LARIMER COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION

 Minutes of July 19, 2017

 

The Larimer County Planning Commission met in a regular session on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. in the Hearing Room.  Commissioners’ Caraway, Christman, Cox,  Jensen, Lucas, Miller and Wallace were present.  Commissioner Dougherty presided as Chairman.  Commissioner Gerrard was absent.  Also present were Terry Gilbert, Community Development Director, Mark Peterson, County Engineer, Matt Lafferty, Principle Planner, Rob Helmick, Senior Planner, Suzette Mallette, Transportation Program Manager, Lea Schneider, Health Department and Jill Wilson, Recording Secretary. 

 

COMMENTS BY THE PUBLIC REGARDING THE COUNTY LAND USE CODE: 

None.

 

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

None.

 

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FOR THE JUNE 21, 2017 MEETING:   MOTION by Commissioner Cox moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Commissioner Wallace.  This received unanimous voice approval.

 

AMENDMENTS TO THE AGENDA:

Commissioner Cox moved to move Item #1 Larimer County Master Transportation Plan to the consent agenda and have Item #3 Loveland Growth Management Area Zoning District Boundary Amendment be heard prior to Item #2 Mulberry Frontage Metropolitan District, seconded by Commissioner Jensen.  This received unanimous voice approval.

 

CONSENT ITEM:

 

ITEM #1 LARIMER COUNTY MASTER TRANSPORTATION PLAN #17-CODE0213:   Ms. Mallette provided background information on the request for adoption of the Larimer County Master Transportation Plan.  The Transportation Master Plan (TMP) identified the County’s existing and future needs for transportation system improvements, including:  Roads, Bridges, Bike & Pedestrian, Maintenance, Transit, Freight, and Intersections.  The planning process considered future growth in travel demand (e.g. traffic volume), safety, and maintenance demands.  Ultimately, the TMP provided a summary of recommended transportation projects and a prioritization of those projects.  The TMP formed the foundation for developing future Capital Improvement Programs on an annual basis.  She noted that public outreach on the plan was performed at the beginning of the update via a public survey and then at the Draft Plan stage.  The initial public survey garnered responses about issues they currently saw in the transportation system.  The Draft Plan outreach was focused on comments to the identified improvements.  The online open house was advertised through social media, County email distribution, and through displays at the Courthouse, 200 W. Oak.  Staff also attended two events in the mountain communities to garner input from areas with limited internet connections.  Staff attended County Commissioner citizen meetings throughout April and May to discuss the TMP.  She also mentioned that the Plan was recommended for adoption by the Board of County Commissioner on July 17, 2017. 

 

Commissioner Jensen asked how many people commented on the proposal from the mountains. 

 

 

Ms. Mallette replied that in total they received 13 comments, 8 were from the mountains.

 

DISCUSSION:

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

 

BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission Adopt the Larimer County Master Transportation Plan, file #17-CODE0213

 

Commissioner Wallace seconded the Motion.

 

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

 

MOTION PASSED:  8 -0

 

ITEM #3 LOVELAND GROWTH MANAGEMENT AREA ZONE DISTRICT BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENT #17-CODE0214:   Mr. Lafferty provided background information on the request for an amendment to the Loveland Growth Management Area (GMA) boundary.  The City of Loveland, in collaboration with Larimer County Community Development, are requesting an expansion of the jointly adopted Growth Management Area (GMA) boundary. The subject amendment would increase the existing GMA boundary by incorporating a large area located along the Highway 402 corridor, extending from the existing boundary near Highway 287 out to I-25 (see attached Exhibit A).  An additional change to the boundary would be the addition of several properties east of I-25 and north of Highway 34.  Properties being incorporated into the expanded Loveland GMA will retain their existing zone designation, and will be rezoned to add the GMA Overlay Zone District as defined by Section 4.2.1 of the Larimer County Land Use Code to those properties.  He mentioned that the City and the County hosted six public outreach meetings to develop an understanding of the citizens’ ideas and concerns with such an expansion.  Interest in the expansion varied from not wanting any changes to adopt the new boundary as common planning practices between the City and County are desirable.  He also mentioned that a citizen was asking that the Warberg Farm Conservation Development, located by the Chapman Reservoir, be left out of the boundary amendment.

 

Carl Barton, Senior Planner, City of Loveland, stated that he did not have any further comments.  He noted that the extension of the overlay zoning district was a key tool in order to plan for the growth that was incurring in Loveland.

 

Mr. Lafferty reiterated that the change was not an annexation and would not and could not force an annexation.

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY:

Sonja Warberg-Mast, 3644 E. County Road 16, stated that she developed the Warberg Farm Conservation Development in 2007.  She asked that the property not be included within the boundary and remain in unincorporated Larimer County.  She stated that it was felt that the property had been preserved, they had been good stewards of the land, and wished to retain its integrity.  She did not believe that the Conservation Development would be supported by the City. 

 

 

Commissioner Dougherty asked if there was an objection to omitting that property from the boundary amendment.

