Hammond proposal clears first hurdle

By Rudy Hemmann
The Surveyor

The Berthoud Planning Commission gave unanimous approval to a Preliminary Development Plan (PDP) and Preliminary Plat (PP) for a property in northwest Berthoud known locally as the Hammond Property at its Aug. 27 meeting.

According to the staff report authored by Town Planner Sarah Chmielak, Hammond is a 120-acre parcel which is covered by an Overall Development Plan (ODP) approved in 2008. The tract is bordered on the north by the Bader Farm development, by Larimer County Road (LCR) 17 on the east, on the south by an old right-of-way for LCR 10E and by the Heron Lakes development on the west. The property is bisected near the western boundary by U.S. Highway 287 bypass. It is also bisected by the current LCR 10E right-of-way.

During brief introductory remarks, Chmielak pointed out the ODP for the property “allowed for a not-to-exceed total of 741 housing units and 618,552 square feet of commercial space.” The entire property is zoned Planned Unit Development (PUD).

The 2008 ODP allows flexibility for the location of each land use, access location, density, and development standards which are to be determined during the final approval processes, according to Chmielak.

The owner/applicant, Caleb Development, LLC, requested the commission approve the first phase of what will apparently become a multi-phase development of the property. The portion selected for phase one of the project is approximately 30.92 acres located at the northeast corner of the property which is to be developed as 86 single-family lots. The proposal “includes 6.37 acres of open space in the form of a detention pond.”

Jeff Mark, representing the developer, gave a short presentation before the commission, during which he stated phase one would be built to test the market for the single-family product the developer intends to offer.

“We would generally like to offer some commercial or multi-use and multi-family mixed-use type of product if the market so desires,” said Mark. He went on to say current state regulations regarding dwelling-unit rental made construction of apartments and some townhomes unappealing to developers, and that the developer had received no interest in commercial development of the property.

The commissioners heard comments from one resident of the Berthoud Lake Ranchettes subdivision which is located east of LCR 17. The resident was asking for clarification concerning the proposed development.

During commission questioning, Commissioner Suzie White stated a concern about there being a bottleneck for getting out of the proposed project in an emergency. Both streets out of the project are funneled through only one intersection.

Mark acknowledged White’s concern and stated the design of phase one “conforms to generally accepted standards of safety.” He said also the number of exits from the project would increase as more phases of the development were completed.

There was discussion concerning the fact there is no multi-family housing in the proposed development.

A motion recommending the town board approve the phase one PDP and PP of the Hammond development was made, seconded and unanimously adopted,

During a staff report, Community Development Manager Curt Freese informed that, as of the meeting date, 78 single-family residential building permits had been issued in 2015.

The next planning commission meeting is scheduled for Sept. 10.