Loveland Bike Trail
 

LARIMER COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY BOARD (EAB)

 MEETING MINUTES

July 8, 2008

 

 

Members In Attendance:

 

Guests:

Melissa Chalona

 

Jill Bennett, Planning Department

Mike Erickson

 

 

Michael Jones

 

Staff:

Jennifer Lee

 

Doug Ryan

Dale Lockwood

 

 

Todd McCowin

 

 

Kate Muldoon

 

 

Devin Odell

 

 

Tom Sneider

 

 

Sherm Worthington

 

 

Bill Zawacki

 

 

 

Introduction of Members and Guests:

Those in attendance introduced themselves and provided a brief background on their current activities and interest in serving on the EAB.  The Advisory Board welcomed two new members, Melissa Chalona and Michael Jones. 

 

Discussion Items:

1041 Powers.  The EAB reviewed the County’s proposed 1041 Regulation for power plants and electric transmission lines.  If adopted, this regulation would become part of the County’s land use code.  It would require new or modified facilities to apply for and obtain a permit from the County prior building the project.  The authority to adopt these regulations is outlined in state statutes.  The current proposal would adopt a general framework for 1041 regulations and also include standards that would be specific to power plants and transmission lines.  Other designated uses may be added in the future through a similar rule making process.

 

Jill Bennett from the Planning Department used a power point presentation to aid her discussion of the proposed regulation.  Ms. Bennett provided information about the background related to 1041 regulations, the criteria for designating regulated uses or areas, the purpose of this first designation of power facilities, the inclusion of an appeal process, and both the general and power facility-specific performance standards outlined in the regulation. 

 

The discussion that followed focused on a number of topics.  Ms. Bennett noted the state courts have tended to uphold 1041 regulations and the county decisions that come from them.  The exception appears to be legal challenges involving designation of “new communities” as regulated areas.  Most counties have adopted 1041 powers in the past; even through Larimer County is new to the process.  Some summary information about the uses that are regulated is available from the state’s Division of Local Affairs.  Examples of other counties that regulate power and transmission facilities include Weld and Boulder Counties.  Staff did review and use parts of those regulations in developing the Larimer County proposal. 

 

Additional discussion was held about the general performance standards related to re-vegetation of disturbed areas, and the requirement that the benefits of the development outweigh the losses of any natural resources or reduction of productivity of agricultural lands.   The Advisory Board indicated that they would like to make a recommendation to the County Commissioners about additional language related to the re-vegetation standard.

 

Todd McCowin moved, and Jennifer Lee seconded a motion authorizing the Chair to sign a letter recommending an addition to the re-vegetation standard that requires the seed mixture selected for re-vegetation of disturbed areas to be based on native seeds, or if the disturbed area is relatively small a mixture containing sterile hybrid grasses designed to ultimately be replaced by the more desirable adjacent native grasses.  The motion passed unanimously. 

 

Orientation with new members:  Doug Ryan provided a brief orientation to the EAB for new members.  This included a discussion about the County’s policy regarding boards and commissions, review of the EAB bylaws, background information about the EAB’s annual report and issue index, and some information about the County Master Plan.  Monthly agendas are emailed to members.  Hard copies are also mailed to any member that requests them. 

 

Environmental Stewardship Awards:  The Environmental Stewardship Awards program is a partnership between the County Commissioners and the EAB.  Nominations for the 2008 awards will be accepted through August 29.  A news release dated June 23, and a promotional brochure were distributed to all in attendance.

 

Chair’s Comments: 

Dale Lockwood noted that the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the North I-25 transportation corridor is scheduled to be released for a 45-day public comment period sometime in late August.   The EAB has tracked this project for a number of years, and has provided written updates to the County Commissioners on two occasions in the past.  Mr. Lockwood suggested that a meeting with Commissioner Eubanks ahead of the release might provide an opportunity to discuss how the EAB can assist the commissioners in developing comments on the EIS.  The Advisory Board concurred, and Mr. Ryan was asked to coordinate a meeting prior to the August EAB meeting. 

 

Approval of June Minutes:

Minutes from the June 10 meeting were approved as corrected.

 

Updates: 

Doug Ryan noted that the County Commissioners have scheduled a public meeting about the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) water project on Wednesday, July 9 at 7:00 pm in their hearing room.  The purpose of the meeting is to consider internal comments that have been received from the departments and boards & commissions (including the EAB), and to take public testimony.  The Commissioners plan to use the information received at the meeting to help formulate their comments to the Army Corps of Engineers.  The Corps public comment period has been extended to September 12, 2008.

 

EAB Issue Index:

Doug Ryan will update the Issue Index related to the topics discussed at the meeting.  Dale Lockwood was added as EAB coordinator for the Alps Tire and Magnesium Chloride issues. 

 

BCC Communication Issues:

Dale Lockwood and Doug Ryan will request a meeting with Commissioner Eubanks to discuss the anticipated release of the North I-25 EIS.

 

August Meeting Agenda:

Formation of Stewardship Awards Committee, West Nile Virus update, election of vice-chair.

 

Adjourn:

The meeting ended at 8:20 pm. 

Background Image: Loveland Bike Trail by Sharon Veit. All rights reserved.