LARIMER COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION

 Minutes of April 18, 2018

The Larimer County Planning Commission met in a regular session on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. in the Hearing Room.  Commissioners’ Caraway, Christman, Cox, Gerrard, Jensen, Miller and Wallace were present.  Commissioner Dougherty presided as Chairman.  Commissioner Lucas was absent.  Also present were Todd Blomstrom, Public Works Director, Mark Peterson, County Engineer, Rob Helmick, Senior Planner, Michael Whitley, Planner II, Traci Shambo, Engineering Department, Lea Schneider, Health Department, and Jill Wilson, Recording Secretary. 

 

The Planning Commission went on a site visit to Hockensmith Subdivision, Colorado Cherry Company Rezoning, Mon Cheri Community Hall Special Review, and Timberline Resources 6th Amended Special Review. 

 

COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC REGARDING THE COUNTY LAND USE CODE: 

Karen Wagner, the importance of 1041 regulations and the importance of state regulations.  She mentioned Pueblo County for example in using an outside agency to address citizen concern before public hearings were scheduled. 

 

COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC REGARDING OTHER RELEVANT LAND USE MATTERS NOT ON THE AGENDA:  

None.

 

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FOR THE MARCH 21, 2018 MEETING:   MOTION by Commissioner Cox to approve the minutes, seconded by Commissioner Miller.  This received unanimous voice approval.

 

AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA:  

 

 

CONSENT ITEMS:

 

ITEM #1 AMENDMENTS TO THE LARIMER COUNTY LAND USE CODE SECTIONS 9.5 & 9.6 #18-CODE0228:   Ms. Mallette provided background information on the request to make amendments to the Larimer County Land Use Code, Section 9.5 Non-Regional Road Capital Expansion Fee and Section 9.6 Regional Road Capital Expansion Fee to comply with the 2018 Transportation Capital Expansion Fee.

 

DISCUSSION:

Commissioner Cox 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 Amendments to the Larimer County Land Use Code Sections 9.5 & 9.6, file #18-CODE0228, as shown on “Exhibit A” to the minutes.

Commissioner Miller seconded the Motion.

 

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

 

 

MOTION PASSED:  8 -0

 

ITEMS:

 

ITEM #1 HOCKENSMITH SUBDIVISION #17-LAND3622:   Mr. Whitley provided background information on the request for a Preliminary and Final Plat of a one lot Subdivision intended to remove the development restriction on Lot 2 of the Hockensmith Minor Land Division located at 102 N. County Road 23, Berthoud; located on the east side of County Road 23 approximately 2,000 feet south of the intersection of County Road 23 and County Road 8.  He stated that there was a proposed building envelope.  The request also includes an Appeal to Section 8.14.1.H (Lot Depth-to-Width Ratio) of the Land Use Code.

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY:

Linda Angove, when the Minor Land Division was approved the applicant stated that the remaining 15 acres would be for pasture due to the floodplain.  She wondered the plans for future development.  It would cause problems to the north, south and east.  It would obstruct flows along Dry Creek basin.  She stated that the leech field, driveways would affect drainage and add to higher water tables. 

 

Commissioner Dougherty asked if the property would have to go through another approval.

 

Mr. Whitley stated that a building permit would have to be applied for.  It would have to show that the Finish floor elevation was at least 18 inches above the base elevation.

 

Lea Schneider, stated that a system could not be in a floodplain but built right up to the floodway.  It was a tight building envelope but we talked with staff and it is possible.

 

Commissioner Dougherty asked if further subdividing could occur.

 

Mr. Whitley stated that it was possible.  He stated that there was not an identified floodplain in the area but there was a flood fringe which would make it more difficult.

 

Commissioner Cox asked if this was an unusual request.  Why was it not subdivided in the first place instead of going through the minor land division process.

 

Mr. Whitley explained the history of the proposal.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

Commissioner Cox 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 Hockensmith Subdivision and Appeal to Section 8.14.1.H (Lot Depth-to-Width Ratio) of the Land Use Code, file #17-LAND3622, for the property described on “Exhibit B” 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 Hockensmith Subdivision, File #17-LAND3622, 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 Hockensmith Subdivision.

 

2.   The following fees shall be collected at building permit issuance for new single family dwellings: Thompson R-2J 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.   A future home on Lot 1 would be required to be equipped with a residential fire sprinkler system if a fire hydrant is not installed within 1,000 feet of the home.  The fire hydrant would need to be connected to a public water supply providing 500 gallon per minute (gpm) flow at a minimum 20 pounds per square inch (psi) pressure.

 

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.

 

6.   Construction of the home shall comply with the applicable floodplain overlay zone regulations.

 

 

Commissioner Miller seconded the Motion.

 

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

 

 

MOTION PASSED:  8 -0

 

 

 

ITEM #2 & #3 COLORADO CHERRY COMPANY REZONING #17-ZONE2297 /

MON CHERI COMMUNITY HALL SPECIAL REVIEW #17-ZONE2301:   Mr. Helmick provided background information on the request for a rezoning from O-Open to B-Business for an existing non-conforming business use at the property located at 12311 Hwy 36, Lyons CO.  More specifically located in Pinewood Springs on the north side of the highway. The property has been used as a restaurant since 1961.  The adjacent properties that are zoned B-Business were zoned in 1974 and 1979.  The parcel to the east is vacant, the parcel to the south contains a restaurant.  The parcel to the west was used in the past as a gas station, which has been abandoned for some time.  The owners have previously received approval to modify the non-conforming use to allow some retail sales with the restaurant use and have received approval to construct a deck on the north side of the building.  They now propose a rezoning to business to move the property from non-conformity to conformity.  The Development Review Staff was recommending approval of the rezoning.

