the evidence that such decision is in error or inconsistent with the intent and purpose of the Code.

 

14.       The Board finds that the applicants have failed to show by a preponderance of the evidence that the Planning Director’s administration of the sign code and change of use regulations is in error or inconsistent with the purpose and intent of those sections.

 

Eric Berglund moved and Larry Chisesi seconded the Motion that the Board deny the following Resolution:

 

Resolution

 

WHEREAS, the Board having adopted its Findings and said Findings being incorporated in this Resolution by this reference as though fully set forth herein;

 

NOW, BE IT RESOLVED that applicants appeal be and the same is hereby granted.

 

The question was called and Members Jeanne Laudick and Eric Berglund voted in favor of the Resolution.  Members Larry Chisesi, Evelyn King and Vincent Costanzi voted against the Resolution.  The appeal did not receive the four votes needed to pass, therefore the appeal as requested was denied and the decision of the Planning Director was upheld.

 

 

***

 

By Motion duly made, seconded and carried, the meeting was adjourned at 9:07 p.m.

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

            By Motion duly made, seconded and carried the above and foregoing minutes were approved on the _____ day of __________________, 2005.

 

                                                            LARIMER COUNTY BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

 

 

                                                By:       __________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

ATTEST:

 

 

 

________________________________