LARIMER COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION

Minutes of November 16, 2011

 

The Larimer County Planning Commission met in a regular session on Wednesday, November 16, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. in the Hearing Room.  Commissioners’ Cox, Dougherty, Gerrard, Hart, Jensen, Wallace, and Zitti were present.  Commissioner Glick presided as Chairman. Commissioner Miller was absent.  Also present were Matt Lafferty, Principle Planner, Karin Madson, Planner II, Jeff Goodell, Engineering Department, and Doug Ryan, Health Department. 

 

Mr. Lafferty accompanied the Planning Commission on a site visit to NYPUM Location and Extent.  Commissioners Gerrard and Miller were absent.

 

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 19, 2011 MEETINGS:   MOTION by Commissioner Cox approve the minutes, seconded by Commissioner Dougherty.  This received unanimous voice approval.

 

AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA:

Commissioner Cox moved that Item #1 Amendments to the Larimer County Land Use Code and Item #2 NYPUM Location and Extent be moved to the consent agenda, seconded by Commissioner Dougherty.  This received unanimous voice approval.

 

CONSENT ITEMS:

 

ITEM #1  AMENDMENTS TO THE LARIMER COUNTY LAND USE CODE - SOLAR #11-CA0118:  Ms. Madson provided background information on the request to amend to amend the Larimer County Land Use Code by adding definitions to Section 0.1, adding Small Solar Facilities to Section 4.3.7. Industrial Uses, adding  Small Solar Facilities as a principle use to Sections 4.1.1, 4.1.2., 4.1.3., 4.1.4., 4.1.5., 4.1.6., 4.1.7., 4.1.8., 4.1.9., 4.1.10., 4.1.11., 4.1.12., 4.1.13, 4.1.14, 4.1.15, 4.1.16, 4.1.17., 4.1.18., 4.1.19, 4.1.20., 4.1.21., 4.1.22., 4.1.23., and the Section 4.1. Zoning Table, adding provisions for Accessory Solar Energy Systems to Section 4.3.10. Accessory Uses and modify Section 4.9.5. Maximum Structure Height.  She noted that the amendments were sent to many solar installers, the Board of Realtors, the Home Builders Association and other Larimer County Boards.

 

Commission Hart asked if transmission lines for small solar energy systems would tie into existing lines or facilities.

 

Ms. Madson explained that the applicants would need to identify the transmission route. 

 

DISCUSSION:

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

 

 

 

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission recommend to the Larimer County Board of Commissioners approval of the Amendments to the Larimer County Land Use Code, file #11-CA0118, as outlined below:

 

1.   Add the following definitions to Section 0.1:

Accessory Solar Energy System. A system which is used for the production of electrical energy from energy collected by the sun including solar energy collectors, power generation facilities, facilities for storing and transforming energy, and any other appurtenant facilities, which is designed to supply power to principle use(s) on the lot.

 

Small Solar Energy Facility. A facility which is used for the production of electrical energy from energy collected by the sun including solar energy collectors, power generation facilities, facilities for storing and transforming energy, other appurtenant facilities and any transmission lines, which is developed for the purpose of supplying or distributing electrical energy to users, a customer or customers.  (note: this could include a solar garden that has a disturbed area of five (5) or fewer acres.)

 

Solar garden.  A community solar garden as defined in section 40-2-127 (2) of the Colorado Revised Statues.

 

2.   Add Accessory Solar Energy System to the Section 4.3.10.Q. used descriptions as follows:

 

4.3.10.Q. Accessory Solar Energy System.  Each lot may include a solar energy system designed to supply power to the principle use(s) on the lot. A solar energy system that cannot meet all the following standards requires review and approval through the Public Site Plan Review process.  An accessory solar energy system must meet the following standards:

 

1.   Building mounted system:

a.   The solar energy system components must be mounted as flush to roof or structure as practicable.

b.   The building mounted solar energy system may exceed the maximum height allowed by the zoning district by 5 feet.

 

2.   Ground mounted system:

a.   The minimum setbacks for a ground mounted system are the same as the minimum building setbacks in the underlying zoning district.

b.   The height of the solar energy system cannot exceed 15 feet.

c.   The total area of the ground mounted solar energy system cannot exceed ten percent of the lot’s net area.  The ground mounted system may exceed five acres as long as the system is sized for the power consumption of the principle use on the lot.  

(Note: this is in addition to any building mounted solar energy system.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.   Add Small Solar Facilities to the Section 4.3.7. use descriptions as follows:  

 

4.3.7.O.  Small Solar Energy Facility (including some Small Solar Gardens as defined by state statute): A facility which is used for the production of electrical energy from energy collected by the sun including solar energy collectors, power generation facilities, facilities for storing and transforming energy, other appurtenant facilities and any transmission lines, which is developed for the purpose of supplying or distributing electrical energy to users, a customer or customers. 

