Minutes of December 19, 2018

The Larimer County Planning Commission met in a regular session on Wednesday, December 19, 2018, at 6:30 p.m., in the Hearing Room.  Commissioners Choate, Gerrard, Johnson, Lucas, Miller, and Wallace were present.  Commissioner Jensen presided as Chairman.  Also present were Todd Blomstrom, Public Works Division Director; Lesli Ellis, Community Development Director; Rob Helmick, Senior Planner; Carol Kuhn, Principal Planner; Katie Gray and Clint Jones, Engineering Department, Stephen Gillette, Solis Waste Director; Lea Schneider, Health and Environment Department; and Denise Ruybal, Recording Secretary.  

The Planning Commission went on a site visit to the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority on the west side of County Road 29 north of Highway 34 adjacent to the Big Thompson School; the Poudre School District  Site Acquisition located at the southwest corner of East County Road 64 and North Count Road 9; and the Gerrard Estates PLD located east of County Road 9 approximately ½ mile south of Highway 402 in Loveland.


There were no comments from the public.


There were no comments from the public.


Commissioner Lucas moved to approve the minutes, seconded by Commissioner Choate.  This received unanimous voice approval.

Chairman Jensen asked that the Gerrard Estates Planned Land Division be removed from the consent agenda and added to the agenda.


ITEM #1    LOVELAND FIRE RESCUE AUTHORITY LOCATION & EXTENT – 18-ZONE2455: Mr. Helmick provided background information on the acquisition of this 1.3-acre site for a future fire station.  Loveland Fire Rescue Authority (LFRA) proposes to demolish the two existing homes on site and construct a new 10,000+ square foot fire station which will house an engine as well as wildland firefighting equipment.  This will be a manned facility.  This site is immediately north of the Big Thompson Elementary School.  As part of this proposal, a shared parking and facility use with the Thompson School District is proposed.  There are no conflicts with the Master Plan or environmental issues.  Staff recommends that this be approved with the single condition as follow:

•    Site Plan Review and approval is required prior to building permit application.


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

     BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission recommends the approval of the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority Location and Extent, FILE 18-ZONE2455, subject to the following condition: 

·  Site Plan Review and approval is required prior to building permit application.

Commissioner Miller seconded the motion.

Commissioners Choate, Gerrard, Johnson, Lucas, Miller, Wallace and Chairman Jensen all voted in favor of the motion.


ITEM #2    POUDRE SCHOOL DISTRICT SCHOOL SITE ACQUISITION LOCATION AND EXTENT – FILE 18-ZONE2456:   Mr. Helmick provided background in that the Poudre School District has identified a future school site adjacent to the Town of Wellington immediately west of the Town between County Roads 62 and 64 on the west side of County Road 9.  This 127-acre parcel is currently farmed and zoned O-Open.  The School District is proposing a future combination middle/senior high school, which will eventually transition to a full high school site.  The District plans to annex the site to the Town of Wellington and develop the school after the annexation.  The purpose of this Location and Extent Review is to review the site acquisition with respect to Master Plan conformance.  Staff recommends the approval with the following conditions:

·   If the site remains in the County’s jurisdiction, Site Plan Review and approval by the Larimer County Planning Commission is required prior to building permit application in addition to Staff review and approval.


·   If the site is developed in the County’s jurisdiction, all requirements of the County Site Plan Review process will be applicable, including all requirements of the Health and Engineering Departments.


Commissioner Wallace wanted to make sure that the School District is aware that this site is located almost directly adjacent to a large dairy.  The only separation is an 80-acre parcel. The dairy sometimes causes the people of Wellington a great deal of heartache due to the odor.

Chairman Jensen asked Mr. Helmick what steps would the School District need to take should the land remain in the County’s jurisdiction?

Mr. Helmick responded that at a minimum the School District would need to provide a Site Development Plan that would be reviewed and evaluated by the Planning Commission.  The would not necessarily need to go through the County Site Pal Review or the building permit process, as he believes that the schools are permitted through the State of Colorado or the Department of Labor.  If not annexed, the School District would be obligated to submit another application for the other kind of Location and Extent Review for the Site Development Plan.  The way the Code is written, if the Planning Commission should have any issues, the Planning Commission can request a hearing in front of the Board of Education.

Commissioner Choate asked if this was the site that was considered for the new school at the time the voters approved the new Mill Levy?

Mr. Helmick responded that he believes that was the case.

Commissioner Wallace asked if we had an Intergovernmental Agreement with the Town of Wellington, would that have changed the process?

Mr. Helmick replied no.

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

    BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commissioner recommends the approval of the Acquisition Location and Extent, FILE #18-ZONE2456, with the two conditions as listed on page 10 of the agenda.

