Minutes of November 15, 2017


The Larimer County Planning Commission met in a regular session on Wednesday, November 15, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. in the Hearing Room.  Commissioners’ Christman, Cox, Gerrard, Jensen, Lucas, Miller and Wallace were present.  Commissioner Dougherty presided as Chairman.  Commissioner Caraway was absent.  Also present were Terry Gilbert, Community Development Director, Matt Lafferty, Principle Planner, Rob Helmick, Senior Planner, Traci Shambo, Engineering Department, Lea Schneider, Health Department and Jill Wilson, Recording Secretary. 


The Planning Commission went on a site visit to Stroh Pit Special Review. 








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







ITEM #1 ROBIDEAUX CONSERVATION DEVELOPMENT #17-LAND3629 :  Mr. Helmick provided background information on the request for a Preliminary Plat for a Conservation Development to subdivide 38.25 acres into two new single family lots (2.5 & 3 acres) and a 2 acre building envelope on the residual lot.  The property was located at 5907 East County Road 66 , approximately 2 miles northeast of Wellington.   He noted that there was some neighborhood concern regarding lighting.


Commissioner Wallace encouraged the applicants to incorporate and/or consider lighting restrictions for the development.


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 Robideaux Conservation Development and appeals to the Larimer County Land Use Code, Sections 8.14.1.M public roads; 8.14.1.R, connectivity, file #17-LAND3629, for the property shown 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 Robideaux Conservation Development Preliminary Plat file # 17-LAND3629, 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 Robideaux Conservation Development Preliminary Plat.


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


3.   Fire Requirements – All new residential structures will be required to have residential fire sprinkler systems. 


4.   All habitable structures will require an engineered foundation system. Such engineered foundation system designs shall be based upon a site-specific soils investigation.  Basements should not be allowed due to this groundwater.  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.   The developer is responsible for the construction and acceptance of the domestic water line for the Northern Colorado Water Association, as described in their letter of August 1, 2017. 


7.   All road improvements identified on the plans are the responsibility of the developer. 


8.   A roadway use and maintenance agreement shall be provided at Final Plat.


Commissioner Miller seconded the Motion.


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





Commissioner Gerrard recused himself from the item.


ITEM #2 STROH PIT QUARRY SPECIAL REVIEW #09-Z1771:  Mr. Helmick provided background information on the request for a Special Review for a sand and gravel mining and processing operations located south of the Big Thompson River, east of I-25 and adjacent to Thompson Valley River Ranches Subdivision.


He explained that the proposed mining operation would encompass two areas that totaled approximately 50+ acres of the site over a period of 7 years. The balance of the site would be used for berms and access or remain undisturbed. Material would be removed from the ground and then conveyed to the northwest to the old/existing Kirtright Pit area where it would be processed. No batch plants were proposed. Material would then be hauled by truck off-site to the Coulson main facility off of Highway 402 or directly to job sites. After 7 years of mining, the site would be reclaimed and would result in two lakes that would be sealed and used for future water storage.  The proposed hours of operation would be as follows:

·  7am – 5pm Monday-Friday

·  Haul 7am – 5pm Saturdays

·  No operation on Sundays


Mr. Helmick mentioned that the proposal was originally submitted in 2001. In 2001, the site of the application was surrounded by agricultural fields and the Kirtright Pit, which was also operated by the applicant. In the intervening years, the Town of Johnstown annexed the surrounding area and allowed residential development to occur on essentially all of the area surrounding the applicant’s land. There were currently 800+ single-family residential units and more proposed in the immediate area surrounding the site of the application.  He remarked that it remained an active application although there were missing elements that were not actively pursued. In 2008 the County required the applicant to submit a new application, which was received and a neighborhood meeting was conducted. In the fall of 2016, the applicant completed the flood plain analysis and requested that the Community Development Team consider scheduling the application for a hearing. The Community Development Team advised the applicant to conduct another neighborhood meeting. That meeting was held in the fall of 2016. Additional application materials were also submitted.


