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MINUTES OF THE LARIMER COUNTY BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

 

October 26, 2004

 

            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., October 26, 2004.  Members Jeanne Laudick, Wilma Davis, Kent Bruxvoort, Evelyn King and Vincent Costanzi were present.  Also in attendance were County Planning Staff members Al Kadera and Casey Stewart and Assistant County Attorney Jeannine S. Haag.

 

            By Motion duly made, seconded and carried, the reading of the Minutes of the meeting of September 28, 2004 was dispensed with and such Minutes were approved.

 

ELECTION OF CHAIR

 

            Evelyn King moved and Kent Bruxvoort seconded the Motion to appoint Wilma Davis as chair to the Board of Adjustment.

 

            The question was called and members Jeanne Laudick, Kent Bruxvoort, Evelyn King and Vincent Costanzi voted in favor of the Motion.  Wilma Davis abstained.  The Motion passed and Wilma Davis was duly elected Chair to the Board. 

 

File No:           #04-BOA0501  (Red Feather Library Setback Variance)

Owner:            Red Feather Community Library

Applicant:       CRM Architects / Charles Mayhugh

Property Description:

 

A tract of land situated in the NW ¼ of Section 28, Township 10 North, Range 73 West of the 6th P.M., which, considering the West line of said NW ¼ as bearing North and with all bearings contained herein relative thereto is more particularly described as follows:  Beginning at a point from whence the West quarter corner off said Section 28 bears S 74°09’54” W 799.22 feet; thence N 00°15’ E 29.74 feet to the center of a road; thence along the center line of said road N 44°48’ W 217.62 feet to the center line of a Forest Service road and the South line of that tract of land conveyed by Deed recorded in Book 1776 at Page 140; thence along the center line of said Forest Service road S 26°47’45” W 172.96 feet; thence S 89° 45’ E 103.30 feet to the Northeast corner of the Mountain Bell tract; thence S 21°30’ W 30.85 feet; thence S 89°45’ E 139.20 feet to the Point of Beginning.

 

            The Petition of CRM Architects, Charles Mayhugh appearing, requesting a variance was presented to the Board.  The Petition requested a setback variance upon the above-described property to allow an addition to the existing library building to extend closer to a side property line, resulting in a side setback of 10 feet rather than the required minimum of 25 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 28-10-43; 71 Fire House Lane in Red Feather Lakes.

 

            4.         Site data is as follows:

 

                        a.         Land Area:                               0.48 Acres

                        b.         Proposed Use:                          Community Library - addition  

                        c.         Existing Zoning             O-Open

                        d.         Surrounding Zoning:                  O-Open

                        e.         Existing Land Use:                    Community Library

                        f.          Surrounding Land Uses:            Commercial

                        g.         Access:                                    Fire House Lane

 

5.         The Library proposes to construct an addition to the existing library building, which is currently 42 feet from the center of Prairie Divide Road (CR 179).  The existing building was constructed in 1987 and was granted a setback variance in June of 1987 to be 42 feet from the center of Prairie Divide Road.  The addition would extend closer to the side property line to the south, resulting in a final setback of 10 feet from the side property line rather than 25 feet as required for properties created after May 5, 1972.  The applicant has presented an application for a 10-foot side setback.  This request is revised from an earlier request to extend closer to Prairie Divide Road.

 

6.         There are no major issues or concerns with the variance request.

 

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 irregular shape of the property and the configuration of the existing building are special conditions peculiar to this site.  The existing library building was granted a variance in 1987 for a 42-foot setback from center of Prairie Divide Road largely due to the small lot size and odd shape.  A small parking area is situated to the east of the building and reduces area available for building while still accommodating parking.  The proposed expansion to the south and a portion to the east, are the only viable options.

 

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

 

  The special conditions referred to are the result of how the properties and roads in the immediate area developed.  They are not direct results of the action/inaction of 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 provisions of the code would deprive the applicant of similar rights commonly enjoyed in the area.  Many of the properties in the area were created prior to May 5, 1975, and therefore are only required to maintain a side setback of 10 feet.  Granting this request would be in harmony with many of the existing conditions in the area.

 

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 proposed library addition and thus better serve the community of Red Feather.

 

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 complaints or objections to the revised request for a side setback variance have been received by staff.

 

F.         Granting the variance is consistent with the purpose of the Land Use Code and the Master Plan.

 

Granting the variance would not be contrary to the purposes of the Land Use Code or Master Plan.  It would allow the library to expand and provide better service to the community while maintaining similar setbacks that exist in the area.

 

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.

 

Evelyn King moved and Jeanne Laudick 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 it hereby is granted its 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 CRM Architects and Charles Mayhugh 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, Wilma Davis, Kent Bruxvoort, 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:           #04-BOA0509 (Nelson Setback Variance)

Owner:            Bridgitte and Eric Nelson     

Applicant:       Bridgitte and Eric Nelson

Property Description:

 

                        Lot 2, Block 1, Poudre Acres Subdivision, Larimer County,                              Colorado.

