Heron Lakes marina moves forward in planning commission
By Rudy Hemmann
The Berthoud Planning Commission welcomed three newly-appointed commissioners to the dais during the meeting held Thursday, May 10, 2018. The new members of the commission are: Jeff Butler, Kelsey Byron and Jan Dowker. Due to turnover on the commission, the vice-chair position was left vacant. Commission Chairman Scott Banzhaf asked Dowker be considered for the position due to her experience on the town board, having served as mayor pro tempore for four years, and also because of her having previously served on the planning commission.
There were no other nominations for the vice-chair position and Dowker stated she would gladly serve. To formalize the action a motion was made appointing Dowker to the position of vice-chair. The motion was seconded and approved unanimously.
In other action the commissioners considered the annexation of a property known as the Heron Lakes-Lake Club. The property which consists of approximately 32.44 acres is located along the western shore of Lonetree Reservoir and extends northward to Larimer County Road (LCR) 14.
A residence and a large metal office/manufacturing building are already present on the property.
The applicant, Jim Birdsall, acting as agent for the owner, Heron Lakes Investments LLC, also requested the property be zoned Mixed Use (R-4).
During his introductory remarks, Community Development Director Curt Freerse mentioned the owner/applicant have stated their intent to add a boat ramp/marina to give access to Lonetree.
During his presentation to the commission Birdsall stated the new owners have the following visions for the property; the metal building on the property could be used for RV and boat storage in the winter, a parking area for boat trailers, a public park, a beach area, a parking area for motor coaches, and eventually a restaurant. All of the amenities would be would be open to the public.
There was discussion concerning the requested R-4 zoning with some of the commissioners voicing the fear the property might be sold in the future and the new owners could further develop a portion of the property with higher density housing, such as apartment buildings that would be out of character with the surrounding properties. The adjacent properties to the north and west are zoned FA-1 (Agricultural) under the jurisdiction of the county.
Birdsall defused the argument by recommending an amendment to the zoning approval which would not allow a density change on the property without approval of the planning commission and town board. With the amendment in place, both a motion for the annexation, as well as a motion to approve the R-4 zoning were made, seconded and approved unanimously.
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