Commissioner Choate seconded the Motion.  

Commissioners Choate, Gerrard, Johnson, Lucas, Miller, Wallace and Chairman Jensen all voted in favor of the motion.




Commissioner Gerrard recused himself from this case as it involves his family and their land.

Mr. Helmick described the applicant's proposed subdivision of this 66.7-acre parcel into three lots.  Two lots will be 2.84-acres each and the third will be 60.9-acres in size.  One home already exists on the site.  The applicants also propose to allow only one home on the larger lot.  This larger lot is anticipated to be further developed upon annexation to the City of Loveland.  The site is in an area recently added to the Loveland GMA.  Urban level services and facilities are currently not available to this site resulting in the requested appeals to road connectivity and sewage disposal.  The immediate area around this proposal is characterized by older rural subdivisions and Conservation Developments as well as agricultural uses.

There are two appeals pertaining to connectivity and is for the standards of development for wastewater in a GMA.  Connectivity was identified as a concern. The applicant is appealing this standard citing

as justification that they are only proposing 3 lots all of which front on and have access to CR 9. The bulk of the property (Lot 3) will develop further upon annexation to the City

of Loveland and their request is to wait until that time to identify and dedicate additional internal ROW.  Public sewer is not currently available in the area.

Mr. Helmick reviewed a few of the Review Criteria used by Staff for review of the application.

The Development Services Team recommends Approval of the Gerrard Estates Planned Land Division Preliminary Plat File # 18-LAND3812 subject to the following condition(s):


1. The Final Plat shall be consistent with the approved preliminary plan and with the information contained in the Gerrard Estates Planned Land Division File # 18-LAND3812,  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 Gerrard Estates Planned Land Division File # 18-LAND3812.

2. The following fees shall be collected at building permit issuance for new single-family dwellings: Thompson School District school fee, Larimer County fees for County and Regional Transportation Capital Expansion, Larimer County Community 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. Lots 1 & 2 are within standard distance to fire hydrants and will not require fire sprinklers. Lot 3 shall require residential fire sprinklers for any new dwelling unless it can be shown that the proposed dwelling is within 1000 road feet to fire hydrants at the time of building permit application.

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 groundwater 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 the 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. If the appeal to connectivity is granted:

1. The applicant must apply for an access permit for the access for Lot 3 and meet the standards found in the Larimer County Urban Area Street Standards.  If the appeal to connectivity is not granted by the Board of County Commissioners, the following conditions will apply:

1. An internal roadway will need to be built to permit the continuation of streets, roads, trails, pedestrian access, utilities, and drainage facilities into Lot 3.

2. Construction plans will be submitted to the Engineering Department for the internal subdivision road and must meet the requirements of Chapter 3 of the Larimer County  Urban Area Street Standards (LCUASS). Pavement design must meet the requirements of Chapter 10 of the LCUASS.

3. A cul-de-sac will need to be constructed at the end of the internal subdivision road.

4. The internal roadway will be dedicated as a right of way.

5. A road maintenance agreement must be recorded for the internal subdivision road.

6. Lot 1 and Lot 2 must access off the shared access drive. Any other existing access points on County Road 9 must be removed.

7. A drainage report will need to be submitted to the Engineering Department for review and approval.

8. An access permit will need to be applied for through the Engineering Department.

9. A Development Construction Permit will be required upon approval.

7. Lot 3 shall only be available for one single family dwelling and accessory uses until the lot is annexed into the city of Loveland.

Regarding the appeals: The Team Recommends the Larimer County Planning Commission recommend to the Board of County Commissioners

1.    The appeal to Section 8.14.1.R connectivity be approved.

2.    The appeal to Section 8.1.1 Onsite sewage disposal in a GMA be approved.

With Respect to the PD zoning: The Team Recommends the Larimer County Planning Commission recommend to the Board of County Commissioners:

1. Approval of the rezoning from FA-Farming to PD (Planned Development) subject to the following condition:

a. The rezoning shall be effective upon the recordation of the final plat of Gerrard Estates Planned Land Division.

