Name of Observer
A lot of those present at the meeting wanted to hear more about the rezoning. Some of the residents present seemed taken off-guard by receiving a re-zoning notice. I researched the Planning Commission website and there was a Public Hearing Dec. 5, 2022, on re-zoning, and the March 6, 2023, planning commission meeting addressed the Asphalt plant and reviewed the zoning map draft.
If you compare the original zoning map to the proposed draft, it is obvious that this small town has had an explosion of growth. With growth comes change. All board members showed a genuine interest in investigating and discussing the resident concerns before any final approval.
The Behavioral Health presentation was interesting but as noted by residents, not much will directly affect the town of Wellington. The facility in southwest Fort Collins is quite a distance from Wellington, and while satellite offices are planned in the future for communities such as Estes Park, Timnath, and Wellington, this won’t happen for many years out.
Link to full notes document by Nanci Wendland
Read and search the transcript of meeting at this link, or scroll below. To keyword search all content on this page hit the "control" or "command" button and "F"
Wellington Board of Trustees
Documenter Name: Nanci Wendland
Date & Meeting Time: March 28, 2023; 6:30PM
Trustees – Jon Gaiter, Rebekka Daily, Brian Mason, Shirrell Tietz, David Weigand: Mayor ProTem – Ashley Macdonald: Mayor – Calar Chaussee
Mayor ProTem Ashley Macdonald joined later at 7:30pm.
Others Present (e.g., media, public, agency)
numerous city residents; Troy Hamman, Chairman, Wellington Chamber of Commerce; Hallie Sheldon, Sr. Management Analyst; Ethan Muhs, Town Clerk (eventually sent home); Charity Campfield, Town Finance Director; Meagan Smith, Deputy Director of Public Works (eventually sent home); Cody Smith, Planning Commission; Matthew Cherry, LCSO, Patrol Sergeant; Lori Stolen, Director Larimer County Behavioral Health Services
The purpose of this board is to provide outstanding municipal services for the community of Wellington both today and tomorrow. The main topic for this March 28, 2023, meeting was to review the Planning Commission proposed re-zoning map for 2023. This meeting drew a large crowd of residents with numerous comments and discussions. I will only summarize the other topics discussed and mainly focus on amending the zoning map.
Public general comments were covered first:
Lisa Chalet, a community resident, gave an emotional comment to the board. She believes the Board of Trustees meetings are a zoo with members discussing sensitive topics of diversity, suicide attempts & successes, depression, veterans, trans teens as crazy and scared, using other inappropriate language. Considering the recent Tennessee killings, Lisa wants the board to be more aware of how awful a world this can be sometimes, and to show more sensitivity. “The adults in the room must do better by listening to all constituents and stop animosity towards others.” Residents in the room clapped and were quickly asked by Mayor Chaussee not to clap due to the crowded room.
Karen, a Knolls resident reminded the board that the month of April is Autism Awareness month. She is encouraging families with autistic and special needs family members to attend the April 11 meeting so they can address their own specific concerns with the Board.
Lori Stolen, Director Larimer County Behavioral Health Services was invited by board member David Weigand to discuss the new Larimer County Behavioral Health Services complex being built at Trilby and Taft Hill Rd. in Fort Collins. The Center has been reported on in the Coloradoan newspaper July of 2022. David wanted Lori to review the services and potential impact on Wellington residents with the board.
Comments from the board:
Rebekka Daily: her concern is that it takes approximately 50 minutes to get from Wellington to the southwest side of Fort Collins. Are there any future plans to better serve Wellington residents in crisis? Will there be partnerships with Poudre School District? Will there be transportation available to Wellington residents who need to use the facility?
Shirrell Tietz: reminded the room that SumitStone Health Partners is still available to Wellington residents and its closer. Shirrell has no issues with tax dollars being used to pay for the facility. Believes the facility is a building block for the future in providing mental health care to Larimer County residents.
Amending the Original Zoning Map
Shirrell Tietz reported a potential Conflict of Interest. She told the board that she has been receiving and responding to emails from the public and has had actual conversations with business owners. She said she kept her explanations to everyone on the overall zoning changes being planned, nothing specific to each individual resident, and that there were no asphalt plant conversations.
Board members noted her potential conflict of interest but agreed this was not a problem for her to remain and participate in the discussions. According to the mayor, the land use codes had already been updated and amended based on 2021-2022 usage. These zoning changes are the last step to matching the new land use codes.
Cody Bird, Planning Commission presentation
Wellington has a lot of outdated, T coded properties (Transitional). Due to the growth, it was determined that new codes needed to be added to restore and protect historical properties, as well as create uniformity within the town of Wellington. Beginning May 2020 through November 2022 the Planning Commission has evaluated all properties and land use codes in the town of Wellington. Below are the most significant changes:
T district (transitional code): removed, too vague in its description. All T coded properties had to be changed.
Added new R4 code for the downtown residential district to preserve the ‘Old Town’ historical residences.
The previous R4 code was changed to R3 for multi-family properties.
Other Commercial code properties were reevaluated & recommended to other C2 & C3 codes.
The changes above were presented to the board in December of 2022 at a working session. Due to the number of changes within town limits, the Planning Commission decided to respectfully have a public forum so that residents could voice their concerns.
The Planning Commission is also looking at the P (public) zones which are typically drainage/flood water areas. They want to consider whether the P zones will remain drainage areas or include public recreation as well.
