Longmont Planning & Zoning – July 19, 2023
Read along below:
Speaker 1 4:05
Chairman Polen Commissioner Koehler, Commissioner Goldberg, Commissioner Lu couch Commissioner Popkin Chairman you have a quorum
Speaker 2 4:19
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The only thing I wanted to add is we still the bond Farm project is still we’ve closed public hearing but it’s still active. So no excommunication. Things are allowed so not that we got a big crowd behind us but just want to remind everybody and that is all I have
Speaker 3 5:12
My address is 328 Grant Street in Longmont, Colorado. I am reporting on the progress that has been made since the June 21. Public Planning and Zoning meeting regarding the site plan for the bond farm development at 1313. Spruce Avenue at that meeting commissioners.
Speaker 4 5:42
Sounds like we’re going oh, oh, it is starting to sound like that, Mr. Chairman. If there’s a comment about the process, that’d be appropriate. But it’s about the subject matter itself.
Speaker 3 5:58
This is a report to share what has taken place between neighbors and the developer between the last Planning and Zoning meeting, and now?
Speaker 2 6:13
It’s, yeah, if anything mentioned about the plan that would be in trouble.
Speaker 3 6:21
Yeah, it’s just basically saying what we’ve arranged. And
Unknown Speaker 6:28
yeah, that’s fine. Yeah,
Speaker 3 6:29
it’s arrangements that I mean, just showing that we’re cooperating. Okay, that’s all.
Speaker 3 6:40
I mean, that’s basically what it is. But it’s four minutes. So I’ll just start over. I am reporting on the progress that has been made since the June 21 public planning and zoning meeting regarding the site plan for the bond farm development at 1313 spruce Avenue. At that meeting, commissioners had recommended that developers have the 1313 spruce Avenue property, Mark Young and Dan Williams reconsider their approach to the neighborhood compatibility of their current proposal. commissioners voted Seven to zero to table approval of the concept. Mark chose the October 18 public planning and zoning meeting to re present his concept. It was recommended but not required that Mark work with the neighbors in a Charette process to bring the sense of compatibility to his concept. We understand the primary concerns from the commissioners pertained to the compatibility of the proposed plans massing. What’s clear is that the definition of compatibility remains ambiguous and vague. The developers contacted us after the June Planning and Zoning meeting to plan how to move forward together, we created a series of events with an end product to where all stakeholders would compromise to a degree, but with an end result that considers new ways to look at the site plan and defining compatibility. Those planned events are as follows. One host a mini charrette to divine to find compatibility moderated by Brian Dunbar of the Institute for the built environment on July 28. To engage in efforts to rethink the site plan and massing by professional designers outside of Mark’s team. Three hosts and architectural design charrette, moderated by Brian Dunbar of the Institute for the built environment on August 18, and 19th. As part of the effort to rethink the site plan and massing by professionals outside of Mark’s team, the developer met with Michael tabel, AIA design consultant, chosen by neighbors who also attended the April 28 visionary Charette. The developers held this meeting on July 18, to include their civil engineer Jim Allen, in an effort to explore possible solutions for a workable and acceptable site plan. The goal of the meeting was to transfer the current site plan and all drawing files from the developer to the desktop of Michael tabel. And to ask any clarifying questions so that Michael could successfully look at the site from a different perspective, a little about designer Michael tabel. He’s a member of the Institute of Architects, the principal of Sun Studio in Denver with a long list of award winning design projects. His firm specializes in sustainable urban neighborhoods, providing full spectrum design and planning services. A recent his recent project is Lafayette’s silo neighborhood intelligently planned urban mixed use community that complements and retains the rural appeal of Lafayette In other words, a model sustainable neighborhood. The July 28 Mini stret to define compatibility will include interest interested members of the community, outside professionals, city staff and the developer team. The August 18 and 19th architectural design charrette will be a larger group threat to specifically address architectural and design elements, incorporating the concepts of compatibility from the many charrette. We anticipate presenting the findings of the more in depth threat at the future public planning and zoning meeting, which will hopefully guide you in your final record recommendation to the city council. Rest assured it will be based on all available input from the neighbors as well as experts. Our goal is to include all concerned parties. In short, we are opening the door to all concerned parties and it will remain open. We trust that all interests will walk through the doors so that their voice will be heard. Thank you for your time.