 

He explained the applicant was also proposing a Community Hall use in the B-Business zoning district with an outdoor use over 5000 square feet.   The applicant proposes to operate a wedding venue at the Colorado Cherry Company site in Pinewood Springs.  This use is an additional use to the currently operating restaurant/retail use.  The companion application for a rezoning to B-Business would allow a “community hall” as a use by right subject to Special Review; however, the inclusion of over 5000 square feet of outdoor area requires a Special Review approval. The applicants were proposing to utilize a 60 x 40 foot tent for part of the use.  The use would be seasonal, operating from May to October.  Up to 175 attendees is the upper limit proposed by the applicant. Events are most often on weekends and would end no later than 10 pm.  The tent is used principally for receptions and does include a sound system.  There is some history to this use.  For the last two years the operators have conducted wedding and receptions of up to 175+ individuals on the property and an adjacent lot.  Those events were occurring under the previous Special Events Permit process, which did not count events under 300 individuals at one time.  Located in Pinewood Springs, the site is served by the Pinewood Water District and on site sanitation.  There is public interest in this application with a significant number of correspondents voicing opposition to the use.  There is general support of the existing uses but not this expansion. 

This site is an existing non-conforming business and has operated at this site for several years.  The wedding venue has operated for the last two years, and we have had inquiries and complaints.   As a part of this application, the applicant did provide a sound study and its results do show that they can meet the numeric noise standards in the noise ordinance.  However, based on both complaints and the site visit by Health Department, staff it is clear that given the nature of the site and the neighborhood noise continues to be audible.  Distinctly discernable vocals and announcements can be heard at nearby properties.  The applicant has discussed possible mitigation but at this point have not provided any specific proposals.  It maybe that amplified music and announcements could be eliminated, which may reduce the impact of noise the applicant is connected to the Pinewood Springs Water District.  The district has noted they are very concerned about the potential impact of the use on water supplies.  The applicant notes that they have not exceed the water use set by their taps.  They are proposing that they haul water as a supplement to the site, which would act as the principal supply for events.  The Health Department has noted this is acceptable but the system must be connected to the public water supply at the same time.  It may be switched but the connection must exist. 

The site is served by the Pinewood Springs Fire District.  Emergency medical and fire protection in this area will rely on ensuring that there are adequate on site safeguards and provisions for notification.  The district notes they do not have a position on the request as long as all permits necessary are in place.   

The site fronts on Highway 36, and the applicant has completed a traffic study.  The Colorado Department of Transportation has noted the traffic generated by the use will not require highway improvement but a new access permit is required. 

Off road, parking was identified as an issue.  The applicants propose to utilize an adjacent property and will need to provide an agreement for the use as a part of any approval.  An appeal to the paving standard has been previously approved by the Board of County Commissioners.    

The overarching issue is the appropriateness and impact of the use to the community.  The second is the specific impact of noise.  Regarding the general appropriateness, this site is situated along a major US highway which is one of the gateways to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain N.P.  The specific location has been in business use for over 50 years and is directly on the highway frontage.  There is, however, the additional component of the use which is the outdoor use.  This, as far as evening use, adds an additional element which when the intensity and noise component are considered may influence how the use fits with the community.  The proposal is for an outdoor wedding venue with a tent as part of the reception use.  The weddings are proposed for up to 175 participants which would suggest that some sort of amplification is necessary to communicate to attendees.  This could be more subdued than the reception, which is more celebratory and has the potential to be loud.  Based on the information provided by the applicant, the noise levels will meet the numeric standards of the Nosie Ordinance. The other component of noise is the potential for disturbance.  

Ms. Schneider stated that the goal was to use the existing restrooms might be used for the community hall use.  If restrooms were outside, a cistern would be required.

 

Commissioner Christman asked about adjacent properties.

 

Mr. Helmick showed the map and stated that the closest residence is about 200 feet. With a few within 600 feet.

 

Commissioner Cox asked about parking and stated that parking would be part of the special review process.

 

Mr. Helmick stated that in the special review being able to use the neighbors area for parking is necessary.  If this property is sold the use would need to be scaled back or go away.  This is the risk they are taking.

 

Commissioner Wallace stated that a condition of approval should be added regarding the parking.

#13 - If the sound mitigation plan does not reduce the noise to levels which are not considered a noise disturbance no amplified music or voice shall be allowed.  There were no review criteria for noise disturbance.  It created a community confrontation when the noise ordinance was set up the way it was.

 

Mr. Helmick referred to the Larimer County Noise Ordinance.

 

Commissioner Dougherty stated that he has an issue with no numbers that had to be complied to regarding noise.  He asked if there were a number of events a year to be approved.

 

Mr. Helmick stated that no number was specified.

 

 Jennifer Baker, Todd Hodges Design, currently zoned O-Open and were requesting to be zoned B-Business.  It was 1.6 acres and the cherry company had been operating since the early 2000’s.  There was limited water usage, which was a concern from the Pinewood Springs Water District.  In 2013, a demand for weddings.  Believe there would be maximum capacity of 175 people.  They would be hosted behind the building in a 40x60 tent.  Speakers would have designated area and marked cut off.  They would be hosted May-October.  It would be a seasonal tent.  There would be 7 total available restrooms.  All music would be done by 10 p.m. A gravel parking lot would be provided and she stated that there was a lease agreement with the adjoining property for parking.  All speakers would be kept inside the tent and pointed towards the guests to help mitigate noise. They marketed to smaller weddings with an average of a 4 hour event.  She spoke to the speaker decibel and placement.  It would be encouraged for guests to carpool, which would cut down on traffic, parking demands and dust.  There would also be shuttle opportunities available.  All weddings were catered, food prep, dishes, would be prepared off-site. 

 

Commissioner Cox asked how many weddings were held at the site in 2017.

 

Ms. Baker stated approximately 33 from May-October.

 

Commissioner Cox asked if the proposed mitigation had occurred last year.