He explained that the applicant proposed buffers of 265-365 feet from their property boundary to the actual mining area to help screen and reduce the noise generated.  Conveyors were also proposed to move material to reduce noise and dust.  He noted that the access to the site was from the Frontage Road.  The volume of traffic would require a turn lane on the Frontage Road, which would need to receive a CDOT access permit.  The traffic study and revised traffic plans indicated that the proposed operation could operate within the limits and capacities of the existing roadway network.  He pointed out that the only direction for haul from the site would be south as the Town of Johnstown had prohibited non-delivery trucks from using the routes north of the site.  The applicant had also agreed to not utilize the CR 20E bridge over I-25 due to turning and width issues.  The hauling and construction activities would require coordination with the impending work on I-25, which included work on the Hwy 402/I-25 interchange.




He stated that the Development Review Team had received numerous iterations of concerns related to noise, dust, air quality, property values and traffic from most of the residents in the developments.  Those residents organized and retained counsel and others to represent their concerns and issues.  He also noted revised conditions of approval that were provided to the applicant, opponents, and Planning Commission prior to the hearing.


Commissioner Jensen asked if Johnstown Planning Staff or the Johnstown Town Board made the recommendation to not approve the application. 


Mr. Helmick believed that recommendation came from the Johnstown Town Board.


Commissioner Cox asked if the property was an enclave.


Mr. Helmick replied no.


Commissioner Miller asked if the Kirtright Pit was actively mined.


Mr. Helmick replied that it was not currently being mined.


Commissioner Lucas asked about life/safety issues in regards to traffic.


Mr. Helmick stated that CDOT noted that if a northbound right line deceleration turn lane was installed, the operation could operate in safe limits on that roadway.


Ken Coulson, President of Coulson Excavating, remarked that they were a family owned, local business.  He stated that the property was purchased in 1993 with the intention to mine it.  He explained that gravel was only found along the riverbeds, and that the pit approval process started in 2002 with the first neighborhood meeting in 2008.  With the recession in 2008, they decided they had adequate reserves and had other pits that they were mining at the time.  The permitting process started back up in 2015 with new analyses and reports.  He stated that they had a track record of leaving the land better than what it was. 


David Foster, Land Use Attorney, introduced members of their team.  He explained that the abutting properties were annexed into Johnstown in 2000.  He mentioned an October 2, 2000 staff report for the Johnstown Town Board regarding those annexations.  In that staff report, it noted that it was anticipated that residential development would occur in the area but the gravel resource removal along the river was being planned and designed to extenuate the beauty of the Big Thompson River valley and complement the design of a golf course.  In another staff report, it mentioned that the annexations would create enclaves, one of which would be the Coulson/Loveland Ready Mix properties along the Thompson River that was likely to be a graveled and reclaimed under County jurisdiction prior to the consideration of annexation.  He pointed out that therefore, back in 2000, it was known who owned the properties and what the intentions were.  Mr. Foster explained that an application was formally filed with the County in 2002, and an application resubmitted in 2008 with a neighborhood meeting held in 2009 with 37 people in attendance.  The meeting minutes from that neighborhood meeting noted that Mr. Coulson stated the following:  he did not foresee the operation there for at least 5 years, the operation would only use trucks and not conveyors, and the County Road 20 bridge would be used along with Highway 402 if headed south.  Attendees of that meeting noted that the property owners had done a good job of posting signs on the property of the proposed use and that realtors never mentioned the proposal.  In 2016, another neighborhood meeting was held, and a website was also created to keep people informed.  Mr. Foster referenced Colorado Revised Statue Section 34.301 - Preservation of commercial mineral deposits, which stated the importance of the resource.  He also mentioned that the property was zoned FA-Farming but was an allowed use with Special Review approval.  He reiterated that it was a temporary use.  He noted the many items proposed such as the conveyor and larger setbacks, which were not required by the Land Use Code.  He also mentioned that in 2008, during the resubmittal, the proposal was decreased from a 75 acre operation to a 50 acre operation.  He reiterated that there was transparency for years regarding what the plan was for the proposed property. 


Peter Wayland, Weiland Inc., noted that drainage plans were conducted in 2009 and a Stormwater Management Plan submitted in 2017. He explained that water from the pit would be pumped to the Kirtright ponds to allow settling of sediment before discharging to the river.  He stated that dust mitigation measures would be taken and noted other measures to mitigate any environmental impacts.  The noise study was conducted in 2015 and he spoke to the mitigation efforts proposed to help with noise impacts to the surrounding areas.  He noted that there had been several iterations of the traffic study, and from those it was determined that all trucks would go south on I-25 Frontage Road.  He mentioned that CDOT did not make a recommendation regarding the trucks using the Highway 402 interchange.  He explained that there was a steel 8-inch petroleum pipeline for Plains/Magellan Pipeline, who’s predecessor was Kaneb Pipeline.   Coulson Excavating had a signed agreement with Kaneb Pipeline to safely mine adjacent to the structure, and work would not be done within the agreed 100 foot easement shown on the site plan.


