County Commissioners approve rural subdivision
By Rudy Hemmann
At a land use meeting held Monday evening the Larimer County Commissioners approved the Longs Peak Farms Conservation Development (formerly known as the Haworth Development).
The applicants, Jim Birdsall, of The Birdsall Group and his partner Mark Chaffee, owner of the Berthoud Inn, brought forward a proposal for 36 single family residential lots to be placed on the approximately 80-acre property.
They also requested the commissioners approve a seven lot bonus be allowed, stating that county code allowed the bonus lots if all criteria are met in the plan submitted by the developers.
Those criteria were spoken to during a presentation by Mike Whitley of county planning staff, and included; that the proposed development is compatible with allowed uses for properties in the surrounding area, the planned development use 20 percent of the land for lots thus leaving 80 percent to be conserved to perpetuity, and the developers arrange to have public sewer service for the development thereby eliminating the need for leach fields.
County planning staff stated the criteria noted above had been met, with Berthoud agreeing to provide sewer service to the development.
Water would be provided by the Little Thompson Water District.
Following the presentation by county planning staff, Birdsall took the podium and gave the presentation for the developers. He stated, in response to complaints of neighboring property owners, that several changes had been made to the plan since a county planning commission meeting held in mid-May.
Birdsall also spoke against one of the items mandated by the planning commission concerning whether to follow county code and require the developers to put curbing and gutters on all streets within the development. At the county planning commission meeting Birdsall had stated the developers were prepared to put in ditches along with culverts at each driveway to move storm water. However, the planning commission members held their ground and voted to require curbs and gutters.
After the presentation by Birdsall the county commissioners took public comment regarding the proposed development. During the public comment period 15 people, most of them county residents took the podium to speak against the proposal. Two members of the Haworth family also spoke in favor of the project and thanked the commissioners for considering development of the property once owned by their late father, Maurice “Red” Haworth.
Karen Sorenson, a Haworth daughter, stated the conservation development being proposed was a “wonderful compromise,” and Charles Haworth, a son, noted the Haworth family has been a part of the Berthoud community for approximately 120 years.
Following public comment, the commissioners began a period of deliberation, the results of which are:
The 36 lot subdivision was approved.
The seven lot bonus, which would have made a 43 lot subdivision, was denied.
The commissioners reversed the planning commission requirement for curbs and gutters, thus allowing the developers to proceed with plans for ditches and adequate driveway culverts.
After the meeting Sorenson stated she was “happy with the outcome” and she thought the decision was “a good one.”
Birdsall echoed those sentiments by saying he was, “Pleased with the ruling, that it was a good deliberation, with lots of good public comment,” and he thought the review by the commissioners was “fair.”
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