> Meetings & Minutes > Commissioners' Minutes > BCC Minutes for 09/07/09  




Monday, September 7, 2009


There were no meetings on Monday, September 7, 2009, due to the Labor Day Holiday.






The Board of County Commissioners met at 9:30 a.m. with Neil Gluckman, Assistant County Manager.  Chair Rennels presided and Commissioner Donnelly was present.  Also present were:  Donna Hart, and Deni LaRue, Commissioners’ Office; Carol Block, Finance Department;  Marc Engemoen, Public Works Department; and Gael Cookman, Deputy Clerk.


1.  PUBLIC COMMENT:  There was no public comment.


2.  APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FOR THE WEEK OF AUGUST 31, 2009:   Approval of the minutes for the week of August 31, 2009, was postponed until September 15, 2009.


3.  REVIEW OF THE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 14, 2009:   Ms. Hart reviewed the upcoming schedule with the Board.






Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the consent agenda for September 8, 2009, as outlined below:


PETITIONS FOR ABATEMENT:  As recommended by the Assessor, the following Petitions for Abatement are approved:  Richards L. Wells.










MISCELLANEOUS:   Public Trustee 2nd Quarter Report; Agreement and Release between Employee and Larimer County; Settlement Agreement between Larimer County and Service Provider.


LIQUOR LICENSES:  The following liquor licenses were approved and/or issued:  Charco Broiler – Hotel and Restaurant – Fort Collins; Fox Acres Country Club – New Manager Registration – Red Feather Lakes.


Motion carried 2-0.


5.  PROPOSAL TO CREATE A BUSINESS ANALYST POSITION:   Ms. Block explained that the County’s Oracle Financial computer system is scheduled for a major overhaul.  She noted that this will be a complex project requiring more than a years worth of effort and project management.   Ms. Block requested the Board’s approval to convert their current Business Analyst (BA) position from .5 FTE to a Regular Full Time Employee.  She explained that she does have the funding for this position, and that hiring a full time BA with the required skill sets would be a cost savings to the County.  The Board supported this proposal.




Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the creation of a full-time Business Analyst position by adding .5 FTE to the existing position. 


Motion carried 2-0.


6.  BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS APPOINTMENTS:   Ms. LaRue presented the following recommendations for appointments to Boards and Commissions:


Extension Advisory Committee:  Sarah Erickson appointed for a 2-year term beginning September 8, 2009, and expiring June 30, 2011.


PID #26 Eagle Ranch:  Peter Lederer appointed for a 4-year term beginning September 8, 2009, and expiring November 30, 2012.




Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the appointment to Boards and Commissions, as outlined above.


Motion carried 2-0.


7.  ASSISTANT COUNTY MANAGER WORKSESSION:  There were no worksession items to discuss.


8.  COMMISSIONER ACTIVITY REPORTS:   The Board reviewed their activities at events during the previous week.






Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners go into Executive Session to discuss Personnel Matters, as outlined in 24-6-402(4)(f) C.R.S.


Motion carried 2-0.


The meeting recessed at 10:05 a.m., with no further action taken.





The Board of County Commissioners met at 3:00 p.m. with Matt Lafferty, Principal Planner.  Chair Rennels presided and Commissioner Donnelly was present.  Also present were:  Michael Whitley, Toby Stauffer, and Rob Helmick, Planning Department; Traci Shambo, Engineering Department; Eric Fried, Building Department; Doug Ryan, Health Department; Bill Ressue, County Attorney’s Office; and Tamara Slusher, Deputy Clerk.


Chair Rennels opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and asked for public comment on the Land Use Code and County Budget.  No one from the audience addressed the Board regarding these topics.


Chair Rennels stated that the Item 1 is on the consent agenda and would not be discussed unless requested by the Board, staff, or members of the audience.


1.         SQUIRES MINOR SPECIAL REVIEW, FILE #09-Z1748:  This is a request for approval of a Minor Special Review to allow an Accessory Dwelling Unit on a 4-acre property at the corner of County Road 3 and County Road 58 in the O-Open zone district.


