Minutes of September 20, 2017


The Larimer County Planning Commission met in a regular session on Wednesday, September 20, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. in the Hearing Room.  Commissioners’ Caraway, Christman, Cox,  Gerrard, Jensen, Lucas, and Wallace were present.  Commissioner Dougherty presided as Chairman.  Commissioner Miller was absent.  Also present were Terry Gilbert, Community Development Director, Matt Lafferty, Principle Planner, Todd Blomstrom, Public Works Director, Diana Frick, Interim Director of the Ranch, Larimer County Fairgrounds and Event Complex, and Jill Wilson, Recording Secretary. 






Julie Schott had concerns regarding a use on State Land Board property in Livermore.  She explained that the land bordered Cherokee Meadows Subdivision along with other properties.  An RV park/Tiny Home park was currently being allowed on that property, and the community was not given the opportunity to voice concerns to the State Land Board regarding the use.  She and the surrounding community felt the use would impact State & County resources, and the community was opposed to the use.


Kathy Orloski stated that a neighborhood meeting was held between the neighbors regarding the use, and a petition was created.


APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES FOR THE AUGUST 16, 2017 MEETING:   MOTION by Commissioner Cox moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Commissioner Gerrard.  This received unanimous voice approval.







ITEM #1 THE RANCH, LARIMER COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS AND EVENT COMPLEX MASTER PLAN:   Mr. Blomstrom provided background information on the proposal for The Ranch Events Complex to create a fully-integrated Master Plan that outlined facility expansion and potential partnerships to carry the complex forward for the next 20 years. 

He explained the public involvement process, which was organized into four phases or outreach series. Efforts focused on identifying issues, opportunities, constraints, and ideas and validating market study findings.  County staff and stakeholders were interviewed to define the scope and goals of the project. Online Questionnaire #1 collected information about current perceptions toward The Ranch and defined the public involvement process.  Four visioning and scoping events were held at The Ranch (during the Fair and a standalone meeting), west Loveland (Natural Resources Administration Center), and downtown Fort Collins (Larimer County Courthouse). The public weighed in on whether the initial site concepts and building renovations were heading in the right direction through public meetings at The Ranch and in Fort Collins and Loveland on October 21, November 16 and 17, with approximately 250 participants at outreach events and 360 respondents to the questionnaire. 



Ms. Frick explained the Master Plan proposal and vision for the complex. 


Mr. Blomstrom explained the market research completed for the proposal.  He mentioned that funding might not be available for all projects and outside funding sources might have to be explored.  He also spoke in regards to the study completed on economic impact.  He stated that  a presentation on the Master Plan was provided at the Board of County Commissioners/Planning Commission joint work session on August 9, 2017, and the Plan was considered for recommendation of adoption by the Board of County Commissioners on September 12, 2017. 


Commissioner Jensen felt that the economic impact was an important piece of the project.  He agreed that the facility would need to be upgraded and become self-sustainable in the future.  He felt that the citizens of Larimer County should not have to fund the facility; therefore, it needed to become fiscally responsible in the future.  He stated that he was in support of the proposed Master Plan.


Commissioner Lucas asked about the current ‘bookings’ in regards to the number of days the facility(s) were being used.


Mr. Blomstrom replied that over 2,500 events were held per year.  He explained that during the process the maximum capacity and marketing were taken into consideration in addition to the types of venues that could be held at the complex


Commissioner Lucas asked if there was a comparative market, and if there had been an analysis comparing the two.


Mr. Blomstrom replied yes. 


Commissioner Gerrard asked if a traffic study was completed for I-25 to determine who was coming to the complex or driving by the complex.


Mr. Blomstrom stated that the biggest traffic issue surrounding the complex was the main collector road that ran through the site.  He also mentioned that signalize traffic intersections were needed.  He remarked that demographic information was collected to determine who was driving by or coming to the complex.


Commissioner Gerrard was in favor of the Master Plan and the proposed improvements.






Commissioner Wallace wanted to make sure that the 4-H aspect not get lost in the improvements and wanted it to continue to be a main focus of The Ranch. 


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


BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission Adopt the The Ranch, Larimer County Fairgrounds and Events Complex Master Plan.


Commissioner Jensen seconded the Motion.


Commissioners’ Caraway, Christman, Cox, Gerrard, Jensen, Lucas, Wallace and Chairman Dougherty 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 7:16 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