Commissioners discuss private and public partnerships
The Dutch Planning Commission met on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at 7 pm to vote on changes to the city code regarding housing and animal husbandry. Commissioners also discussed the possibility of amending the use group schedule to allow private companies to operate on public parcels through a private partnership.
An update was provided to commissioners from Godot Communications Inc. (GCI), which was contracted by the city to develop the brand campaign and creative identity for Holland. GCI is currently in its first month of community engagement, contracted to conduct up to 80 hours of feedback sessions with community stakeholders and meet with at least 225 local residents.
The GCI community sessions focused on defining the identity of the Netherlands through various group activities. The goal of collecting this data is to create a visual identity advertising campaign that will manage existing tourism and educate tourists about the local wildlife and environment, as well as the history of the city.
For more information about the GCI brand and creative identity plan, and for coverage of the evening networking event, hosted on Monday, October 30, and the Community Action Planning Workshop held on Tuesday, October 31, please find the full article here in this edition of Mountain ear.
City Manager Miranda Fisher led the committee in a discussion regarding the possibility of allowing a Special Review Use (SRU) process to consider proposals that involve a private business partnering with the city to operate their business on public land.
The proposal was raised during an October 3 Board of Trustees (BOT) discussion of TEENS, Inc.’s proposal. To lease city-owned land at 750 West 5th Street, to construct and operate a child care facility. Trustees gave a nod of four at that meeting for the Planning Commission to consider changing the use group schedule, dictated by Chapter 16 of the Netherlands Municipal Code (NMC), to allow the SRU for such proposals.
The SRU process is brought before the Planning Commission for review and a public hearing; Any matter relating to changes to Chapter 16 of the NMC would also require a public hearing by the Commission.
Although Fisher reiterated that the discussion before the committee was on the proposal to change the use group schedule, the topic of the proposal submitted by TEENS, Inc. was not easily avoided. As commissioners and members of the public continued to comment or ask questions regarding the show.
For more complete coverage of the TEENS, Inc. proposal. And child care plan, please see the article in this edition of Mountain ear.
Although some commissioners felt that allowing private companies to operate on public lands would set a dangerous precedent, others believed the SRU process was a fair compromise since it allowed the commission and the BOT to carefully consider these proposals and measure how well each proposal would benefit On the two entities of partnership and society as a whole.
Currently, TEENS, Inc. The only example in the Netherlands of a public-private partnership, which is considered successful because it benefits all participants and serves a greater need of society.
The commissioners gave a nod of four, directed City Attorney Jennifer Madsen to draft a formal ordinance, and asked city staff to submit a sample lease agreement for a private/public partnership for the commissioners to review. The commission will vote on a recommendation to the BOT on the draft ordinance during its November meeting.
Fisher led the committee through a discussion including changing the use group schedule to allow rights-based use of parking, and paid parking, in certain zoning districts, including the Central Business District (CBD), Commercial Districts (NC), and General Commercial (GC) ). Parking lots and paid parking are currently defined under “other commercial activities” and are considered permitted in the above areas by the SRU, as long as the parking lot does not provide more than 20 parking spaces.
The proposed rezoning of 100 East 1st Street from High Density Residential (HDR) to Central Business District was the impetus for the BOT proposal. Fisher noted that the council would like to define paid parking directly in the code language and requested draft language to standardize the preferred and permitted method of paid parking in the city.
Paid parking was a line item in the city’s 2023 budget, although the project never got off the ground; Paid parking will be budgeted again in 2024, Fisher said.
Commissioners gave approval by four for Madsen to draft a formal ordinance to be voted on to recommend to the BOT at their November meeting.
The panel also discussed two other potential changes to the NMC; Proposing multiple changes to the use group schedule regarding easing restrictions on “affordable” and alternative housing, proposing to allow up to 50% of yard and bulk variance for “affordable” housing restricted by code through review by Board Zoning Amendment (BZA) ).