The owners of the property live out of the area and plan to use the accessory living unit as a place to stay when they come into town. Currently the main residence is leased.  Eventually the owners plan to replace the main house and keep the accessory living unit for their own use.


No neighbors have voiced any objections to this proposal.  Additionally, the following Larimer County departments and referral agencies have stated that they have no objections to this proposal:


·   Larimer County Building Department

·   Engineering Department Development Review Team

·   Northern Colorado Water Association

·   Department of Health and Environment


The Larimer County Code Compliance Section has indicated that there is one outstanding building permit on file, permit #97-F0157.  The permit will need to be renewed and have a final inspection conducted and approved as a condition of approval for this project.


The Poudre Fire Authority has noted that the project will either need a fire hydrant in the area or residential fire sprinklers for the new building.  The applicant can submit a letter to the Fire Marshal to request a waiver of this requirement. 


The Land Use Code states that accessory uses are intended to allow property owners the full use of their property, while maintaining the integrity and character of the neighborhood.  To meet these goals, accessory uses and buildings must be erected and used only for purposes that are clearly secondary and incidental to the principal use of the property.  They must be located on the same lot with the principal use and the accessory living area should not be used as a rental unit.  It is the assessment of the Development Services Team that this request can meet the standards, provided the owner complies with the requirements for an Accessory Living Area, and satisfies the following recommended conditions of approval:


A.   The proposed use will be compatible with existing and allowed uses in the surrounding area and be in harmony with the neighborhood;


B.   Outside a GMA district, the proposed use is consistent with the county master plan;


C.   The applicant has demonstrated that this project can and will comply with all applicable requirements of this code;


D.   The proposed use will not result in a substantial adverse impact on other property in the vicinity of the subject property;


E.   The recommendations of referral agencies have been considered; and


F.   The applicant has demonstrated that this project can meet applicable additional criteria listed in Section 4.3.10.F.2, an Accessory living Area in a detached building.


The Development Services Team recommends approval of the Squires Minor Special Review, File #09-Z1748 subject to the following conditions:


1.   The Site shall be developed consistent with the approved plan and with the information contained in the Squires Minor Special Review (File # 09-1748) except as modified by the conditions of approval or agreement of the County and applicant.  The applicant shall be subject to all other verbal or written representations and commitments of record for the Squires Minor Special Review.


2.   This application is approved without the requirement for a Development Agreement.  In the event the applicant fails to comply with any conditions of approval, or fails to use the property consistent with the approved Minor Special Review, the applicant agrees that in addition to all other remedies available to County, County may withhold building permits, issue a written notice to applicant to appear and show cause why the Minor Special Review approval should not be revoked, and/or bring a court action for enforcement of the terms of the Minor Special Review.  All remedies are cumulative and the County’s election to use one shall not preclude use of another.  In the event County must retain legal counsel and/or pursue a court action to enforce the terms of this Minor Special Review approval, applicant agrees to pay all expenses incurred by County including, but not limited to, reasonable attorney’s fees.  County may conduct periodic inspections to the property and reviews of the status of the Minor Special Review as appropriate to monitor and enforce the terms of the Minor Special Review approval.


3.   The Findings and Resolution shall be a servitude running with the Property.  Those owners of the Property or any portion of the Property who obtain title subsequent to the date of recording of the Findings and Resolution, their heirs, successors, assigns or transferees, and persons holding under applicants shall comply with the terms and conditions of the Minor Special Review approval.


4.   The owner is responsible for obtaining all required permits for the Accessory Living Area.  All applicable fees, including permit fees, Transportation Capital Expansion Fees, water tap fees, and drainage fees shall apply to this use. 


5.   The owner shall renew building permit # 97-F0157 and receive an approved final inspection for the existing shed prior to building permit issuance for the Garage and Accessory Dwelling Unit.


