Town board gets an earful at Tuesday evening meeting

By Rudy Hemmann

The Surveyor

The Berthoud Board of Trustees held a regular meeting on Tuesday evening. The meeting was started at 6 p.m. due to the heavy agenda, but this did not keep the meeting from lasting until after 11. Anyone could have foretold the meeting would run long when seeing the council chamber filled to nearly standing-room-only with disgruntled residents of Mary’s Farm and Fickel Farm neighborhoods.

Eight members of the audience gave a series of well-developed and well-thought-out presentations before the board. The presentations, which very much seemed to dovetail with each other, gave a cogent, professional-sounding message to the trustees. The main thrust of the presentations was to point out several instances where the proposed Farmstead development fails to meet town code.

The issues brought up spanned the gamut, from inadequate signage concerning the proposed development, to inadequate right-of-way for Nebraska Avenue to be used as a minor collector, inadequate tree-lawn widths on Nebraska Avenue, stormwater drainage issues, traffic issues in Mary’s Farm that will be the result of using streets in Mary’s Farm for access to First Street, and lack of communication from the developer to the residents of the already established neighborhoods that exist in the area.

The Tree Advisory Committee, in conjunction with the town forester, Josh Embrey, gave a series of presentations of their own regarding a proposed site for a “town-owned and maintained tree nursery,” a street-tree work permit and a street-tree replacement program.

Embrey addressed the above items in order. Concerning the tree nursery, he stated Hillsdale Park is the ideal location for a tree nursery. He pointed out an irrigation system that could be tapped into for tree watering already exists at Hillsdale, and there are restroom facilities and a drinking fountain on site.

An information sheet for the item states, “The initial installment will consist of a community gathering that will consist of town staff, the Tree Advisory Committee, and volunteers. This would occur possibly on Berthoud’s Arbor Day in 2019, which is the third Saturday in April. We are recommending an initial planting of 50 trees, which would be of diverse species. These initial trees will be grown for harvest to replace all species of trees lost and removed within the town’s rights-of-way and possibly the parks system over time. The town-owned tree inventory list would be updated accordingly.”

Initial cost for the 50 trees and supplies to establish the nursery is projected to be approximately $3845.

Embrey reported the Tree Advisory Committee is suggesting the town establish a Street Tree Work Permit program. A permit would be required before any work done on a street tree. This includes any work done from pruning to removal of a tree.

The Tree Advisory Committee is also suggesting the town establish a Street Tree Replacement Program. This program is intended to assist Berthoud property owners in replacing lost and/or removed trees within rights-of-way.

Trees must be removed with good cause – such as, dead/dying, hazardous, poor health, poor planting location/poor planting techniques, prohibited species.

A permit must be acquired prior to the removal of tree(s).

Trees must be removed by a Town of Berthoud licensed tree service, or the property owner, and will be at the property owner’s expense (the Forestry Department will not assist in the removal fee).

After removal, stumps must be properly removed six-eight (6-8) inches below ground level prior to receiving a replacement tree (the Forestry Department will not assist in stump grinding costs)

Property owners will have the option to choose replacement tree species from the town’s approved street tree list; however, species will be restricted due to tree stock availability and town development code diversity standards

How it Works:

  1. Property owner fills out Street Tree Work Permit Application for approval of proposed tree work and returns completed application to the Forestry Department.
  2. Town staff will review and either approve or disapprove desired tree work and will contact the applicant with additional required information.
  3. If permit is approved, applicant will then fill out a Street Tree Replacement Program Application and return the completed application to the Forestry Department.
  4. Once received by the Forestry Department, town staff will conduct a site evaluation at the location.
  5. Once the application is approved, property owners will be contacted regarding removal protocol.
  6. Tree plantings will occur in spring and/or fall depending on town staff and tree stock availability.
  7. Replacement trees provided by the Forestry Department will be planted by Forestry staff; however, property owners will be responsible for calling in location of tree (Colorado 811) and the maintenance (adequate watering, pruning, etc.) of the tree(s).

Additionally, in order to ensure compliance with the above, a fine of up to $2,500 may be levied against those who are non-compliant.

A motion to approve the Street Tree Removal Application, the Street Tree Work Permit and the Tree Nursery at Hillsdale Park was made, seconded and unanimously approved.

The board unanimously approved waivers of building permit fees except the fee for water taps and sewer taps for Habitat for Humanity single-family residences to be constructed on lots 1750 and 1752 North Fourth St.

The trustees unanimously adopted a resolution to set public hearing dates of Feb. 14, 2019, for the planning commission and Feb. 26, 2019, for the town board to consider a property which has become known locally as the Case Property, for the purpose of annexing to the Town of Berthoud.

The trustees unanimously approved the first amendment to the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the Town of Berthoud and the Weld RE-5J School District. The IGA governs the cash in lieu fees due to the school district.

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