 

Mr. Lafferty stated that the property was at the edge of the boundary amendment and would not object to the omission. 

 

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 Loveland Growth Management Area Zone District Boundary Adjustment, file #17-CODE0214, for the properties shown on “Exhibit A” to the minutes with the omission of the Warberg Farm Conservation Development.

 

Commissioner Miller seconded the Motion.

 

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

 

MOTION PASSED:  8 -0

 

 

ITEM #2 MULBERRY FRONTAGE METROPOLITAN DISTRICT #17-GNRL0425:   Mr. Helmick provided background information on the request to form a new metropolitan district, intended to facilitate the provision of service and act as the financing entity for the Mulberry Frontage development.  The boundaries of the district as currently proposed encompass a single 47 acre parcel.  This parcel was located at the northeast corner of Mulberry (Highway 14) and I-25.  The property was in the Fort Collins Growth Management Area and currently zoned both I-Industrial and C-Commercial.  No development plan or proposal was currently pending on the site.  The creation of a taxing authority would provide the funding mechanism needed to provide and maintain services.  He noted that it would not be an approval on any type of development, it was just the funding mechanism.

 

Blair Dickhoner, White Bear Ankele Tanaka & Waldron P.C., defined a special district, what they can finance, and how they are financed.  He noted that the approving jurisdiction was not obligated for the special district’s debt and went over the financing for the proposed district.  He explained that there would be no residential development, and that the proposal was for 32 commercial lots.  He stated that service would not be provided by ELCO Water district or Boxelder Sanitation District unless the infrastructure built was up to their required standards.

 

Commissioner Dougherty asked if those commercial lots could be changed to residential.

 

Mr. Dickhoner replied no, not without approval.

 

Commissioner Cox asked if there were any alternative means to pay off the debt besides a tax.

 

 

 

 

Mr. Dickhoner replied that in addition of the ability to tax there would be the ability to charge fees within the boundary like a common area maintenance fee, etc.  There was also the Public Improvement Fee revenue stream that could supplement.

 

Commissioner Cox was concerned about the protection for property owners.

 

Mr. Dickhoner explained that it would not be a concern because there were regulations regarding fees and how they were imposed.

 

Commissioner Dougherty asked who would be responsible if the fees put into place were not sufficient to pay back the bonds, and if needed, the bond period could be extended.

 

Mr. Dickhoner stated that there would be no sort of ‘backfill’ from another entity.  The bondholders would be the ones at risk.

 

Commissioner Miller asked who would provide fire and police services.

 

Mr. Dickhoner replied the Larimer County Sheriff and Poudre Fire Authority.

 

Commissioner Cox asked why the metro district was brought forward prior to a proposed development.

 

Mr. Dickhoner explained that they wanted to make sure there would be financing in place prior to creating the development.

 

Commissioner Jensen asked if the entire County would get to vote in the election in November. 


Mr. Dickhoner replied no, just the owners within the proposed boundary.

 

Commissioner Jensen asked if there had been any communication with the surrounding neighborhood regarding the proposal.

 

Steve Shoflick, applicant, replied that there had been communication with the neighboring properties. 

 

Commissioner Caraway asked if it precluded any future annexation into the City of Fort Collins.

 

Mr. Dickhoner replied no.

 

Commissioner Lucas asked about the retention on the site and if that would be considered for the development.  He also asked if there would be properties outside of the district boundaries affected by the district.

 

Mr. Shoflick explained that the number of lots within the proposed development was undetermined.  He stated that detention could be included on part of a lot or located entirely on one or more lots.  He stated that the service plan was drafted with some flexibility.

 

 

 

Commissioner Wallace asked about the CDOT alignment.

 

Mr. Shoflick stated that they were waiting for CDOT to determine their alignment.  They were trying to plan for the short term and the long term plans as the alignment dictated drainage, etc.

 

Commissioner Cox asked if it could be of concern to have a metro district on a smaller parcel of land. 

 

Mr. Helmick stated that the size did not necessarily matter.  He also pointed out that it would be commercial development, and the bondholders would carry the risk. 

 

Commissioner Dougherty wondered if having a public improvement fee and a metro district on the same site was a disadvantage compared to other properties within the vicinity that would not have the added tax.

 

Mr. Shoflick replied yes it would be a benefit not to have both; however, in their experience districts were being utilized to help build infrastructure.  He stated that it was moving the costs from up front to the life of the ownership.

 

PUBLIC TESTIMONY:

Cameron Gloss, Planning Manager for the City of Fort Collins, pointed out the partnership with the County in regards to the intergovernmental agreement, annexations, I-25 Subarea Plan and Mulberry Corridor Plan.   He mentioned that Mulberry and I-25 was the gateway to Fort Collins and from the City’s prospective, the proposal could only be shown to be incompliance with those plans and agreements if adopted design standards were conditions of approval of the proposed metro district.  In addition, City Staff felt that an annexation agreement should also be a condition of approval to ensure that when the property was eligible for annexation that it was annexed per the IGA. 

 

Commissioner Dougherty asked how design standards could be a condition when there was no development proposal.

