Monday, March 2, 2016

Larimer County Courthouse Lake Estes Conference Room (Suite 333)

Rural Land Use Board:




Debra Herston

Brenda Gimeson

Kristin Grazier

Pam Stringer

Randy Mergler

Ryan Hostetler

Lew Gaiter

Joe Wise



Alan Carlson




Chair Grazier called the meeting to order at 5:05 p.m.


1.   Approval of August 17, 2015, October 28, 2015 and January 4, 2016 RLUAB Minutes.  Member Mergler made a motion to approve the August 17, 2015 minutes.  Seconded by Member Wise.  All were in favor.  Member Mergler made a motion to approve the October 28, 2015 minutes.  Seconded by Member Wise.  All were in favor, Chair Grazier abstained.  Member Wise made a motion to approve the January 4, 2016 minutes.  Seconded by Member Mergler.  All were in favor, Vice-Chair Herston abstained.


2.  Discussion with Commissioner Gaiter regarding Policies within the Rural Land Use Plan specifically as were related to Cottonwood Farms RLUP


Chair Grazier welcomed Commissioner Gaiter and gave a brief explanation of why the RLUAB members invited him to the meeting.  She indicated the request came from a decision that was made at the November 16, 2015, Board of County Commissioner hearing on the Cottonwood Farms RLUP Amendment where a decision of denial was made which was against the recommendation of approval from staff and this board.  She stated there is some concern about a possible change in policy for RLUP Residual Lots when there are dwellings attached to them and if so, does this board need to make revisions on how we review RLUP plans and residual lots?  Discussion ensued about the reasoning behind the decision and the possible consequences of that decision.  Commissioners Gaiter stated he does not believe there has been any conscious or deliberate change among the Commissioners regarding RLUP’s or residual lots.  No formal direction was given about future RLUP’s; however, there was consensus that there should be further discussion about this issue and Commissioner Gaiter asked staff to arrange for a future work session with staff and the RLUAB to discuss this item further and verify that there is not an accidental change in the Commissioners view on this subject.  This should be scheduled for a Monday afternoon work session during the Planning Department’s scheduled time.  The RLUAB will be notified of the meeting and all can attend.  However, Commissioner Gaiter asked that there be two members only speaking for the RLUAB at the meeting.  It was decided those members would be Chair Grazier and Member Wise. Staff will let the RLUAB know when that meeting is scheduled.







3.  Mile High Estates Estates RLUP – Action Item

Brenda gave an overview of the Mile High Estates Estates RLUP project, which included a slide presentation.  The request is for a Rural Land Plan to divide 93+/- acres into four (4) new single-family residential lots, each approximately 2 acres in size, one Residual Lot of approximately 84 acres in size that will be protected from further development for a minimum of 40-year and is Zoned FA-Farming.  Approximately 62 acres of the Residual Lot will continue to be used for agricultural purposes; however, the owners are trying to decide whether to have the remainder 20 acres as its own residential lot OR create a 20 acre building envelope inside the Residual lot that would allow for the uses of the existing single-family dwelling, farmstead accessory dwelling, detached accessory living unit and other buildings and structures which are accessory and customary to a residential use and buildings and structures which are accessory and customary to an agricultural use.  Applicant also wishes to retain the right for accessory horse keeping on the residual land and retain the ability to make application for horse boarding activities as long as the owner follows the land use code rules for review and approval.  The new lots will access a new street that will create one direct access point to County Road 9.  The existing residences will continue to access County Road 16 directly.  The new lots will be served by Little Thompson Water District and on-site septic systems.  Electricity will be provided by Poudre Valley REA, and gas will be provided by Xcel Energy or on-lot propane tank and Loveland Fire will be the fire district.  This property is currently not in the City of Loveland GMA, but are working on amended the GMA to include this property in the future.  


A community meeting was held in January.  The community comments were as follows:


Community Concerns:

–  Placement of home sites near existing residences and at top of hill. 