2. The permitted uses, lot building, and structure requirements, setbacks and structure height limitations for Gerrard Estates Planned Land Division shall be as follows:

A. Principal uses :


1. Agricultural labor housing (S)

2. Apiary (R)

3. Commercial poultry farm (S)

4. Equestrian operation (PSP/MS/S)—See section 4.3.1

5. Farm (R)

6. Feed yard (S)

7. Fur farm (S)

8. Garden supply center (S)

9. Greenhouse (R)

10. Livestock veterinary clinic/hospital (MS/S)—See section 4.3.1

11. Packing facility (R)

PC 12/19/2018 21

12. Pet animal facility (MS/S)—See section 4.3.1

13. Pet animal veterinary clinic/hospital (MS/S)—See section 4.3.1

14. Sod farm, nursery (R)

15. Tree farm (R)


16. Group home (R)

17. Group home for the aged (R)

18. Group home for developmentally disabled (R)

19. Group home for the mentally ill (R)

20. Single-family dwelling (R)

21. Storage buildings and garages (R)—See section 4.3.2


22. Cemetery (S)

23. Child/elderly care center (S)

24. Church (MS/S)—See section 4.3.4

25. Community hall (MS/S)—See section 4.3.4

26. Hospital (S)

27. School, nonpublic (S)

28. State-licensed group home (S)


29. Country club (S)

30. Golf course (S)


31. Bed and breakfast (MS/S)—See section 4.3.6

32. Seasonal camp (S)



33. Mining (S)

34. Oil and gas drilling and production (R)

35. Small solar facility (R/PSP)

36. Small wind energy facility (MS)


37. Commercial mobile radio service (SP/S)—See section 16

38. Radio and television transmitters (S)

B. Lot, building and structure requirements:

1. Minimum lot size:

a.100,000 square feet (2.3 acres) if a well or septic system is used.

b.21,780 square feet (0.5 acres) if both public water and sewer are used.

C . Maximum density: in a conservation development is calculated by dividing the total

developable area by the required minimum lot size. Maximum density in a rural land plan is

determined by subsection 5.8.6.A. Lots in a conservation development or rural land plan that use

a well or an individual septic system must contain at least two acres (87,120 square feet). Lots in

a conservation development or rural land plan connected to public water and either a public

sewer or community sewer system are not required to meet minimum lot size requirements

(except for the purpose of calculating density).

2. Minimum required setbacks: (If more than one setback applies, the greater setback is required.)

a.Street and road setback (Refer to section 4.9.1 setbacks from highways, county roads, and all

other streets and roads.) The setback from a street or road must be 25 feet from the lot line,

nearest edge of the road easement, nearest edge of the right-of-way, or nearest edge of traveled way,

whichever is greater.

b.Side yards—Five feet.

c.Rear yards—Ten feet.

d.Refer to section 4.9.2 for additional setback requirements (including but not limited to streams,

creeks, and rivers).

3.Maximum structure height—40 feet.

4.No parcel can be used for more than one principal building; additional buildings on a parcel are allowed if they meet the accessory use criteria in subsection 4.3.10.


Commissioner Wallace asked for clarification regarding the location of the Outlot.

Mr. Helmick outlined that the Outlot appeared on the original plat in this location. In working with the applicant, it was determined that having Lot 3 access directly rather than having an Outlot required them to distinguish the disposition of what that Outlot would be and further raised the concerns with connectivity.

Commissioner Wallace then asked if this mechanism had ever been used for a Conservation Easement before? 

Mr. Helmick replied that it would be the same vehicle that would be used for a Conservation Development in a GMA, which would be a temporary covenant restriction as a part of the Development Agreement and is part of the public record.

Commissioner Wallace clarified that this was for a limited period of time only.

Mr. Helmick affirmed Commissioner Wallace’s statement.

Chairman Jensen clarified that the limited period of time is only until the City of Loveland annexes the property.

Mr. Hemick affirmed Chairman Jensen’s statement.

Commissioner Miller wanted to reiterate that there were no objections or questions by any of the neighbors and asked if there were any neighborhood meetings.

Mr. Helmick stated that there were no objections from neighbors, referrals were sent out within at least 500-feet, and that there was a prior sketch plan on this property by a prior developer who proposed 14 lots and there was some push back at that point from the neighbor in the notch. However, that neighbor was notified of this process and Staff received no objection form this neighbor with respect to this proposal.

Commissioner Johnson stated that currently the property is not in proximity to sanitation services and public sewer and asked Ms. Schneider what happens in the future if the sewer systems need to be replaced and public sewer is available.

Ms. Schneider responded that if there is public sewer service within 400-feet of the property line, that her Department will make them connect.

Commissioner Johnson clarified that this was only on failure.

Ms. Schneider responded that failure or the purchase the tap would make this a requirement. Her Department would be able to issue a repair permit.

Commissioner Choate asked if the annexation and availability of public sewer are what will drive the development of this property.  

Mr. Helmick responded that he understands that the applicant is not interested in Urban Scale Development at this time. The applicant does own additional property in the area and may choose to do an assembled development in the future. The property immediately to the north is already annexed into the City of Loveland and that there is a Development Plan in the process anticipating the sewer service.