 

Anthony Lehnert, owner, stated that the sound study was conducted off season.  Therefore, none of the recommendations had been implemented yet, which they were hoping would have a positive effect.

 

Commissioner Cox asked how many noise complaints were received last year.

 

Ms. Schneider - Health 3, Sheriff 5

 

Commissioner Jensen stated that much of the Water off site.  How much water would be saved.

 

Mr. Lehnert stated that a significant amount was due to washing dishes.  He felt that there would be a huge reduction due to moving that aspect off site.  He stated that they had try and were trying to mitigate all issues like using disposable utensils and plates, taking laundry off site, etc.

 

Commissioner Jensen asked how the noise complaints had been mitigated.

 

Mr. Lehnert stated that when the sheriff was at the site they did not feel that they were out of compliance and recommended no action.  He stated that they started to wind down the event around 9:30.

 

Commissioner Miller asked if the restaurant to the west of you also caters weddings.

 

Mr. Lehnert stated that their website shows events on their website and that he knows that they do hold events.

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY:

 

Robin Ferruggia called in to give her public testimony. As a homeowner of Pinewood Springs the approval of this wedding venue would have an adverse impact on her health as a result of the noise.   One of the requirements for approving/recommending a rezoning is that there has to be cause to believe that the business of a wedding venue is something that the community needs.  The Lehnerts have never produced any evidence that this community needs a wedding venue.  It was stated that Larimer County approved just last January that Special Events in the O-Open Zoning be restricted to (3) a year. 

 

Larry Clements stated in favor of the Colorado Cherry Company but not in favor of the wedding venue.

 

Sue Painter state that she is the closest property to the Wedding Venue and her experience with the company is if she has a concern, they have worked with her. 

 

Steve Stuart stated that he is a longtime resident of Pinewood Springs and serves on the Pinewood Springs Water District Board of Directors.  The raw water supply in Pinewood Springs is a big issue.  The river has run dry in previous years and further restricts water usage. 

 

Thomas Tuer stated that he is on the Pinewood Springs Water Board and is also concerned about the water usage. 

 

Joan Paskewizt state that the traffic study that was done in 2009 is obsolete.  A traffic study was done by Rocky Mountain National Park for 2009 -2016 and traffic has increased 60%.  This has her very concerned if 90 weddings are planned for the season.

 

Kim Bologna state that she is very concerned about water usage since Port-a-potties have been outlawed.

 

Cathlene Burban stated that she is concerned about water usage, traffic, parking blocking mail boxes and noise.

 

John Slovac stated that the sound mitigation plan will not work in Pinewood Springs.  The noise will travel for miles and will disturb this peaceful community.

 

Doug Mann stated that he lives on Bottonrock Road and the noise has gotten worse.  These events have been going on for the past 2 years and the owner of the Cherry Company contacted him to discuss the noise and was implementing the sound mitigation plan and in 2017 the noise was worse.

 

Mark Watson stated that he lives at 30 Commanche Road and moved there in 2015 expecting to live in a quiet mountain community and unfortunately encountered the complete opposite.  Weekends are full of loud music, drunk noisy guests and DJ.  He referred to the Acoustical Analysis from EDI on page 110 of the Agenda.

 

Tony Burfield stated that the rezoning application is an attempt to expand the rights of one owner and not the concern of the rights of the residence that live in Pinewood Springs.  If this is approved he would like to recommend that the music be restricted to acoustic music only.

 

Daniel Grupky stated that the noise can be heard inside his house with the windows and doors closed and this has had a negative impact on their lives.  The owners have not addressed his concerns.

 

Joy Gutridge stated that she has lived in Pinewood Springs for over 40 years and the noise coming from the venue is unbearable and has impacted them negatively.

 

Diana Lawyerbrook stated that Pinewood Springs is a Unique community and has concerns about the water usage, the impact this will have on the volunteer fire department and the noise.

 

Trevor Byron stated his concern on the loud noise and how it is impacting his sleep and job performance.

 

Jeff Burban stated that he has lived in Pinewood Springs since 1997 and would like the Commission to understand why he lives there and approval of the venue will impact his quality of life.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Ms. Baker spoke to the deed restriction.  She stated that there were marked decibel points that would be a cut off mark. 

 

Mr. Lehnert stated that they did get a more efficient dishwashing machine.  They took the water supply very seriously.  The sound engineer did find that the noise fell within the limits of the noise ordinance.  They would do mitigation and set decibel limits.  They would have speaker placement etc.  He mentioned that they had been operating in Colorado for over 50 years.  He stated that they had 3 sites in pinewood, Loveland and Estes.  The business provided valuable jobs and sale tax revenue.  Stated that they were very involved in the communities and also helped and support the community and people after the floods.  The lots adjacent had Business zoning. 

 

Ms. Baker noted an email that CDOT had no comment on the traffic and please refer to this email.  Also noted that considering that the applicant did not go over water usage in 2017 that this condition be waived.

 

Commissioner Gerrard asked about previous noise complaints and how they tried to mitigate those concerns.

 

Mr. Lehnert stated that the tent doors would be closed, music would be turned down.  Based on the sound engineer suggestions still needed to be implemented.

 

Commissioner Gerrard asked if the canyon was a good place for ampliphied music.

 

Mr. Lehnert admitted it presented some challenges that they would have to deal with and close the doors.  He pointed out that the area was a big tourist attraction.

 

Commissioner Wallace asked if there are a number of events that they were going to apply for.

 

Mr. Lehnert stated that it was hard to anticipate.  He stated that it would not be 90 events.  He also stated that the number of attendees at weddings in 2017 varied but were mostly below 175. 

 

Commissioner Dougherty asked what kind of restroom facilities had been used in the past.

 

Mr. Lehnert stated port-a-potties.  He stated that they would ask to utilize the trailer port-a-potties to help with the water usage.

