Planning Commission approves revisions for Habitat subdivision

By Rudy Hemmann

The Surveyor

The planning commission considered two agenda items at the meeting held Feb. 14, 2019.

In an effort to bring some diversity to their North Fourth Street subdivision and also to reduce the cost of building homes in the development, Habitat for Humanity requested approval of revised combined Overall Development Plan (ODP), Final Development Plan (FDP) and Final plat (FP), which would result in the creation of eight new lots, over approximately a 5.7-acre total area within the subdivision.

The town’s community development director, Curt Freese, presented the agenda item to the commissioners. Three of the seven commissioners, Chairman Scott Banzhaf, Vice-chair Jan Dowker and Commissioner Patrick Dillon, recused themselves from the discussion and vote regarding the matter due to their close associations with Habitat. Planning commission secretary, Kelsey Byron, took over as acting chair during Banzhaf’s absence from the dais. Others who remained seated were Commissioners Dick Shepard, Jeff Butler and Sean Murphey.

The amendment to the ODP and FDP would apply to half of the existing Habitat property, starting at the existing Lot 13 to the remainder of the undeveloped northern lots. The existing lots will be essentially split in half for 10 paired or zero lot-line homes. Habitat wishes to build a new product type, with smaller homes, paired or zero lot-line homes, and potentially townhouses, which can be built on much narrower lots than the lots which are currently approved.

The project was originally zoned as a PUD with an ODP and FDP approval in 2006. Staff has allowed Habitat to continue with its old PUD, however the requested amendment to the PUD (in the original ODP/FDP does require approval from the planning commission and the town board, as density would increase, and new setbacks would be established. Staff is also allowing a streamlined platting process (all to be approved together), owing to its non-profit charitable status and the fact the platting and engineering work has also been donated to Habitat for Humanity.

The Habitat subdivision is located on the east side of North Fourth Street, north of Water Avenue on ground donated to the organization by the Fickel family.

The Habitat project was approved in 2001. The last revision to the Final Plat was approved in 2006. The current plat was approved with 21 single-family lots. Since 2006, 12 homes have been built, commencing with the southernmost lot. Setbacks and minimum lot width, were to follow the R-1 standards. Open space found in Tract “A” does not change with this request and amounts to over 25 per cent of the total area of the project.

Mike Cook, construction manager for the project, stood at the podium and answered questions from the commissioners.

Acting Chair Byron opened a public hearing on the item, which was quickly closed when no one stood to speak on the matter.

A motion recommending the town board approve the requested changes to the ODP, FDP and FP for the Habitat for Humanity subdivision was made, seconded and passed unanimously.

The second agenda item consisted of a proposal by the applicant Heron Lakes Investments (Jon Turner and Jim Birdsall, principals) for annexation by the town of a 6.259-acre tract known locally as the Case Property.

The applicant also requested a zoning change from FA-1, Larimer County Agriculture, to R-4 Mixed Use zoning classification. As per town ordinance 1180, any new annexation west of Larimer County Road (LCR)19 must be approved by the voters of the town prior to being considered or approved by the town board. In this case, the voters of Berthoud overwhelmingly approved the request to consider the annexation at the November 2018 election. After the November election the formal application for the annexation was processed through the normal annexation process.

The town board accepted the petition for annexation at its Jan. 22, 2019, meeting and the requisite public hearings were set and noticed.

The property, which currently consists of a residence on a little over six acres, is surrounded by the Heron Lakes Lake Club Annexation, which was approved with R-4 zoning in June 2018. The residence is due south on the private drive located off LCR 14, before the drive curves to the east toward the existing Lonetree/Lake Club Marina office.

Freese again brought the item to the attention of the commission. Birdsall took the podium to give a brief presentation and answer questions from the commission. He stated once the uses of the Lonetree/Lake Club Marina become clearer, he would be back before the commission to get the required approvals.

Banzhaf opened a public hearing on the item, and two county residents from west of the Case Property had several questions, few of which related to the annexation.

A motion to recommend the town board approve the annexation of 6.259 acres of property into the Town of Berthoud known as the “Case Annexation,” was made, seconded and unanimously approved.

The motion above was quickly followed by a second motion to place the mixed-use (R-4) district on the 6.259 acres known as the Case Annexation was made, seconded and approved unanimously.

 

 

 

 

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