Commissioner Choate asked Mr. Helmick if he knew the timeframe for when that might happen.

Mr. Helmick thought this property might develop five to ten years out.


Chairman Jensen asked Nathan Gerrard, a representative for the Gerrard Family LLP, to address the Commissioners.

Mr. Gerrard is consistent is the goals of the IGA that the County has with the City of Loveland.  This plan will allow the property to be farmed until such a time that it is annexed into the City of Loveland.  There are no immediate plans to develop the land. The five to ten ears mentioned may be optimistic. This is being done to preserve to right to be able to develop the land someday.  It also allows the family to build homes on the smaller two lots.  The connectivity waiver is being requested as the access is strictly for farming access and there would be no traffic. A road would be expensive and would have to be maintained for years into the future.  Also, not sure if the requirements for the road now would meet the requirements for a road once the property was annexed in.  They do intend to apply for an access permit to access the farming on the property.


Chairman Jensen asked if there was currently a house being built on the property and whose house it is?

Mr. Gerrard responded that his sister’s house is currently being built on the property.

Chairman Jensen asked Mr. Gerrard if he farmed the land?

Mr. Gerrard answered that he personally does not farm the land. The family farms the land and there is also a farmer that has a contract to fam on the land.

Chairman Jensen asked if there was anyone from the public that would like to provide public comment.  No one was present to respond.

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


    BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission approve Land Use Case #18-LAND3812, due to the findings and the Development Services Team recommendation along with the two condition of approval for zoning, 7 for the subdivision and two conditions for the appeals.


Commissioner Miller seconded the Motion.

Chairman Jensen noted that he pulled this item off the consent agenda due to the fact that Commissioner Gerrard has been a member of this team for a  long time and as a matter of course, he felt it was good public policy to not make this look like the Commission rubber-stamped this application through as a special favor. The Gerrard Family went through all the processes that anyone else would go through.

Commissioners Choate, Johnson, Lucas, Miller, Wallace, and Chairman Jensen all voted in favor of the motion.  Commissioner Gerrard recused himself.


ITEM #4   SOLID WASTE INFRASTRUCTURE MASTER PLAN, FILE #18-CODE0232:    Mr. Gillette reviewed that the 2018 Larimer County Solid Waste Infrastructure Master Plan was developed over the past 18-months in coordination with the North Front Range Watershed Coalition (Coalition) to investigate the future of solid waste management in Larimer County.  The Coalition includes elected and staff representatives from Estes Park, Fort Collins, Loveland and Larimer County.  The Master Plan document establishes long-term goals for solid waste management and provides a road map for future development, construction, and management of solid waste infrastructure needed to meet service demands through the year 2050.

Preparation of the Master Plan involved a stakeholder group, a Policy Advisory Committee (elected officials from the four members of the coalition) and Technical Advisory Committee.

With the assistance of the County’s consultant, HDR Engineering, Inc., the Master Plan development process included the following community engagements.

·   10 multi-agency Policy Advisory Committee meetings

·   30+ multi-agency Technical Advisory Committee meetings

·   7 Solid Waste Stakeholder Committee meetings

·   5 Public Informational meetings

·   3 Presentations at quarterly Elected Officials meetings

·   5 Presentations to City and Town Councils

On November 28, 2018, the Master Plan was reviewed at a work session with the Board of County Commissioners and the Planning Commission.

On December 4, 2018, the Board of County Commissioners recommended adoption of the Solid Waste Infrastructure Master Plan.

The Solid Waste Department is requesting adoption of the Master Plan at the December 19, 2018, Planning Commission meeting.

A full copy of the Solid Waste Infrastructure Master Plan is available for public review at:

Mr. Gillette provided a presentation outlining the Waste Composition and Characteristic Analysis.  Facts that he provided:

•    By the year 2021, Larimer County should be diverting 22% of our waste.  We are currently diverting 12%. 

•    In 2017, the landfill had 157,000 customers.  90,000 of those customers were self-hauls.

•    Mr. Gillette predicts that the landfill will see 167,000 customers this year.

•    By the year 2025, the current landfill will be full.  This number has changed a bit.  The hailstorms of 2018 provided enough waste to take up 2 quarters of life.

•    Larimer County will take in 1.2 million cubic yards this year

•    The landfill was able to take advantage of vertical expansions

•    The time needed to build a new facility is a 3-5year process.  Time is of the essence.

Mr. Gillette asked Douglas Ceasar, the County’s ACR Consultant, to go over the planning process they went through to come up with the Master Plan.  This Master Plan is simply a map of where the County will start and hopefully where it will go.