Mr. Foster mentioned the letter submitted by Ireland Stapleton Law Firm, who was representing many of the neighbors.  In that letter, it stated that the legacy of resource extraction in the area had long since given way to the neighborhoods and communities that sprouted up all along I-25.  Mr. Foster felt that was an unfair representation of the private property rights that the Coulson’s still had.  He noted that the Larimer County Master Plan referenced natural and mineral resources, and Section 6.7 also mentioned the importance of the resource just like the revised state statue did.  The law firm made another unfair representation that the berming of the site was to a financial advantage of the applicants.  Mr. Foster stated that would not be the case as there would be aggregate lost to the applicant due to that setback and berming, and it was actually a condition that improved the compatibility with the neighbors.  The letter also misrepresented that it was open space farm land, which it was not.  It was private property.  One other comment in the letter stated that Larimer County determined that each homeowner’s assessed value was 10% less due to the proposal.  He stated that it was a false statement, and the Assessor had not valued property based on a use that had not yet been approved.  He mentioned again that Coulson Excavating had made known for years of their intentions. 


Commissioner Jensen asked how a white noise back up alarm system worked.


Jeff Cerjan, noise consultant with Broadband Sound, explained that instead of one frequency, it had multiple, lower frequencies.  He also mentioned other noise mitigation systems.


Commissioner Lucas asked what type of haul trucks would be utilized and if there was more factual data on traffic patterns, etc.



Mr. Wayland stated that the trucks were tractor trailer semi-trucks and some dump trucks.


Chris M, LSC Transportation Consultants, stated that the 220-trip generation mentioned in the report stated that about 200 of those were the heavier vehicles and 20 would be employee/passenger vehicles.  The way those trips were evaluated was by looking at the applicant’s Bonser Pit during its busiest month.  Therefore, 220 trips would be the busiest with the off season not being that busy.  He mentioned that they had met with CDOT, and the traffic study included information they had asked for.


Mr. Foster stated that 220 vehicle trips would be the maximum trips, which was a condition of approval.


Commissioner Miller asked if the property was within the floodplain.


Mr. Wayland replied that a portion of the property was within the floodplain.


Commissioner Jensen asked if there would be retail sales on the site.


Mr. Foster replied no. 



Bernie Buescher, Attorney for Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, was representing Thompson Area Against the Stroh Quarry (TASQ).  He pointed out that mining was not a right in the Farming zone district.  It was only allowed through Special Review.  He mentioned that the use should be compatible and in harmony with the neighborhood as it currently existed and not how it existed in 2001.  He also stated that the proposed use would have adverse impact on property in the vicinity as it was believed that property values would be reduced. 


Dani Korkegi, resident and HOA President of Thompson Crossing Subdivision.  She stated that several property owners contested their property valuations solely on the prospect of the Stroh Pit.  She noted that in Thompson River Ranch one home was given an 11% reduction and another a 13% reduction.  In Thompson Crossing, 18%, 15% and 10% reductions.  It was evident that the county was acknowledging that the proposed quarry was not compatible with the surrounding residential neighborhood.  The proposed application was asking for homeowners to put their lives on hold for seven years in the form of significant loss of equity and resale value. 


Jason Johnston, President of TASQ, was speaking on behalf of nearly 1,000 homeowners opposed to the gravel mine.  A gravel pit would significantly impact the homeowners and the quality of life as they knew it.  He noted that a gravel pit would impact their way of life and views.  It would also cause equity loss.  He stated that it was incompatible with the surrounding area. 









Christi Baldino, Thompson River Ranch resident, pointed out that access for the site would be from the I-25 Frontage Road, which was the only access out of Thompson River Ranch.  There would be as many as 220 one-way vehicle trips on that frontage road and pointed out that they would only be allowed to travel south on the frontage road.  She stated that the traffic study did not account for additional traffic at the I-25/Frontage Road interchange or the construction that was proposed to occur at the intersection in the next year.  She also pointed out that the Frontage Road was a designated alternate route for I-25 during traffic incidents or road blockages.  The study also did not take into consideration the building of more homes east of the area.  She stated that the traffic study was flawed and inadequate, and the application should not be approved.  She also mentioned that the heavy trucks could do damage to the road and the capital expansion fees charged would be inadequate.