6.   The Squires RLUP notes that any single family residential construction in the development will be required to install residential sprinklers or the applicant can request a variance from the Poudre Fire Authority from this requirement. Prior to building permit issuance for the accessory dwelling unit the owner shall install residential fire sprinklers or receive a variance from the Poudre Fire Authority to meet this requirement. 


7.   Per Section 4.3.10.F.2 of the Larimer County Land Use Code, the habitable space of the current structure shall not exceed to 40 percent of the square footage in the single-family dwelling or 800 square feet whichever is less.


8.   The single-family character of the property must be maintained.  The entrance(s) to the accessory living area must not be visible from any road.


9.   The accessory living area is to be used solely for guests of the occupants of the single-family dwelling or those providing a service on site in exchange for their residency.


10.   The accessory living area must not be rented or leased separately from the single-family dwelling.


11.   This Minor Special Review approval will automatically expire without a public hearing if the use is not commenced within three years of the date of approval.




Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the consent agenda for September 8, 2009.


Motion carried 2-0.


2.         RAINBOW LAKE ESTATES OUTLOT A VIOLATION, FILE #09-G0171:  This property is located in the northern part of the Rainbow Lake Estates Conservation Development north of Malibu Drive.  The site also fronts County Road 23 and is east of Hertha Reservoir.


This issue had come to the attention of the Planning and Code Compliance staff as a result of a complaint regarding a structure being built on Outlot A of Rainbow Lake Estates.  Upon investigation of the complaint, it also appeared that the outlot had been divided without any review or county approval.  This was an issue the staff had researched and contacted the developer about on previous occasions.  The developer had indicated to staff that the lot division would be corrected and this has occurred.


At the conclusion of the hearing with the Board of County Commissioners on August 3, 2009, the homeowners requested the Board of County Commissioners directed staff to address a number of outstanding questions.  The results are as follows:


1.   Subdivision of Outlot A – While this is a violation of law there is no mechanism of enforcement of an unauthorized/illegal division except after the fact, upon its discovery;  nothing “allowed” the transfer of Outlot A and it was transferred in violation of the development agreement.


2.   Water rights were to be made available for the agricultural use of the outlot.  There is no condition of approval with respect to water rights.  There does not appear to be any provision for them to be transferred to the owner of the outlot or to the HOA.  The development agreement states that they were available for use.  The management plan has a provision for addressing any potential “dry-up”.


3.   Staff does not read the HOA’s management plan regarding managing the outlot.  Any role the HOA has in managing Outlot A would only be as provided by the covenants.  The owners of lots 15-20 are obligated to jointly manage with the owner of Outlot A (the 24-acre pasture area).


4.   The County is not in a position to provide legal advice regarding the development of “new rules and management guidelines” for the HOA.  This would be dictated by the covenants and the by-laws of the association.


5.   Activities common to Northern Colorado – this directive is focused on agriculture and not all activities.  For example, the cultivation and tilling of the ground for the preparation of the land and harvesting of crops (including corn, wheat, barley, sugar beets, sunflowers, hay crops, and alfalfa).  Both the use of irrigation water or dry land crops could be typical.  Specialty crops, including truck garden crops, are also a possibility.  These activities also include land and aerial spraying of herbicides and pesticides, and the application of organic and chemical fertilizers, including manure.


6.   No disturbance of the wetlands can occur. For example: no grazing of livestock, and no utility extensions or installations may be permitted.  Any action which could adversely affect the wetland could be construed as inappropriate.  It must be acknowledged that a change in the irrigation system or pattern may affect the wetlands area.


7.   The County Road 23 fence is the responsibility of the land owner.


8.   Livestock are permitted on the outlot and can utilize the site within the dictates of the Larimer County Land Use Code.  No concentrated feeding operation would be allowed (less than 10 animals per acre of confinement).