 

Commissioner Dougherty asked if they would be willing to move to acoustic music instead of ampliphied. 

 

Mr. Lehnert stated that he would need to explore that option.  They were trying to follow what Larimer County had suggested by hiring a sound consultant and implementing their recommendations. 

 

Commissioner Gerrard asked if the zoning was changed would it allow for a wedding facility.

 

Mr. Helmick stated that if it was an indoor use it would require site plan review.  With the use of outdoor use it was subject to Special Review. 

 

Commissioner Cox asked if the restaurant could continue as a non-conforming use even if the rezoning was not approved.  It could not be changed to any other business use. 

 

Commissioner Jensen asked that changing the zoning to business could open up the site to be other kind of businesses.

 

Mr. Helmick replied yes.  Some uses might require a Special Review.

 

Commissioner Christman asked about the traffic study.

 

Mr. Helmick stated that the traffic study was from 2010 which was referred to CDOT.  CDOT stated that they would need a new access permit.

 

Commissioner Christman asked what would happen if they exceed their water usage.  The use of the restrooms would cause more water to be used.

 

Mr. Helmick stated that most water districts charge penalties.

 

Steve Stewart state that the Water board has a water structure with tiered fines. If there continues to be violations the water board could terminate usage. 

 

Commissioner Wallace asked why port-a-potties could not be used.

 

Mr. Helmick stated that as a permanent use as proposed port-a-potties were not allowed.  It needed a building permit approved bathroom. 

 

Commissioner Jensen asked about up-zoning request from Open to Business.

 

Mr. Helmick stated that in the masterplan up-zoning would be considered with the special review process and with the history and location of this property we believed it to be consistent with the masterplan.

 

Commissioner Wallace stated that she was having issues with the proposal except for condition #12 A parking agreement for the adjoining property shall be provided by the applicant no later than 90 days after approval.  She was also having issues with the noise issues.  It would be a permanent approval if approved therefore those issues need to be addressed.

 

Commissioner Cox did not want to set a precedent and did not see a need to rezone.  It is a very close community and there was an expectation that it was a restaurant since it had been that for the last 50 years.  She was not in favor of the rezoning.

 

Commissioner Miller stated that there were two adjacent properties zoned Business.  He felt that it should be allowed to be zoned business.  It was only fair to give them the opportunity.

 

Commissioner Gerrard agreed with Commissioner Miller.  Since it was non-conforming it made it very difficult to do anything with a property.  He stated that it made sense to rezone.  If it was rezoned then they could put up a building and hold the weddings inside.

 

Commissioner Cox misunderstood and did not realize that there were other properties in the area that were zoned Business.

 

Commissioner Cox 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 Colorado Cherry Company Rezoning, file #17-ZONE2297, for the property described on “Exhibit C” to the minutes, subject to the following conditions:

 

1.   Any change in use of the properties shall be subject to Site Plan Review and/or Special Review.

 

Commissioner Miller seconded the Motion.

 

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

 

MOTION PASSED:  8 -0

 

 

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

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission recommends to the Board of County Commissioners denial of the Mon Cheri Community Hall Special Review, file #17-ZONE2301, for the property described on “Exhibit C” to the minutes.

 

Commissioner Christman seconded the Motion.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Commissioner Caraway stated that the site was inappropriate for the area.  It would be and was disrespectful to the neighbors.  He did not see how mitigation even acoustic music could be done.  The bathrooms were inadequate.  The noise was a major concern.  It was an inappropriate use. 

 

Commissioner Wallace stated that it was not compatible with the neighborhood.

 

Commissioner Jensen agreed that it was not compatible.  The topography effected the ways to mitigate especially with a tent.  He did not believe that it could be mitigated.  The mitigation has not gone far enough or may not be workable.

 

Commissioner Miller was also concerned with the proposed venue.  The water issue in the area was very real.  Parking was a concern and the overflow parking was not owned by the business.  He also had concerns with noise.  He was usually for business owners being allowed to do what they wanted to do on their properties but he was very concerned.

 

Commissioner Gerrard stated that the noise was an issue that had not been mitigated yet.  He agreed with all issues mentioned above.

 

Commissioner Dougherty did not like to take away property owner rights but pointed out that 17 out of 18 people were against the use.  The sound mitigation and the lack of support from the neighbors and the fact that the site did not seem to be compatible. 

 

Commissioner Dougherty called for a roll call vote to recommend denial of the Mon Cheri Community Hall Special Review, file #17-ZONE2301.

 

Commissioners’ Caraway, Christman, Cox, Gerrard, Jensen, Miller, Wallace and Chairman Dougherty voted in favor of denial.

 

MOTION PASSED: 8-0

 

 

 

ITEM #4 TIMBERLINE RESOURCES 6TH AMENDED SPECIAL REVIEW #17-ZONE2233:   Mr. Helmick provided background information on the request to amend the Special Review condition regarding location of the access to the approved mine located on the south side of Hwy 287 By-Pass between Overland Trial and Taft Hill Road. The Timberline Resources Special Review, an application for gravel mining, was originally approved in 2005 and included several conditions of approval, including language with respect to the location of the access to the site and the use of roadways for haul.  Specifically, the access was to be directly on to the Hwy 287 bypass.  #14. Prior to commencement of the use the applicant shall be responsible for construction auxiliary lanes at the direct access to Hwy. 287……

 

Since the 2005 approval, CDOT has made improvements to the Overland Trail/Hwy. 287 intersection, and they now are of the opinion that the intersection will operate safely and within warrants.  The applicant, through the series of extensions, did not act on the original CDOT approval for access to Hwy 287, and the improvements to the intersection were made. The applicant has provided a traffic study, which both CDOT staff and the County Engineering Department have reviewed and conclude the intersection will operate as designed with the truck traffic from the mining. 