Stephanie Zertuche, stated that homeowners were concerned with the multiple pipelines running through the property.  The Magellan pipeline was a hazardous materials liquid pipeline.  It carried gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.  It was installed in 1947 and had a breech in 1980 near Timnath.  During the breech, 76,000 gallons of gasoline and 50,000 gallons of diesel were spilled.  The Magellan Company stated that they had not been contacted by the applicant regarding the pipeline.  In 2012, a Flood Plain Special Review meeting was held where concerns were expressed.  One was in regards to the berms and if they would be kept in place and maintained in perpetuity.  She stated that the proposal should not be considered until the applicant did their due diligence.


Bill Oligmuller, physician who lived in Thompson River Ranch, stated that there were no EPA standards for dust exposure for people who had chronic respiratory illness.  He stated that exposure to mining dust could exacerbate their illness.


Monique Griffin, stated that her home looked out on the proposed site.  She stated that she had respiratory weakness due to Pompe disease.  If the gravel mine was approved it would accelerate her health and quality of life, and she would not be able to go in her backyard, neighborhood or open the windows in her house.  She stated that it was a huge threat to those that suffered from respiratory issues.


Mr. Buescher stated that the homeowners concluded that the use would be incompatible with the neighborhood and would have substantial adverse impact.  Oakwood Homes stated that they opposed the use.  The Town of Johnstown even stated that the proposed use would cause air pollutants, health impacts, and create noise that was incompatible with the neighborhood.  He mentioned the significant decrease in property values, damage to the viewshed, and the creation of traffic.  Due to those issues, it should be denied.  He remarked that the property rights of the homeowners were equally important. 


John Franklin, Town Planner with Town of Johnstown, commented that the Town opposed Stroh Pit Quarry as it was presented to them.  It proposed an industrial use for a prolonged period in a residential area.  He remarked that extraction of sand and gravel was an important operation; however, it should have occurred years ago.  He admitted the previous vision was that the entire corridor would be quarries; nevertheless, the applicant never moved forward but the Town did with their planning.  He stated that the Town stood with the homeowners and offered that there were other uses available for the site and the applicant.  The Town of Johnstown was asking for a denial of the proposal. 


Ron Neher, retired from Natural Resources Conservation Service as part of the USDA, stated that the area was a wetland area. 


Tom Peterson, Director of the Colorado Asphalt Paving Association, stated that 600,000 tons of asphalt was produced in Larimer County.  He mentioned that there was a comment made by the opposition that ‘The days of surface mining were over’, which was a false statement.  If there were no more gravel pits than there would be no more construction.  He provided a report from the US Geological Survey to the commission, which stated,

1.  Demand for aggregates would continue at reasonably high levels due to projected population growth, demand for infrastructure improvements, and maintenance associated with growth. 

2.  Recoverable resources hauled were from greater distances as resources become depleted or inaccessible. 

3.  Increase costs for the aggregates would be passed along to the state and county as higher construction bids for the consumer in the form of higher taxes and purchase prices. 

4.  Decisions made in the near future had long term effects on the continued availability of reasonable prices aggregate. 

He remarked that bids were received for the widening of I-25; however, the bids were high which was due to construction materials.   


Dirk Banks, owned two properties in Thompson River Ranch and also resided south of the proposed property.  He mentioned that there were multiple signs on the subject property when he was looking to purchase his properties.  He also pointed out that in the long term there would be lakes, open space and wildlife.  He understood that there would be additional traffic; however, that was already created when the subdivisions and the development of Johnstown.  He remarked that air quality and noise from I-25 would be greater.  He pointed out that it was a short term inconvenience for a long term benefit.  


Grayson Graff, stated that he was at the 2009 neighborhood meeting, which was reflected by the applicant as not contentious but it was.  He mentioned that 2/3 of the people that were affected were downwind from the proposal and the sand piles.  He also stated that the entire area was under water during the 2013 flood.


David Feeback, agreed with comments from the opposition.


