Minutes of February 15, 2017


The Larimer County Planning Commission met in a regular session on Wednesday, February 15, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. in the Hearing Room.  Commissioners’ Christman, Couch, Cox, Dougherty, Gerrard, Glick, Jensen, Miller and Wallace were present.  Commissioner Glick presided as Chairman.  Also present were Matt Lafferty, Principle Planner, Brenda Gimeson, Planner II, Traci Shambo, Engineering Department, Lea Schneider, Health Department and Jill Wilson, Recording Secretary. 


The Planning Commission went on a site visit to Mile High Estates Conservation Development.








APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FOR THE JANUARY 18, 2017 MEETING:   MOTION by Commissioner Cox to approve the minutes, seconded by Commissioner Dougherty.  This received unanimous voice approval.



Mr. Lafferty stated that Item #2 Amendments to the Larimer County Land Use Code, Section 4.2.2, had been tabled to March 15, 2017.




ITEM #1 MILE HIGH ESTATES CONSERVATION DEVELOPMENT #16-LAND3574:   Ms. Gimeson provided background information on the request for a Preliminary Plat for a Conservation Development of a 93.57 acre parcel into 6 single-family residential lots, two Residual Lots for ag support buildings and two outlots.  The property was located at 3401 E County Road 16, Loveland, Colorado, which was southeast of Loveland at the northwest corner of County Road 9 and County Road 16.  She explained that the property was located outside the recognized Growth Management Area for Loveland; however, the City of Loveland considered it a part of their GMA with a future land use designation of low density residential.  In addition, she noted that the proposed Residual Lots were not proposed to be protected in perpetuity, and the applicant was asking for an interim development while waiting for full development at urban densities in a GMA.  She showed the potential development opportunities on the site if divided through the County or through the City.  She also mentioned that access to the new lots would be off of County Road 9 and that the request included an Appeal to Section 8.14.1.R of the Larimer County Land Use Code regarding road connectivity to the north of the development, which staff supported.


John Mathey, applicant, stated that he had no further comments and would like time for rebuttal after public comment.







Sonja Warberg, stated that along with Pat Clarke, they developed the Warberg Farm Conservation Development, which was to the immediate south of the proposed development.  She stated that she did not consider the proposal a Conservation Development due to the residual land proposed not to be in perpetuity, which she disagreed with.  She noted that East County Road 16 was a two lane road not equipped to carry a lot of traffic and could not accommodate the kind of traffic that could be generated if the proposal was developed further.  She also objected to the proposed name of Sophia Street off of County Road 9 as there was a Sophia Court in Warberg Farm.  She stated that her biggest objection was the attempt to have future development on the residual land, which was totally inconsistent with what was developed in the area.  She felt that if the applicant was proposing a Conservation Development then the same restrictions should be in place as were required for other developments in the area.


Commissioner Cox asked when Warberg Farm was completed.


Ms. Warberg replied that the plat was recorded in 2009. 


Gordon Gilstrap, stated that he owned the mineral rights on the property, and there were two producing wells on the property.  He stated that the current proposed lots would not interfere; however, the proposal for future development might impact the mineral rights.


Commissioner Gerrard asked about the future plans for the wells.


Mr. Gilstrap stated that there had been no agreements made with the property owners and no formal setback agreements. 


Jeremiah Wilson, mentioned that many concerns from the neighborhood meeting dealt with road improvements, fire hydrants, etc.  He also mentioned that the access design was poor and felt that there should be controlled access points to help with the traffic impacts. He also mentioned concerns about having easements for water and gas.  He remarked that the concerns and opinions from the neighbors had been pushed aside by the owner.  He also stated that the proposal was not compatible with the surrounding area, there were major concerns that the residual lot was not being held in perpetuity, and that the proposal was for a tiered development. 


Commissioner Gerrard asked where his property was in relationship to the proposed development. 


Mr. Wilson stated that he had property within Warberg Farm.


Mark Rau, lived in Warberg Farm, was concerned with the interim development proposal.  He stated that the current road system could not handle the amount of traffic that would be generated.


Jared Wilson, owned property in Warberg Farm, had concerns that there was no long range plan.  He pointed out concerns with the proposed cul-de-sacs, and the proximity of the proposed road to County Road 9 especially if County Road 9 was ever widened.  He stated agricultural components where trying to be maintained within the area, and the people in the area would like to protect that along with the impacts to the area.