Notices of changes were mailed to residents in early March. The zoning map draft version has been on the town of Wellington website since May of 2022. These changes affected several properties within the town of Wellington borders. Below are Public Comments and concerns after residents received zoning change notices.
A resident of south Wellington (Tract F) opposes the wastewater zone assessment as commercial. Use the P zone for trails, soccer fields, conservation.
Pete Meyer, Board President & Chairman of the Larimer County Boys & Girls Club: new c-3 zoning for their facility in town would not allow expansion to include additional services such as mental health, healthcare, and family services with multiple children in need.
Ken Padilla, resident: C-1 zoning has always been designated for his multi-use properties. The Planning Commission wants to combine agricultural designation.
Aaron Bradley, resident south Wellington: retention pond will be eliminated for a marijuana business. Too close for residences and a Daycare. They need the retention pond for drainage in case of flood.
Travis Redman: wanted clarification on whether he’ll have to conform to the C-1 code if he makes changes to his business. Will he have to re-register his business under the new zone code?
Dawn Peacock: opinion is that zoning should not be based on type of business or to fill an open space (she called it Spot Zoning). The Planning Commission and Board should do a better job of listening to homeowners and considering all possible health risks.
Elderly resident: doesn’t want Pot Shops. Asked where and when these pot shops would go in. Mayor Chaussee replied he could not answer her questions during a Public Comment meeting for zoning. He advised her to submit her question to the town board and they will be discussing marijuana at a later date.
Christopher Grant, resident of Buffalo Creek: wants everyone to read a CDC report outlining the health effects of asphalt. He’s wondering how the parcel got zoned heavy industrial (C-3) without legal representation of residents. “The new community park will smell like tar”.
Cody Bird with The Planning Commission had been taking notes during the public comments and re-addressed the Board and the public in the room.
The Board can make changes before adoption of the new zoning map.
The South Wellington zoning change from P (public) to C-3 will affect the use of the storm water pond.
Zoning for the Boys & Girls Club properties will make sure to preserve the original and additional uses for the community.
Marijuana references are not site specific. There are separate ordinances governing locations and proximity to schools, residences, and day care facilities.
The northern industrial tract has already been entitled heavy industrial (regarding the asphalt plant).
A lot of Wellington properties had been zoned T (Transitional). These parcels need more specific zoning.
David Weigand: Regarding rezoning Tract F – retention ponds, why not keep it for recreational uses? Regarding the northern asphalt plant, why was that tract allowed to be rezoned heavy industrial?
Shirrell Tietz: she supports the Boys & Girls Club zone as C-1.
supports light industrial up north.
certain downtown properties will be grandfathered as is, but any new building on those properties would have to conform to the new zoning code.
Jon Gaiter: If a current public trail goes through a retention pond does the trail lose its zoning as Public?
Mentioned that a parks master plan will be done sometime this year, 2023, which may help the trails and parks questions. If a residential property has been re-zoned to C-3 due to location, if that house burns down, can they only rebuild as commercial to meet the code? Daily responded with page 7 of the land use code: if damage is 50% or greater then the new building would have to conform to the new zone code.
Gaiter continues with if the purpose is to create better uniformity, then the town should space out C-3 zone codes better and keep the area north more as light industrial rather than proposed heavy industrial usage.
Rebekka Daily: the comprehensive plan map shows potential future growth.
Trails are strategically placed to meet up with Larimer County trails.
Heavy Industrial zones are close to the railroads which makes sense.
Future commercial growth areas are zoned C-3 which are properties along the I-25 Frontage Road with easy access to I25.
Industrial north is an extreme transition because it backs up to residential areas. This area should remain light industrial. The town should explore property west of I25 which has more open space and less residential close by.
Brian Mason: currently C-3 zoning does not apply to or allow schools. Maybe the C-3 code should allow schools to accommodate the Boys & Girls Club future plans.
Drainage ponds should be zoned the same as adjacent properties. If it’s in a residential area, the pond should be zoned R-2.
Made a request to see other zoning maps. Since the town of Wellington jointly owns the Boys & Girls Club property, zoning should be discussed jointly.
Ashley Macdonald: agrees with most of the boards comments and aligns mostly with Weigand and Mason. Thinks they should re-evaluate public use spaces.
Mayor Chaussee: several property concerns should be revisited and discussed. Agrees with C-3 zone for the I25 Frontage Road.
Made a motion for an Executive Session to get legal advice on the zone map.
Votes: Yay 6 Nay: Gaiter 1
At 9:50pm the public left the room
Attorney Seppien (not sure how to spell this): explained the concerns from the public on rezoning properties and the criteria used to determine which zone for which property.
Recommended not to re-zone at this time.
Gaiter: motion to postpone zoning map until the April 11, 2023, meeting giving more time to review the changes and residents’ concerns.
Votes: Yay 7 Nay 0
The public were brought back in and the meeting on zoning ended.
A new meeting was started with roll call. All board members were present. There were two (2) liquor license changes voted on. Both had a complete Yay vote from the board.
Matthew Cherry, Patrol Sergeant for the LCSO (Larimer County Sheriff’s Office) presented safety calls for February and March; gave an updated traffic report; and reported on two (2) threat incidences in town. None of the threats were credible but the Sheriff’s Office had a good response anyway. At approximately 10:30 PM the meeting was adjourned.