9.   The boundaries of the pasture land are currently undefined and staff will work with the owner to clarify.


There are six lots in Rainbow Lake Estates that are allowed to have up to 2 horses per lot.  These lots jointly utilize a portion of the outlot, approximately 24 of the total 104 acres.  Outlot A may be separately owned but is subject to oversight and architectural review by the HOA.  It was the 24 acre portion which was originally retained by Mr. Conder when the balance of the outlot was sold to Mr. Gomez Ortega.  The lot has now apparently been combined into a single parcel as was intended by the original plat.  This will also allow Mr. Gomez Ortega to obtain permits for the structures he has constructed on the outlot.  Since the last hearing, Mr. Ortega has applied for the necessary permits.


The conservation development approval requires that the plat process be honored.  A single lot cannot be further divided unless an application is made to the County and it is reviewed by the Board of County Commissioners.  The approval also included a plan for the residual lots of the development.  As noted by the County Attorney previously, the County does not get involved in the covenants and is not in a position to perform arbitration or be a party to future negotiations.


Staff findings are as follows:


1.   The original violation has been resolved by recombining the Outlot into a single parcel.


2.   The owner has applied for a permit for the shade structure but is waiting to apply for others, pending the clarified description of the 24 acre parcel.


3.   The Development Services Team and the County Attorney have provided answers to the question raised by the HOA.


Eric Wollan, a resident of Rainbow Lake Estates, asked for clarification regarding the covenants and the building requirements set forth therein.  Commissioner Rennels reiterated the fact that the County does not enforce covenants on behalf of homeowners associations.


Staff explained that the code compliance violation had been cured and any remaining disputes should be handled between the owners and the homeowners association collectively.


3.         BECKERS FEE APPEAL, FILE #09-G0173:  This is a request to waive the application fees for the public hearing phase of the Special Review application.  As a horse boarding facility the applicant is watching the activities of the Horse Facility group and the recommendations with respect to the regulations they make.


At the Sketch Plan in 2007, Mr. Beckers had the application fee of $800.00 reduced by 50% with the Board of County Commissioners paying the remaining 50% from their special projects fund.  The fee for the public hearing application for a horse boarding facility is $1,500.00.  This specific request is for relief from the entire $1,500.00 fee.  The Planning staff has requested that this hearing take place to facilitate the discussion for record keeping purposes.


Although the Development Services Team does not usually make a specific recommendation with respect to fee appeals, the Team does recommend approval in this case.  The applicant has received a partial reduction in fees for a previous application.  This application is a result of a Code Compliance complaint and the applicant has expressed significant economic hardships.  The site exists and continues to operate at this time and it has been confirmed that this use is conforming.  This property could potentially be annexed into the City of Fort Collins and their desire to annex should not influence the application.


The applicant had nothing further to add to staff’s report and referenced the letter submitted detailing the specific economic hardships endured.




Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the Beckers Fee Appeal, File #09-G0173.


Motion carried 2-0.


4.         DUTCHAK APPEAL, FILE #09-G0172:  This is an appeal to the Planning Director’s written determination dated May 5, 2009, that two building permits issued for the Dutchak property were based upon incorrect, inaccurate, and incomplete information submitted by the property owner. 


The first building permit, 06-B1348, was issued on November 22, 2006, for a 60 foot by 50 foot detached accessory building.  The second building permit, 08-B1182, was issued on December 22, 2008, for a partial basement finish within the accessory building.  The permit was issued after work had begun on the basement.  Work under the building permit has been stopped pending the outcome of this hearing.


The subject property is Lot 3 of the Alsum Subdivision Exemption which was recorded in 1974.  The Alsum Subdivision Exemption plat contains a 150 foot building setback line from the southern property line on Lots 3, 4, and 5.  The rear setback requirement is also contained in the covenants for the Subdivision Exemption.  A copy of the plat is attached to the covenants and the covenants are also recorded with the Clerk and Recorder’s office.