Linda O’Brien, stated that her family had owned property between the frontage road and the proposed gravel pit since 1976.  She spoke to the integrity of the Coulson Family and the company.  She noted that the Kirtright property chose not to be annexed into Johnstown.  She remarked that there were signs on the property fencing notifying of the gravel pit.


Kevin O’Brien, stated that he had lived on the Kirtright pit for 20 years.  He stated that the applicants were great neighbors and even helped them during the 2013 flood.  He noted that the train noise was louder than what would be created by the mine.  He also stated that dust would not be a problem.  He reiterated that the applicants were experienced and would take care of the property. 


Commissioner Wallace asked if the interstate noise was significant


Mr. O’Brien stated that they could hear the traffic; however, the train noise was more significant.


Mark Shaffer, owned and operated Shaffer Excavating in Loveland.  He stated that there was an aggregate shortage. 


Randy Kirtright, lived on the Kirtright pit property.  He stated that home values near that pit did not decrease.  He stated that there was never an issue with dust and that noise was minimal.  He stated that there were many false thoughts and rumors about the gravel pit. 


Mike Palmer, resident of Thompson River Ranch, was concerned about health issues and potential effects caused from mining operations.  He was also concerned about traffic. 


Victor B, resident in Thompson Crossing, stated that there were no signs advertising the gravel pit.  The advised that the commission was there to protect the residents and there were hundreds of households against the pit. 


Brian McNahill, owned the Flying W Ranch, which was leased to the applicants.  He stated that he had lived there since 1982.  He admitted that there were concerns when it was determined to mine the property; however, they have had no complaints regarding noise, dust, etc. from the other residences.  He remarked that the noise off of I-25 would be just as loud as the truck noise.  He stated that the applicants were decent people who were always responsive and addressed any issues. 


Stephanie Fancher-English, Colorado Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, stated that the committee spent a great amount of time looking at air, water, and safety issues.  She stated that there was a fear of the unknown, and many were unaware of the requirements to meet State standards.  She remarked that the applicants were a top notch operator, good employer and would make sure they met all the requirements and standards. 


Zach Ehasz, lived in Thompson River Ranch since 2010, stated that he was not aware of the proposed pit when he moved in.  He felt that there needed to be a balance between the homeowners and applicant, and the opportunity was missed for that balance.  He noted that air born pollutants were a concern and asked how that exposure would be measured and tracked for the citizens. 


Mr. Foster thanked the neighbors for their courtesy and professionalism.  He understood the concerns for adding the vehicle trips per day but pointed out the traffic created by the subdivisions.  He stated that the amount used by the proposal would be a fraction of what was used by the people in those subdivisions.  He pointed out that the proposed mining operation proposed did not required the many conditions placed upon it; however, they recognized that it was a Special Review that required them to go above and beyond.  Those conditions that were being proposed that were not required included the setback, berms, noise mitigation, and conveyor system.  All those noise mitigation proposals were contemplated in the noise study.  In addition, the traffic improvements were contemplated and would be completed.  He understood that 7 years was a significant time period, but the use was proposed to be limited, which was not required.


Commissioner Cox asked if the ponds and open space would be in perpetuity.




Mr. Foster stated that the reclamation plan required that the property be left in a certain condition.  There were no plans to do anything other than the reclamation plan.  One contemplated idea upon completion the property would be annexed into Johnstown.  He stated that the conversations needed to be had prior to the reclamation.


Commissioner Cox stated that the future of the site was an important factor that needed to be considered for the surrounding property owners.  She asked what happened if the conveyor failed.


Mr. Coulsen stated that if the conveyor failed it would be back up and running within a day. The site would shut down until the conveyor was fixed.


Commissioner Cox asked how a homeowner would know a gravel pit was proposed.


Mr. Foster stated that there was never a time where there wasn’t an open application with the county.  He pointed out that the people that did know about the proposed gravel pit were the owner that annexed the property into Johnstown, the Johnstown Town Board who annexed for residential uses, and the developer and homebuilders of the subdivision.  He stated that there were signs on the property for many years.  It was not a result of the applicants not doing what they needed to do. 


Commissioner Christman asked if a reclamation bond would be obtained.


Mr. Wayland explained that process.


Commissioner Lucas asked about the berms.


Mr. Wayland spoke regarding the berms and stated that there would be no berms left after reclamation.