 

            The Petition of Bridgitte and Eric Nelson, requesting a variance was presented to the Board.  The Petition requested a setback variance upon the above-described property to allow a replacement manufactured home to be located 15 feet from the side property line rather than the required minimum of 25 feet in the RE-Rural 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 SE 28-08-69; 3009 N. Taft Hill Road, located on the west side of N. Taft Hill Road, located on the west side of N. Taft Hill Road, just south of Highway 287 bypass, north of Fort Collins.

 

            4.         Site data is as follows:

 

a.         Land Area:                               0.5 Acres

b.    Proposed Use:                          Single Family Residential (replace)

c.    Existing Zoning             RE-Rural Estate

d.    Surrounding Zoning:                  RE-Rural Estate

e.    Existing Land Use:                    Single Family Residential

f.    Surrounding Land Uses:            Residential

g.    Access:                                    N. Taft Hill Road

 

5.         The applicant proposes to replace an existing manufactured home with a newer manufactured home.  The existing residence in its current location is non-conforming because it does not meet the 25-foot setback requirement from side property line on the south side.  According to the applicant, the existing residence was placed on the property in 1972.  The proposed new residence would be larger in size but would be placed at the same distance from the property line as the existing residence.  The applicant is requesting a variance to maintain the same setback – 15 feet – from the side property line, for the new residence.

 

6.         There are no major issues or concerns with the variance request.

 

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 current owners have maintained a residence on this property, in the same location, since 1969.  The existing utilities and septic system are all set up to serve the location.  There is an existing garage, and other outbuildings, on the lot that further restrict the area available to meet setback requirements.

 

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

 

  The location of the utilities, septic system, and other buildings on the lot were established by the applicant, however most of these special circumstances were done prior to building permit requirements and current zoning setback requirements.  The applicant could not have known what effects the special circumstances would have created in the future.

 

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 vicinity that do not meet property line setback requirements.  Denying this variance would prevent the applicant from enjoying similar rights and cause and unnecessary and undue hardship by requiring that all utilities and possibly other existing buildings be relocated.

 

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 the applicant to maintain and use the proposed residence, in the same location occupied by a residence since 1972.

 

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.  The applicant states that the adjacent owner to the south has no objections to the request, and the planning department has received no complaints or objections concerning the request.

 

F.         Granting the variance is consistent with the purpose of the Land Use  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.

 

Evelyn King moved and Jeanne Laudick 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 Petitioners Bridgitte and Eric Nelson 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, Wilma Davis, Kent Bruxvoort, 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:           #04-BOA0508 (Furniture Row Sign Appeal/Variance)

Owner:            Furniture Row of Colorado, LLC

Applicant:       Capital Sign Company / Tony Ahmed

Property Description:

 

                        Lot 5, Smithfield Subdivision, County of Larimer, State of                                             Colorado.

 

                        Also known as:  801 S/W I-25 Frontage Road

 

            The Petition of Capital Sign Company, Tony Ahmed appearing, appealing the Planning Director’s interpretation that a proposed sign is not related to a separate use of the above-described property that would be eligible for its own sign, was presented to the Board. The Petition also requested that in the event the appeal is denied the applicant be granted a sign variance to allow an additional 72 square foot sign for the three existing businesses on the property and a fourth related business on a separate adjacent property rather than the permitted one sign per legally-established principal use in the C-Commercial 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 on Appeal

 

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 NE 16-7-68; 801 SW I-25 Frontage Road located in the southwest quadrant of the I-25 and E. Mulberry intersection.

 

            4.         Site data is as follows:

 

                        a.         Land Area:                               2.17 Acres

                        b.         Proposed Use:                          Sign

                        c.         Existing Zoning             C-Commercial

                        d.         Surrounding Zoning:                  C-Commercial

                        e.         Existing Land Use:                    Commercial – furniture retail

                        f.          Surrounding Land Uses:            Commercial - retail

                        g.         Access:                                    SW Frontage Road

 

5.         The applicant is appealing a written interpretation by the Planning Director as to the number of principal uses versus the number of signs allowed on the subject property.  The Planning Director’s interpretation is that Furniture Row is not eligible for its own sign because it is not itself selling furniture on the site.  Rather, the four existing businesses (Denver Mattress, SofaMart, Bedroom Expression, and Oak Express) are selling furniture.  Furniture Row is a name that merely encompasses these four businesses.  Furniture Row is therefore is not considered a separate principal use.  The Land Use Code (Section 8.7.3.A) allows one sign for each legally-established principal use. 

 

6.         The applicant claims Furniture Row is the “parent” company of the four existing furniture stores and should be allowed a separate sign.

 

7.         The Board finds that the applicant has presented insufficient evidence to show the Planning Director’s interpretation is erroneous.

 

Jeanne Laudick moved and Kent Bruxvoort seconded the Motion that the Board adopt the following Resolution:

 

Resolution Denying the Appeal

 

WHEREAS, the Board having adopted its Findings on the Appeal 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 it hereby is granted its appeal, more specifically that petitioner’s interpretation that Furniture Row is a separate legally established principal use that is entitled to its own sign is correct.

 

The question was called and members Jeanne Laudick, Wilma Davis, Kent Bruxvoort, Evelyn King and Vincent Costanzi voted against the Resolution.  The Resolution did not receive the four votes needed to pass, therefore the appeal was denied and the Planning Director’s interpretation was upheld.

