Minutes of May 19, 2004


The Larimer County Planning Commission met in a regular session on Wednesday, May 19, 2004, at 6:30 p.m. in the Hearing Room.  Commissioners’ Boulter, Huddleston, Morgan, Nelson, Pond, terMeer, Waldo, and Wallace were present. Commissioner Korb presided as Chairman.  Also present were Rob Helmick, Principal Planner, David Karan, Planner II, Geniphyr Ponce-Pore, Planner II, Traci Downs, Engineering Department, Doug Ryan, Environmental Health, Michelle Yeager, Office Supervisor, and Jill Albracht, Planning Technician and Recording Secretary.






APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FOR THE APRIL 21, 2004 MEETING: MOTION by Commissioner Pond to approve the minutes, seconded by Commissioner Morgan. This received unanimous voice approval.             







Commissioner Morgan moved that the Larimer County Planning Commission accept the applicant’s request to table the Prairie View Conservation Development #00-S1694 to June 16, 2004.  Commissioner Pond seconded the Motion. 


Commissioners' Boulter, Huddleston, Morgan, Nelson, Pond, terMeer, Waldo, Wallace, and Chairman Korb voted in favor of the Motion.






ITEM #1 EHRLICH PLANNED LAND DIVISION:  PRELIMINARY PLAT, REPLAT AND REZONING OF EHRLICH M.R.D. LOT 1 #02-S2047:  Mr. Karan provided background information on the preliminary plat review of the planned land division, replat, and rezoning of Lot 1 of the Ehrlich M.R.D.  He explained that the application would be rezoned to a planned development, and Lot 1 would be divided into two residential lots.  Mr. Karan presented the Commission with a citizen group comment submitted late to staff. 


Chairman Korb asked where the access was into the two building envelopes?


Mr. Karan stated that the access to Lot 2 came off of Single Tree Drive with minor modifications to the vegetation in that area.  He also stated that there would be an access to Lot 1 off of Chuckwagon Drive. 


Chairman Korb asked what the setbacks from the lot lines were for the building structures?


Rob Helmick, Principal Planner stated that under current zoning the setbacks would be 7 foot side yards, 25 foot front yards, and 25 foot rear yards.




Suzette Schaff, CDS Engineering, explained that the power line easement running north and south of the property would be abandoned and relocated down the center lot line and to the northeast.  She stated that at the end of April 2004 CDS Engineering installed two monitoring wells on the Ehrlich property, placing one well in each building envelope.  She explained that the wells were placed to help monitor the ground water depth within those building envelopes.  She stated that CDS Engineering had been monitoring the wells regularly and would continue to do so for the next several months in order to determine the highest ground water table that would occur throughout the various seasons.  When sufficient data had been collected, the foundation elevations would be adjusted so the bottom of the foundations would be at a minimum three feet above the highest ground water table reading. 


Commissioner Waldo asked how the lower ground water levels caused by the current drought would affect the ground water reading tests being performed?


Ms. Schaff stated she planned to keep a record of precipitation for the year and compare it to the average precipitation received.  She explained that if the year was unusually dry she would continue to monitor the wells. 


Commissioner Morgan asked where the ground water monitoring wells were located in each lot?


Ms. Schaff stated that the wells were approximately in the center of each lot.


Chairman Korb asked what the present ground water table was at with respect to the natural existing height within the building envelopes?


Ms. Schaff replied that on May 18, 2004 the ground water was measured at approximately 10 feet below the surface for Lot 1 and 10.8 feet below the surface for Lot 2.  She also stated that drain tiles were put into place.


Commissioner Pond asked how deep the current drain system was?


Ms. Schaff stated the system was approximately 12 feet deep. 


Paul Ehrlich, applicant, submitted a document that referenced the elevations of water levels and under drains.  He explained that the Home Supply ditch fed the ground water and when the ditch ran the ground water was captured for the ponds and drained off by a sewer under drain. 


Commissioner Nelson asked if the Home Supply ditch was currently running with water?


Mr. Ehrlich replied yes.  He also pointed out on the map where the under drains where located. 


Commissioner Morgan was concerned how to keep the sewer lateral from being below the water table. 


Mr. Karan stated that staff had a recommended condition that the foundation would have to be set three feet above the water table.  If basements were allowed it would then have to be



demonstrated that the ground water was well below the lowest floor elevation of the basements and there was no impact to the slope stability. 


Ken Morey, 2516 Lake Drive, partner for the original development for Prairie Trails, explained that the homes on the south side of Single Tree Drive had basement sewers.  He stated that the sewer main was deep enough to handle those basements, and the sewer stub extended to the north side of the street would also be acceptable.  He explained that to capture water a series of sub-drains were installed.  The sub-drains were below the level of the ditch bottom and higher than the sewer line. He explained that sub-drain systems were installed under Chuckwagan Drive, and at Mr. Ehrilch’s request the two sub-drains were emptied into a portion of his property.  This caused concern that those sub-drains would be blocked and cause a failure within that road.  He suggested that an easement be allowed into the plat to keep trees out of that area.  He also stated a concern for the protection of the sub-drain that ran across tract D to make sure it would be protected from vegetation getting into the sub-drain and causing back up and failure. 


