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Council backs measures to boost county-level planning

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Jeremy Johnson

 

FORT LUPTON — Fort Lupton City Council members approved an agreement at their regular meeting June 2 to allow city officials to provide county-level input on any proposed developments within three miles of the city’s boundaries.

Meanwhile, council members also voted to table a resolution unifying them with a state nonprofit organization lobbying against a slew of ballot measures pushing for stricter regulations on oil and gas practices.

Council quickly and unanimously approved a Coordinated Planning Agreement that City Planner Alyssa Knutson said would require Weld County to refer any development proposals on unincorporated land and within three miles of city limits to city officials before being moved along to the county level for approval.

Likewise, she said, the new agreement requires Fort Lupton authorities to notify Weld County officials of any development proposals within 500 feet of unincorporated Weld County.

According to the resolution, the two parties entered into the agreement “in order to coordinate in the exercise of land-use decisions and related regulatory powers within unincorporated areas surrounding the City of Fort Lupton.

“This agreement will give the city the opportunity to discuss the option of annexation with the applicant prior to the project moving forward through the Weld County process.”

Prior to the vote, Knutson said, if approved, the resolution would then go to Weld County for adoption before becoming part of the county’s code.

According to information in the resolution, the agreement is “in substantial conformance” with the city’s previously established Three Mile Area and Comprehensive plans.

 

In other action

— Prior to approving the planning agreement, council members tabled an initiative to join forces with a nonprofit group trying to keep measures off the November ballot that would allow cities and counties to supersede state law in regard to determining rules and regulations for the oil industry.

A resolution for Fort Lupton City Council to join the Coloradans for Responsible Reform’s coalition efforts was tabled after Councilwoman Shannon Rhoda said she needed more time to go over the various ballot measures.

As it is written, the resolution would have City Council join forces with the coalition against a number of ballot measures, including No. 75 – a ballot measure that would allow all 271 cities and 64 counties in the state to “supersede state law, rewriting rules and regulations for any business operating in their jurisdictions,” according to the Coloradans for Responsible Reform’s website. “The measure would allow cities and counties ‘to define or eliminate the rights and powers of corporations or business entities’ regardless of state or federal law.”

Included in the Fort Lupton resolution were several other potential ballot measures related to new, mandatory “setback” regulations regarding oil and gas wells. However, several of the measures included on the list have since been withdrawn or abandoned.

In the meantime, council voted to table the motion until the next meeting per Rhoda’s request.

— Council members approved a $15,000 request to repair plumbing beneath the aging Fort Lupton Museum building.

Museum and History Committee member Monty Schuman told council members there was “an issue” in the museum basement about a month ago where the plumbing backed up.

“When we got in there, we discovered the drains weren’t working … and we learned that most of the plumbing in the downstairs area is rusted out,” he said. “It’s cast iron, it’s estimated to be about 60-years-old and it needs to be replaced.”

Furthermore, Schuman said the basement was largely demolished in the process of locating the issue, so he felt it was best to make the repairs now rather than later.

“Our basic estimate is between $12,000 and $15,000 and we hope it will be in that ballpark,” he said. “But until we get further along, we won’t know.”

Council approved a sum not to exceed $15,000, which will come from the Parks and Recreation fund.

 

Contact Staff Writer Jeremy Johnson at 303-659-2522, ext. 217, or jjohnson@metrowestnewspapers.com.