Board nixes rezone request

By Rudy Hemmann

The Surveyor

The Berthoud Board of Trustees was in no mood to compromise on a request by an applicant to change zoning from Planned Unit Development (PUD) to straight zoning for a 120.4 development proposal.

The development, referred to as Berthoud 160 (formerly Overlook At Dry Creek), had been granted PUD zoning prior to 2011. PUD zoning was removed from the town code in 2011.

The owner/applicant, Jim Righeimer, through an agent, Kristin Turner of TB Group, requested changing the zoning on 74.53 acres from PUD to R-1 (Single Family Residential) and the zoning on 45.87 acres from PUD to R-2 (Limited Multi-family). Along with the request for rezoning, the applicant submitted a non-binding concept plan as an indicator of their vision for the property.

The Concept Plan indicates four different housing types to satisfy the lot-diversity requirements of town code: front-loaded single-family attached, rear-loaded small cottages, townhouses, and paired homes/duplexes. The Concept Plan depicts trail connections up through Hillsdale (an easement will be required as the property does not directly border Hillsdale) and along Berthoud Parkway, a central park, and three access points from Berthoud Parkway, and one from Larimer County Road (CR) 4E. Berthoud 160 is located in the northeast quadrant of the intersection of LCR 4E and the Berthoud Parkway

A portion of the staff report for the development states: “A preliminary Traffic Study, Open Space Plan and Utility Plan have been submitted to comply with many of the requests and proposed changes made over a series of town-board-led development workshops in April and June. Staff has heard from both town board and planning commission members that not enough information is being provided in relation to a rezoning request, for a board/planning commission member to make a reasonable decision. To that end, staff is proposing to create a new Neighborhood Master Plan process, which would be required with every rezoning. This master plan would require the aforementioned traffic study, open space and utility plan, unlike the previous concept plan process. To this end, staff asked the applicant if they would be willing to withdraw their rezoning request of May 9, 2019, to incorporate some of these changes, and the applicant agreed. Once the majority of these matters were resolved, the applicant requested to move forward by providing some of these additional materials. The town has no ability to require the new process or approval (since this application was submitted well before these workshops), but the issues raised (traffic, layout, engineering, lot diversity etc.) are all appropriate questions or concerns related to any rezoning request. Staff has made a number of recommendations based on the amended concept plan recently provided, but without the new Neighborhood Master Plan process being codified, it will remain a recommendation with the intent that any future platting should clearly follow these recommendations to obtain platting approval.”

Discussion by the board raised some issues which were voiced by the trusties, which included: once the property has been rezoned what guarantee is there the current owner would not sell the property and the new owner would not change the lot layout to take full advantage of the new R-1 and R-2 zoning in order to maximize the density, and hence, profits since the concept plan presented is non-binding.

Following discussion, a motion to deny the rezone request with the findings that the requested rezoning is not consistent with the current zoning or the town’s comprehensive plan, and the requested rezoning is not compatible with surrounding neighborhoods.

The motion passed on a 6 to 1 vote with Trustee Pete Tomassi casting the lone “No” vote.

The trustees unanimously approved, on second reading, Ordinance 1270, which amends the town’s weed- and brush-control ordinance.

The language of the citizen’s initiative for the special election to be held Sept. 10, 2019, also gained unanimous approval.

Tags: , , , ,