Don Morgan, 5110 S.W. 14th Street, stated that the center of the sub-drain was approximately 25 feet from the building envelope.  He explained that a solid sewer lateral existed on Lot 2 but gravel and a perforated pipe existed on Lot 1.  He expressed concern that the crossing of the sewer lines would cause problems.




Commissioner Morgan suggested amending the language on staff recommendation C to state:  Written verification that South Side Irrigation and Reservoir Company does not want the applicant to provide a supplement to the agreement at this time and shall be submitted prior to, or with, the Final Plat submittal.


Chairman Korb confirmed that the applicant would run the ground water studies through August and present staff with engineering data.  As a result, the Planning Department would make a determination that the highest ground water level would be at least three feet below the bottom of the footers of any construction or the basements would be prohibited.


Mr. Karan stated that Mr. Ehrlich would have until before recording the final plat to demonstrate whether basements were feasible given additional ground water data. 


Commissioner Korb asked if there was a way to make sure that there was an adequate amount of time for the study to be completed before the applicant could seek to file a final plat?


Mr. Karan stated that staff could not support the applicant’s request for basements on the property without supplying data beyond the drought.  As part of the final plat process, staff would expect sufficient and valid data.


Commissioner Wallace suggested that the engineer calculate how the ground water would be affected with a longer running season.  He felt that basements should not be built on the property.  He stated he would vote for the applicant if he considered building without basements.


Commissioner Morgan proposed that staff recommend two irrigation seasons to provide more adequate data on ground water levels.



Commissioner Pond had concerns about the actual building site and about the possible damage to the water supply of the existing ponds.


Commissioner Morgan moved that the Planning Commission adopt staffs recommendations as presented with the change to condition C to revise the language and to add additional language to Condition B that the ground water be monitored for two irrigation seasons.


Commissioner Huddleston seconded the Motion.


Commissioner Wallace offered a Friendly Amendment to the Motion to incorporate a condition H to the staff recommendations that would state:  All sub-drain and drainage facilities pertinent to the Prairie Trails Subdivision or surrounding properties be identified with an easement and that easement be protected from the planting of any shrubs or trees. 


Commissioner Morgan accepted the Friendly Amendment.


Commissioner Boulter, Huddlston, Morgan, Nelson, Pond, Waldo, Wallace, and Chairman Korb voted in favor of the Motion.


Commissioner terMeer voted against the Motion.




Commissioner Morgan moved that the Planning Commission adopt the following resolution:


BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission recommends to the Board of County Commissioners that the Ehrlich Planned Land Division:  Preliminary Plat, Replat, and Rezoning of Ehrlich M.R.D Lot 1 for the property described on "Exhibit A" to the minutes be approved subject to the following conditions:


A.   Engineered foundations are required for all buildings.  Foundation designs must prove that the slope north of each building envelope will remain stable after placement of foundations. Otherwise, the north boundary of the building envelope must be relocated 20 feet to the south of the location shown on the approved plat.


B.   No basements are allowed unless the applicant submits proof that seasonal high groundwater levels will be three feet below the foundation and the groundwater is monitored for two irrigation seasons unless past engineering studies make it unnecessary. This information must be submitted and approved by County Staff before final plat.  Otherwise a note to the effect that “No basements are allowed on Lot 1 or Lot 2” shall be added to the plat and included in the Disclosure Notice. 


C.   Written verification that South Side Irrigation and Reservoir Company does not want the applicant to provide a supplement to the agreement at this time and shall be submitted prior to, or with, the Final Plat submittal.


D.   Any excavation or construction must be a minimum of 3 feet above the highest seasonal groundwater level.



E.   Passive radon mitigation measures shall be included in the construction of all new residential structures in this development. Radon detection tests are required in all new residential structures on this site. The results of these tests shall be submitted to the Building Department once the structure is enclosed but prior to issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy. As an alternative, a builder may present a prepaid receipt from a radon tester that specifies that a test will be done within 30 days. A permanent Certificate of Occupancy can be issued when the prepaid receipt is submitted.


F.   Fees specified in the Preliminary Plat approvals shall be collected at building permit for new single family dwellings. The fee amount that is current at the time of building permit application shall apply. Both the Development Agreements and the Disclosure Affidavits will reference this requirement.  The County Engineer’s office also requires a Developmental Construction Permit, prior to commencing development construction.


G.  The applicant shall provide a Disclosure Notice to be approved by the County as a part of the Final Plat review, and recorded with the Final Plats.  This notice shall inform all future lot owners of the conditions of approval and special costs or fees associated

with the approval of this project. Included but not limited in this are the issues related to rural development, the need for engineered footings and foundations, the need for passive radon mitigation, and the issues raised in the review and or related to compliance with the Larimer County Land Use Code.