Speaker 5 11:42
Perfect, thank you, Jane. Okay, I think this is better. Okay. Would anybody else like to come forward to speak on items not before us today, our items that will not be that are not scheduled to come before us that are quasi judicial, you’re free to come forward. Seeing nobody coming forward. I’ll go ahead and close the public invited to be heard. There are no minutes to approve. There are no public hearing items to approve. We’ll move to other business. A request to amend time postpone meeting for 1313 spruce Avenue from October 18 to August 23 2023. And I believe that we have a Planning and Development Services, Jennifer Hewitt Epperson to come forward for this.
Speaker 6 12:50
Good evening, members of the commission this evening. We do have a request from the applicants for 1313 spruce avenues. concept plan amendment two, revise the extension date that from the previous meeting. So from the June meeting, June, May, June, June. That’s like when was that meeting? So from that, from the previous meeting to where the public hearing was continued, essentially, to the October meeting, there’s a request from the applicant to move that up into to the August 23. Meeting. So the fourth Wednesday in August, there is a request by them to move that up. And with that, I don’t really have anything to add, I can add the applicant is here to they can discuss that request further. That’s pretty straightforward. Okay.
Speaker 5 13:48
And Glenn, I believe that this is a two stage vote that we have to take Correct. Can you explain that to us?
Speaker 2 13:57
Sure. I’ve got Jeremy’s memo right here. So your first motion would be moved to reconsider the Commission’s June 2120 23 vote to continue 1313 spruce concept plan amendment hearing to change the date of the hearing. If second, the motion to reconsider the decision may proceed to discussion and vote. So that’s part one.
Speaker 5 14:24
Okay. And then part two is setting the new date. Correct. Okay. Is there any discussion, any comments, questions from the Commission? Any motions?
Unknown Speaker 14:43
Just a second here, Commissioner Popkin.
Speaker 7 14:46
Just a point of clarification on the process here. Before we do we have to make the first motion there to even consider the topic as presented. Right. Well then I will have to reconsider the previous question.
Speaker 5 15:03
Okay, we have a motion to reconsider. Do we have a second? And there has to be a second from somebody who was at that meeting. Mr. Lukash, aye. Second, we have a motion. We have a second. Any questions? If not, let’s take our vote.
Speaker 1 15:21
Sorry, Commissioner Koehler, Commissioner Goldberg, Chairman pullin, Yes, Commissioner to cut. Commissioner Popkin Chairman that passes five to zero.
Speaker 5 15:30
Okay, we’re past the first step. The next one is reconsidering the motion setting a date certain for it. And they have asked for August the August 23 2023. Meeting. That would be after the Charettes. Do we have any questions, comments? motions? Commissioner Goldberg?
Speaker 8 15:53
Yeah, thanks, Chairman. I think in our email from staff, there was kind of the note or the statement that if we adjust the dates, that the applicant is still bound to the criteria, like notification of the neighborhood and things like that, I wonder if it’s worth asking the applicant and is now an appropriate time to ask the applicant to come up and just give us the one to you. I’d like to hear from him if I can, how we got into this position. And just to hear why we’re confident that August works just fine. Yep.
Speaker 9 16:28
Thank you. So we’ve done a lot of work in advance. And when we made the presentation for the concept, for the concept plan, you know, we had stripped down as tight as we could to be efficient. And I call it the great simplification. So, you know, the thing that we were struggling with the whole time, I think you were struggling with it too, was what in the heck does those compatible mean? And so, you know, we’ve got this early shred coming up, where we are specifically just defining compatible. And so we’re gonna have a punch list. This this this, you know, how, what kind of setbacks you have to have, what kind of transparency you gotta have all the different things, a lot of which are already in the code in 1501, I think it is the residential development code. But we’re gonna see in how we can apply that with the neighbors we’ve invited what they call the no Longmont group, and the yes Longmont group, and the other Longmont group, and then a bunch of professionals. And so we’re going to sit around, we’re going to come up with a definition of compatible with some line items that you guys are going to be looking at assume you agree and say, yep, that meets that standard, that standard, that standard. And we’re going to design to that to that standard. So we hope that it’s a good meeting of the minds. And we hope quite frankly, that’s something that law mug can embrace going forward, because other developers like me, who, you know, don’t want to throw darts in the dark. can’t really tell. I just didn’t know what to do. So anyway, that’s why we have the first red plan. Second threat is more architectural. And we’re not really looking at architecture right now. Right. But it’s going to inform the massing study. So so we think we’ll be ready. And we think love, I’ll never have a consensus of the neighbors, right? Even if I convert 30% of each group, they’re still going to be a vocal group. So we’re just gonna have to learn to compromise and get along. I guess, in my world, that’s kind of what compatibility means. So I think we’re ready. And that’s why we’d like to do it.
