Image Link 03/15/2017

Elbert County Fairgrounds
– March 14, 2017

Welcome by chair Dan Rosales followed by pledge of allegiance and roll call (7 PC members in attendance).

Kyle Fenner announced that the BOCC has split the planning and building departments into 2 separate entities per the new county organizational chart. Plans to implement this change by May 1.

One citizen spoke about Dan Rosales' comments at a previous PC meeting (2/14/17) referring to Lions' Gate wildlife sanctuary. According to this citizen, Rosales stated, "It's a beautiful setting; that's where it will be." This citizen believes that this statement indicates that Rosales has made up his mind about the wild animal sanctuary and that he should, therefore, recuse himself from voting on this issue.
Rosales denied the statement.

STAFF REPORT/Lion's Gate Sanctuary:
Baseline employee (county subcontractor) reported on Lion's Gate Sanctuary (SU-16-0019 Use by Special Review). Request for relocation of an existing wild animal sanctuary which has operated off CR150 west of the town of Agate. Due to flooding damage, proposed to move to CR106 south of Elizabeth. New site - 43 acres, existing house and barn, will add 6 smaller (60x40 ft) and 1 larger (70x100) enclosure/s with chain link fence, electrified wire and barbed wire. Application originally submitted October 2016. BOCC hearing will be 4/12/17@9am. CDS staff recommended approval with the following conditions of approval: signage be removed, fees paid, proper recordation, well onsite not to be used for animal care (water will be delivered), Elizabeth Fire receive satisfactory documentation, and proper building permits secured for enclosures.

Applicant Joan Laub presented information about the proposed relocation. Reason for request: flooding has occurred in current location, increased acreage from approximately 40 acres to approximately 80 acres + or - (although animals will only be located on 2.2 acres of the increased acreage), and will no longer be visible from a county road. Addressed several considerations: aesthetics, water, noise, waste removal, smell, road usage, environmental and wildlife impacts, surrounding property values, and safety.

Co-applicant Peter Winney spoke about safety specifics/features.

An appraiser then stated that there's no precedent for if/how this will affect surrounding property values. An equine specialist stated that 3 horses taken to current facility for observation in close proximity to wild animals showed no adverse reactions.


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PUBLIC COMMENT (pro & con):

Applicant responded to concerns and more questions from PC.

Adjournment at 11:00 PM with a continuance on this issue until March 21, 2017@