Town board has full agenda including annexation and code of conduct
By Amber McIver-Traywick
The Berthoud Town Board of Trustees had a full agenda at their meeting Tuesday night. Topics ran the gamut from voting on a code of conduct for the board, approval of an annexation, approving the historic designation of a home, presentations from nonprofit organizations that serve Berthoud, appointing members of the Youth Advisory Commission and economic development updates.
During the period of citizen participation three individuals spoke briefly, predominately expressing their concerns about the growth and development taking place in Berthoud. All three mentioned their disapproval of the Farmstead development east of the Mary’s Farm neighborhood and the Fickel Farm addition – a topic that in recent months is not unfamiliar to the trustees. The issue of how residents are notified when developments are being planned, including the boundary for what residents are included in the notification process being expanded was also mentioned by the residents. Community member Tammie Dedic brought up the petition circulated by the Berthoud Concerned Citizen’s organization which, among other concerns, addresses the specific zoning of the Farmstead development allowing for more homes on smaller lots, “We all know that development is inevitable, but high density isn’t how we want to see the town grow,” Dedic said.
After some revisions and clarifications by town attorney, Greg Bell, the Code of Conduct for Elected Officials and Committees was brought before the board for a vote. Several of the board members expressed that they were pleased with the revisions and felt it was a good guide. One particular topic with which members took issue was their ability to express individual disagreement with decisions made by the board which could infringe on their First Amendment rights. The code explicitly states that, “It is acceptable to publicly disagree about an issue, but it is unacceptable to make derogatory or personal comments about other Public Servants, or their opinions, actions or perceived motivations.” Prior to voting, Trustee Pete Tomassi spoke up about a previous discussion the board had about including language that would make it possible for a minority of members to be able to get something on the board’s agenda. “I’d like to see that on there because right now we don’t have a formal mechanism for getting an item on the agenda,” Tomassi commented. The board agreed that if three or more board members agree a topic should be included on the agenda that it would be included. A motion to approve the resolution was passed unanimously with the addition.
The annexation of 6.259 acres proposed by Heron Lakes Investments, which is also known as the “Case Annexation,” came before the board seeking a mixed-use R-4 zoning classification which would be the same as the land that surrounds the small circle of land within the Lonetree/Lake Club annexation the board previously approved. The board discussed at length with Heron Lakes representative Jim Birdsall what the developer’s intentions were for the piece of property, as it had been previously mentioned that it could be used, among other things, as a location for motor coaches. Birdsall explained many of the Web.com golfers who will be playing at the TPC Colorado at Heron Lakes golf course travel in that manner and it might be a benefit to them as well as a positive addition for the Berthoud community. He also commented there were no specific plans for the property at this point but that it would be nice, “to have the flexibility” of an R-4 zoning. Town ordinance requires any new annexation west of County Road 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. The Planning Commission recommended approval of the annexation with a 7-0 vote, and the placement of an R-4 zoning with a 6-1 vote, at its February 14 meeting. The board members voted unanimously to approve the annexation with the condition of a suggestion made by town attorney Bell that “we could record a covenant granted by the developer that says recognizing that…any allowed use would be subject to a full planning commission and board review” that would appear on the zoning map – specifically for future residential use.
Other town board business
A home dubbed the “Bell House” after its original owners, a unique Dutch colonial structure that was built in 1898 located on Sixth Street was unanimously recommended by the town’s Historic Preservation Advisory Committee to be included on the historic registry. The board took the recommendation and also agreed unanimously to include it on the registry.
Four members of the Youth Advisory Committee were appointed – Genevieve Babyak, Cara Courtright, Kellen Marks and Elaina Paradise. The group submitted their bylaws to the board to look over.
The board passed Ordinance 1250 which prohibits the accumulation of refuse as well as inoperable or abandoned vehicles last September. There were a few clarifications made to the ordinance that include the reduction of time allowed before a vehicle is presumed inoperable from 14 days to 7 days and the amount of time allowed before a vehicle can be presumed abandoned from 7 days to 48 hours.
The Berthoud Habitat for Humanity overall development plan and preliminary development plan final plat amendment were discussed, and the board approved.
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