> Meetings & Minutes > Commissioners' Minutes > BCC Minutes for 09/12/11  




Monday, September 12, 2011





The Board of County Commissioners met at 3:00 p.m. with Linda Hoffman, Director of Planning.  Chair Donnelly presided and Commissioners Gaiter and Johnson were present.  Also present were:  Russ Legg, Planning Department; Jeannine Haag, County Attorney’s Office; and Gael Cookman, Deputy Clerk.


Chair Donnelly opened the hearing with the Pledge of Allegiance and asked for public comment on the County Budget and Land Use Code.  No one addressed the Board for public comment.


1.  ECTON/MAJORS APPEAL, FILE #11-G0223:   This is a request to appeal the director’s decision that the changes made in the application of Bingham Hill Road 3924 (File #11-Z1855) are significant and re-submittal of the changed application is allowed.


Application materials for the Bingham Hill Road 3924 Special Review (File #11- Z1855) were submitted on July 11 and 12, 2011. Previously on this site, a community hall use proposal (File #09-Z1749) was denied by the Board of County Commissioners on February 1, 2010, and a revised community hall use proposal that was approved on May 10, 2010, (File #10-Z1777) was revoked by the Board of County Commissioners on December 13, 2010.  Section 12.2.7.E. of the Larimer County Land Use Code stipulates that the Planning Director must “determine if the changes are sufficient to allow a resubmittal” considering whether or not the applicant has made “significant changes to address the reasons stated” for the disallowance of the use. To make this determination the Planning Director compared the three community hall proposals.


On August 12, 2011, two neighboring property owners, Ken Ecton and Shelby Majors, filed an appeal of the director’s decision to accept the Bingham Hill Road 3924 Special Review application for processing and this hearing addresses that appeal.


It is important to note that a determination of significant change does not imply a judgment on whether the changes are appropriate or sufficient to warrant staff support or County approval of the application. Rather, a determination of significant change is a simple comparison between earlier applications and the current application submittal. The Special Review process provides the necessary information and input from other agencies and reviewers to form a staff recommendation, inform advisory bodies (LaPorte Area Planning Advisory Committee and Planning Commission), and allow the Board of County Commissioners to take action on the application.


The analysis used to determine if the proposal is significantly changed and responsive to the reasons for previously disallowing the community hall use is based on the findings and resolutions from prior County Commissioner actions.


Intensity of the events use is not compatible with the surrounding agricultural uses and the rural character of the area (Findings and Resolution Reception #20100014669, Item 8.b, page 3).  This finding was made as part of the denial of File #09-Z1749 Bingham Hill Farms Special Review. Significant changes have been made to address compatibility in the current application. These specific changes are discussed below.


1.   Number and Size of Events: Fundamentally, the intensity of use and resultant compatibility with surrounding uses and character is related to the number and size of events held. File #09- Z1749 proposed 150 events plus an unspecified number of camp sessions. Of the 150 events, 80 were proposed to be 100 people or more. The approved (and revoked) Pope Special Review (File #10- Z1777) allowed 40 events in the 51-130 guest range. The current proposal contemplates 40 events and 5 camp sessions. It limits the use to 33 wedding/ celebration events which, based on parking, could be as large as 120-140 guests. This progressive reduction in the number of larger events allowed (from 80, to 40, to 33) is a significant change that is responsive to one reason cited for denial of the Bingham Hill Farms Special Review.


The reconfiguration of the parking lot to its existing condition resulted from a change in the fire authority’s access requirements after the limits of the approved parking area were established. It increased the capacity of the lot from 50 cars to 62 cars. Although the increased capacity of the parking lot occurred because of fire authority needs, it could serve to allow additional guests to attend events and increase the intensity of the use beyond what was contemplated in the approved Pope Special Review (File #10-Z1777).  The finding of incompatibility related to the intensity of use was made relative to the Bingham Hill Farms Special Review (File #09-Z1749) when the size of the parking facility was proposed to be 60 cars.


2.   Noise Impacts on Neighboring Properties: Unchecked noise contributed to findings of incompatibility made previously by the County Commissioners. Because the business-plan in the Bingham Hill Farms proposal (File #09-Z1749) did not include noise mitigation measures, the intensity of the use, and the potential for incompatibility, was increased. Noise mitigation measures in the project description of the approved Pope Special Review (File #10-Z1777) were not strictly followed.  In the current application specific noise mitigation measures are proposed that acoustical experts deem to be significant. These measures include the erection of a wooden fence noise barrier, specific speaker placement, and assurances that all dance or entertainment music must be located inside the gymnasium. These are significant changes that reduce the intensity of the use, contributing to making the community hall more compatible with the surrounding neighborhood.


3.   The physical facility proposed by the Bingham Hill Road 3924 application is very similar to the original proposal (File #09-Z1749) and to the Pope Special Review approval (File #10-Z1777). The only structural changes are the sound barrier fence and security fence/gate, the addition of automatic fire sprinklers to the gymnasium, and a new storage room on the north side of the gymnasium. All of these proposed additions improve either safety or operational features of the use. They do not increase the intensity of the use.


