The role of the Advisory Board is to advise the Board of County Commissioners and appropriate departments on environmental and science-related issues that affect Larimer County

MINUTES

Date: May 14th, 2019

Time:   6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Location: Larimer County Courthouse Office Building, Carter Lake Meeting Room, 200 West Oak St

Fort Collins, Colorado

Contact: Shelley Bayard de Volo, sbayard@larimer.org or 970.498.5738

MEMBERS

 

STAFF

 

GUESTS

Richard Alper

 

John Kefalas*

X

Jeremy Call ǂ , Logan Simpson

Daniel Beveridge

X

Shelley Bayard de Volo ¥

X

Rich Conant

 

Lea Schneider §

 

 

Jim Gerek - Chair

X

 

 

 

Michael Jones

 

 

 

City of Fort Collins

Evelyn King

X

 

 

Donnie Dustin ǂ

David Lehman – Vice-Chair

 

 

 

Tara Muller

Allyson Little

X

 

 

 

Kirk Longstein

X

 

 

Nick Francis, FCSG

George Rinker

X

 

 

 

Katrina Winborn-Miller

X

 

 

 

Chris Wood

X

 

 

 

X = present; * = commissioner Liaison; ǂ = speaker; ¥ = ESAB Liaison; § = Larimer County Department of Health and Environment

 

Call to Order:  6:05 p.m.

1.   Amendments or additions to the agenda – Richard was not in attendance, so his update will be postponed until the June meeting.

2.   Introduction of members, staff and guests – All present introduced themselves, including one member of the public, Nick Francis, from the Fort Collins Sustainability Group. 

3.   Public Comment - none

4.   Discussion Items

a.   Halligan Reservoir expansion (6.02c) :   Donnie Dustin, City of Fort Collins Water Resources Manager, provided an update on the City’s plans to expand the Halligan Reservoir.  He began by showing a video highlighting the project’s purpose and need, which includes increased storage capacity in preparation for projected growth within the City’s utility service area. Each household uses ~0.33 acre-feet/year, and although City residents have reduced their use by 1/3, the City realizes they cannot meet their utility needs through conservation alone. Raising the dam by 25 ft will provide an additional 8100 acre-feet of storage, essentially doubling the current 7100 acre-feet storage capacity.

The city is evaluating environmental impacts associated with the project, and as part of the project’s permitting, they are engaged with the US Army Corp of Engineers (COE), as well as other stakeholders including Larimer County’s Community Development department.  The City makes the case that although their project will have environmental impacts, their planning is focused on avoidance and mitigation of impacts. They also note that this project will improve year-round flow conditions on the North Fork of the Poudre River (below the dam), which runs dry in many areas along its length during the winter months. 

The City anticipates the COE to release the public draft of the Environmental Impact Statement later in 2019.  At the same time, the City’s conceptual Mitigation Plan will also be released.   Both will be open to public comment.

The video is available at: https://www.fcgov.com/halligan/

b.  Larimer County Comprehensive Plan (1.01) – Larimer County’s projected population growth is expected to reach 535,756 by the year 2040. Considering this growth projection, developing a vision of how the County should grow is very important and that vision should guide future updates to the land use code. 

Jeremy Call, a contractor to the County Community Development Department, presented a summary of the Plan and noted that the final Plan is a melding of the Mountain Resiliency Plan and the Foothills and Plains Plan – in the end there is a single Plan.  The Plan focuses on principals and policies involving the community, economy, housing, health and social, infrastructure and watershed & natural resources.  Jeremy noted that about 95% of Larimer County’s population resides in the towns and cities, which provide the typical urban services (infrastructure and emergency services).  The County’s vision is that it can, and should, maintain the rural qualities that make it special but to accomplish that requires well developed land-use planning.  To achieve this, the Plan presents land-use categories (e.g., urban expansion, industrial, agriculture and ranching) and lays out preferred/discouraged uses, their policy basis, and maps the optimal locations within the County for those land uses categories.

Jeremy asked that the ESAB provide its comments on the Plan, particularly Chap. 3 and Appendix F, through individual comments using the online portal.  He then showed the group how to use the online portal and post comments.  Jim asked that the Board have the usual month to complete and coordinate its comments, with final consolidated comments being submitted around June 15. This was judged to be too long as public comment closes May 31, and overall comments need to be prepared for a Planning Commission study session on June 16. Jeremy offered to provide a table of all the ESAB member’s comments when the open comment period ends May 31st.  Jim asked that Board members submit their personal comments on-line as requested and indicated that at the June meeting the Board would try to review them to see if there are any overall themes worth highlighting as an advisory board.   

5.   Approval of Minutes – Evelyn moved to approve the March minutes, and George seconded the motion.  The minutes were approved by acclamation.  Chris moved to approve the April minutes, and Evelyn seconded the motion.  The amended minutes were approved by acclamation.

6.   Updates and Round Table –

a.   Draft Charter for County Oil and Gas Regulations Task Force – Jim briefly described that Richard applied for the Task Force and was notified that he was selected to serve to represent the ESAB.  Their first meeting will be June 20th

b.   Climate Action Plan (CAP) – Kirk provided an update on the process and noted that he and Katrina met with Larimer County staff and discussed coordinating a working group to develop a Plan.  Larimer County Department of Health and Environment participated in the CAP meeting and were very interested in seeing a Plan developed.  Kirk noted that a possible roadmap forward includes expanding on the County’s facilities greenhouse gas inventory from 2011, and to include more areas of the County.  He is also trying to do some coordination with peer counties.

c.   Environmental Stewardship Awards – Shelley provided a brief update on the stewardship awards.  After BoCC agreement with the ESAB’s recommendations, all three awardees were notified of their selection.  Those not selected were also notified and were encouraged to apply again in future years.  Their letters also identified ways they can improve their nomination next year.  ESAB members are invited to the award ceremony on June 10.

d.   Boards and Commission Periodic Review, Next Steps – Shelley briefly spoke to the review process and noted that Debra said that the BoCC will not look at the questionnaires until probably the Fall of this year - they have until the end of the year to make their decision. Debra did note that all ESAB members returned their questionnaires – good job! 

7.   Agendas Topics for future meetings – In June Karam Ahmad, from the Colorado Health Institute, will speak on the health impacts associated with Climate Change.  The July meeting we will host Adam Palmer, who will speak on Eagle County’s Climate Action Plan.

8.   Adjourn Evelyn moved to adjourn the meeting with Daniel seconding.  All were in favor and the meeting was adjourned at 8:40 PM.