Mr. Ceasar shared that the Coalition recognized that there are a lot of solid waste challenges.  The challenges that they were addressing were:

•    The increase of volume in waste

•    The need for consistent goals and programs amongst all the municipalities

•    The anticipated closure of the landfill

•    Balancing economic, environmental and social costs

Mr. Ceasar provided a presentation detailing the history of the Coalition, Policy Advisory Committee purpose, and Technical Advisory Committee goals.


There were 11 Infrastructure Options Evaluated:

•    Status Quo

•    Central Transfer Station

•    New County Landfill

•    Material Recovery Facility (Clean)

•    Yard Waste Organics Processing Facility

•    C&D Processing Facility

•    Energy from Waste Facility (Direct Combustion)

•    Mixed Waste Processing (Dirty MRF)

•    Aerobic Composting Including Food Waste

•    Anaerobic Digestion

•    Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) Processing

The five items above highlighted in blue were the items that stuck out.  Cost and time were also considered when reviewing these items.

The advantages and disadvantages of public vs a private landfill was outlined.

Mr. Ceasar shared that there were four public information meetings were held in each city.  There was also a more recent meeting held in Wellington.

Mr. Gillette again addressed the Commission regarding tips fees.  Larimer County charges about $44.00 a ton.  Some areas charge up to $100.00 a ton.  Mr. Gillette provided a chart for Northern Colorado Landfill Comparisons as of July 2018.  Larimer County does try to be competitive and they do make money.  The reason these fees are so low is that Larimer County has money in the bank to build a new landfill.  There be no financing needed.  The increase in rates will affect households approximately 6.2%.  The Solid Waste Department is currently an enterprise fund and they currently have money in the bank.  The Solid Waste Fund will end up with about $41 million at year’s end.  The Solid Waste Fund receives zero tax dollars.

Mr. Gillette addressed the concerns regarding the number of trucks that would be visiting the new landfill from the current location.  He stated that they would need to gather input from CDOT, the City of Fort Collins, Loveland, Wellington, and Larimer County citizens.  There will be opportunities for many private and public services.  Composting services may be contracted out.

Mr. Blomstrom briefly addressed the Commission highlighting that the current landfill opened 1963.  He shared that Mr. Gillette runs a tight operation which has allowed the fees to be kept low. He addressed the loss of control and what that meant to Larimer County. Environmental concerns, customer service and the safety of the people visiting the landfill are important. The differences between a private and public landfill, Flow Control, the Stakeholder Group’s importance, and what it means to open a new landfill was reviewed. The plan is to have everyone come to the current location, but as the material comes in, it will need to be moved to the new landfill.  The intention is to have self-hauls go to the current location. Commercial haulers routes would be determined by a line that will be determined (currently looking at Douglas Road) with haulers north of the line going to the new landfill and haulers to the south of the line going to the current location.

Chairman Jensen asked if the current transfer stations in Estes Park and Wellington continue to operate? Also, where will those truck go?

Mr. Bomstrom stated that they will continue to operate and will look at some expanded services.  The materials being loaded on the trucks in Estes Park are long-haul trucks and there is no need to have them go to the transfer station, they would continue on to the new landfill.

Chairman Jensen asked Mr. Gillette about the baling and wrapping of the waste.  He wanted additional information as this was not an option that he had heard of before.

Mr. Gillette explained that a bale fill is an option.  The waste is baled and a wrapped so that the waste doesn’t fly out as it is transported.  Once in the development stage, the pros and cons of a bale fill will be looked at. The goal is to never have the transfer station closed.

Chairman Jensen stated that the current landfill currently closes to self-hauls when the wind blows or it gets too muddy.  Will this new transfer station will allow self -hauls to visit anytime?

Mr. Gillette verified that self-hauls would be allowed to visit anytime as the roads will be paved and the trash will be inside. The outside effects will no longer be a concern.

Commissioner Lucas asked how many of the private haulers were at the Stakeholders meetings?

Mr. Gillette shared that the commercial haulers attended infrequently.  So they held separate meetings so they would be able to speak freely. The last meeting was about three weeks ago.

Commissioner Lucas asked in regards to the capital investment of all the new equipment that will be needed for the transfer station, there has been a good forethought for this expenditure, in regards to the tipping fees, does Mr. Gillette feel comfortable with that covering the OM of that investment?

Mr. Gillette stated that he feels very comfortable with the figures. A “10”.

Commissioner Lucas asked about disruptions.  This had been seen in recycling where certain plastics are no longer accepted. What happens with those disruptions?  What happens if there is a substantial drop in the economy or an in housing? 