The plot plan submitted in 2006 with the building permit application for the construction of the accessory building indicates that it would have a rear setback of 18 feet.  This setback complies with the FA – Farming zoning district rear setback of 10 feet but the plot plan did not disclose the 150 foot building setback that is noted on the Alsum Subdivision Exemption plat.  The building is entirely within the 150 foot setback.


Staff was not aware of the 1974 plat at the time either building permit was issued.  The owners’ permit applications do not note that the property is within a Subdivision Exemption and the plot plan shows a metes and bounds legal description.  The fact that the property is within a Subdivision Exemption is not noted on the County Assessor’s online information nor is it in the County’s building permit tracking system.  The building permit application submitted in 1976 for the construction of a single-family home did note that the property is Lot 3 of the Alsum Subdivision Exemption.


A Code Compliance case was initiated in November 2008 when a complaint was received that the owner of the property was constructing a basement under the detached building without a building permit.  Neighboring property owners were concerned that the structure was being used for a home-based business and complained about the noise and traffic.


Although Mr. Dutchak told a member of the Engineering staff that he intended to use the building for a business, he has told Planning and Code Compliance staff that the structure is used for personal storage.  A building permit for the partial basement finish within the detached structure was issued on December 22, 2008.


On March 13, 2009, the property owners provided a signed Home Occupation Registration Certificate certifying that their business is being run from the principal home and is operated in compliance with the Home Occupation regulations. 


Property owners within Signet PUD, to the south of the subject property, brought the 150 foot setback to the County’s attention in a letter dated April 4, 2009.


After reviewing the facts, the Planning Director made a written determination on May 5, 2009, that the building permit for the 60 foot by 80 foot building and the building permit for the partial basement finish were issued based upon incorrect, inaccurate, and incomplete information provided by the property owners.


The applicant filed the appeal to that determination on July 2, 2009.  In this appeal, the applicant states that the Director’s determination fails to consider the hardship imposed on the Dutchak’s as a result on their reliance on the County’s issuance of the building permits and notes that no objection or complaint was made during the construction of the building.  The applicant also states that it is the County’s duty to ensure building permits conform to the Larimer County Building Codes and other pertinent laws and ordinances.


While Planning staff reviews building permit applications for compliance with setback requirements and approved the setbacks illustrated on the plot plan for the structure, the fact that the Planning staff did not discover a setback requirement that is specific to this property does not waive the property owners’ responsibility to comply with that setback requirement nor does it absolve the Planning Director from upholding the setback requirement once the violation was discovered.


When the Dutchak’s purchased the property in 1993, they should have received information from the title company that the property was a part of a Subdivision Exemption and they should have received a copy of the covenants.  Therefore, the property owners would have constructive knowledge of the setback requirement through the recorded plat and covenants and had a responsibility to disclose the setback when applying for building permits.  Planning staff requested a copy of the title commitment for the property from the applicant on August 7, 2009, which was provided.  This original title commitment does note that the property is part of the Alsum Subdivision Exemption.


If the appeal is denied, the property owner must:


1.   Apply and receive approval of an Amended Plat that removes the 150 foot setback from the property, or


2.   Obtain a building permit to move the structure and underlying basement to a place on the property that meets the 150 foot setback requirement, or


3.   Remove the structure and underlying basement from the property.


If the Board of County Commissioners approves the appeal and reverses the Planning Director’s determination, the Signet PUD Homeowners Association may have the ability to pursue private enforcement of the Alsum Subdivision Exemption covenants which also adopt the 150 foot setback requirement.  It should also be noted that amending the plat to remove the 150 foot setback would not amend the covenants.


A number of property owners in the vicinity have provided written support for the Planning Director’s interpretation.  Those letters have been submitted for the Board to review.


L. Victoria Shupe, representation for the Dutchak’s, asked that the Board consider overturning the decision made by the Planning Director.  Ms. Shupe made mention of the owner’s previous disclosure that no title search had been performed prior to submitting the site plan as part of the building permit procedures. She clarified that the owners did not have previous knowledge that the property was located within the Alsum Subdivision Exemption and were therefore unaware of the existing setback regulation.  She further stated that the owners have invested approximately $150,000.00 in the improvements based on the Building Departments approval of the application for the two building permits. 