 

WHEREUPON, the Board proceeded to make the following Findings concerning applicant’s request for a variance to allow an additional 72 square foot sign in addition to the existing three signs for the three existing businesses on the property, and a fourth related business a separate adjacent property.

 

Findings on the Sign Variance

 

            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 NE 16-7-68; 801 SW I-25 Frontage Road located in the southwest quadrant of the I-25 and E. Mulberry intersection.

 

            4.         Site data is as follows:

 

                        a.         Land Area:                               2.17 Acres

                        b.         Proposed Use:                          Sign

                        c.         Existing Zoning             C-Commercial

                        d.         Surrounding Zoning:                  C-Commercial

                        e.         Existing Land Use:                    Commercial – furniture retail

                        f.          Surrounding Land Uses:            Commercial - retail

                        g.         Access:                                    SW Frontage Road

 

 

5.         The proposed freestanding sign will say “Furniture Row”, and will be 18 feet tall and 4 feet wide (72 square feet).  It would be placed near the entrance to the property.  The property has an existing building on it that currently houses three furniture retail stores – Denver Mattress, SofaMart, and Bedroom Expression – which are subsidiaries of Furniture Row.  The lot immediately to the north also has a furniture retail business on it – Oak Expressions – also a subsidiary of Furniture Row.  Each store has its own existing building sign as allowed per the Land Use Code.

 

6.         The major issues and concerns of the variance request relate to the proposal and how it compares to the existing sign regulations and the proposed sign regulations.  Provided the applicant is willing to comply with the overall height limit of 12 feet tall for ground signs and the overall maximum area limit of 90 square feet per side, then the Development Services Team (DST) supports the request.  The modifications proposed by the DST would comply with major points and intent of the proposed code.

 

7.         The applicable review criteria for the sign 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.

 

  A special circumstance exists in that the County is currently rewriting its 30-year old sign code to better accommodate current demand for signs, while promoting the health, safety, and welfare of the general public, and to be more in line with municipalities and other counties in the area.  By complying with the proposed code, or major points of it, the proposed sign warrants a variance from the current code.

 

  The proposed sign regulations consider the setback distance from front property line, area of the sign face, and height of the sign in determining what is allowed.  The proposed sign is 18 feet tall, which complies with the height limit for a freestanding sign, however, the proposed sign would actually be considered a ground sign, which has a height limit of 12 feet.  At 12 feet tall, the sign would have to setback 15 feet from the property line but could have a sign area of 90 sq. ft. per side.  By reducing the height to 12 feet, the sign would comply with the overall maximum height for ground signs while the proposed sign face area (72 sq. ft.) complies with the overall maximum area allowed per side.  The proposed setback of 0 feet is the one aspect that the request does not approach compliance with the proposed sign regulations.

 

  The proposed sign also serves in part as advertisement to the fourth subsidiary business – Oak Expressions – that is on a separate lot, in a separate building.  The lots are adjacent to each other and the separation distance of the buildings is relatively small.  These characteristics make it appear as if the businesses are on one lot.  The “off-premises” aspect of the proposed sign becomes negligible based on the characteristics.

 

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

 

  The County is involved in revising its sign regulations to better handle the types of situations proposed by this application.

 

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 County is involved in revising its sign regulations to better handle the types of situations proposed by this application.  With the adoption of the proposed code, most properties and business could obtain multiple signs based on “total allowable sign area”.

 

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 the applicant to place the proposed sign on the property and yet comply with portions and intent of the proposed sign code.

           

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.  Again, many neighboring properties will acquire the right for more signs with the adoption of the proposed code.

 

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

 

By complying with the portions of the regulations and the intent of the proposed sign regulations, as proposed by conditions under the recommendation below, granting the variance would be consistent with the purpose of the Code and 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.

 

Evelyn King moved and Kent Bruxvoort seconded the Motion that the Board adopt the following Resolution:

 

Resolution Granting the Variance

 

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 it hereby is granted its sign variance subject to the following conditions:

 

1.         The height of the sign shall be no more than 12 feet and the width of the sign shall be no more than 4 feet.  The total sign area shall not exceed 96 square feet. (with 0 setback)

 

2.         The applicant shall contact the Zoning Code Enforcement officer within 60 days to rectify the expired sign permits 97-F0616 and 98-F3880.

 

3.         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.

 

4.         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 Capital Sign Company through Tony Ahmed, not act upon the sign 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, Wilma Davis, Kent Bruxvoort, Evelyn King and Vincent Costanzi voted in favor of the Resolution.  The Findings and Resolution were duly adopted and the sign variance was granted subject to conditions.

 

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

 

            By Motion duly made, seconded and carried the above and foregoing minutes were approved on the _____ day of __________________, 2004.

 

                                                           

 

                                                LARIMER COUNTY BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT

 

 

                                                By:       __________________________________________

 

 

By Motion duly made, seconded and carried, the meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

 

 

                                                                        Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                        _____________________________

 

 

                                                                        _____________________________

                                                                        Date

ATTEST:

 

 

 

________________________________

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