November 28, 2006


            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., November 28, 2006.  Members Larry Chisesi, Eric Berglund, Kent Bruxvoort, Evelyn King and Bridget Barclay-Sudol were present.  Also in attendance were County Planning Staff members Al Kadera and Samantha Mott and Assistant County Attorney Jeannine S. Haag.


            By Motion duly made, seconded and carried, the reading of the Minutes of the meeting of October 24, 2006 was dispensed with and such Minutes were approved.


File No:           #06-BOA0629

Owner:            Dennis Grunstad and Teresa Leonhardt

Applicant:       Dennis Grunstad and Teresa Leonhardt

Property Description:


Lot 1, Block 1, Continental North Subdivision, Second Filing, County of Larimer, State of Colorado


            The Application of Dennis Grunstad and Teresa Leonhardt, requesting a variance was presented to the Board.  The Application requested a variance upon the above-described property to allow an attached garage to be located 4 feet from the south side property line rather than the required minimum of 5 feet and 10 feet from the east property line rather than the required minimum of 25 feet in the O-Open zone.


            The Board having heard the testimony and arguments concerning the Application, and having reviewed the record and being fully advised in the premises adopted the following findings:




1.         This hearing has been duly advertised in a newspaper of general circulation as required by law.


2.         The property location is SE-30-7-69; 3609 Soderburg Drive, Fort Collins; located at the intersection of Soderburg Drive and Minuteman Drive.


3.         Site data is as follows:


a.         Land Area:                               0.09 Acres

b.    Proposed Use:                          Single Family Residence

c.    Existing Zoning:             O-Open

d.    Surrounding Zoning:                  O-Open

e.    Existing Land Use:                    Single Family Residence

f.    Surrounding Land Uses:            Residential, Parkland

g.    Access:                                    Soderburg Drive


4.         The applicants propose to construct an attached garage on the property.  The proposed structure would be located 4 feet from the south side property line and 10 feet from the east property line.  The O-Open zoning district requires a 5 foot setback from the side lot line and 25 feet from the east front property line for lots created prior to November 29, 1973, as stated in section 4.1.5.B.2 of the Larimer County Land Use Code.  Currently, there exists a shed on the property which does not meet setbacks.  The owners have indicated that the shed will be relocated on the property within the required setbacks or be removed from the property.


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


6.         There were no persons in attendance who objected to the 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, or other extraordinary and exceptional situation or condition of such piece of property, that are peculiar to the land or structure for which the variance is requested.


The property is a small triangular shaped 0.09 acre lot that slopes gradually to the west.  It is located at the intersection of two streets, Soderburg Drive and Minuteman Drive.  Because of the location, the lot requires a 25 foot setback from both streets.  There currently exists a single family home on the property.  This home is located near the south property line.  The driveway is currently located off Soderburg Drive near the south property line as well. 


The odd shape and small size of the lot combined with the road setback requirements from Soderburg Drive and Minuteman Drive limit the area available for the proposed structure.


B.   The special circumstances are not the result of actions or inactions by the applicant or the current owner.


The special circumstances stated previously, have existed on the lot for many years and have not recently occurred due to any actions or inactions of the owners.  The above circumstances are not the result of action or inaction of the applicant.  The property’s physical characteristics and location were not created or altered by the applicant.


C.   The strict interpretation and enforcement of the Land Use Code provisions 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.


Because of the size and shape of the lot and the road setbacks, strict interpretation and enforcement of the provisions of the Code would cause on unnecessary and undue hardship.  There are other buildings along Soderburg Drive and in the immediate vicinity that do not meet the required side setback distance because they were either granted a variance or were built prior to the setback requirements.  If denied this request, the owners would be denied a similar right.


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 use of the land.  There currently exists a single family dwelling on the property.  Granting the requested variance is the minimum action that will allow the applicant to construct and use the proposed attached garage without altering the driveway location which would in turn impact traffic flow and visibility on Soderburg Drive.


E.   Granting the variance will not result in a substantial adverse impact on other property in the vicinity of the subject land or structure.


It is not anticipated that granting the variance will adversely affect any neighbors or their property.  No objections have been received by any of the neighboring property owners at this time.  A letter signed by neighboring property owners, 6 different addresses, in support of this variance request was received.  These property owners include the neighbor immediately to the south, adjacent to the proposed 4 foot setback, as well as owners across Soderburg Drive that would be looking down on this property.  After a visit to the site and reviewing aerial photographs the side setback encroachment appears to be a right commonly enjoyed by others along the same street.  Although granting this variance would appear to place this structure closer to Soderburg Drive than any other structure on that street, it would impact the street and neighborhood more to alter the location of the driveway to access the garage further north on Soderburg Drive.


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


Granting the setback variance would not impair the intent and purpose of the Land Use Code or Master Plan.  Attaching the garage to the existing house will help preserve the character and quality of the area by giving the appearance of one continuous structure instead of two separate structures.


            G.        The recommendations of referral agencies have been considered.


 Referral agency comments were considered.  No objections were offered from other agencies or departments.


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.


Kent Bruxvoort moved and Eric Berglund seconded the Motion that the Board adopt the following 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 applicants be and they hereby are granted their 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 this approval.


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in the event the Applicants Dennis Grunstad and Teresa Leonhardt 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 Application 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 Larry Chisesi, Eric Berglund, Kent Bruxvoort, Evelyn King and Bridget Barclay-Sudol voted in favor of the Resolution.  The Findings and Resolution were duly adopted and the setback variance was granted subject to conditions.




By Motion duly made, seconded and carried, the meeting was adjourned at 7:07 p.m.









            By Motion duly made, seconded and carried the above and foregoing minutes were approved on the _____ day of __________________, 2006.


                                                            LARIMER COUNTY BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT



                                                By:       __________________________________________