H.  All sub-drain and drainage facilities pertinent to the Prairie Trails Subdivision or surrounding properties be identified with an easement and that easement be protected from the planting of any shrubs or trees


Commissioners' Boulter, Huddleston, Morgan, Nelson, Waldo, and Wallace voted in favor of the Motion.


Commissioner Pond, terMeer, and Chariman Korb voted against the Motion.




ITEM #2 WESTERN RIDGE EQUINE CENTER SPECIAL REVIEW AND APPEALS #03-Z1499:  Ms. Ponce-Pore provided background information on the special review request for a horse boarding facility and an Appeal to Section 8.1.1 and 8.1.2 of the Larimer County Land Use Code for Adequate Public Facilities for Water and Sewer.  She explained that the facility would operate on a year-round basis, seven days a week, with hours of operation from seven a.m. to nine p.m.  The application did not propose to have special events, education, training, or other programs, and would not have overnight accommodations, camping, or employees.  Only clients of the facility would be allowed to trail ride from the facility into the national forest and use the trails.  Ms. Ponce-Pore presented the Commission with a packet of new information faxed that day to the staff by the applicant.


Doug Ryan, Health Department, stated that the Land Use Code required compliance with the adequate public facilities standard Domestic Water Supplies.  He explained that for the special review the code standard comprised of dwelling use (Franz home), and client use (restroom facilities for the clients).  The main issues with the application were well use and the water need for the livestock.  The applicant had a domestic well permit for the property, but the Division of


Water Resources indicated that horse boarding operations required a commercial well permit and required a court approved water augmentation plan in order to issue a well permit.  He explained that the applicant had appealed the adequate public facilities standards due to the lengthy process to obtain that permit and asked for two years to comply with that standard.  The applicant had stated that during that time they would use bottled water and portable chemical toilets for their

client’s use.  The application proposed to use the domestic well permit for in-house use only and to haul water obtained from the City of Fort Collins Water Treatment Facility for their horses and clients.  Mr. Ryan went on to explain that the Franzs provided a letter to the health department from the Glacier View Meadows Water and Sewer Association that indicated the two parties were in negotiations and had tentively agreed to lease the Franzs’ 130,000 gallons of water a year from the water rights owned Glacier View Meadows.  However, the Division of Water Resources stated reservations that the water being leased was approved for the proposed potential use and that the supply would be adequate to serve the facility.  Mr. Ryan stated that the Franzs proposed to have 35 horses and that the 130,000 gallons leased only allowed 10 gallons of water per horse a day.  He stated that the Water and Sewer Association figured that the average large animal took in approximately 44 gallons of water a day.  He explained that the applicant was not able to offer assurance to the Health Department that a commercial well permit could be obtained, therefore staff did not believe that the long term water hauling proposed by the applicant was sustainable for the type of use proposed.  As a result, the health department recommended denial of the appeal from the adequate public facilities standards. 


Ms. Ponce-Pore stated that Section 8.1 of the Larimer County Land Use Code of the Adequate Public Facilities section stated that a facility’s development needs must be in place at the time that they were needed.  She explained that at the time the staff report was written the applicant could not adequately demonstrate that they could meet the Section 8 standards, specifically Sections 8.1.1 and 8.1.2.  Consequently, staff recommended denial of the Western Ridge Special Review and denial of the appeals from the Adequate Public Facilities.


Chairman Korb felt that it was not possible to make a decision on the special review application due to the late information submitted by the applicant and suggested the item be tabled until a later date.


Commissioner Boulter concurred.


Chairman Korb ruled that the late information submitted by the applicant would not be considered.




Justin Franz, applicant, stated he wanted to withdraw the appeal to Section 8.1 because Western Ridge had been able to obtain the water.  He stated that he had a decree permit which stated that the water could be used for the proposed uses, and he also stated that he had a letter from the Glacierview Meadows Water and Sewer Board that agreed to give Western Ridge Equine Center a fifteen year lease.




Chairman Korb stated that Mr. Franz’s request to withdraw his appeal with respect to adequate public facilities would be possible but would not be accepted at the present time. 


Commissioner Morgan asked the applicant if he would be willing to accept a tabling of the item for 60 to 90 days?


Mr. Franz stated yes.


Commissioner Morgan moved that the Planning Commission table the Western Ridge Equine Center Special Review and Appeals #03-Z1499 until July 21, 2004.


Commissioner Boulter seconded the Motion.



Commissioners' Boulter, Huddleston, Morgan, Nelson, Pond, terMeer, Waldo, Wallace, and Chairman Korb voted in favor of the Motion.




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


ADJOURNMENT:  There being no further business, the hearing adjourned at 8:43 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.




_______________________________                      ______________________________

Mark Korb, Chairman                                                  Rodney Nelson, Secretary