The Board of County Commissioners have three times approved amendments to the approval of this mining request.  All of those prior amendments have extended the commencement time to now 2021. 

This amendment request is for :

·   Relocation of the primary access to the pit for all traffic and haul trucks to Overland Trail. Included in this an absolute prohibition regarding truck traffic south on Overland Trail.

 

LAPAC has identified concerns with the original approval tied to the operation of more than one active-open pit in the Plan area at one time.  Specifically opening of the Timberline Resources pit to be tied to the closing/completion of the Stegner Pit.  That condition was removed when the owner and applicant operator severed their relationship. 

The current application was reviewed by La Porte Area Planning Advisory Committee in March and their recommendation was to not approve the relocated access and have the applicant again try to have CDOT approve the access onto Hwy 287.  They did however note a number of concerns as a part of their discussion. 

Given the concerns of safety at the intersection of Overland Trail and 287, we recommend denial of the alternative access point and recommend the applicant and county make a second attempt to keep the original access point off of Hwy 287 with CDOT.

1.     Inadequacy of the auxiliary lanes in all directions on 287 and Overland Trail

2.     Potential parking of trucks on Overland Trail

3.     Inadequacy of the bike lane on Overland Trail

4.     Prevention of truck traffic onto Overland trail south and enforcement

5.     Concerns about air quality

6.     Concerns about dragout and load spill on shoulder

7.     Concerns about noise pollution

8.     Concerns about school bus stop on Bridget lane

 

There has been significant public interest in the application; a neighborhood meeting was not required.  Many neighbors in the Withrow Ridge subdivision are opposed to the change and very opposed to the lining up with Bridget Lane, their access to Overland Trail.  There have also been a number of comments related to the impact of mining in La Porte and the implications of other applications in process and impacts to the community.  The Development Services Team recommends the Larimer County Planning Commission recommend to the Board of County Commissioners Approval of the Timberline Resources Special Review Amendment #6, file # 17-ZONE2233, subject to the following condition(s):

  1. The Site shall be developed consistent with the approved plan and with the information contained in the Timberline Resources Special Review (File #02-Z1432), 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 Timberline Resources Special Review.  All prior amendments shall also remain in force except as modified by this action.
  2. Prior to the removal of material from the site the internal haul route shall be paved with Hot Mix Asphaltic Concrete (HMAC). The pavement should be placed from the edge of pavement on Overland Trail to the processing area (past the scale house). This pavement shall be in place before material is removed from the site. The site access road must be maintained as necessary to prevent excessive silt loading.
  3. Prior to commencement of the use the applicant shall be responsible for constructing the direct access to Overland trail as recommended in a traffic impact study and supplemental memorandums dated May, June and November , 2017 by Matt Delich.
  4. A pavement and structural integrity analysis shall be completed by the applicant prior to operations and any improvements shall be completed prior to any hauling of material. 
  5. The traffic control plan, to insure no traffic south on Overland Trail, shall be reviewed and approved by the County prior to any hauling from the site. 
  6. The applicant shall notify Larimer County in writing no later than 30 days prior to commencement of the use for Planning Staff to review the location of silt fencing. No. disturbance of the site shall occur prior to Planning Staff approval of the silt fencing location. Silt fencing shall be placed at the edge of the 100-foot wetland buffer with the exception of the landscaped berm area where the silt fencing will be placed at the edge of the 50-foot wetland buffer.
  7. This Special Review approval shall automatically expire without a public hearing if the use is not commenced by September 12, 2021.
  8. A crossing of the Jackson Ditch is necessary with this access.  The applicant shall obtain the necessary permits, permissions, licenses and approvals from the dich company for this crossing. 

All other conditions will remain in place as part of the original approval unless changed by those subsequent amendments that changed timing.

Stephanie Hansen, Ripley Design, stated that it was within the LaPorte Area Plan as a designated site.  CDOT had requested that the access be changed.  She explained the history of the site and approval.  In 2005, CDOT granted temporary access onto Highway 287.  CDOT is not allow direct access on to Highway 287.  The proposed location is less convenient for both the applicant and the neighbors.  This is not a new use, there are already trucks traveling on this access.  Designated haul route where all would have to turn right out and turn left in.  A fine would be applied if the turns routes were not followed.  No weekend hours would occur.  She spoke of the intersection and the safety. She spoke to the internal rode and the 1/3 mile of paved road before locked gate at interior of property to allow for truck stacking going out on to Overland Trial.  A cattle guard was also put in place to help knock off any debris/gravel prior to going out on the road.  They understood that bicycle riding was a concern and we are willing to add asphalt bike line along the road and a wider shoulder.  There would be no on evenings and weekends.

Noise berms were already in place to help with the mitigation.  There is also natural topography in the area that help with noise mitigation.  They were trying to mitigate that noise.  She also stated that they would provide a bus shelter south of the intersection.  All of the truck traffic would be on the north side of the intersection and not by that bus shelter.  7:30 to 5:30 operation hours.  Reduce max trips to 335 from over 550.  She reminded that it was a temporary use on the site.  It was beneficial for the community and a community wide need.

 

Commissioner Jensen asked how far south of the access does the bike lane go and how far north. 

 

Ms. Hansen stated at intersection and to the end of their property.

 

Commissioner Cox asked if additional conditions from last slide could be added with their permission.

 

Ms. Hansen stated yes.

 

Commissioner Wallace asked if there was contemplation to have the access be further North so it was not directly across from the subdivision.

 

Ms. Hansen stated it was a different property owner to the North and due to the road standards it was chosen.

 

Commissioner Dougherty asked if the bike lane could extend to the intersection.

 

Ms. Hansen stated that they were willing to do that.