·  Concern home sites will affect neighboring view sheds

–  Size of the lots & location

·  Why clustered by existing home sites—ruining rural feel of area

–  Request:

·  Move home sites to the west & bury power lines

–  Ditch users concerned about ditch relocation and placement along lot lines

·  Would like to see relocated ditch all on one lot instead of straddling lot lines.



Vice-Chair Hertson asked if the Commissioners approved this project as recommended by the RLUB would the City of Loveland, after  incorporated in their GMA, be able to trump the design and approve a larger density development in the future.  Brenda stated the minute the property is Annexed there is nothing the County can due or say that could stop a higher density development from being approved, but the Cities requirements are similar to the County’s and a public meeting would be held before they could move forward.  Vice-Chair Herston also informed the board that with the current configuration of the lots the wind blows right across the alpaca property which produces as much manure as her 100 head of cattle.  Vice-Chair Herston then asked if the ditch was a main ditch or lateral.  Brenda replied it’s considered a lateral ditch.


Member Wise stated he is not comfortable with the building envelope attached to the residual lot and would like more clarification.  Chair Grazier replied that the current owners are aware of the issues and a clear definition would come at the final plat stage.  Member Wise stated his concern is that the board may be repeating a situation similar to the Cottonwood Farms RLUP.  Member Wise went on to state that he would prefer a separate lot be called out with all the rights listed.  Brenda replied that she would be concerned if this board based a denial on this issue alone and asked the board to consider looking at both options.

Referral Agencies:

The project was referred to the following agencies:  Engineering Department, Health Department, Little Thompson Water District, Loveland Fire, Parks & Wildlife, Connor Lateral Ditch and City of Loveland.  A summary of the comments and concerns received are as follows:


Technical Issues:

      Engineering Department Comments:

•  Request for 50’ half right-of-way along CR 9 and CR 16

–  Proposing condition of approval to require this

•  Request for drainage paths be preserved and water quality protected

–  RLUP standards require site drainage review  

•  New access permits required for proposed access to CR 9

–  Proposing standard condition of approval requiring access permit.


Heath Department Comments:

–  Reasonable plan for septic system placement

o  soils suitable, large lot sizes, and ditch concrete lined

o  No condition of approval being proposed

–  Water to be obtained from Little Thompson Water. 

o  Condition being proposed that will require letter of commitment from water district to service the new lots

–  Rural Area issues and Horse Pasture Management comments. 

o  Standard disclosure notes will be included that discuss rural area issues and horse pasture management on small lots.


Little Thompson Water District

•  Letter of commitment to service the lots has been received

–  Standard condition of approval will require the letter of commitment and that the service meets the requirements in Section 8 of the Land Use Code of water supply.


City of Loveland:

–  Density not in line with Loveland Plan and request to seek a density in line with their plan.

o  Currently not in the GMA.  Proposed to be within new GMA in which working with staff now to modify boundaries, but nothing adopted at this time.  Since not currently in GMA, no conditions of approval are being proposed.

–  Request for additional right-of-way along CR’s

o  Road currently a County Road and not in GMA.  Condition of approval is to provide right-of-way’s consistent with County requirements for the roads.

–  Fire requirements the same as Loveland Fire.

o   Comments already addressed with Fire sprinkler requirements.


Connor Lateral Ditch Company:

•  Requesting agreement with Ditch Company as condition of approval. 

–  Condition of approval for 3rd party agreements not typical.  No condition of approval being proposed.

•  Requesting 25 foot wide easement each side of the ditch. 

–  Section 8.8 of Land Use Code lists requirements for Irrigation facilities.

–  Land Use Code requirements are 25 feet for ditches with average bottom width of less than eight feet. 

–  Condition of approval being recommended that requires applicant meet Land Use Code requirements.

•  Request to include agreement from ditch users before ditch is relocated.

–  Section 8.8 requires written approval of ditch owner if modifications/realignments to ditch take place.  Proposing condition that requires the agreement as outlined in Section 8.8 plus requires the existing easement to be shown on final plat until such time a new agreement is in place for amended location.  If agreement reached and plat not recorded, new easement must be shown on plat.  If platted prior, existing easement must be shown.