Mr. Gillette mentioned 2012 and 2013.  Estes Park was virtually cut off with only one road out.  The relationship the Solid Waste Department has with Waste Management who runs the transfer station, they were able to haul the flood debris cheaper than Boulder County.  Mr. Gillette is a big believer in relationships. If everyone is suffering, the belt may need to be tightened.  If the situation presents itself, Mr. Gillette will review the situation with his boss and then the County Commissioners.


Commissioner Lucas referenced one of the slides from the presentation that showed the Stakeholders and their agreement on several of the topics. The number decreased to 70% regarding a public landfill and he asked Mr. Gillette to address that decrease.

Mr. Gillette stated that at that meeting there were seven of the haulers that were voting, so just their votes skewed the number. 

Commissioner Lucas clarified that they skewed the number because they were looking for more of a P-3 environment?

Mr. Gillette stated that they were looking for Larimer County to sign a contract with a private company and not build a landfill.

Commissioner Lucas asked MR. Gillette to speak a little about what that looked like.

Mr. Gillette stated that they were all set to bring the Master Plan to the Commission about three months earlier, but at the last hour, Mr. Gillette had a private company come forward with an offer.  He was advised to take the offer to the Stakeholders.  The Stakeholders made it clear they wanted a public landfill.  The company with the offer also wanted a signature instead of going through the necessary channels for approval.

Commissioner Lucas asked if there was some cost analysis done between the two?

Mr. Gillette answered that yes there was, ABSOLUTELY!

Commissioner Lucas stated that 500- 1100 trips per day currently was mentioned.  He wanted to know if that number included self- hauls and commercial haulers.

Mr. Gillette responded that the number included all trips to the landfill per day.

Commissioner Lucas asked that once the additional trips per day with the transfer haulers is added, would that number increase?

Mr. Gillette felt that the number would decrease and there would not be as many trips to the current location. There will not be any additional traffic.

Commissioner Lucas stated that while the number of haulers and self-hauls may not increase, the number of trips per day would as the trucks coming to the current location to transfer the waste to the new location would add more trips.

Mr. Gillette believes that the haulers will direct haul to another facility.

Commissioner Lucas pointed out the organic composting is at the location as well as construction debris. 

Mr. Gillette replied yes, but that it is currently all there.

Commissioner Lucas pointed out that currently it is drop off.  Then is will be drop, pick-up and take out.

Mr. Gillette replied that is true.

Commissioner asked if there had been any trip analysis done.


Mr. Gillette replied no.

Mr. Blomstrom pointed out that the waste is currently coming to the landfill.  Currently, it is being buried instead of being transferred to another location.  1,100 trips does not happen every day.  30 long-haul trucks may be added for the transfer of waste. 

Commissioner Lucas raised concerns with the amount of increased traffic in regard to the Mental Health Facility and the additional noise the additional traffic may cause to individuals dealing with their mental health issues.  How is the mitigation of the traffic going to be handled?  He would also like the mitigation of naturals buffers or berms between the two properties addressed.

Mr. Blomstrom reviewed that compatibility was considered when the location of the Mental Health Facility was discussed.  The waste at the transfer station would all be indoors inside buildings.  There would need to be berming and a fair amount of landscaping done.  Improvements to Trilby will be necessary.

Commissioner Miller was under the impression that most of the commercial hauls would go to the new location.

Mr. Blomstrom reviewed the line that would be made to determine where the haulers would go.

Commissioner Choate asked if Mr. Blomstrom knew of other Colorado locations that had private and public landfills in competition with each other?

Mr. Blomstrom replied that it is a matter of distance and that every landfill is in competition with other landfills. He pointed out that the nominal cost to the consumer will increase slightly as operational costs increase.  HDR was brought in as national experts to provide guidance and input.

Commissioner Choate questioned the financing mechanism that will used.

Mr. Blomstrom explained how an enterprise operates and again mentioned that the enterprise fund does not and cannot give or receive any tax monies or money from the general fund. Food waste and organics would probably require the need for some sort of borrowing cost. Mr. Blomstrom did not feel that acquiring financing with low-interest rates on a project like this would not be difficult.

Commissioner Choate asked Mr. Blomstrom why not increase tipping fees now when the fees are so low in order to decrease the need to borrow in the future even at a lower interest rate? He also asked if the intent is to differentiate between this type of waste and that type of waste and if there has been an economic analysis of that?

Mr. Blomstrom replied that there has and that HDR has helped with that. He stressed the importance of not losing market share because once that is gone, it is hard to get it back.

Chairman Jensen shared that he had asked the same question and learned that keeping the tip fees down allows the public to dispose of waste at the landfill instead of disposing of large items like tire on the side of the roads.