Mr. Lafferty mentioned that additional right-of-way would be dedicated with the plat for any potential expansion of County Road 9. 


Mr. Wilson felt that there could be access issues with the design of the proposed road.


Mr. Mathey explained that the project started as a Rural Land Use Plan.  During that process he was notified that the City of Loveland was proposing to change their GMA boundary; therefore, they chose to go through the Conservation Development process and maintain their development rights.  He stated that they were willing to rename the street.  He also understood there could be future drilling on the property.  He explained that there was a current easement for the water district, and the lots could be hooked up to the current line.  Fire hydrants would also be installed and Xcel and Poudre Valley REA had also been contacted.  He stated that the roads were developed to the standards required by the Engineering Department.  He pointed out that they were only proposing 5 lots when they could have requested 23 lots. 


Ms. Gimeson stated that referral agencies including the utility companies, CDOT, and the City of Loveland did receive information about the proposed development. 


Traci Shambo, Engineering Department, stated that CDOT did not have comments or concerns with the current size of the proposal and stated that if further development was proposed, more traffic studies would be required.  They also stated that there were no concerns with the impacts to Highway 402 from the 5 proposed lots.    


Commissioner Jensen asked how long the wait would be to develop the land further.


Ms. Gimeson explained that if the property was added to the GMA boundary or annexed to the City then the applicant could come back to propose further development.


Mr. Lafferty noted that there was currently no sewer in the area, which would have to be developed in order to develop land at a high density.


Commissioner Cox asked which developments in the area had land in perpetuity.


Ms. Gimeson pointed out properties to the east and the north that had land in perpetuity.


Commissioner Cox asked if the County Commissioners were okay going forward with the assumption that the area was part of a cooperative planning area.


Mr. Lafferty explained that the Commissioners authorized for the proposal to move forward with the request to be an interim development.


Commissioner Cox asked how the proposal aligned with the master plan agricultural aspects for the area.


Mr. Lafferty stated that parcels within cooperative planning areas were given the right within the code to ask for the exemption.


Commissioner Christman pointed out that it was not in an adopted cooperative planning area.


Mr. Lafferty explained that the County did not have an adopted cooperative planning area.  There had been dialogue with the City of Loveland to consider amending the GMA, and the Commissioners agreed to allow the applicant to apply due to the fact that dialogue regarding the GMA with the City of Loveland had begun.  He explained that under the provisions of the Land Use Code a cooperative planning area could be established, which would be an area outside of the GMA where the County and the Cities agreed that there was the potential for something to happen in the future.


Commissioner Cox was concerned about setting a precedent.


Commissioner Gerrard noted that the property owner was asking to reserve his property rights.


Commissioner Cox remarked that the applicant was not denied their right to develop the property.  She noted that there was no identified cooperative planning area.



Commissioner Miller stated that he agreed with the applicant’s request.


Commissioner Wallace felt that it was a premature request, and the developer should wait to develop until it was known if the GMA boundary was going to change.  The future plans were unknown, and it was not within their pervue.  She felt that it was a violation of the Conservation Development section of the code and believed that there should not be a waiver or restriction as there was a Land Use Code for a reason.


Commissioner Dougherty disagreed.  The developer was making a proposal that was allowed through the Land Use Code and with the Commissioners approval.  It was the applicant’s pervue to request the proposal, and he stated that he would vote for the proposal.


Commissioner Cox stated that there was an unintended consequence with the proposal.  She felt that just because there was a ‘perceived’ cooperative planning area misled the property owners in an area.  Nothing had been defined or publicly discussed; therefore, the public was under the assumption of County density levels.  She felt that it could cause unintended consequences to allow an open ended situation within a Conservation Development.


Commissioner Jensen noted that the Code allowed for the property owner to have choices and rights.


Mr. Lafferty stated that it was Section 5.3.2.F of the Land Use Code, which stated, ‘ All residual land must be maintained and remain undeveloped in perpetuity in accordance with appropriate use plan for residual land and/or common area as provided in section of this code, except in cooperative planning areas (CPAs) where a conservation development may be an interim development while waiting for full development at urban densities in a GMA district.’ It was believed that the property was within a transition area within the County that fit within Section 5.3.2.F.


Commissioner Gerrard felt that it was ok to allow it as an interim development.




