Image Link 11/19/2016

Planning Commission meeting
– Nov 15, 2016

A public "swearing-in" was held at the start of the meeting. Anyone wishing to speak had to testify that they would speak only the truth.

Two sheriff's deputies were stationed at the back of the room during the entire meeting.

Christopher Richardson's resignation from the Planning Commission was read.


-A new parameter has been added to this part of the agenda which states, "Speculative opinions and general expressions of fear of potential increases in crime, traffic, or impacts on property values do not constitute competent evidence."

Shelly Rhodie: asked for consideration by PC of implications of high density developments setting precedents.

Michael McClure: spoke about water issues/unsightly infrastructure that will accompany higher density development.

Troy: referred to Master Plan (rural values, agricultural heritage, environment preserved, etc.) and asked if the PC believes in the current Master Plan; will PC listen to the citizens' input?

Candace Dylla: spoke about importance of being forward thinking about water resources.

Steve Dylla: concerned about existing wells and traffic with increased density.

Jim Duvall: concerned that we were required to be sworn in; also concerned about the new parameter (see above) added to the Public Hearing Process - unnecessary and stifles comments about issues important to citizens.

Diana Varner: new development is on border of other counties and new residents won't be shopping in EC for the most part. We need businesses before we need rooftops. Special districts are a concern.

Daniel Hartman: businesses in towns would draw folks closer to towns; asked about validity of water studies that tell us how much water we actually have.


-continuance from October PC meeting.

-planner with Baseline Corporation (hired by EC): several documents requested since last meeting have been turned in. Several planning commissioners did not receive all of these documents in their packets. Planner reviewed these documents for PC.

- No applicant testimony.

- Public testimony: Mark Wells - asked that PC notes in the future include residents' comments. Brittany Wells - showed maps of roads; applicant already has access off Cattle Drive (and has for 21 years); Sheri Heniger - spoke to road issue.

- CJ Kirst (representative for applicant): said his atty would respond to questions by residents. Atty for current residents also agreed to respond to questions by PC.

- Questions by PC: Classification of road? Applicant said they did not inspect the road because it was private; width is OK; will add gravel if necessary. Has applicant reached out to property owners? Had community meeting a year ago; has been contentious; got nowhere with maintenance agreement. Clarification of warranty deed regarding road - where does it limit use? Traditionally it has been agricultural use. Why should folks be allowed to access this land in this way? Express easement granted by previous owners; purchaser bought land knowing it was landlocked. Staff comments - Baseline planner still recommends approval (with condition of maintenance agreement). Some incorrect info on application regarding mineral rights' owners. Comments justifying this by PC chair about this 60 acres being "identical" to existing adjacent development. Landowner said Anadarko will "go away" for $9000.00 total.

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- No applicant testimony.

- PC voted 6-0 to approve rezone (without any conditions);Brian Harris abstained.

- PC voted 5-1 to approve plat (6 lots); Brian Harris abstained.

- BOCC will vote on this issue on December 7, 2016.

- Then the PC reversed themselves and inserted the conditions of approval that had been recommended by staff.


Presentation by Tim Craft on Independence - claims that 920 homes were approved 2/1/2010 but preliminary plat expired. Water was properly adjudicated. Community meetings held "with anyone willing to meet with us." Summarized vision for development. Conceptual plan: variety of housing options, open space, water conservation. Next steps: work within PUD, work session with BOCC, community outreach, preliminary plat, and final plat for neighborhood 1. Will use 2 Denver wells and 2 Arapahoe wells. $4.5 million in impact fees to EC. Goal is to increase contiguous open space.

Questions by PC:
-Agreement to make changes? Dedicated 10 more acres to schools; expanded size dedicated to fire district; will plant yucca plants for landscape.

-Size of lots? Difference in lot size proposal than original resolution - lots can be as small as 4500 square feet; smaller lot sizes allow for better water conservation; density is 1.2 acres/lot; actual homes will be .1 to 1 acre lot sizes. Open space will be responsibility of homeowners. Homeowners paying the bill for public open space. To be built out in 12 phases in the next 4-15 years. Infrastructure will be phased. Offsite infrastructure (roads, etc.) to be completed at about phase 5 or 6. Suggested that trails for wildlife be wider. Cluster development? Neighborhood 1 has 4 different types of homes in first 328 lots - expect subsequent phases to be built out in similar fashion. Lot sizes generally back to similar lot sizes. Yuccas not the best foliage. Parks and Rec? Will be included in Elizabeth Parks & Rec and residents will pay into that entity. Question about how "Denver well does not reduce water in the Dawson wells" as developer represented. Developer claims virtual impermeability between aquifers. No commercial development here. New water and sanitation district that does not currently exist; developer will have to submit to BOCC. Traffic study updated to reflect school year patterns. Weed management? Have a draft proposal for weed. Need to interface with Douglas County for traffic. 100% of roads within the community will be paved and will be county roads. Sheriff's office turned down offer of land for a substation. Smallest homes to be about 1600 sq. ft. Prices to start at $350,000. Community center buildings: "still working on that." Developer will not be building homes - anticipate using 3 to 5 builders. 2 types of trails in community - connector trails (soft surface) and single track trails (narrow soft surface). Recreation facilities - trail system connected to parks, open space; neighborhood parks within 1200 feet of every home in the community; community center-open space building? Pool undecided. No commercial development because it wasn't in PUD. Contact info: Phone 303-601-8315. Website:

Meeting adjourned at 10:00PM.

Jill Duvall