Commissioner Miller clarified that in the future the ability to dispose of waste in high winds would be possible?

Mr. Blomstrom reiterated that the future transfer station would never close due to weather. Currently, closures start a chain reaction when haulers cannot dispose of their waste due to weather.

Commissioner Miller asked about the waste going to the new landfill and if the waste would be baled?

Mr. Blomstrom explained that under the baling scenario the waste could be hauled to the north site already baled or it can be hauled to the north site and then baled. These bales look like Legos blocks and are just stacked up.  They can be wrapped but aren’t necessarily so. 

Commissioner Miller asked if they were compacted to which Mr. Blomstrom answered yes.

The Planning Commission took a 10-minute break.

Chairman Jensen reminded the audience that this is to discuss the Master Plan and is not about operations.  Chairman Jensen opened the hearing for public comment. 

Jill Johnson, Bob Elkhorn, Teresa Elkhorn, Melissa Whitehouse, Owen Leonard, Varla Vessar, Scott Koskie, James Johnson, Gerard Martin, David Walton, Arlene Hocka, Gerrard and Andy Lewis all spoke in opposition of the future landfill.  Their concerns included:

•    How the landfill will negatively affect their lifestyle

•    Degrading the condition and maintenance of the roads

•    Plans for CDOT to rebuild the I-25 interchange

•    The railroad crossing in Owl Canyon

•    Insurance and Indemnity for accidents

•    Lower property values

•    The lack of notice for meetings

•    The need for communication with the residents of the area

•    Wind

•    High tension power line that crosses the property of the proposed landfill

•    Noise pollution

•    Need to look at alternative locations

•    Change the atmosphere of the community

•    Safety

•    Location of future high school and the safety of the students attending the school

•    Future growth of area

•    How will this affect the farmers and ranchers in the area

•    Environmental Impacts

•    Concerns to livestock in the area

•    Is there really a need for a new landfill?

•    Road Improvements

•    Drinking water contamination

•    Amount of increased traffic

•    Will there be any damage to local wells?

•    Beautification of the area


Chairman Jensen closed public comment and reminded the audience that the Commission is approving the Master Plan and not a landfill. He then invited Mr. Blomstrom to address the Commission for rebuttal.

Mr. Blomstrom explained that the new landfill would be more that an L&E process. They would have to go through a Special Review and Rezoning, which is an extensive process with notification to neighbors.  Environmental analysis would have to be done to determine if the future location is suitable.  The process is regulated by the State and environmental and water assessments will have to be done and provided to the State before the County ever gets into the landfill process.  Owl Canyon Road is a concern. A project is currently underway to replace the pavement, improve the intersections, widen the bridges and adding shoulders to the road. Discussions are currently underway with the Town of Wellington.  This property is not included within their GMA.  Mr. Blomstorm stated that the Master Plan includes all the residents of Larimer County and notification was not sent out to everyone.  Press releases, social media, and nine public meetings have be used to notify the County of future plans.  He also spoke about the design and upgrade of Trilby Road and Taft Hill.  The road maintenance will not be left up to the HOA.

Mr. Gillette addressed the Commission reviewed a study by Terracon that was shared with him when he started in his position.  This study identified six suitable locations for a landfill, but all six locations had been sold. Mr. Gillette is aware of the high-tension lines that dissect this property. The cost of burying those high-tension wires is extremely high and the design of the future landfill will be able to be built around those wires.  They will not be able to build below the wires for safety reasons.  Roads used for the future landfill will most likely have to be paved. And as far as odor goes, trash does not smell and if the landfill is run correctly, there will be no odors.  Mr. Gillette finished by stating that Larimer County is a good neighbor and the want to leave the environment as they found it.  The $11 million does not include the

Mr. Ceasar stated that because this is a Master Plan, they have not been involved in any preliminary planning for the future landfill. There is no set height for the landfill yet. The design of the landfill will work around the powerlines and does not see a need to move or bury the powerlines. The will be easements and rights-of-way to allow for maintenance of those powerlines. The $11 million does not include the cost for road maintenance.   There have been discussions on how to mitigate the wind. The transfer station will capable of storing the waste inside on windy days until the winds die down.  He also touched on what makes a site incompatible.  There will be water monitoring wells that will detect any leakage before it leaves the property. If hydro-geo studies show that this cannot be monitored, the site may be deemed unsuitable.  Mitigation will have to take before any contamination will leave the site. The County must have financial assurance to address closure of the facility and mitigation.  This is done on an annual basis.  Waste reduction is a goal that will need to take place with public education. One of the goals is to ensure that traffic cueing does not all take place on Trilby Road. If there is a line of cars, they will be onsite at the transfer station and not n Trilby Road. Noise studies can be considered to try and mitigate the noise.  As Mr. Gillette pointed out, odor issues are not a problem.  Moisture needs to be collected and if not treated, the odor will come from there.  But it really comes down to how the landfill is operated.