 

1.   A building mounted small solar energy facility that meets the following standards is allowed by right:

a.   The solar energy system components must be mounted as flush to roof or structure as practicable.

b.   The building mounted solar energy system may exceed the maximum height allowed by the zoning district by 5 feet.

 

2.  A ground mounted small solar energy facility in which all components together disturb an area of five (5) or fewer acres requires review and approval through the Public Site Plan review process. 

a.   The minimum setbacks for a ground mounted system are the same as the minimum building setbacks in the underlying zoning district.

b.   The total area of the ground mounted solar energy system cannot exceed fifty percent of the lot’s net area.  

c.   Power lines must be underground except where the electrical collector wiring is brought together for connection to the transmission or distribution network, adjacent to that network.  Proposed transmission facilities must be identified and included as part of the Small Solar Energy Facility project.

d.   A small solar energy facility must be designed to minimize site disturbances.  Reestablishment of all disturbed areas, including the construction access, shall maintain the historic drainage patterns and permeable ground cover and must be done to minimize environmental impacts. Temporary and permanent erosion control measures shall be used as necessary to minimize erosion of the site.  

e.   A Small Solar Energy Facility application must include an agreement that addresses decommissioning and abandonment of the facility.  The agreement must at a minimum provide for reuse or dismantlement of the facility at the owner’s expense. Disturbed areas shall be reestablished to historic drainage patterns and ground cover. 

 

4.    Add Small Solar Facility to the following zoning districts under the “Industrial Use” classification (add the “Industrial” classification to each zoning district as needed):

4.1.1. - FA-Farming.                                             4.1.2. - FA-1 Farming.           

4.1.3. - FO-Forestry.                                             4.1.4. - FO-1 Forestry.                       

4.1.5. - O-Open.                                                    4.1.6. - E-Estate.                    

4.1.7. - E-1 Estate.                                                            4.1.8. - RE-Rural estate.

4.1.9. - RE-1 Rural estate.                                                4.1.10. - R-Residential.

4.1.11. - R-1 Residential.                                      4.1.12. - R-2 Residential.

4.1.13. - M-Multiple-family.                                 4.1.14. - M-1 Multiple-family.

 

4.1.15. - A-Accommodations.                              4.1.16. - T-Tourist.

4.1.17. - B-Business.                                             4.1.18. - C-Commercial.

4.1.19. - I-Industrial.                                             4.1.20. - I-1 Heavy industrial.

4.1.21. - AP-Airport.                                             4.1.23. - RFLB-Red Feather Lakes Business.

 

5.         Add small solar to the Section 4.1. Zoning Table under the classification of “Industrial Uses”. 

 

 

6.         Section 4.9.5. Maximum Structure Height - Add the following to the list of Exceptions:

 

The height of a building mounted accessory solar energy system or small solar energy facility may exceed the maximum height allowed by the zoning district by 5 feet.

 

Commissioner Hart seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioners’ Cox, Dougherty, Gerrard, Hart, Jensen, Wallace, Zitti, and Chairman Glick voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED:  8-0

 

 

ITEM #2  NYPUM LOCATION AND EXTENT #11-Z1865:  Mr. Lafferty provided background information on the request for the National Youth Program Using Minibikes (NYPUM) to use a site on the south side of County Road 70, approximately ˝ mile west of I-25.  The program provided youths (10-16) an opportunity to learn the skill of riding minibikes as reinforcement for positive behavioral changes, which was currently operating adjacent to the Larimer County jail since 2000.  The applicant proposed to use the site three days a week between the hours of 4:00 pm to 5:45 pm. and possibly on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

 

Commissioner Hart noted that the applicant stated that noise level averages would be 72 decibels with no higher than 74 decibels.  He asked if those numbers would be able to comply with the Larimer County Noise Ordinance?

 

Doug Ryan, Health Department, stated that he spoke to the applicant about that issue.  The applicant noted that the furthest house was approximately 600 feet away.  After doing some calculations, he concluded that a maximum sound level with all of the minibikes running would be up to 102 decibels, and at 600 feet away it would be expected to be below 52 decibels.  The daytime sound ordinance for Larimer County was 55 decibels.

 

Commissioner Glick pointed out that the proposed use sat in a “bowl” type terrain.  He wondered how that would affect noise.

 

Mr. Ryan stated that it would help the situation because the sound level would be down below the receivers, and the noise would have to travel up the terrain.  He stated that his calculation was based on a straight-line calculation between the source of noise and the residences.  As a result, the calculation would error on the high side.

 

DISCUSSION:

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

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission approve the NYPUM Location and Extent, file #11-Z1865.

 

Commissioner Gerrard seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioners’ Cox, Dougherty, Gerrard, Hart, Jensen, Wallace, Zitti, and Chairman Glick voted in favor of the Motion.

 

MOTION PASSED:  8-0

 

 

 

 

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

 

ADJOURNMENT:   There being no further business, the hearing adjourned at 7:00 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.

 

 

_______________________________                      ______________________________

Scott Glick, Chairman                                                            Nancy Wallace, Secretary