By Sandy Barnes
A residential project that includes a centralized park received unanimous approval from the Town Board at their Tuesday, March 10 meeting.
The Overlook at Dry Creek will occupy 118 acres of property located on the east side of County Road 17 and south of Hillsdale Nature Park. Along with the park, the preliminary development plan includes 10- to 12-foot tree lawns, or sidewalk buffers, bordering collector streets and three detention ponds.
A variety of lot sizes are planned for the subdivision, with the overall density averaging 2.87 units per acre. The development property was annexed into the Town in January 2007.
“I think it’s a fine looking development,” said Trustee Glen Buckingham. “It has lots of things people are looking to buy in this target range are going to find attractive.”
Ross Brazil, the owners’ representative for the project, received a variance from the Town’s sight triangle requirement to allow ample placement of trees along the streets. To preserve adequate line of sight along the streets, the trees would be trimmed upward when mature, he said. Either a homeowner’s association or the Town would be responsible for maintaining the tree lawns, Brazil explained.
While discussing the park, Brazil said the property’s sloped terrain will be graded to create pads for recreational areas. He also said he was planning to work with the Town to provide access to Hillsdale Park for residents living in the community.
Before making a decision on the plan, Trustee Jeff Hindman took issue with the low percentage of alley-loaded lots. “There’s overwhelming public support for creating alleys,” which are required by Town code, he said.
Alley-loaded lots are “encouraged,” Planner Tim Katers noted while reading from Town development code to clarify the matter.
“I have many reasons to hate alley-loaded lots,” remarked Trustee Dick Shepard. He also noted he supported the project’s diversification and liked the park and street designs.
During the public hearing on the plan, resident Paul Hicks said he was concerned about losing a source of water for his farm when the land is developed. “Whose responsibility is it to move the pond?” he asked.
Mayor Tom Patterson told Hicks that the matter was basically a property rights issue that would have to be negotiated with the owners of the land for the planned project.
Resident Art Johnson expressed his concerns also; noting that wastewater from the development would need to be directed away from his property.
Other Town Board Updates
White Proposes Hiring Interim Economic DeveloperTo fill the gap created by the departure of interim economic development consultant Stephanie Salazar, Town Administrator Jim White proposed to the Board of Trustees that a replacement be hired on a temporary basis. White recommended Fred Burmont, an account with 25 years experience in corporate finance, for the interim position.
Trustees Glen Buckingham and Jeff Hindman said that they would prefer to have an opportunity to review a candidate and have some input before a decision was made on hiring an interim economic developer.
“I think it would behoove us to have a chance to meet the person,” said Hindman.
Town Attorney Addresses Conflict of Interest IssueTown Attorney Bruce Fickel reported that an attorney with the ethics committee of the state bar association had determined there was no conflict of interest in his representing both the Town and Administrator Jim White in legal matters. Fickel said he made a call to the ethics committee in response to an issue raised by Trustee Jeff Hindman regarding his representation of White on two personal matters.
After hearing the opinion of the ethics committee, Hindman said that he had wanted to hire an independent attorney to review the matter, adding that in his opinion there were factual inaccuracies not presented.
Town Negotiating with School on Projects
Town Administrator Jim White said that he has talked with Thompson School District officials about plans to use non-potable water at Berthoud High and Turner Middle schools. He also said that the school district is planning to install six new tennis courts at the high school.
White also reported that a state bill to create a special tax district for Aims Community College has passed both the House and the Senate and has been sent to the Governor for approval. A new Aim campus is being planned near Berthoud at the intersection of Interstate 25 and Hwy. 56, with projected completion in 2012.