 

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY:

 

Daniel a representative for the neighborhood to the west of the property will be speaking

 

Jerell Kalver - asked for a 3-6 month extension to respond to the inadequacies in the applicants statements. There are concerns with Bridget Lane access.  Serious impact to their property values.  Noise.  Not compatible and should be denied.

 

Tony Mitchell, Withrow Ridge community, stated that he did his own study by modeling coming out of North Overland Trail onto Hwy 287.  Did 3 times and each time had to stop because you could not pull out into the acceleration lane and keep going.  It was done during the week.  When they did accelerate onto the road, a car would be coming and would have to break behind him.

 

Daniel, when they purchased the properties they understood there was an approved gravel pit but did not know it would be right across from their access.  Why did they have to bear the burden?  They had to deal with traffic, noise, decreased property values.  It was unfair.  Bridget lane was their only access in and out.  Noise and emission tests done in 2005 do not take into effect the new houses in the area.  There needs to be an alternative to Overland Trail. 

 

Neighbor most effected stated that there would be effects of noise from all of the trucks. 

 

Stacy Murphy stated that there are16 children in the neighborhood all under 15 years old that will be affected.

 

Jerell Kalver stated again the impact of the commercial trucks that will affect the children in the neighborhood.

 

Tony Mitchell stated that if the project does not pass the test on safety then it does not pass until mitigation is figured out. 

 

Janet Chapman stated your group ride regarding a cyclist - on a truck entering or existing would affect the riding and enjoyment and also debris on the road.

 

Robert Havis stated that he is a professional engineer.  He reviewed the air study and read nothing about truck emissions on Overland Trail Road.  The emissions would greatly increase and would affect the health of the environment and people.

 

Frank Holsworth stated that he was a Developer and lived in the area.  The subdivision was there before the Pit.  He is concerned for the bus stop, students and the intersection.

 

Ryan Zigray stated he is pro gravel pit.  It will keep construction costs down and wild life will improve in the area.

 

Steve Benoit stated that he is concerned about the number of trucks accelerating and for public safety.

 

Paula Brobst stated that she has lived there for 13 years.  They put in the bypass to avoid trucks from using Overland Trail.

 

Peter Waack stated that the changing of the access point is the relevant part of tonight and that it does not meet the criteria of the LaPorte area plan.  LAPAC has already said “No” and wants to make sure the commission understands this.

 

Ruth Wallick stated her frustration that at the last hearing Mr. Helmick stated that there would be no trucks on Overland Trail and 6 months later she received notification of the change.

 

Linda Sawyer stated that she was concerned about the access and she and Debbie Allison counted vehicles from 7:30 – 5:30 and that there were 7.95 vehicles per minute that is a total of 4776 vehicles on a Tuesday.

 

Brian Bennett stated that he is concerned about the noise.  The berm mitigation is not helping much.

 

Dan Porter stated that he is a cyclist with Your Group Ride and is concerned about cyclist safety and would like to suggest that they take The City of Fort Collins “Bikers Friendly Driver” program so they will know how to interact with a cyclist.

 

Alex Talkington stated that she is here representing The Tapestry House and is located just South of The Overland Trail access point. Her concern is noise and the access not being used correctly.

 

Kris Bebow stated that she is concerned with noise, traffic and pollution.

 

Kate Wegerzen stated that she has lived in LaPorte for over 40 years and she doesn’t understand how 320 trucks can be synchronized in a way that won’t disrupt the environment of their rural gateway.

 

Robert Perdiguat stated that Timberline Resources had stated that they don’t want to move the access off of Overland Trail and that everyone else doesn’t want that either. 

 

Jamie Patrick stated that the intersection is very dangerous and this is her concern.

 

Josi Goodyear stated that she is concerned about the diesel smell, pollution and is concerned about her health.

 

Milt Lessor stated that LAPAC made a wise decision declining the access.

 

Patty Mackelwayne asked if all the commissioners drove up there to see why they are all concerned?  Commissioner Dougherty replied that most have.  Patty Mackelwayne also stated that 640 children will be negatively affected by this access.

 

Jeff Bilby stated that he lives just South of  the access and has grave concern about the amount of traffic, noise and agrees with all the other residents.

 

Terri Waters stated that 160 feet of acceleration lane is not enough.  It is not safe and is dangerous.

 

Carmen Galloway stated that she moved to Laporte for her horses and asked what is going to happen to all the horseback riders?

 

John Berry stated that his concern with the increase in traffic on Overland Trail other drivers will be bypass this route and traffic will increase on County Road 54G.

 

Debbie Allison stated that she was part of the traffic study and is concerned about the traffic and the danger.

 

Matt Delich performed the traffic impact study.  Projects met all guidelines for Larimer County for the accesses and he explained how intersections were graded on an A-F and the intersections in question were in the A-B category.  He explained how the turn lanes were measured.  Yearly basis 2.3 accidents per year under old configuration.  There was an improvement.

 

Commissioner Cox asked how a road was graded or determined.

 

Mr. Delich stated that it was based on delays at an intersection. 

 

Ms. Hansen stated that the proposed truck traffic is included in those grading systems.

 

Commissioner Miller asked if when the study was done if it considered how long it took a truck to accelerate into Hwy 287 traffic. 

 

Mr. Delich explained how the analysis were done.  Met the CDOT criteria for site distance.

 

Commissioner Miller asked why the intersection was not chosen when originally approved.

 

Ms. Hansen stated that the improvements to Overland Trail intersections were not completed yet.

 

Commissioner Miller asked why their access was revoked.

 

Mr. Delich explained that it was not revoked.

 

Ms. Hansen answered because of the intersection improvement that they themselves constructed.

 

Commissioner Cox asked Mr. Helmick about the access on Highway 287 and CDOT’s comments.

