By Sandy Barnes
The Berthoud Recorder
The planning and zoning commission discussed proposed changes to the Town development code presented by Director of Planning Tim Katers at the Thursday, May 12 meeting. Katers said the changes being made are designed to clean up the application process for developers and to give them certainty about the requirements.
Katers is using the state’s model development code as a basis for revamping the Town’s existing code, portions of which are considered redundant and lacking in clarity.
Among changes was the number of lots for major subdivisions, which increased from three or more to seven. A concept plan would also be key to major subdivision applications, which the planning and zoning board would review and the Town Board would approve. General development information about subdivision plans would include water supply information, including the number of taps needed and the utility companies serving them.
At planning commission meetings, the applicant’s goals and visions for the project and how it would impact neighboring properties would be addressed along with other related topics. Katers stressed the process would be a collaborative effort among the planning commission, the applicant and the public at planning and Town board meetings.
The Town board has the authority to approve the preliminary and the final plat for a subdivision, which would be consistent with the technical standards required by the Town.
The draft of the revised Town development code contains many of the present requirements such as sight distance triangles at street intersections. Regarding the required traffic study for subdivisions, Katers said it would be important to have the right level for a given project.
“I like giving some empowering capability to planning and zoning,” said member Brian Anderson. Minor changes such as street widths could be addressed by planning staff, commented member Scott Banzhaf.
During review of the annexation portion of the revised code, Katers noted the Town would not develop an annexation agreement with applicants, but instead with the Town attorney. Katers also said he thought the present transitional zoning practice used by the Town is not helpful, and it would be better to eliminate the step from the process.
“Let’s clean it up and make it user-friendly,” said Banzhaf, while adding that transitional zoning was created as a holding pattern for proposed annexations.
Banzhaf also suggested that developers have the opportunity to review the proposed code revisions and offer comments.
During the meeting, the planning and zoning commission also recommended approval an application for annexation and rezoning of 2.4 acres of property on First Street owned by Randy and Jessica Wolf. The Wolfs requested C-2 zoning to support the dog grooming business they operate on the property and to build a home on it. The present house on the property is used as a kennel for the Bow Wow Meow Fairy Tail Villa.