Commissioner Choate asked about operations.  Will there be a market for 100% waste diversion?

Mr. Ceasar stated that one of the goals is waste diversion but that the landfill is not going to be bigger than it needs to be. It will be done in phases.

Mr. Blomstrom stated that they have 1 million cubic yards coming through their gates and of that 1 million cubic yards, 12% is diverted. With three years of planning and five years of construction, the goal is to be at 40% diversion. Building in phases allows them to see the trending and adjust the design as needed.  100% diversion is many years out.

Commissioner Choate asked about the improvements to Owl Canyon Road and the funding of those road improvements.

Mr. Blomstrom replied that 30 trucks trips will be added per day. The Owl Canyon project is in range of $28 million.  Road and Bridge and their transportation funding is on the CIP.

Commissioner Choate asked how far the CIP goes with Mr. Blomstrom replying 5-years.

Commissioner Gerrard asked if there have been any traffic studies done on the cost of maintenance of Taft Hill and Wilson Avenue near the current location?

Mr. Bomstrom replied that this is a cost that is incurred today.

Commissioner Johnson mentioned the public’s need for notification.  Her assumption from reading the Master Plan is to initiate public education regarding diversion and the need for a landfill. And that part of this goal is to reach out to the neighbors of these potential sites and start talking about these design related features.

Mr. Blomstrom stated that one of those goals is to develop those programs. Fort Collins, Loveland, and Larimer County all have programs, but they are not consistent.  That goal is to be focused towards education as this is a huge part in achieving those goals.

Commissioner Johnson stated that waste diversion is a goal that if this plan is adopted. What is the County’s role?

Mr. Blomstrom spoke about the Coalition and that their role does not end when the Master Plan is adopted. There is regional participation.

Commissioner Johnson asked if the potential facility will play a key role in diverting and reducing the heavy reliance of the landfill.

Mr. Blomstrom stated that getting to 50-60% diversion, education is key and how these educational programs will be so important.

Commissioner Gerrard wanted to verify that the public will have the opportunity to comment and that heir voices will be heard on any plan that will be presented to this Commission.

Mr. Blomstrom stated that the Special Review and the Rezoning will not be the first-time residents will hear about the project.  They will be involved before it gets to that point.

Chairman Jensen asked if there was a website with plans, scheduled meetings, discussion of items, how does the public engage this process.

Mr. Blomstrom provided their website at  There is a lot of information on that webpage.  They have made it very clean so that information is easy to find. There is even contact information for Mr. Gillette so that the public can contact him directly.

Chairman Jensen mentioned that this meeting in not the first time that the Planning Commission has heard of the Master Plan and outlined the process they go through to review the Master Plan.  He encourages the public to engage the Planning Commission as well and mentioned that their emails are on the County website at

Commissioner Johnson spoke to the audience and appreciated their participation and attendance.

Commissioner Lucas feels that this moves the public and the Commission into the process of operation and construction and this has provided some information.  He also thanks the public for their participation.

Chairman Jensen stated that having consensus and involvement of the entire County is necessary.  Great representation and leadership is present and he thanked them for their participation.

Commissioner Miller expressed how impressed he is with the Waste Management Team.

Commissioner Choate agreed with Commissioner Miller and what is in the plan.  He sees the value with having a publicly owned landfill and the goal of diversion.

Commissioner Wallace stated that the County needs to have a plan for waste management. There is no choice but to set up a plan with the increase in the County’s population.  Solid Waste has to be dealt with as the County grows.

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


    BE IT RESOLVED that the Planning Commission approve the Solid Waste Infrastructure Master Plan, Land Use Case #18-CODE0232.


Commissioner Johnson seconded the Motion.

Commissioners Choate, Gerrard, Johnson, Lucas, Miller, Wallace and Chairman Jensen all voted in favor of the motion. 



REPORT FROM STAFF : Mrs. Kuhn shared that County office will be closed on December 24th, 25th and January 1st. Upcoming work session is on January 9th where the Comp Plan will be discussed.  The January meeting is scheduled for January 16th.

Chairman Jensen thanked Commissioner Gerrard for his service to the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Gerrard thanked Larimer County for the opportunity to serve the residents of Larimer County.

ADJOURNAMENT:  There being no further business, the hearing adjourned at 9:50 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.


_______________________________                      ______________________________

Jeff Jensen, Chairman                                            Nancy Wallace, Secretary