Commissioner Lucas asked about discussions with the pipeline owner.


Mr. Wayland stated that they engaged in discussions with the previous owners, Kaneb, which they had a binding agreement with.  They were also engaged with the new owners.  He clarified that there was only one pipeline on the property.


Commissioner Jensen stated that he appreciated the respect of the audience.  He asked about the requirements for business and employee safety.


Mr. Coulsen explained that the asphalt operations were under OSHA  and the gravel operations were under MSHAW.  They were inspected 2-3 times per year, which were surprise inspections.  He remarked that if there were concerns, meters could be attached to workers and there were stiff penalties if they did not meet the requirements.


Mr. Foster stated that they were prepared to meet all conditions of approval; however, he pointed out that they did not have enough time to run analysis on the new conditions proposed compared to Federal and State regulations.



Commissioner Cox asked why there were smaller buffers proposed.


Mr. Foster stated that the setbacks and berming had to be placed so there were no violation of county noise regulations at the perimeter.  There were some limitations with the site in terms of how to create more buffering but still allow for the full operation of the facility.  He pointed out that the applicants had reduced the mining site by 30% as a result of the neighborhood meetings in 2009.  He remarked that at some point they needed to determine what the setbacks could be to help with noise mitigation but also allow for the operation to function.  He also pointed out that setting a timeframe to mine the site was a risk as after that 7 years there could still be resources to mine.


Commissioner Dougherty asked if any of the ground was considered wetland by any governmental agency.


Mr. Wayland replied no.


Commissioner Dougherty asked about the mitigation plan for the stock piles, which might help to minimize the amount of silica or dust.


Mr. Wayland explained that the installation of sprinkler systems would consistently keep those piles wet.


Commissioner Dougherty asked about the mitigation for active digging and roadways.


Mr. Wayland replied that the digging site was typically moist material.  The air pollution permits obtained would required that areas disturbed be wet down.  They would also revegetate.  He reiterated that the site would be operating under a much different standard than some of the other sites.


Commissioner Cox asked if all of the customers from this site would be from Northern Colorado.


Mr. Coulsen stated that 95% of the users would be Johnstown, Greeley, Loveland, Longmont, Fort Collins, Weld County, Larimer County, and CDOT.




Commissioner Cox had concerns about the traffic as she felt that any increase would cause issues. 


Mr. Helmick remarked that CDOT approved the use on that roadway.  He mentioned several other gravel pits that were surrounded by substantial developments.


Commissioner Jensen pointed out that there was another development being constructed to the east of the site, which would create dust and traffic through the current developments.  He was concerned that the applicant not be mistaken for that. He asked about Condition of Approval #6, which allowed periodic inspections by the County.




Mr. Helmick explained that condition allowed the County to enter the property at any time.  He reminded them that issues were driven on a complaint basis.


Commissioner Jensen asked if the 7-year timeframe could be extended.


Mr. Helmick replied yes through a time extension application that would go before the Board of County Commissioners.


Mr. Helmick stated that the applicant had proposed changes to some of the conditions of approval: 

#5 ‘……..In the event County must retain legal counsel and/or pursue a court action to enforce the terms of this Special Review approval, applicant agrees to pay all expenses incurred by County including, but not limited to, reasonable attorney’s fees.

The applicant stated that they would like to review that with the County Attorney.


#27 No haul truck from this site shall use the County Road 20 E Bridge. 

The applicant proposed that if the County Road 20 E bridge was improved, then the applicant be able to use the County Road 20E bridge.  Mr. Helmick stated that the Development Services Team had no issue with that proposal. 


#33 Prior to commencing operations, the applicant must obtain Flood Review Board approval for the conveyor belt and perimeter drain systems to be located within the floodplain.

The applicant stated that an amendment would be submitted to the Flooplain Development Permit to address the addition of the conveyor.  Therefore, they were proposing to revise the condition to add ‘alternative methods of construction or conveyor as approved or mandated by the Flood Review Board’.  Mr. Helmick stated that there was no an issue with that proposal except if it was a substantial change then it could trigger a re-hearing because of noise, dust, odor, etc.. 


Commissioner Miller stated that the arguments against the proposal were compelling; however, he had experience living near a gravel pit and did not have an unpleasant experience.  He felt that property values would increase after the commencement of the mining operation.  He stated that he would vote in favor of the application.