Commissioner Donnelly clarified that the disclosure on the site plan were placed there by the land surveyor who performed the survey.  He clarified that this is standard operating procedure when the surveyor is not authorized to perform land records searches on the property in question.  Staff then clarified the process the building permit process, explaining how this property was not flagged in the Assessor’s records as being located in a subdivision exemption.


Richard Roush, Dale Greer, Hari Walner, David Shupe, Steve Jones, Gordon Snow, and Matt Engelking all stated their support of the Planning Director’s determination stating decreased property values, the Dutchak’s knowledge of the existing setback limitations, the increasing traffic and noise due to the business being operated on the property, and other ongoing civil disputes.


Staff and the Board discussed several issues regarding the responsibility of the homeowners to submit all information (including title commitment paperwork) during the building permit process, as well the procedural changes implemented by the County to prevent this situation in the future.  Commissioner Rennels also noted that civil issues between the homeowners and the current home business occupation could not be taken into account during this hearing. 




Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners affirm the determination made by the Planning Director that two building permits were issued in error due to the provision of incorrect, inaccurate, and incomplete information by the property owners, and therefore deny the Dutchak Appeal, File #09-G0172.


Motion carried 2-0.


5.         INGRAM ZONING VIOLATION:  The property owners are in violation of Section 4.1.1 (FA – Farming Zoning District) and 4.3.10 E (Outside Storage of Vehicles) of the Larimer County Land Use code by virtue of running a retail firewood business and storing unlicensed and/or inoperable vehicles on their property.  This property is located in Maplewood Estates, about one half mile southeast of the intersection of County Roads 14 and 17, west of Campion.


On July 2, 2009, Code Compliance staff received a complaint that a firewood sales business was being conducted at 1108 Rosewood Dr., and that the owners had numerous unlicensed or inoperable vehicles on the property.  A site visit on July 6, 2009, confirmed the presence of a large quantity of firewood neatly stacked in the backyard, a sign on the fence reading “Firewood For Sale,” and multiple trailers, trucks and RVs without visible licenses.


In subsequent phone conversations, Richard Ingram Jr. indicated the firewood sales were part of a larger logging business called Tree Diggers LLC, for which he is the registered agent with the Secretary of State at that address. Mr. Ingram denied that people came to the property to pick up the wood, and said the “For Sale” sign was only up temporarily during a yard sale.  He indicated he had two inoperable vehicles for which he lacked title, so could not get them currently licensed.  When staff explained to Mr. Ingram the different options for brining the property into compliance, as well as setting up a pre-application conference with staff to pursue a special Exception or explore the permissible business use limits under a Home Occupation, he declined and indicated that he had no plans to cease or curtail the commercial use of the property.


On August 20, 2009, I discussed the matter with Kari Ingram who indicated her father (Richard Ingram Sr., co-owner of the property) is concerned that his property may be endangered by his son’s unpermitted business use. Staff again offered to set up a meeting with the property owners to discuss allowable uses in the FA – Farming zoning district, and to make an on-site inspection to determine exactly which vehicles are licensed and operable, or over 25 years old and screened from ordinary public view.  To this date, no request for such a meeting has been made, no application for planning approval has been received, and the use has not changed or ceased, other than the removal of the “Firewood For Sale” sign.


Notice of this hearing was mailed certified and regular mail to the owners, and by regular mail to neighboring property owners.


The site is a residential lot in a semi-rural setting.  The Larimer County Land Use Code was enacted, in part, to “maintain and enhance property values by stabilizing expectations” while protecting existing uses “from intrusions by incompatible or harmful land uses.”  Commercial uses bring with them increased noise, dust, traffic, and visual impacts, and may lower property values for surrounding neighbors.


