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Board of County Commissioners’ Meeting
August 28, 2019


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CONSENT AGENDA:
-Approval of CDS mylars, vouchers, variance report

STAFF REPORTS:

No elected official/department heads/staff reports.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

None

DISCUSSION ITEMS:

-2019 IT Project Update - delayed until next meeting. (Editorial comment: it was stated by County Manager Sam Albrecht on March 27 at the BOCC meeting that this document would be presented “in a couple weeks.” At the April 10 BOCC meeting, Albrecht stated that he was “getting ready to kick off this project.” At the May 8 BOCC meeting, he stated that a “written plan update will be ready in a month or so.” All of these comments were recorded in my meeting notes. So far, nothing has been presented to the public, yet the IT Department - with a current budget of over $750,000/yr - has requested an increase of $100,000 for 2020.)
-2020 Budget Preparation - County Manager Sam Albrecht reported that the county is “in the middle” of the budget process; have received all department budget requests. On target to present to BOCC on Oct. 15.

ACTION ITEMS:

-Approval of 8/5/19 special BOCC meeting minutes - Commissioners went into executive session to discuss the Meadow Station lawsuit at this meeting on 8/5/19.
-Resolution to vacate a portion of rights-of-way for CR 62, 133, 34, 157, 177, 145, 30, 24, 90, 165, 161 - Road and Bridge Superintendent Rory Hale stated that the county would no longer maintain these roads. A citizen spoke to vacating Rd. 34 - why did the county decide to vacate this road? Another citizen spoke to Rd. 30 - “a large step backwards” for county to citizens who pay taxes. What criteria was used in order to define which roads were included in this action? A lot of the roads on the list are in the SE part of the county - why isn’t it county wide? Request made to have county service on Rd. 30 if a blizzard occurs. Hale addressed these concerns - said “this is county wide” even though “most of the roads we are looking at are in the L.” Budgetary-wise, the “minuscule amount of taxes we get on these roads doesn’t allow us to....justify to the rest of the taxpayers why we’re maintaining these roads.” Criteria looked at for abandonment per Hale: most only have one property owner on the road; short roads; spending time on these roads doesn’t allow them to focus on primary arterials. Commissioner Grant Thayer said, “Most of this goes back to a history problem when each commissioner’s job was to maintain roads in their district, so there were ‘friendship agreements.’ Political nature of the times. Commissioners are now more obligated to manage the budget of the county.” Commissioner Rick Pettit said that it is best to “follow the recommendations of the staff.” A citizen suggested that Thayer recuse himself because he had a “private road converted to a county road” on his property. Thayer stated that the road in question has been maintained by the county forever, and that the citizen, Marlene Groves, “was misinformed.” Commissioner Richardson said, “it’s stewardship of dollars, and that several of these roads.....go into a private driveway....assets need to serve the bulk of the county rather than individuals.” Resolutions passed for all roads. Per Richardson, these roads will not be closed, but they will no longer receive county maintenance. (Editorial comment: Will the County Road signs now be removed from these roads?)
-Proclamation September 2019 as National Preparedness Month - Alex Jakubowski recognized volunteers Pam Witucki, Kelly English, Rick Stegmeyer, and David McCaslin
-New vehicle purchase request from Sheriff’s office - got bids for leasing 9 Chevy Tahoes. Per Undersheriff Dave Fischer, 25 vehicles are currently being leased, but the Sheriff’s Department only has 18 of them. Sales of Sheriff Department vehicles to Road and Bridge by previous Sheriff - questioned whether monies received for these vehicles were used to pay down balances on leases or not; no definitive answer on this issue.
-CDS Open Space/Land Dedication fees - reduce fees for single lot subdivisions. CDS Director Christine Stanton addressed the issue. If a piece of property is subdivided, fee will be 4% in cash in-lieu-of-open space; if more than one additional subdivision is desired, 10% fee cash-in-lieu-of.


BOARD PLANNING:

BOARD PACKET WITH DOCUMENTS FOR TODAY’S MEETING:
https://elbertcoco.civicclerk.com/Web/Player.aspx?id=63&key=-1&mod=-1&mk=-1&nov=0

Adjournment.

Reconvene at 1:00PM for LAND USE HEARINGS:
-Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch PUD rezone - from Agricultural and XX zoning to PUD (Planned Unit Development). Public comment - concerns: 1) PUD makes it easier to make changes to property; 2) Boy Scouts are selling off camps and water rights all over the country; 3) Boy Scouts are in financial trouble due to high number of lawsuits; 4) There’s no “teeth” in verbal assurances that the camp won’t change; 5) The camp is an asset for the county that needs to be preserved; 6) Some of the studies presented for support were as much as 4 years old; 7) An adjacent neighbor got no notice of proposed changes; 8) PUD is carte blanche for future development. Commissioner Richardson stated that the “PUD is a catch-all.” CDS Director Christina Stanton said that the BSA had the choice of updating their SUR or requesting a PUD, and that this PUD is just “a little bit different” from the SUR in terms of what will be allowed on the grounds (but she did not define those differences). A spokesman for the Boy Scouts stated that the national office is considering bankruptcy/reorganization, but that the Denver area is “strong;” also stated that Peaceful Valley has adjudicated water rights, used for ag, domestic and recreation. Commissioner Thayer stated that an amended PUD would be required in order to create a subdivision; that this “will not streamline development...they would have to start all over again.” Commissioner Richardson asked the BSA planner about selling water rights; the planner stated that “we’re not about to do anything that would jeopardize” the water. A citizen asked about the tax exempt status, which was an issue in 2007 - does the PUD impact tax-exempt status on this property? The BSA pays taxes on a portion of the property which is utilized for a family’s farming endeavors, but the PUD doesn’t change tax-exempt status. Lead mitigation from clay residue is being managed. Only 2 citizens has questions about the rezone. Rezone approved unanimously.

BOARD OF ADJUSTMENTS HEARINGS:
-James Davis treehouse - treehouse located in a FEMA flood plain with incorrect setbacks. CDS recommended variance not be approved. Applicant said it was a “treehouse built on stilts,” and was under 200 square feet; would like to bring structure into compliance. A neighbor spoke in support of allowing the treehouse to remain. Thayer spoke in favor of allowing treehouse to remain if appropriate FEMA permit is obtained. Petit felt like he should go along with staff recommendation. Richardson agreed with Thayer. Variance granted by a vote of 2-1 on conditions of approval: treehouse not to be inhabited and FEMA permit acquired (within 12 months).
-Guthrie setback - variance to allow 2 pole barns to be built closer to property lines than zoning allows; requested due to topography of land. Approved.
-Don Morse variance - to reduce required side setback from 25’ to 10’. CDS recommended that variance be denied due to negative referral responses (building had been red-tagged, applicant did not respond). Applicant stated that he did not pull permit (didn’t think he needed to because building wasn’t to be inhabited); also stated that the HOA did not vote on it and that the neighbors had no objections. HOA board member requested that variance be denied. Applicant asked for continuance until September 25 to attempt to resolve issue.
-Gordon grain bin setback - need variance to allow 2 existing grain bins (which were installed in June) to remain within the existing setback; didn’t realize he needed a permit. Variance approved.
-Group Event permitting - Guidelines were changed to allow 250 guests prior to needing a permit, and permit form has been modified.

-Jill Duvall