Taken as a whole, the Planning Director found the current proposal (File #11-Z1855) to have the potential to be significantly less intense and more compatible with the neighborhood than was the original Bingham Hill Farms Special Review proposal. It appears to be slightly less intense than the Pope Special Review (File #10-Z1777) which was approved and revoked.


Allowing events inside a building without required approvals is a breach of the greatest magnitude that puts the lives and safety of many people at risk (Findings and Resolution Reception #20110004890, Item 6, page 5). The gymnasium currently has a fire occupancy rating and a building certificate of occupancy for up to 99 people. The current proposal (File #11-Z1855) calls for on-site private security. This third party entity could monitor the occupancy limit if any events were held prior to installation and inspection of the automatic fire sprinkler system to increase the occupancy limit.  Alternatively, a condition of approval could be considered which would preclude any events from being held on the property until the increased occupancy approval is secured. These are significant changes that are responsive to the reason cited to disallow the use.


In order to be compatible with the surrounding uses, it is imperative that all conditions be strictly adhered to – something Popes have been unable to achieve or comply with on a consistent and reliable basis (Findings and Resolution Reception #20110004890, Item 7, page 5). The security measures proposed could be useful tools in implementing the conditions of approval on any subsequent Special Review approval. In addition, the project description lists business practices planned to manage attendance at events. These include advertising and marketing for only 130 guests, using contract clauses and penalties to enforce guest limits, and monthly reporting by the security firm to the County for event activities and attendance. These are significant operational changes that address the cause of the prior disallowance of the use.


The applicant’s proposal to remove the permanent roof on the deck along the southwest bank of the pond demonstrates an awareness of the importance of compliance with County regulations. The roof required a building permit and was outside the approvals secured for the seasonal camp or community hall use. The agreement to limit the condition of the deck to what is allowed without qualifying it as a structure that needs a building permit shows some degree of good will on the part of the applicant.


Director’s Conclusion:  The application as submitted (File #11-Z1855) was found to be significantly changed from and responsive to the reasons cited by the Board of County Commissioners to previously disallow the use. The application was accepted for review and processing.


The appeal of the Director’s decision to accept the Bingham Hill Road 3924 Special Review application was submitted on August 12, 2011, by neighboring property owners. The three basic reasons cited in the appeal are:


1.    The intensity of use has been increased, rather than reduced. While the number of events has been reduced somewhat, the intensity of use at the events has been increased.

2.   The number of weddings has increased substantially.

3.   It is not clear that the noise will be mitigated, and it is likely that the noise ordinance will continue to be violated.


The appeal also requests that the appeal fee of $200 be waived by the Commissioners.


Director Response to the Appeal:


Regarding points 1-3, the analysis sub-section above documents the d irector’s reasoning for the decision to accept the application.


The d irector supports the fee appeal if the Commissions uphold the appeal and overturn the d irector’s decision. If the Commissions deny the a ppeal of the d irector’s decision, the director recommends also denying the fee appeal.


Ms. Hoffman reviewed the facts of the appeal as outlined above, and also displayed a power point presentation and reviewed a table which highlighted the differences between the applications. 


Shelby Majors, applicant, displayed a power point presentation of her findings as well.  Ms. Majors stated she was opposed to the Pope’s application and to the director’s determination, and feels that noise will continue to be problematic. 


Chair Donnelly opened up the hearing for public comment and the following individuals addressed the Board in favor the director’s decision:  Kay Johnson, Mary Humstone, Bob Folum, David Everitt, Ernie Dunn, Steve Fobes, Rick Hatman, Lee Thompson, Linda Prenzlow, and Randy Pope; all supported allowing the process go through and let the outcome be determined at a public hearing.


Ken Ecton addressed the Board and reviewed the chart of comparisons that highlighted the previous applications.  Mr. Ecton stated that the visitor count and parking have actually increased with each application.  He also stated that the noise impacts are still significant and he is a opposed to and disagrees with the director’s decision.


Chair Donnelly closed public comment and Ms. Majors had no further comments.


Under discussion, the Board agreed that with the director’s determination and felt that there were significant changes to the Pope’s application. 




Commissioner Gaiter moved that the Board of County Commissioners deny the fee waiver appeal and deny the Ecton/Majors Appeal and uphold the Director’s decision to accept the Bingham Hill Road 3924 Special Review application for processing and subsequent action.


Motion carried 3-0.


The hearing ended at 4:25 p.m.