Speaker 5 18:42
And Mark, you don’t have a problem with the mailing out. Oh, notices?
Speaker 9 18:46
Oh, no, no, no, no, we’ve got we’ve kind of to a tee. We’ve got it figured out. We wouldn’t ask August August 9 to be the deadline for posting and mailings, which is more than more than reasonable for Okay. Very good. Okay. Any other questions?
Unknown Speaker 19:03
Commissioner Goldberg, are you done?
Unknown Speaker 19:08
I think you covered the Chairman. Okay.
Unknown Speaker 19:09
Thank you. Thank you.
Unknown Speaker 19:12
Speaker 10 19:15
I’m not sure who could answer this. Was the was there notification of this hearing? to the public?
Speaker 2 19:24
No, this isn’t a public hearing. So we weren’t bound by the same mailing and posting up the site. We did reach out to several of the leaders in the neighborhood and let them know what was going on. Okay, so
Speaker 10 19:38
and you haven’t received any feedback up their concerns about the change?
Speaker 2 19:41
Just a few questions we received today about the process going forward. So pretty much what was explained here that if you do approve that date, we would be doing, we intend to get the new plan. If there is one on August 9 And we would do the mailing Shortly after
Unknown Speaker 20:00
that August 2
Unknown Speaker 20:08
Speaker 10 20:10
so the mailing has to go out before the results of the Charettes. Correct.
Unknown Speaker 20:17
From those second ons, yes.
Speaker 10 20:19
And so I guess that’s my next question for the applicant. It looks like the last charrette is the 18th. So you have five days to sort of get the results of that Charette back out to the community. Before the hearing, it seems tight.
Speaker 9 20:38
Sorry, gosh, I understand it seems tight. What we’re not presenting is detailed architectural drawings, where we’re presenting the concept plan, saying, here’s an Ironman zone. This is what this is how it’s done. And here are the rules of compatibility that we’d like to have applied to this plan. And then, you know, I don’t want to I don’t want to design the project. I mean, that’s for site review. It’s not really for concept plan. So we’ll have, you know, just like staff last time recommended approval with two conditions. This could have 12 conditions, you know, to help define compatibility, if that makes sense. I’ll just hang out up here if you guys have any other questions.
Unknown Speaker 21:27
Speaker 8 21:28
Thanks. Thanks, Mr. Young. Jennifer, just to make sure we have all parties aligned here. Does this make sense to move this up? By two months? You know, are we putting the applicant at a risky position not to be able to meet the deadlines or not for not being ready on time.
Speaker 6 22:02
This request has been made by the applicant and it’s not staff initiate initiation. So it is the applet the applicant is confident that they will not be up against the wall so to speak, that they can meet the deadlines that we have expressed that they would need to meet. So that would be getting all all plan materials for the packet to us by that first week in August in order to meet and then having new notices posted by the ninth and for posted in mail by August 9 for this meeting. So they are aware of the deadlines, and they’re confident they can meet them.
Speaker 8 22:39
And if they get you the information on the date that you said, I think it was the second that’s plenty of time for your team to do what they need to to get the signage up and out.
Unknown Speaker 22:48
Correct? Yeah. Okay, Commissioner Popkin?
Speaker 7 22:57
Thank you, Chair, question for the applicant. Mr. Young, welcome back. My question for you is actually building off of a comment of my fellow Commissioner Goldberg that he made over five hours into our previous meeting. And that was I think he asked originally to you, he directed a question to you. And we can refer to the minutes or the video if we need to, but you know, what was your preferred date? And I think at the time, there was a consideration of a September meeting, and I think you actually initiated the October date as being your preference at the time. So I’m just curious if you could explain, for our purposes, for our understanding of for the understanding of the residents are here, and maybe watching this after what really prompted this, maybe cutting this timeline in half.