Both possibilities were discussed in detail during an Oct. 19 Planning Commission work session. During that session, with respect to the use group schedule, no changes were made to permitting or prohibiting single-family dwelling units, mobile homes, or accessory dwelling units (ADUs).
However, multifamily units were separated by type in the Use Group Schedule, giving duplexes, triplexes, and quadplexes their own considerations regarding which zoning districts to allow for use under right or SRU, or prohibit altogether. At the end of the work session, the plexes were set to allow SRUs in all residential, North Carolina, and common areas, as well as small home villages.
Commissioner Roger Cornell objected to allowing both SRU plexes and tiny house villages in HDR and residential mountain areas, believing that a fourplex would be too large for the size of most parcels in those areas, and that tiny house villages would not have to adhere to yard, bulk and setback requirements.
A tiny home village is defined as up to three tiny homes ranging in size from 100 to 800 square feet, each with its own foundation and each required to adhere to specified lot size and setback requirements.
Four approved for Madsen to draft a formal ordinance to be voted on to recommend to the BOT at the commission’s November meeting.
As for the proposal to allow up to 50% of yards and wholesale variance, commissioners agreed that the commission should be the authority on such decisions, rather than the BZA.
Fischer and Madsen discussed the logistics of allowing such a possibility, bearing in mind that the Commission operates to a strict timetable and votes to recommend to the BOT, while the BZA organizes the meeting when a decision on specific criteria needs to be made, and these decisions are linkage.
Because the goal of the proposed code changes was to remove barriers for developers of “affordable” and alternative housing, Fisher did not want the commissioners to force developers through a process reminiscent of an SRU hearing, but instead devised a process focused on three specific themes: The criteria are to consider the use of adjacent land, consider the size of the parcel, and consider the characteristics of the surrounding neighborhood.
Commissioners gave the nod for four up to 50% of the yard and a wholesale variance for restricted “affordable” housing that would be allowed through the review process and public hearing with the Planning Commission. Madsen will present a draft ordinance at the November meeting to be voted on to recommend to the BOT.
In addition to discussions on changes to the two laws affecting housing implementation, the committee was also tasked with voting on two housing-related decrees.
Ordinance No. 850 includes amending code language to allow ADUs to be built before construction begins on a primary residence, allowing the property owner to live in the unit while construction is ongoing. Construction of the primary residence must also be completed within three years from the date of the certificate of occupancy issued to receive the ADU allowance.
After a brief discussion of whether ADUs should be subject to the same yard, massing and setback requirements as the primary structure, a vote on the ordinance was put to the commission’s November meeting.
Ordinance 851 includes allowing city staff to be the authority in approving or denying requests for a variance of up to 15% for all yard and bulk requirements, excluding height.
Commissioners were generally in favor of empowering city staff to handle such matters. A motion to recommend approval of Ordinance 851 was submitted to the BOT and approved unanimously.
The committee was tasked with voting to recommend approval of Decree 852, which would repeal and replace Articles Five and Six of Chapter Seven of the NMC, which includes the preservation of domestic animals and livestock. However, because there are several revisions that need to be added to the law, the matter has been postponed until the November meeting.
Commissioner Michael Day, a member of the Animal Conservation Law Subcommittee along with Commissioner Cornell and others, spoke with a local rancher who provided additional insight on additional language that could be added to the law so it is not read as “niche.” “
The commissioners also wanted to ensure that the language and intent of the ordinance were clear, such that if a particular animal is not defined in the ordinance, under the definitions of pets or livestock, the property owner is not permitted to keep that animal. Madsen gave her professional opinion that the ordinance was legally sound, and determined that municipalities were given the authority to regulate animals, to determine what is and is not permitted, under the Colorado Revised Statutes.
Because future commission meetings are scheduled so close to the Thanksgiving and December holidays, the commissioners voted to approve date changes for those meetings. November 29 and December 20 were approved as new dates for the meeting.
The Planning Committee meets on the fourth Wednesday of every month. Their next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 29, 2023 at 7 p.m. Meetings can be attended online via WebEx.
For more information, go to: https://townofnederland. colorado.gov/planning-commission