The Board of County Commissioners met at 9:00 a.m. with Frank Lancaster, County Manager.  Chair Donnelly presided and Commissioners Gaiter and Johnson were present.  Also present were: Neil Gluckman, Donna Hart, and Deni LaRue, Commissioners’ Office;   Charlie Johnson, and Rusty McDaniel, Engineering Department; Avie Strand, Health Department; Kim Vecchio, Poudre Valley Hospital Foundation; Ginny Riley, Human Services Department; John Gamlin, Human Resources Department; Kimberly Culp, Larimer Emergency Telephone Authority; Under Sheriff Bill Nelson, and Captain Robert Coleman, Sheriff’s Department; Andy Paratore, and Michael Kirk, Facilities and Information Technology Division; David Ayraud , County Attorney’s Office;  and Gael Cookman, Deputy Clerk.


1.    PUBLIC COMMENT:  Al Scott, James Martin, Leslie Stern Scott, Kathy Zwiefel, and Amanda Selby addressed the Board with concerns surrounding citizens speeding on Rawhide Flats Road.  Mr. Scott stated that it is a public road, privately maintained, and they installed speed bumps to slow people down, now the County has intervened in order to try and rectify this issue.  Discussion ensued.  


Sidna Rachid stated that she felt it was misleading to say that it will be “a reduction” in taxes if the ballot issue concerning the jail tax passes, as it really is an “increase” in the amount of tax currently being collected for operations of the jail.  Discussion ensued. 


Mel Hilgenberg commented on issues relative to Larimer County.






Commissioner Gaiter moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve the minutes for the week of September 5, 2011. 


Motion carried 3-0.


3.  REVIEW OF THE SCHEDULE FOR THE WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 19, 2 011:   Ms. Hart reviewed the upcoming schedule with the Board.






Commissioner Johnson moved that the following items on the consent agenda be approved:






MISCELLANEOUS:  Chafee Foster Care Independence Program Plan SFY October 1, 2011 for Larimer and Jackson Counties; Annual Compliance Certification Report and Monitoring and Permit Deviation Report for Larimer County Landfill.


LIQUOR LICENSES:  The following licenses are recommended for issuance and approval:  Columbine Lodge – 3.2% - Bellvue. 


Motion carried 3-0.


5.  APPRECIATION FOR COUNTY’S PARTICIPATION IN “SAVE CHANGE TO CREATE CHANGE”:   Ms. Strand and Ms. Vecchio stated that the County’s effort in collecting change for this program amounted to $2,891.14, and they thanked the Commissioners for their participation in this fund raiser.  Ms. Vecchio explained that the money will be used to build the Poudre Valley Cancer Center for the community. 


6. WAIVER OF HUMAN RESOURCES POLICY AND PROCEDURE 331.4.C.IIIA –CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT:  Ms. Riley and Mr. Gamlin requested a waiver of policy through December 31, 2011, to extend the probation period for Social Caseworkers from six to nine months, due to the 8-week training program that they must attend upon their hire. 




Commissioner Gaiter moved that the Board of County Commissioners approve a waiver through December 31, 2011, of the Human Resources Policy and Procedure 331.4.4III.A – Conditions of Employment: Probation for the Department of Human Services in the hiring of new Social Caseworkers, both Regular and Limited Term, to change the probation period from six months to nine months in length.


Motion carried 3-0.


7.  UPDATE OF THE LARIMER EMERGENCY TELEPHONE AUTHORITY (LETA):  Ms. Culp reviewed LETA’s responsibilities, how it’s funded, the current projects, and the budget for 2012.  The Board thanked Ms. Culp for her presentation and updates.


8.  UPDATE ON THE MIDPOINT CAMPUS PROJECTS AND THE FUNDING OF THE COUNTYWIDE COMPONENT REPLACEMENT PLAN:   Mr. Paratore and Mr. Kirk provided an update regarding several Midpoint Campus projects; they explained the bid process, then necessary site work, and noted that they will be coming back to the Board next week for final approval.  Some discussion ensued.


9.  PRESENTATION OF POLICY GOVERNANCE MONITORING REPORT:   Mr. Lancaster reviewed this quarterly report with the Commissioners.


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


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


12.  UPDATE ON HOLLYWOOD ROAD ISSUE:   Mr. McDaniel explained that Hollywood Road is a public road that is privately maintained.  However, the neighborhood is not maintaining the road; therefore, emergency services will not use that portion of the roadway to respond to emergencies.  Mr. McDaniel stated that the neighbors have agreed to fix the road if it can then be gated and only used in emergencies.  If gated, the Poudre Fire Department has requested that the gate be equipped with an automatic opener so they can open the gate without having to stop and exit their vehicle.  Mr. McDaniel stated the cost to install the gate with the automatic opener would be approximately $6500.  Much discussion ensued and the Board agreed to table this matter for future consideration.


13.  LEGAL MATTERS:   Mr. Ayraud led a discussion regarding the Regional Crime Lab and how the responsibilities are outlined within the Intergovernmental Agreement.  Much discussion ensued, and Mr. Ayraud will bring back more information for the Board’s consideration.


The meeting adjourned at 11:20 a.m., with no further action taken.


















Gael M. Cookman, Deputy Clerk