Speaker 9 23:46
Of course, there’s financial concerns that caused me to do that. The biggest, the biggest single element was a lack of understanding of what compatibility means. I didn’t think if I went all the way through October, came to you with a plan. I have no idea whether your interpretation of it’s going to be compatible or not. What I can do is develop rules for compatibility that I think we can agree to, which will become conditions of the approval. I don’t think if I could, one of the plans we had was to come in here with like six or eight different designs, see which one you like. But that’s not fair. That’s not fair to you. Nor is it really fair to me as a developer. And I don’t even know if you could consider that and point one and say, that’s when we like. So my sense of compatibility, your sense of compatibility. Who knows if I could ever meet it, but if I develop a standard for compatibility, which I think we can do it our charrette, then that’s something that staff can then look at later, right. We’ll say prove with these conditions. Staff will look drought up staff will say you have to get that that that Yep. They met all the conditions there. You go. So that kind of makes the transition from concept plan to site plan. Right? Because that’s really where these questions should be asked and answered. concept plan is the wrong place to be looking at what this, you know, these sorts these levels of details, it’s okay to set rules. Does that make sense?
Speaker 7 25:24
Yeah, I understand kind of your your position on kind of when the places to think about that. Let me see if I understand your position on the timing, it’s that the extra to those other two months wouldn’t really change your approach at that point, because you would have done all that you would have in the two months that you had? Yeah, I think there’s an absence of what you’re suggesting
Speaker 9 25:44
it is because I don’t see myself preparing a detailed site plan to present to you guys to look at, I see us presenting to you a very basic bubble diagram, concept plan. And a consensus, hopefully, of the yeses in the nose are the rights and the wrongs of the goods in the bed. So the the neighbors in the community. And, you know, it’s really interesting, if you look at that residential development code. That 1501 I think it is, it’s, you know, talks about a lot of the things that we’re going to include in there. And so we’ll be adding conditions to that. Conditions like setbacks, transparency, things like that. That will then inform us as we go to the site plan stage.
Speaker 7 26:35
Appreciate it. Thank you. Quick question. For you, Jeremy. Actually, in the applicants letter, on page two there, and gets the first full paragraph. The applicant states this has greatly impacted applicants development process and raise concerns regarding adequate due process regarding landowner property rights. Are you able to shed any light on what the applicant might be referring to Jeremy in terms of due process rights here? I mean, my understanding is, the Commission previously decided not to say no or yes to anything just encouraged to just pushed off the decision on that within a reasonable timeframe that the applicant himself had actually stated. So I’m just curious if you have a sense of what that’s referring to.
Speaker 4 27:20
I can give my best kind of guess on that information. So I assume what the applicant is kind of hinting at as that Planning and Zoning Commission is recommending body for the concept plan amendment application. And that is a continuance by the Planning and Zoning Commission is not a final decision that’s appealable to anyone. It’s not a final decision or land development code is not a final decision in terms of administrative review actions in circuit or district court. Now, the planet the City Council decision on concept plan amendment would be a final decision that could be appealed to a court of competent jurisdiction. So if for some reason, city council denied the application, the applicant could appeal it. And if City Council approved the application, persons with standing as defined by our land development code could also appeal a decision. So I think that is what the applicants referring to by adequate due process is ensuring that they have a right to challenge the decision, should it need to be challenged.
Speaker 7 28:22
Appreciate Jeremy. And I think it’s really important that we’re considering how fair we are as a body to applicants to developers. I also think it’s only only fair that we extend that same logic out to the community and to the residents who be also affected by this. And so I guess question either for Jennifer or maybe, Glen. You know, one of the implications of this timing I just want to acknowledge on the calendar here is that this kind of hits it kind of right before the school year starts kind of right at the tail end of kind of summer vacations. And while there’s nothing in the code or bylaws that prohibits that, I just want to make sure that there isn’t any precedent that’s been set. Again, given the fact that this is only like six months in for me. Any precedent that’s been set previously, of like, when we check if we’re, if any schedules change, could there be a negative impact on people who were intending to voice support or opposition?