 

Mr. Helmick stated that CDOT was adamant that there was no access available on to Highway 287.  CDOT admits that the tapers did not meet the standard distances.  CDOT representatives stated that they would need to apply for a variance for those tapers (not meeting).  They said that it was likely that a variance to those tapers would be granted.  The intersection operates acceptably.  Would have to apply for an access permit for intersection at overland and 287.

 

Commissioner Cox asked what would happen if CDOT did not approve the variance or if the special review was not approved.

 

Mr. Helmick stated that a result of denial means that the mineral deposits and no access then it might have to be moved to residential development creating the potential of 1000 residential trips per day or they may have to someplace else. There might not be a good access point for the applicant.

 

Commissioner Cox asked if they were aware of the consequence.

 

Mr. Helmick replied he was unsure. 

 

Commissioner Caraway reiterated that neighbors felt that the rules were being changed in the middle of the game or knew that it was potential to have access on Overland Trail. 

 

Mr. Helmick replied that it was a reasonable expectation. 

 

Commissioner Miller asked if they would have applied for the access permit in 2005 would we be sitting here today.

 

Mr. Helmick replied that it was believed that it was temporary for the life of the gravel pit.

 

Commissioner Gerrard asked if the access was temporary due to temporary nature of the business or temporary due to the improvements to the intersection.

 

Mr. Helmick replied that he does not know because they never issued the access permit. 

 

Commissioner Jensen asked how long would it take to apply to have access to Hwy 287 from CDOT.

 

Mr. Helmick replied probably 9 months or more.  It seemed extremely unlikely from CDOT that it would be allowed.

 

Commissioner Dougherty asked about going through the property to the South onto County Road 54G.

 

Commissioner Cox also wondered about Commissioner Dougherty’s suggestion. 

 

Ms. Hansen stated that they had spoken to other neighbors and their preference is that the access get to Hwy 287 as soon as possible.  If they do try and pursue routes to the South that it would raise more concerns that more truck traffic is going through town.  She stated that they were trying to compromise.  She stated that they would prefer to have a recommendation.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Commissioner Miller stated that based upon the access from Overland Trail to Highway 287 it did not seem safe.  He felt it would drive traffic through town to avoid the truck traffic.  He felt that the solution was a temporary access from CDOT.  The access was not safe.

 

Commissioner Caraway had experience the unsafe highway.  He did not feel good about the intersection.  The neighbors had reason/expectation that access would continue to be on 287 and not Overland Trail.  He did not feel comfortable recommending this access.

 

Commissioner Wallace stated that the reason to deny an application should not be previous expectations of a neighborhood.

 

Commissioner Gerrard stated that more traffic was an inconvenience but it was part of life.  He did not feel that it was their purview to decide about the access, it was CDOT’s decision.  He felt that going back to CDOT would just result in another answer of no.  CDOT was recommending it off of Overland Trail.  He was in favor of the application.

 

Commissioner Cox stated that at times CDOT does not get it right.  She did not perceive it to be a safe intersection for the type of traffic being proposed.  It was a safety issue. 

 

Commissioner Jensen Proposed fines would push those drivers to abide by the rules.  He believed it was a reasonable alternative. 

 

Commissioner Dougherty stated that the access point he was struggling with compatibility.  They had a right to mine their property.  Compatibility was tough but people in LaPorte would be spared this truck traffic.  He stated that he did not like the fact that CDOT made a change that affects so many people. 

 

 

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

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission recommends to the Board of County Commissioners denial of Item #4 Timberline Resources 6th Amended Special Review, file #17-ZONE2233.

 

Commissioner Christman seconded the Motion.

 

Commissioner Dougherty called for a roll call vote to recommend denial of the Timberline Resources 6th Amended Special Review, file #17-ZONE2233.

 

Commissioners’ Caraway, Christman, Cox and Chairman Dougherty voted in favor of the motion.

 

Commissioners’ Gerrard, Jensen, and Wallace voted against the motion.

 

Commissioner Miller abstained the motion.

 

 

MOTION PASSED:  4-3 with 1 abstaining.

 

 

 

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

ADJOURNMENT:   There being no further business, the hearing adjourned at 11:51 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.

 

 

_______________________________                      ______________________________

Sean Dougherty, Chairman                                         Mina Cox, Secretary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT A 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT B

 

 

Property Description (Hockensmith Subdivision):

 

Lot 2, Hockensmith Minor Land Division #16-S3378 situate in the Northwest Quarter of

Section 20, Township 4 North, Range 69 West of the 6th P.M., County of Larimer, State

of Colorado.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT C

 

 

 

 

PARCEL.l:

 

A TRACT OF LAND LOCATED IN THE NORTHEAST QUARTER OF SECTION 32. TOWNSHIP 4 NORTH. RANGE 71 WEST OF THE SIXTH PRINCIPAL MERIDIAN,L.ARIMER COUNTY. COLORADO BEING MORE PARTICULARLY DESCRIBED AS FOLLOWS:

COMMENCING AT THE NORTHEAST CORNER OF SAID SECTION 32 ANO CONSIDERING THE NORTH LINE OF SAID SECTION 32 TO BEAR NORTH at DEGREES 38 MINUTES 48 SECONDS WEST WITH ALL OTHER BEARINGS CONTAINED HEREIN RELATIVE THERETO: THENCE SOUTH 32 DEGREES 16 MINUTES 57 SECONDS WEST, 967.08 FEET TO THE TRUE POINT OF BEGINNING;

 

THENCE SOUTH 56 DEGREES 34 MINUTES 08 SECONDS WEST, 154.92 FEET TO THE NORTHEASTERLY RIGHT OF WAY LINE OF U.S. HIGHWAY NO. 38;

THENCE ALONG SAID HIGHWAY RIGHT OF WAY LINE NE ALONGTHE ARC OF A CURVE TO THE RIGHT WHOSE RADIUS IS 2815.00 FEET AND WHOSE CHORD BEARS NORTH 27 DEGREES 33 MINUTES 30 SECONDS WEST. 300.25FEET;

THENCE NORTH 52 DEGREES 11 MINUTES 05 SECONDS EAST, 13427 FEET;

THENCE SOUTH 31 DEGREES 38 MINUTES 17 SECONDS EAST, 309.09 F£ET TO THE TRUE POINT OF BEGINNING.