Staff findings are as follows:


1.   The property is zoned FA – Farming


2.   A firewood sales business is not a listed use within the FA – Farming zoning district


3.   Only currently licensed and operable vehicles owned by the occupant of a single-family dwelling may be stored outside on the same lot as the dwelling


Staff recommends that the Board of County Commissioners find that a violation exists and require compliance with the Larimer County Land Use Code within 30 days and authorize legal action if the deadline is not met.  The following items must be completed in order to reach compliance with the Larimer County Land Use Code:


1.   Cease commercial use


2.   Remove all junk vehicles from the property, or


3.   Provide documentation that all vehicles are licensed and owned by the residents of the property and are currently operable (or are 25 years old and screened from ordinary public view


Mr. Ingram asked for clarification regarding the inoperable and collector vehicles and the screening requirements.  Staff explained that all the vehicles would need to be inspected to ensure that they are indeed licensed, operable, or over 25 years in age, then Staff would be happy to discuss Mr. Ingram’s options for screening.  Mr. Ingram also ensured the Board that there are no ongoing firewood sales at the property.


Commissioner Rennels described the original intent of the home occupancy regulations as a preventative measure to protect the character of neighborhoods from being affected by any ongoing commercial uses.  The Board asked staff to meet with the owners to discuss their options and to ensure that the violation is cured.




Commissioner Donnelly moved that the Board of County Commissioners find a violation exists, require compliance within 30 days, and authorize legal action if the 30 day deadline is not met.  Compliance will require that the unpermitted firewood sales business cease and that all junk vehicles be removed from the premises.


Motion carried 2-0.


There being no further business the hearing adjourned at 4:50 p.m.








The Board of County Commissioners and the Planning Commission met with Russell Legg, Planning Director. Chair Rennels presided and Commissioner Donnelly was present. Also present were Planning Commission Members: Thomas Benton, Mina Cox, Scott Glick, Gerald Hart, Jana Hess, Nancy Wallace, and Karen Weitkunat; Staff members present included:  Frank Lancaster, County Manager; Matt Lafferty, Principal Planner; Deni LaRue, Commissioners’ Office; Traci Shambo and Martina Wilkinson, Engineering Department; Doug Ryan, Environmental Health Department; Jeannine Haag, Assistant County Attorney; and Melissa Lohry, Deputy Clerk.


Chair Rennels opened the hearing with the Pledge of Allegiance and asked for public comment on the County Budget and Land Use Code. No one from the audience addressed the Board regarding these topics.


1.         WELLINGTON INTERGOVERNMENTAL AGREEMENT :  This joint public hearing was scheduled to allow for public testimony on the following three proposed actions:  1) Approval of the Larimer County/Town of Wellington Intergovernmental Agreement; 2) Approval of amendments to the County Land Use Code to include the addition of the Wellington Growth Management Area (GMA) overlay zone district, Supplementary Regulations for the Wellington GMA overlay zone district, and related amendments; and 3)  Approval of placing the Wellington GMA overlay zone district on all properties within the Wellington GMA boundary.


The Larimer County Master Plan encourages the adoption and implementation of intergovernmental agreements (IGA) between the county and neighboring municipalities, regarding growth management. The IGA currently before the Board has not been approved by the Town of Wellington; although the town did indicate at its July 28, 2009, meeting that it favored the IGA. No official communication regarding the IGA has been received from the Town of Wellington. A vote was scheduled for the summer of 2009, which has apparently been postponed by the town.


Ms. Wallace informed the audience that there would not be a decision made at the conclusion of this hearing. Instead, the Board and Planning Commission will strive to provide staff with recommendations and direction based on the comments received from the public.


Mr. Legg provided the Board, Planning Commission, and audience with a brief overview of the IGA and its effects on taxes and zoning. He also introduced Larry Lorentzen, representative for the Town of Wellington.


Chair Rennels opened the hearing to public comment.