Speaker 2 29:18
As far as I know, we haven’t really looked at carefully at the calendar. As far as, you know, possible conflicts. We did our best to get to notify folks that this was coming forward. I haven’t heard anything that said I gotta cancel my European trip or whatever it is. It’s it’s tough to do that. And I guess I believe in speedy justice, I guess so.
Speaker 6 29:46
If I can add as well. I have not looked at the St. Vrain Valley School calendar, but I do know that the Thompson school district school year does start the previous week to the one requested and they do typically run on the same start dates and dates?
Speaker 7 30:01
Not super, I’m not super concerned about that. I just want to make sure that we’re thinking about any change the timeline can change who can participate in the process?
Speaker 5 30:09
I was there, I can assure you will cache. Thank you, Chair.
Speaker 6 30:14
I have a question for Jeremy. So technically, so this this application came to us on June 21. Right, and we haven’t seen the minutes yet. And until the minutes are approved, they’re not official. Can we still, can we amend something that we haven’t approved yet? Or is this the perfect time to amend something like this?
Speaker 4 30:45
Thank you, Commissioner. I do believe it’s still appropriate based on Robert’s Rules and our own bylaws. Our own bylaws allow for changing a continuance with the first the next three meetings after and then with Robert’s Rules, we the council, the Commission did make a decision at its meeting. You know, technically, we should have the minutes probably ready. But I don’t think the minutes not being finalized impacts the Commission’s ability to change that decision.
Speaker 6 31:13
Okay. So since the minutes are not ready yet, with this, assuming we’re going to approve this, will that change the minutes?
Speaker 4 31:24
The minutes will remain the same for the June 21. Meeting that were just reflected in these minutes for the July 19. Meeting showing that the motion to reconsider passed, and then a motion to change the date, assuming it’s made and seconded and voted on was also passed. Thank you.
Unknown Speaker 31:47
Speaker 8 31:49
I think Chairman, I’ll just share my perspective with my peers here. We’re at that point, right. Okay. Yeah, I guess, admittedly, I don’t have any problem with changing the date. I think the onus is on the applicant. And while I have, you know, general concerns or thoughts about this being pushed to the next month? Yeah, like, it wasn’t a few weeks. I, you know, immediately I kind of have my own feelings about that. But at the epic, I think the burden falls on the applicant, and the applicant has done his due diligence, and his team is confident that they can execute and meet the deadlines that Jennifer’s team has, and have so high level, I’m totally, you know, I’m supportive of the request by the applicant. He’s the original month and wants to change it, and I’m fine with bumping it back a couple months. That said, after we finish this, this discussion, I do think some of the comments, maybe that I’ve read in the paper and maybe in the applicants letter did raise some questions that I think we as a commission and staff could could discuss, you know, how are we informing compatibility and defining compatibility and, you know, just some kind of, you know, maybe work to be done from our side. But for the issue in front of us, I’d be supportive of changing the date.
Speaker 5 33:13
Okay. Do we have anybody willing to make a motion? Commissioner Goldberg,
Speaker 8 33:23
I guess if no one’s turning on their light and calling me crazy, then I guess I’ll go ahead and let’s see, where is it? Move. Let’s see if the motion to reconsider is approved. Then I’ll look to move to change the date of the continued 1313 spruce concept plan amendment hearing from October 18. Of this year to August 23.
Unknown Speaker 33:46
We have a motion. Commissioner Popkin
Speaker 7 33:49
given that the community and residents have also been a part of this process. I will make a motion to second I will second the motion.
Speaker 5 33:55
Okay. We have a motion. We have a second. If anybody have any questions, comments? If not, Jane, we are ready for a vote.
Speaker 1 34:04
Commissioner Koehler, Commissioner Goldberg? Chairman Polen. High Commissioner look at Commissioner Popkin. All right, Chairman that passes five to zero.
Speaker 5 34:14
Thank you very much. Thank you to the applicant. thank you to staff and thank you to the public for being here. We’ll move to the next item which is public invited to be heard final call this is for once again, items that are not on the docket that was not on the docket today. And items that are not quasi judicial and scheduled to come before us. If you I think from what was kind of done here earlier, if it’s like, comment about the process, we will allow that. But that’s kind of where I think we’re going to try to draw the line for this. So if anybody has a comment from the public, please come forward. Once again, state your name and address for the record. Good?