 

TOGETHER WITH A PARCEL OF LANO FOR OSEAS A AIGHT OF WAY FOR INGRESS AND EGRESS OMTHE ABCNE. DESCRt8ED TRACT OF LAND, SAID  PARCEL BEING MORE PARTICICULARY DESCRIBED AS FOLLOWS:

BEGINNING AT THE SOUTHY'EASTERLYCORNER 0f·THE ABOVE DESCRIBED PROPERTY, THENCE NORTH 56 DEGREES34 MINUTES 06 SECONDS EAST, 50.00 FEET. THENCE S0UTH  25 

DEGREES 15 MINUTES 49 SECONDS WEST,59.43 FEET TO THE NORTHEASTERLY RIGHTOFWAY LINE OFU.S. HIGHWAY NO. 36.

THENCE  ALONG  SAID HIGHWAY RIGHTOFWAY LINE AND  ALONG THE ARC  OF A CURVE  TO THE RlGHT OF WAY WHOSE RADIUS IS 2115.00 FEET AND WHOSE CORD BEARS NORTH 30DEGREES 55 MINUTES 15 SECONDS WEST, 30.00 FEET TO THE TRUE POINT OF BEGINNING.

 

PARCEL II:

 

A PORTION OF THE NORTHEAST QUARTER OF TH£ NORTHEAST QUARTER OF SECTlON 32. TOWNSHIP 4 NORTH, RANGE 71 WEST OF THE SIXTH PRINCIPAL MERIDIAN, LARIMER COUNTY, COLORADO, MORE PARTICULARLY DESCRIBED AS FOLLOWS:

COMMENCING AT THE SOUTHWEST CORNER OP LOT 10. PINEWOOD SPRINGS 11TH FIUNG. WHICH IS  MONUMENTED BY AN OVERTURF PIN AND CAP ANDISTHE TRUE POINT OF BEGINNING;

 

THENCE NORTH 62 DEGREES 55 MINUTES 58 SECONDS EAST ALONG THE SOUTHERLY LINE OF LOT 10 A DISTANCE OF 80.00 FEET;

THENCE SOUTH 31DEGREES 38 MINUTES 17 SECONDS EAST A  DISTANCE OF 312.45 FEET: THENCE SOUTH 65 DEGREES 19 MINUTES 07 SECONDS WEST A  DISTANCE OF 80.34 FEET TO THE SOUTHEAST CORNER OF TRACT RECORDED IN BOOK 1527, AT  PAGE 788 OF THE LARIMER COUNTY RECORDS, SAID POINT BEARS SOUTH 32 DEGREES 16MINUTES 57 SECONDS WEST A DISTANCE OF 967.06 FEET FROM THE NORTHEAST CORNER OF SAID SECTION 32;

THENCE NORTH 31DEGREES 38 MINUTES 17 SECONDS WIST ALONG THE EASTERLY SIDE OF THE ABOVE. MENTIONED TRACT A  DISTANCE OF 309.09 FEET TO THE TRUE POINT OF BEGINNING.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT D

 

 

 

A parcel of land located in the NE 1/4 of Section 29 and the north half of Section 28, Township 8 north, Range 69 west of the 6th principal meridian, County of Larimer, State of Colorado, being more particularly described as follows: Beginning at the west quarter of Section 28 whence the west line of the northwest 1/4 of Section 28 Section bears north 00 25'00" east 2644.23 feet, said line forming the basis of bearings for this description; Thence along the south line of the northeast one-quarter of Section 29 north 89 48'35" west 926.49 feet; Thence north 00 07'00" east 630.97 feet; Thence north 89 53'00" west136.12 feet; Thence north 28 00'00" cast 6.67 feet; Thence north 89 53'00" west 278.47 feet; Thence along the west line of the northeast one quarter of Section 29 north 00 05'14" east 54.11 feet;

Thence south 89 53'00" east 411.49 feet;

Thence north 00 07'00" east 213.16 feet;

Thence along the centerline of Jackson Ditch the following four courses:

1) north 48 58'30" east 131.82 feet;

2) Thence north 09 42'00" east 185.44 feet;

3) Thence north 21 27'00" east 156.1 7 feet;

4) Thence north 15 15'00" east 87.80 feet;

Thence north 90 00'00" west 621.74 feet;

Thence along said west line of the northeast one quarter north 00 05'14" east 1230.29 feet to the east sixteenth comer of Section 29;

Thence along the north line of the northeast one quarter of the northeast one quarter of Section

29 north 89 41 '30" east 1352.86 feet to the northwest comer of Section 28;

Thence along the north line of the northwest one quarter of said Section south 89 47'29" east

2187.59 feet;

Thence along the southwesterly Right-of-way of Colorado State Highway 287 the following 6

courses:

I) south 49 17'42" east 1993.51 feet;

2) Thence south 52 29'1 8" east 1173.33 feet;

3) Thence north 53 42' 19" east 50.75 feet;

4) Thence south 36 17'33" east 447.60 feet;

5) Thence south 38 40'1 1" east 291.32 feet;

6) Thence south 89 3 1 '37" east 101.47 feet;

Thence along a line being 30.00 feet west of and parallel with the east line of the northeast one quarter of Section 28 south 00 42'00" west 70.20 feet to a point on the south line of the northeast one quarter of said Section 28; Thence along said line north 89 55'01" west 5237.24 feet to the True Point of Beginning. Said Parcel of land contains 295.059 acres.