Commissioner Gerrard moved that the Planning Commission adopt the following Resolution:


BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission recommends to the Board of County Commissioners approval of the Mile High Estates Conservation Development and the appeal to Section 8.14.1.R (connectivity) of the Land Use Code, file #16-LAND3574, for the property described on “Exhibit A” to the minutes, subject to the following conditions:


1.   The Final Plat shall be consistent with the approved preliminary plan and with the information contained in the Mile High Estates Conservation Development File # 16-LAND3574 except as modified by the conditions of approval or agreement of the County and applicant.  The applicant shall be subject to all other verbal or written representations and commitments of record for the Mile High Estates Conservation Development File # 16-LAND3574.


2.   The following fees shall be collected at building permit issuance for new single family dwellings:  Thompson school fee, Larimer County fees for County and Regional Transportation Capital Expansion, Larimer County Regional Park Fees (in lieu of dedication) and drainage fees.  The fee amount that is current at the time of building permit application shall apply. 


3.   Automatic fire protection sprinklers will be required for all new residential structures or written permission to deviate from this requirement must be provided from the fire district. 


4.   All habitable structures will require an engineered foundation system. Such engineered foundation system designs shall be based upon a site specific soils investigation.  The lowest habitable floor level (basement) shall not be less than 3 feet from the seasonal high water table.  Mechanical methods proposed to reduce the ground water level, unless it is a response after construction, must be proposed on a development wide basis.


5.   Passive radon mitigation measures shall be included in construction of residential structures on these lots.  The results of a radon detection test conducted in new dwellings once the structure is enclosed but prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy shall be submitted to the Building Department.  As an alternative, a builder may present a prepaid receipt from a radon tester which specifies that a test will be done within 30 days.  A permanent certificate of occupancy can be issued when the prepaid receipt is submitted.


Commissioner Dougherty seconded the Motion.


Commissioner Dougherty asked for a Friendly Amendment to the Motion to state, ‘the Planning Commission recommends to the Board of County Commissioners approval of the Mile High Estates Conservation Development and the appeal to Section 8.14.1.R (connectivity) of the Land Use Code, file #16-LAND3574.  The Residual Lots are not proposed to be protected in perpetuity, and the retention of the permitted density allowed by zoning and the ability to replat under an interim development will be allowed while waiting for full development at urban densities in a GMA district as allowed under Section 5.3.2.F.’


Commissioner Gerrard accepted the Friendly Amendment.


Commissioner Wallace stated that the only reason that she would vote for the proposal would be because the County Commissioners had indicated that it met the requirement for a cooperative planning area as defined in Section 5.3.2.F. If it was not a cooperative planning area, then she did not feel that it was an appropriate amendment or appropriate Motion.


Commissioner Christman agreed with Commissioner Wallace’s comment.


Commissioner Glick also agreed with Commissioner Wallace and would not vote for the proposal if it was not a recognized cooperative plan area.


Commissioner Cox also agreed with Commissioner Wallace’s comments and was concerned that the cooperative planning area was not defined.  She asked that the Motion be amended to note that if it was not considered a cooperative plan area then the request for the interim development should not be allowed.


Commissioner Gerrard Amended the Friendly Amendment to the Motion to now stated that,

‘the Planning Commission recommends to the Board of County Commissioners approval of the Mile High Estates Conservation Development and the appeal to Section 8.14.1.R (connectivity) of the Land Use Code, file #16-LAND3574.  The Residual Lots are not proposed to be protected in perpetuity, and the retention of the permitted density allowed by zoning and the ability to replat under an interim development will be allowed while waiting for full development at urban densities in a GMA district as allowed under Section 5.3.2.F based on the understanding that the Board of County Commissioners had agreed that the area was within a cooperative planning area.


Commissioner Dougherty seconded the amended Friendly Amendment to the Motion.


Commissioners’ Christman, Couch, Cox, Dougherty, Gerrard, Jensen, Miller, Wallace and Chairman Glick voted in favor of the Motion.





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


ADJOURNMENT:   There being no further business, the hearing adjourned at 8:00 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.



_______________________________                      ______________________________

Scott Glick, Chairman                                                Mina Cox, Secretary




That portion of Larimer County, Colorado described as follows:




according to the plat thereof recorded October 10,2001 at Reception Number 2001091111.


The property description, shown above, is from the Warranty Deed recorded at Reception

No. 20110071537, records of the Larimer County Clerk and Recorder.