John Shaeffer, Adele Robbs, Norman Robbs, Lee Tucker, Michael Blem, John Slutsky, Neil Haley, Lu MacNaughton, Russell Little, and Richard Seaworth addressed the Board in opposition to the proposed IGA and requested to have their properties removed from the GMA. These individuals of the above cited a severe distrust of the Town of Wellington and its officials, their desire to continue the agricultural use of their land, and a fear of rezoning and/or annexation. Many also stated that they do not have the ability to vote for the Town of Wellington officials, whereas they are able to vote for Larimer County officials; therefore, they wish to remain under the domain of the county.


Ron Splittgerber, George Wallace, Jane Clark, John Ostheimer, Helen Boggs, Gail Meisner, George Reed, Carolyn Ownby, and Carl Zeller, also addressed the Board in opposition to the GMA as it does not respect the boundaries of the Waverly community. The current GMA overlaps lands historically associated with Waverly. Therefore, these “Waverly residents” requested the western boundary of the GMA be changed to County Road 11.


Wendell Nelson, Wellington Chamber of Commerce, addressed the Board in favor of the IGA and GMA.  Mr. Nelson stated that the properties within the GMA are not going to be annexed into the town and the zoning proposed by the GMA is flexible.


Chair Rennels closed public comment and Ms. Weitkunat requested Mr. Legg define and clarify terms, GMA boundaries, and governing authority for the audience.


Mr. Legg defined the current city limits of Wellington and informed the audience that without an IGA, the Town of Wellington is free to annex any and all surrounding lands.  Mr. Legg assured the audience that the proposed IGA would provide certainty to the county and surrounding landowners as to the town’s plans to expand. Mr. Legg also defined the boundaries historically associated with the Waverly Community.


Mr. Glick inquired about forced annexation and Mr. Legg stated that according to current statute, if a property is surrounded by a municipality on all sides for more than three years, the municipality can force annexation.


Mr. Hart explained to the audience that all of the actions proposed in the IGA and GMA can already be initiated and accomplished by the Town of Wellington without prior warning.


Ms. Cox asked Mr. Lorentzen why the proposed GMA includes areas of agricultural zoning. He stated that these areas are proposed to protect the town’s sewer and water treatment plants.


Ms. Hess asked if the Town of Wellington was willing to negotiate the lands included in the proposed GMA. Mr. Lorentzen stated that changes to the GMA would have to be approved by the town’s planning board, requiring another public hearing; and therefore, were not open to negotiation.


Ms. Weitkunat asked Mr. Lorentzen why land associated with the Waverly area was include in the GMA and he stated the Waverly land and land at the northern most border of the GMA were determined to be the best place for an airport to be built in the future.


Mr. Hart asked if the previous recommendations of the Board and Planning Commission were incorporated into the IGA and GMA and Mr. Lorentzen stated they were not.


Chair Rennels then asked that the Board and Planning Commission members provide direction to staff so that the process may move forward.


It was agreed that an IGA between the county and Town of Wellington was necessary; however, revisions to the current IGA are needed. There was some discussion about whether property owners should be allowed to request that their properties be withdrawn from the proposed GMA and all members of the Board and Planning Commission agreed that the Waverly Community is unique and the wishes of its residents should be respected and addressed by the town.


Chair Rennels also requested that the IGA and GMA be reviewed by the Agricultural Advisory Board and the Environmental Advisory Board.


Lastly, Chair Rennels informed the audience that the recommendations of the Board and Planning Commission would be discussed at length between staff and representatives from the Town of Wellington. After that, the IGA and GMA will appear before the Planning Commission at a public hearing where the commission will form its final recommendation to the Board. Finally, the IGA, GMA, and the Planning Commissions’ recommendation will appear before the Board of County Commissioners, at which time, a final decision will be made to approve or disapprove the IGA. 


There being no further business, the hearing adjourned at 9:15 p.m.






                        KATHAY RENNELS, CHAIR











Gael M. Cookman, Deputy Clerk



Tamara L. Slusher, Deputy Clerk



Melissa E. Lohry, Deputy Clerk