Commissioner Christman stated that the applicant could not satisfy Review Criteria A and could not support the proposal.


Commissioner Lucas appreciated the applicant as well as the neighborhood turnout.  He remarked that the applicant had tried to go above and beyond and were trying to do the right thing.  He was in favor of the proposal.


Commissioner Cox stated that the proposal was not harmonious.  She stated that there needed to be a guarantee of the end result and that it would be completed in 7 years.


Commissioner Jensen stated that the applicant was trying to do everything to mitigate the issues of concern.  There was a right in the State to mine resources.  He also mentioned that time did not reduce private property rights.



Commissioner Dougherty stated that he owned property backing to the Overland Ponds.  The value did move with the market and stated that the value did increase once the ponds were in place.  He explained how property value disputes were conducted.  He wondered if there could be a restriction on perpetual use.  He felt that this issue should have been discussed by the applicant prior to the hearing, which would help eliminate some fears. 


Commissioner Cox was still concerned with the traffic that would be created on the road. 


Commissioner Jensen agreed that traffic on the road was a problem; however, he wondered how much responsibility should be placed on the applicant for a traffic problem that already existed.


Commissioner Jensen 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 Stroh Pit Quarry Special Review, file #09-Z1771, for the property shown on “Exhibit B” to the minutes, subject to the following conditions with proposed modifications:


1.   This Special Review approval shall automatically expire without a public hearing if the use is not commenced within three years of the date of approval.


2.   The Site shall be developed consistent with the approved plan and with the information contained in the Stroh Pit Special Review File # 09-Z1771 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 Stroh Pit Special Review.


3.   Failure to comply with any conditions of the Special Review approval may result in reconsideration of the use and possible revocation of the approval by the Board of County Commissioners


4.   The applicant shall provide a Development Agreement for review and approval by the Board of County Commissioners no later than 90 days from the approved Findings and Resolution of the Board of County Commissioners. 


5.   In the event the applicant fails to comply with any conditions of approval or otherwise fails to use the property consistent with the approved Special Review, applicant agrees that in addition to all other remedies available to County, County may withhold building permits, issue a written notice to applicant to appear and show cause why the Special Review approval should not be revoked, and/or bring a court action for enforcement of the terms of the Special Review.  All remedies are cumulative and the County’s election to use one shall not preclude use of another.  In the event County must retain legal counsel and/or pursue a court action to enforce the terms of this Special Review approval, applicant agrees to pay all expenses incurred by County including, but not limited to, reasonable attorney’s fees.





6.   County may conduct periodic inspections to the property and reviews of the status of the Special Review as appropriate to monitor and enforce the terms of the Special Review approval.


7.   The Findings and Resolution shall be a servitude running with the Property.  Those owners of the Property or any portion of the Property who obtain title subsequent to the date of recording of the Findings and Resolution, their heirs, successors, assigns or transferees, and persons holding under applicants shall comply with the terms and conditions of the Special Review approval.


8.   The applicant shall pay the Transportation Capital Expansion Fees (TCEF) within 120 days of the recordation of the Findings and Resolution approving the Special Review. 


9.   Operation hours shall be limited to the hours of 7am-5pm Monday through Friday.  Hauling may occur additionally on Saturday from 7am-5pm


10.   An access permit including all required improvements shall be obtained from CDOT.  All improvements shall be constructed and approved prior to any hauling from the site. 


11.   All mining and reclamation shall be completed no later than 7 years from the first material hauled from the site.  Applicant shall provide written notice of this event to the County. 


12.   Full berms shall be constructed around both pit sites as the first phase of operation.  A grass or other cover shall be immediately established and maintained throughout their life. As the residential development to the east of the mining property becomes occupied, it may be necessary to construct additional berms for dust and noise mitigation. Additional berms may also be required along the access road if noise becomes an issue from haul trucks entering and existing the processing plant area.


13.   The applicant must have a construction permit issued by the Air Pollution Control Division prior to starting construction of the berms.


14.   The applicant shall implement a public information website and provide quarterly briefing to the HOAs’ of the surrounding developments.  An advisement of the meetings shall be provided to the County.  The website shall provide contact information for residents to report complaints or ask questions. The applicant must develop a plan to respond to citizen complaints.