 

Mr. Gloss stated that at such time the applicant submitted a development application/plan that it would be compliant with the City Land Use Code, Division 3.9 Development Standards for the I-25 Corridor and Division 4.21 General Commercial Development Standards.

 

Commissioner Dougherty stated that those development standards would be discussed once an application was submitted and questioned if that would be redundant. 

 

Mr. Gloss replied that it would be an insurance that the plans and policies that were in place that govern the property would be in compliance in the future.

 

Commissioner Dougherty asked if in the past properties within the GMA had not been developed to the design standards.

 

Mr. Gloss replied that they had made requests in the past and to the best of his knowledge the County had not required those standards, and the results ended up being less than satisfactory.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

Commissioner Dougherty asked if at the present time it would be appropriate to include design standards and annexation as a condition.

 

Mr. Lafferty explained that there had been discussions to develop joint design standards between the County and the City.  He also mentioned that the County did try to take into consideration City design standards but had no obligation.  He also noted that the property was not within the East Mulberry Corridor Plan.

 

Mr. Helmick mentioned that it was clear to the applicant that design standards had to be met and that it was a gateway area into Fort Collins.  He did not believe that the City of Fort Collins request had authority to be incorporated into the proposed district.

 

Commissioner Jensen felt that the City of Fort Collins’ request was inappropriate. 

 

Commissioner Wallace asked if the financial information for the proposed district was supported by the review team that examined the service plan.

 

Mr. Helmick stated that no member of the special district review team had identified a problem with the district’s ability to repay the debt; however, he could not be certain that those team members did not have concerns.

 

Commissioner Wallace felt that the financial information should be thoroughly examined prior to the Board of County Commissioners hearing.

 

Commissioner Lucas asked questions regarding the financial aspects of the proposed district. 

 

Commissioner Caraway stated that he would be more comfortable if there was an outside review of the financials.

 

Commissioner Jensen stated that it should not be up to the County to review the financials and pointed out that the risk did not fall back on the County.  He stated that he would vote to approve the proposal with the conditions proposed.

 

Commissioner Miller agreed with Commissioner Jensen. 

 

Commissioner Cox asked what would happen if the current ownership sold, etc.

 

Mr. Helmick stated that it stayed with the property.  The board of directors would have to have some sort of direct relationship with the property.

 

Commissioner Wallace pointed out that as part of the statute it was the county/county commissioners obligation to find that the district could meet its financial obligations as set forth.

 

Commissioner Dougherty was in favor of not applying additional conditions requested by the City of Fort Collins as they could be applied during the development process if needed. 

 

 

 

Mr. Helmick stated that staff wanted to reserve the right to examine the proposal further in regards to extension of services and expansion of district boundaries.  

 

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 Mulberry Frontage Metropolitan District, file #17-GNRL0425, for the property described on “Exhibit B” to the minutes, subject to the following conditions:

 

1.   The applicant shall address the concerns of the Commission, Staff (as identified in this report and that arise during additional review and analysis), and referral agencies prior to the final decision of the Board of County Commissioners. 

2.   The plan shall meet the minimum requirements of State Statute regarding the formation of a new special district.

3.   The district proponents shall modify the Service Plan to reflect the requirement to execute a satisfactory IGA with Larimer County. 

4.   Clarify what a substantial modification of Service Plan is regarding withholding approval of service or petition/annexation, and maintenance of facilities.

5.   Approval of this Service Plan in no way assumes approval of any plan presented for the development of the property which is contained in the proposed district boundary. 

 

Commissioner Miller seconded the Motion.

 

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

 

MOTION PASSED:  8 -0

 

 

ELECTION OF OFFICIALS:

Commissioner Jensen nominated Commissioner Dougherty for Chairman.  Chairman Dougherty accepted the nomination and moved to close the Nominations and to cast a unanimous ballet for Chairman.  Commissioner Miller seconded the Motion.  MOTION PASSED.

 

Commissioner Cox nominated Commissioner Jensen for Vice-Chairman.  Chairman Dougherty moved to close the Nominations and to cast a unanimous ballet electing Commissioner Jensen as Vice-Chairman.  Commissioner Miller seconded the Motion.  MOTION PASSED.

 

Commissioner Jensen nominated Commissioner Cox for Secretary.  Chairman Dougherty moved to close the Nominations and to cast a unanimous ballet electing Commissioner Cox as Secretary.  Commissioner Miller seconded the Motion.  MOTION PASSED.

 

 

 

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

 

ADJOURNMENT:   There being no further business, the hearing adjourned at 8:50 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 

 

(See GMA Boundary Map)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT B

 

 

COM AT SW COR 10-7-68, S 89 15' E 1427.4 FT, N 0 45' W 30.9 FT TO N ROW I-25, TH ALG SD ROW N 69 16' W 319.2 FT, N 81 17' W 504.9 FT, N 58 17' W 20.61 FT TPOB, TH CONT ALG SD ROW N 58 17' W 212.59 FT, N 37 57' 39" W 442.05 FT, N 13 51' W 206.2 FT, N 0 11'