Speaker 11 35:14
Hello, Hello, I’m John Locke grown to 20. Sherman street, I always seem to have something to say. Sorry. Anyway, I just wanted to talk about the Charette process that has been brought forward here. And during the previous hearing, some of the commissioners suggested that the Charette process continue with the developer and the neighbors. And they, you know, several, I’m not sure one or a couple of the commissioners mentioned that they were had been unfamiliar with that process. Myself, I was unfamiliar with it as well. And so I was thrown into it. During when we did that. You’ve heard a number of you heard a discussion about all these Charettes that are lined up. And I would just say that the core group of the I would say generally, the core group of the neighbors, who signed the petition and our have been very outspoken, are not very convinced of the efficacy of the Charette process. And I believe that the looking over having looked over some of the description of the process, it seems like it’s not a vote. It’s not something that people vote on yet this feature or that feature, or this density, or that it’s sort of a design thing where people put together designs and even the previous charrette, that we had done. There was a criticism from someone who was an architect, who had said that there wasn’t a lot of design going on there. In fact, one of the one group that I was in was some we put up a design on the wall. The other ones were comments about parking or something like that. But it wasn’t carried out as it was initially, perhaps, in theory meant to be. And I’ve been in conversations with Brian Dunbar from CSU as well. And I just feel that, you know, a number of the neighbors have those reservations. And you I don’t I am the big reservation is when you have this division of oh, we’re going to have four people, pro development for people against it. And again, we’re more of just trying to get it to be compatible with the neighborhood. We’re not opposed to the development, development. But the other group, for example, Mr. Young mentioned, Colorado, yes. I mean, they have campaigns out that, say yimby. Yes, in my backyard. That’s their whatever their philosophy are, and that’s their goal. In the first Surrett. In a way, just as a devil’s advocate, I asked the question, are we going to be debating, like pro housing density or against that today, and I had an interaction with Mr. Yun, he said he’d be happy to debate me. But that’s not what we’re doing. So I’m not sure where these other Charettes are going to define compatibility. And I would just close with like, if I was going to ask someone in here to pick out a tie for me today. Right? That wouldn’t be something that would be done at in the abstract, with a definition. And I’ve been looking up definitions of compatibility, and you know, pretty much what they are, or synonyms. But if I was going to ask you to pick out a compatible tie for my shirt, you would start right here looking at me and the surrounding neighborhood. So I don’t know that the outside groups are what’s called for based on your charge to address density, and massing in regards to compatibility. So I don’t know that the Sraith thing is going in another direction. And we’re not all on board with it. We have we’ve been having a lot of conversations about setting up another meeting with developers, and we’ve had some movement on that, perhaps. But you know, I didn’t want to disparage this Surrett by saying it was a charade. But that was part of my feeling of it at that point that it wasn’t really what was required in this situation. But anyway, thank you for listening.
Speaker 5 39:17
Thank you, Mr. Laughlin. And seeing no one else come forward. I will go ahead and close out the final call public invited to be heard. Next is items from the Commission. Mr. Goldberg?
Speaker 8 39:34
Thanks, Chairman. I think if I’m allowed to maybe address as Jennifer and Glenn maybe and Jeremy to weigh in here, you know, following the last hearing, there was an article in the paper highlighting just a local story about our our meeting our long meeting. But I think In that paper, the applicant or someone representing the applicant, said something along the lines of like, design or compatibility is like throwing darts in a night or something or in the black or without the lights on. And if you appreciate Commissioner Popkin, referencing the applicants letter, the letter says that there’s a lack of understanding of what is compatible, they say, without clear, specific adopted guidelines. You know, so there’s this kind of recurring theme, at least from the applicant. I don’t know if it’s come up too many times in previous projects before us. But there’s a seems to be this perspective that maybe we’re not giving the applicants enough guidance or a clear definition on what is compatibility? And I wonder if maybe each of you can kind of weigh in on? What’s your thought on that? Are we providing enough guidance on what compatibility is? Does that fall under our purview? Is that staffs job to define what compatibility is? are we failing the applicants to some degree by giving them more direction? So can we just talk about that as a group real quick? You know, what are your thoughts on compatibility? And are we setting people up for failure, or throwing darts at night?