15.   The applicant shall develop a noise monitoring plan, to include when and how noise and baselines will be reviewed and established, how results are reported and what the response to noise complaints will be.  This plan shall be submitted, reviewed and approved prior to any mining activity.

      The applicant shall hire a sound consultant in the first two weeks of processing activity to measure sound levels and provide additional conditions for sound mitigation as needed. The study shall be submitted to the county for review to determine if the operation is in compliance with the noise ordinance and the original sound study.



16.   Dust water trucks on site and used.  In hot, dry and windy conditions, over 20 mph sustained, water shall be applied regularly. Stripping and mining shall not be permitted in 35 mile per hour winds as indicated on the Air Pollution Control Division’s construction permit. The operation must adhere to all the controls required by the state issued construction permit.


17.   An electric line powered conveyor shall be installed and routinely maintenanced to mitigate noise.


18.   Noise suppression and water bars shall be located at all conveyor transfer points.


19.   All internal excavating and construction equipment owned by the applicant must have white noise backup beepers installed.


20.   The access road shall be paved prior to any material hauled off site.


21.   The internal dirt access road proposed around the processing plant for incoming customer trucks and other internal haul roads between the pits and the processing plant, shall be chemically stabilized (magnesium chloride) to reduce dust.


22.   Speed limit signs shall be posted along the access road and other internal haul roads for noise and dust mitigation. Traffic signs for one-way traffic around the processing plant shall also be installed to mitigate noise from customer vehicles.


23.   Emergency maintenance shall be allowed at any time.  Normal maintenance may not occur in the quarry area unless during normal working hours. 


24.   Stock piles of finished material from the Bonser Pit shall be in place prior to operation of processing plant for noise suppression as indicated in the sound study.


25.   The Larimer County Environmental Health Department has the right to enforce the county noise ordinance and the controls required by the Air Pollution Control Division’s air construction permit and will require additional controls if noise and dust/emissions are found to be in violation.


26.   Trucks hauling material may only go south on the Frontage Road.


27.   No haul truck from this site shall use the County Road 20 E Bridge.  Truck use may be considered if at such a time the County Road 20 E bridge is improved.


28.   No trucks are allowed north beyond CR 20E due to Johnstown restrictions for non-delivery truck traffic on Ronald Reagan Boulevard and Thompson Parkway.


29.   No parking, loading or unloading of any vehicles will be allowed within the County right-of-way or State Highway right-of-way.




30.   Trucks shall not back onto or use the County Road or State Highway for a turnaround.


31.   The applicant is responsible for prompt, complete removal of material spilled onto the County roadway or State Highway.


32.   The Engineering Department and CDOT reserve the right to further comment on traffic and access issues if the projected traffic impact, access location, or haul route changes.

a.   The applicant shall submit to the County all applicable, final & approved, copies of permits from other jurisdictions.

b.   The final groundwater report must be signed, stamped and dated by a professional engineer prior to commencing operations.


33.   Prior to commencing operations, the applicant must obtain Flood Review Board approval for the conveyor belt and perimeter drain systems to be located within the floodplain, including any determination by the Flood Review Board that alternate methods of construction or conveyor locations. 


34.   A Larimer County Floodplain Development Permit is required prior to commencing any grading on the property. As part of the permit, the site must be reclaimed per the Flood Review Board approved reclamation plan and a Letter of Map Revision must be completed and approved by FEMA prior to the termination of the Floodplain Development Permit.  

a.   A recorded easement and permanent maintenance agreement for the permanent perimeter drain system shall be recorded within 90 days of approval.


35.   As-built plans and a certification letter signed and stamped by a professional engineer must be submitted within 90 days of installation of the drain.


36.   No bulk storage of diesel fuel, gasoline, solvents, or other potentially hazardous materials are permitted in the Floodplain limits.


Commissioner Miller seconded the Motion.


Commissioners’ Jensen, Lucas, Miller, Wallace and Chairman Dougherty voted in favor of the Motion.


Commissioners’ Christman and Cox voted against the Motion.











REPORT FROM STAFF:  Mr. Lafferty reminded the Commission of their upcoming meetings.  He stated that a joint hearing between the Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners would be held on December 13, 2017 regarding the Mountain Resilience Plan.


ADJOURNMENT:   There being no further business, the hearing adjourned at 10:10 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













































































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