Loveland Fire:

–  Comments include request for 2 access points or residential fire sprinkler systems, roadway design requirements and water supply.   Loveland does have an adopted Fire Code.

–  RLUP regulations do not specifically address fire requirements.  

o  RLUP road standards include requirements for turnarounds at dead-end roads only

–  Development Standards in Land Use Code do not apply to RLUP projects

o  Proposing condition of approval for residential fire sprinklers unless fire district requirements are met and another alternative is approved by the Loveland Fire District.


Additional Comments:

•  Letter from neighboring property owner about historic drainage along CR 16.

–  Condition of approval is being proposed to require applicant to work with the property owners to identify any existing easements that need to place on the plat to accommodate the historic drainage discussed in the letter and provide documentation of such prior to final plat approval.

•  Additional comments received after community meeting from direct neighbor with request to include fence requirement between existing ag uses and new lots & concern about the number of pets allowed, particularly dogs, and the conflicts with existing ag.

–  No condition of approval is being proposed.


Staff’s Recommendation:


•  Approve the Mile High Estates RLUP, with either the building envelope attached to the residual lot or as a separate lot, with the decision being left to the landowner.

–  with the standard conditions that require compliance with RLUP standards.

–  as well as the additional conditions regarding additional right-of-way, drainage, fire protection, access permitting, and ditch requirements as outlined by staff in this presentation.


Member Mergler asked if there were any concerns regarding the concrete ditch having any cracks and if it has ever overflowed?  Brenda stated that the Health Department did not have any concerns based on the soils report regarding the ditch.


Vice-Chair Hertson stated that the concrete ditch is old and does have several cracks. She also pointed out that in the early stages of this development these lots were proposed in a different location where the ditch overflowing would not be an issue and wondered what was the reasoning behind reconfigured the lots.  Brenda stated that the lots were relocated do to the proximity to tanks and the historic drainage.  Vice-Chair Hertson shared her experiences and concerns regarding the flow of the ditch water and the current configuration of the lots not having any mountains views 

Member Wise stated that if we are aware of the flooding issues in the area, we should address our concerns/comments accordingly. Brenda stated we don’t know that there is a flooding issue. 


Member Mergler stated we are aware of the flooding issues and the alpaca smell and he would not feel comfortable approving this development without addressing these two issues.


Member Hostetler stated agricultural smells should be expected when purchasing land in the country and prospective purchasers should research the surrounding area before they purchase any property.


Chair Grazier stated the language regarding agricultural expectations is already in the disclosure notice and referenced in the “Code of the West”


Vice-Chair Herston made a recommendation that an investigation be done regarding potential flooding from the ditch before the project is approved.




Motion by Member Hostetler to approve the Mile High Estates RLUP with the four lot configuration OR if the land owner decides the four 2 acre lots and a fifth lot being 20 acres, along with the conditions of approval as identified.  No one seconded this motion. 


Motion by Member Wise to approve the Mile High Estates RLUP with the four lot configuration OR if the land owner decides the four 2-acre lots with the fifth lot being a 20 acres, along with the conditions of approval as identified.  Plus an additional conditional about the flooding issue area around the junction box in the northeast corner being investigated and options presented for resolution prior to final plat.  Seconded by Member Mergler. 


Vice-Chair Herston questioned if the piece about the ditch users’ agreement is a recommendation or a condition.  Brenda stated that it is a proposed condition of approval, based on the Land Use Code requirements


Vice-Chair Herston stated that with the configuration of the lots as proposed she could not recommend approval of the project due to the possible drainage issues.


Roll Call Vote:

Alan Carlson


Debra Herston


Joe Wise


Kristin Grazier


Randy Mergler


Ryan Hostetler



      Motion was approved 4 to 1


4.   Project Updates: 


Brenda updated the Board that the Silver Reef Farms RLUP has revised their proposal and the plan will be brought to this Board for a recommendation on March 21, 2016.


5.  Other Business:  None


Adjourned 7:09 p.m.


           __________________________                  ___________________________________                      Chair Kristin Grazier                                         Vice-Chair Debra Herston