Speaker 6 41:27
I’ll take a first stab at this. I’ve been a professional planner for a very long time and across in other places in the country as well. And I think it’s not uncommon, that compatibility doesn’t have a neat definition of Here are six criteria, if you need four of them, you’re compatible? If you don’t, you’re not. It’s intentionally subjective. It’s because of all of the planning principles, compatibility is probably the biggest bullet depends out there. So. And that’s really where we, as professional planners, you as planning commissioners, come in. You know, I think if you know, the applicant, if someone were proposing a six storey building adjacent to single family, you know, that was one or two stories, clearly, that’s not compatible. But when you’re looking at different densities that, you know, may be different from what’s existing, but it’s maybe not that far off, or, you know, The uses are similar, but the scale might be a little different. You know, that’s where you really kind of get into that nuance of debate. And so, you know, as part of that what is compatible isn’t compatible. It’s a lot, it’s left up to us quite often to use our professional judgment and determine, Okay, we think maybe there could be some challenges here. But here’s some steps we could take to mitigate that. Here’s what we can do. You know, we can use things such as landscaping, or we can use things such as building design buffers to to get there. But like I said, it’s it’s a giant, it depends on what is compatible. And with that, I’m going to let my colleagues way up if they have anything else to add.
Speaker 2 43:22
It is a good question. We do have a very specific definition of neighborhood compatibility, and there are standards that you have to meet in order to to meet those. But then, with a content plan, it’s just kind of wide open. So I think the code does give some guidance. I went through and read envision Longmont again, and it does speak to scale. That’s the only other word and maybe that’s in the eye of the beholder, too, I think it comes down to is that’s why we have a planning commission was seventh grade commissioners, to reach a consensus of what that means in this specific situation.
Speaker 4 44:06
I can add in some of my perspective, from a legal perspective, so looking at one of the senses in our bylaws. This is under Section Eight voting. It is understood that each member of the commission meeting of the commission has an opinion concerning the proper development of Longmont that’s being scored up to sort of charge our democratic process of having citizen commissions, helping to regulate development within the city. From a legal perspective, you know, part of where I talked about due process in regards to Commissioner Popkins question, you know, the Constitution of the State of Colorado, United States requires that land use conditions imposed by regulatory Border Agency, which also includes subdivisions of state including the city of Longmont must be sufficiently sufficient to ensure that there’s a rational consistent basis for this issued and judicial review of that actions available. Numerous courts have looked at compatibility and noted the broad criteria of compatibility surrounding areas harmony with the character of neighborhood will comply with applied in conjunction with other specific criteria satisfies that specificity requirements. So if you look at our major development criteria, we have a lot of different criteria that is more subjective. You know, does it meet a, b, and c compatibility talks about? I’ll read from a land use code. Land use site and building layout, design and access. So those are specific criteria that you don’t want to look at compatibility. Those are things to focus on. And so given that, and given our existing case law, certainly our compatibility standard is constitutional and allowed. The only thing I can provide that the commission, you know, we don’t have a clear definition compatibility, for all the reasons we’ve talked about is that part of it is a citizen process. Certainly, the commission is free to look at other portions of our code. So there’s a section on beneficial taking, and the hearing officer, if that ever happens, may have to consider compatibility the neighborhood. And just for example, our code gives the following criteria to consider for compatibility, architectural character, building size, height, bulk mass and scale, building orientation, privacy considerations in terms of privacy, prospective residents, and in terms of privacy protection for adjoining land uses, building materials, building color, and then also development project itself. If it’s residential, commercial, things like that. I don’t think it really applies at this concept plan for a lot of those conditions. But that goes back to that land use and what’s in our current criteria we’re considering? So is it a moving target, perhaps, but it’s based on certain criteria? And as part of our beautiful democracy?
Speaker 8 47:01
Do you think any of our neighboring municipalities might have a better definition of compatibility? Or are they able able to better guide their applicants? Or is this just kind of this goes with being developers that they need to kind of interpret, have their vision for how their project fits in and then staff needs to review and make their recommendations? And then ultimately, it comes to us for the final gonna, or penultimate go? No, go?
