Heritage Ridge sixth filing approved includes open space

By Rudy Hemmann

The Surveyor

The Berthoud Planning Commission met the evening of Sept. 27, 2018, to conduct a public hearing for a tract within the Heritage Ridge development.

According to the staff report, TB Group, acting as agent for Arbor Capital Partners, requested approval of a Final Plat (FP) and an amended Final Development Plan (FDP) for filing number six of the development. The tract under consideration is bounded on the north by Spartan Avenue, on the west by Fifth Street, on the south by the Little Thompson River, and on the east it approaches the BNSF Railroad right-of-way.

The applicant proposed an 18-lot FP as well as the amended FDP for the eastern portion of Heritage Ridge. The proposed FDP contains 212 single-family lots on approximately 117.9 acres, with approximately 10.2 acres set aside for future development as single-family attached/townhouses/multi-family units up to six-plexes.

Regarding open space and parkland; the proposal reserves nearly 20 acres to open space and detention, and with the detention removed the amount of open space required is still well over the seven percent requirement under the development code.

The town’s director of community development, Curt Freese, presented the item to the commissioners and gave a brief report of staff findings.

Commission Chairman Scott Banzhaf opened and closed the public hearing as there were no citizens present who wished to make comments concerning the issue.

Kristin Turner represented TB Group. She gave a brief presentation and answered questions from the commissioners. Most of the questions were concerning traffic on Spartan Avenue and Fifth Street.

A motion recommending the town board approve the Heritage Ridge FDP and the FP for filing six, was made, seconded and approved on a five-to-one vote with Commissioner Kelsey Byron casting the lone “no” vote.

In an email the following day Byron explained the reasoning behind the vote she cast as follows:

“I voted no on the Heritage Ridge FDP and sixth filing plat because I am deeply concerned for the safety, health and welfare of the community with the traffic changes this development will cause. When I asked their agent if the traffic study included Fifth and Spartan, she didn’t know the answer. That was unsatisfactory to me because of the lack of information provided. There are two schools less than a mile away and already a significant amount of foot and bike traffic with no busing offered for children within 1.5 miles of Ivy and 3.5 miles of Berthoud High. Town staff hasn’t provided a sure answer if Spartan Avenue will get to go east over the BNSF railroad track, and they indicate that this negotiation could take a couple of years. Since the meeting they have contacted me with information about their transportation plan and many the changes they have planned. The town staff is working very hard to make improvements to the town, and together we can continue to grow Berthoud into a wonderful place.”

The commissioners also took care of a housekeeping issue by appointing Kelsey Byron commission secretary.

The commissioners ended the session by reviewing staff’s changes to the development code.

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