AGRICULTURAL ADVISORY BOARD
March 9, 2011
Members present: Curtis Bridges, Justin Discoe, LuAnn Goodyear, Lew Grant, Minerva Lee, Val Manning, Gail Meisner, George Reed, Richard Seaworth, and George Wallace. Others present: Karen Crumbaker (Extension), Ch arles Gindler (L arimer Coun ty D NR), and Linda Hoffmann (Staff liaison, Larimer County Planning & Building Division). Guests: Samantha Mott, Larimer County Staff Planner, Forbes Guthrie, Colorado Water Innovation Cluster, Josh Birks, Colorado Water Innovation Cluster, and Stephen Smith, Regenesis.
Members absent: David Bee, Dennis Goeltl, Jason Kraft, Brett Markham, Jon Slutsky
I. Val Manning called the meeting to order at 12:33 p.m. Board members introduced themselves to the attending guests, Samantha Mott, Larimer County Staff Planner, Forbes Guthrie, Colorado Water Innovation Cluster, Josh Birks, Colorado Water Innovation Cluster, and Stephen Smith, Regenesis.
II. The January 12, 2011 AAB Meeting Minutes were reviewed and approved.
III. Forbes Guthrie, Josh Birks, and Stephen Smith were invited to speak to the AAB members about the Colorado Water Innovation Cluster (CWIC). The goal of the CWIC is to serve as a catalyst and focus on innovative and entrepreneurial ways to grow the water resources and technology sector of the economy through actionable initiatives and showcase projects. Through public and private partnerships, CWIC is interested in increasing employment and economic opportunities. The speakers emphasized the importance of promoting dialogue between CWIC and the AAB, welcoming input from the Board on conflicts and concerns regarding water issues in Larimer County. The also suggested returning later in the year to update the AAB on projects CWIC is working on.
IV. Samantha Mott, Larimer County Staff Planner, is visiting with community members and a variety of boards to seek input to proposed code language amendments to the Accessory Rural Occupation. Samantha handed out a draft of the proposed code language changes and asked for comments.
Samantha indicated that the proposed code amendments are intended to allow land owners more flexibility to increase uses of rural property while maintaining rural residential or rural agricultural character. Draft language was discussed and AAB comments were tracked as input on further revision to the proposed code amendment language. The County will have similar sessions with other appropriate Boards and Committees. All input will be considered. Further updates will be provided as necessary. A summary of the comments made by the AAB is attached.
V. Each committee group reported on their continuing work.
Public Education Committee – Val Manning
- The spring seminar, Growing Your Future in Larimer County – Introduction to Agriculture, was changed from March 12, 2011 to April 9, 2011. It will be held at the Larimer County Courthouse, 200 W. Oak Street, Fort Collins. The focus of the conference this year will be the history of agriculture in Larimer County, agricultural water issues and opportunities in Larimer County, the importance of preserving agricultural land, the results of the Northern Colorado Regional Food System Assessment, buying local, eating local, and growing local. The seminar will highlight the work of the subcommittees of the AAB.
Water Availability Committee – George Wallace
- A number of public educational presentations by members of the Water Availability Committee will take place at “The Poudre Runs Through It” educational session on March 10, 2011; for the Fort Collins Water Board on March 17, 2011; for the Greeley Water Board; and for the North Poudre Irrigation Company.
- The committee felt the relationship between the AAB and the Colorado Water Innovation Cluster will be positive.
Agricultural Land Preservation Policy Committee – Lew Grant
- The Ag. Land Preservation Policy Committee is partnering with the Legacy Land Trust, Larimer County, and the City of Fort Collins Natural Areas and Open Lands to put together a presentation for the AAB spring seminar on April 9, 2011. They will address the following issues: (1) What are the primary agricultural lands in Larimer County; (2) What pressures are expected in the future; (3) Why should you care; (4) What has been preserved in the past; (5) What the future trends may bring; and (6) A call to action. How you can help.
- The Poudre Runs Through It: Northern Colorado’s Water Future. The future of the Poudre River and water for Northern Colorado is much debated. An educational session will take place on Thursday, March 10, 2011, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Larimer County Courthouse, 200 W. Oak Street, Fort Collins, Colorado.
- An educational program on estate planning, “Steps for Successful Farm Transition”, sponsored by Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and Poudre Valley Coop. will be held on March 24, 2011, 7:00 p.m. at the Poudre Valley REA conference room.
- There will be a social and tour of Bee Family Centennial Farm on June 11, 2011 beginning with a 5:00 pot luck dinner.
- Linda Hoffmann looked into amending the AAB By-laws to remove the secretary as an elected position. It was recommended by the Larimer County attorney that a secretary be elected to the AAB, then delegate record taking duties instead of eliminating the secretary from the Board officers. A motion was made and seconded to elect Gail Meisner secretary of the AAB. Gail then recommended staff be responsible for taking notes and setting up all AAB meetings.
- Richard Seaworth mentioned the ongoing problem with farm equipment and trucks coming and going from farms along County Road 70. Because the driveways to the farms along C.R. 70 are not wide enough, large vehicles turning on and off C.R. 70 cause a safety problem with other traffic on the road. Richard asked for the support of the AAB to address the issue with Larimer County. One solution to reduce the safety issues is to increase the width of the driveways along C.R. 70.
- Each member of the AAB will receive nametags.
VII. The next AAB meeting will be held on May 11, 2011 at 12:30 p.m. at the CSU Larimer County Extension office.
VIII. The meeting was adjourned at 3:02 p.m.
(AAB/March 9, 2011 Minutes)
Agricultural Advisory Board
Comments for Rural Occupations
- Is this a problem?
- People operating in shadows.
- More “real experience” input needed.
- AAB should ask people who are under radar now.
- Ag uses not covered in home businesses code we have. More residential/urban intent.
- Language should be more general:
- Can’t think of all the uses.
- What if IGA is signed and you’re already operating?
- Approved thru PSP or voluntary registration would provide documentation.
- Noise, dust, … could be used to prohibit farming. Should add… Can’t exceed normal farming…noise, etc. in terms of nuisance.
- People in rural areas do all kinds of noisy things.
- Intent language at beginning of Code section should make it very clear this is to support ag./rural enterprises.
- Prohibited: add other uses that conflict with rural/ag use.
- Definition of ‘property’- multiple parcels?
- Not all ag use now? What about non-contiguous parcels? Can it still be accessory?
- Multiple zoning/multiple uses.
- Minimum lot size – some support for 5, some support for 3 or less.
- Like building s.f. limited by % of lot up to a cap.
- Outdoor areas – mimic building setbacks for outdoor area setbacks.
- Be more liberal with amount of area that can be used.
- Screening – needs to relate to activity.
- How does this relate to value-added ag?
- Visual impact is often root of neighbor disputes/complaints.
- By right – setback and/or screening.
- Public Site Plan- apply some judgment.
- If going thru Public Site Plan – why limit vehicle trips?
- Should be part of review.
- Who counts the trips?
- Max per day or ADT?
- Vehicle trips are hard to enforce.
- Maybe only use this measure on smaller lots.
- Keep it as unrestricted as possible.
- Spin it to be encouraging in the language.