Speaker 2 47:31
I think I’ll just echo what Jennifer said. I mean, I’ve worked for a number of communities, too. I think, actually, we probably have a lot more in our code, as far as gets to what compatibility means. Okay.
Speaker 8 47:44
I think what we learned in our last meeting is that the applicant checked a lot of the boxes like high level, there wasn’t like, I don’t think the applicant. I just want to, I want to be mindful here, that there wasn’t any really red flags from the staff perspective, actually, at least, to the degree that we were reviewing the project. I think maybe what we all agreed on, was or one glaring red flag was around the massing and just the scale of that of those structures and how it impacted the neighbors. And so, I guess, because I’m not sure exactly what I’m trying to say, except for, you know, I heard the applicant on multiple occasions expressed concerns that they feel like they don’t have enough direction. I think what I’m hearing from staff is, we’re providing enough direction, we provide kind of the appropriate direction, we probably follow standards that other municipalities follow as far as what’s included in our code and what’s included in our comp plan and kind of helped help give the definition or the kind of the guidance, the overarching, you know, guidance on where we see Longmont going. But ultimately, compatibility can’t be certainly defined. And so it’s going to be a little bit on the developer, a little bit on staff, and then it sounds like a lot on commission and council to make the final word. Yeah, okay. That’s that’s helpful. Harmony, character, size, height, bulk and scale. You know, I’m looking at the applicant in the audience. And I just think, I know you’ve had frustrations and you’re wanting to bring six options to us or have, you know, clear direction on what is compatible. I think in the end, the onus is going to fall on you or any other applicant that comes to us in the future. And then hopefully, by the time you get back in front of us, we’re able to feel comfortable with it. And we very often do. So this was a A unique case for us.
Unknown Speaker 50:03
Speaker 7 50:05
Thank you Chair, I just want to build a little bit carefully on the train of thought of my fellow Commissioner. You know, it’s it’s context that matters. And I think that’s kind of what you were trying to get out there. And you know what happens in one? I just, you know, there were statements made today that I don’t think necessarily are uniform. You know, one one neighborhood is different from its adjacent neighborhood. And that’s part of why there are different classifications and envision envision Longmont as part of why we look at different concept design site criteria. That’s why staff is so diligent and meticulous in reviewing all different types and angles of the six to Muria definitions and considerations that Jeremy and Glen and Jennifer, you guys were just describing. So, you know, you know, a single family house going up to six storey building, going up to a 200 storey building could work in New York City, right. And so it’s all context and location and situation, that can matter. And you in fact, have that in New York City, right. And because there’s a, it’s a different plant, it’s a different expectation there. And so I think, what I wanted to really say is, in addition to context matters, all six of the design, review criteria still matter for when we go forward. And they always do for all of our considerations. And, you know, I don’t want to put one over the other. I think many of them are self explanatory here, but are less subjective, I should say. Obviously, the compatibility one is rightfully highlighted as being one of the areas where there’s a little bit more subjectivity involved, and where there are multiple layers of commentary and decision making that have to come in and an advisory standpoint here. But then number four is also done, it gets to that as well, right. And the application will not adversely affect surrounding properties, the natural environment exists in your plans, city transportation, or utility services or facilities, or the adverse impacts of the use will be mitigated to the maximum extent feasible. What defines maximum extent feasible? I mean, that’s there’s a level of subjectivity that comes into play there, too. And so my encouragement for anyone who is involved in weighing into this process going forward is that we consider all the design review criteria, and frankly, that I don’t lose my train of thought mid sentence that we don’t that, that when trying to get context for some of the comments that have been made in the past on the record as part of the quasi judicial process. We look at all of the comments that were made, right? Unfortunately, you have over two hours of this body is deliberations to think about and I would encourage you to consider all to two plus hours of that. Thank you.
Speaker 5 52:43
Okay, seeing nobody else from the Commission. Next item is items from planning director Glen van Nibelungen.
Unknown Speaker 52:52
I don’t have anything, Mr. Chair. Well, we have
Unknown Speaker 52:55
one or two meetings in August. I believe we’re at
Speaker 12 52:58
Unknown Speaker 53:04
which is not extinct. Does Chris
Speaker 5 53:12
I think to be depict okay. I think we’re good with that. And then seeing nothing else we are in adjournment.
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