Petition filed to overturn Heron Pointe

By John Gardner
The Surveyor

Rural residents opposed to the recently approved Heron Pointe development turned in a petition to overturn the annexation, Tuesday afternoon. The petition had over 300 signatures, according to Ed Kahle, one of the residents supporting the petition and helped gather signatures.

According to Berthoud Town Clerk Mary Cowdin, now that the petition has been turned in, Cowdin has 30 days to verify signatures as registered Berthoud voters. Once the signatures are verified and the petition is in order, it then goes to the trustees for a decision. The trustees can either, accept the petition as is and decide to overturn the annexation, or the issue will be set for a public vote.

The election would require a special election because there isn’t an election scheduled this spring. The town would have to set an election date between 60 and 150 days from the day the petition is verified. Cowdin expects that a special election, if the issue gets to that point, could cost the town between $10,000 and $15,000.

The Heron Pointe property is located at the intersection of Larimer County Road 14 and LCR 17 and includes approximately 80 acres that saddles LCR 17. According to previous Surveyor reports, the project includes approximately 46 acres of single-family residential, with another 16 acres of mixed-use properties. In addition, the development includes approximately 20 acres of commercial space on the portion of the property directly east of LCR 17.

Residents opposed to the development live in adjacent neighborhoods on all sides of the proposed development. While the concerns vary, the main concerns seem to be with density and multi-family housing units, as well as a commercial portion of the development to the east of LCR 17.

In a statement from residents to the Surveyor, residents explained their opinions on density.

“The Heron Pointe annexation is surrounded by Larimer County subdivisions zoned farming and R1 residential. Most area residents believe that a development within this R1 residential or farm zoning would be a moderate and acceptable change to our current neighborhood. This is not an issue of people saying “not in my backyard,” we are simply trying to keep our neighborhood from being a massive conglomerate of multi-story eight-plex, six-plex, dense housing, multi-story commercial and fast food chains.”

Kahle, speaking on the group’s behalf, said that nearby residents would be more accommodating for development if it more closely resembled the existing neighborhoods.

“If the property was an R1 zoning and housing, we would more than welcome that type of development because it’s more congruent to the area,” Kahle said.

According to Kahle, another frustrating aspect is that nearby residents don’t believe their concerns have been heard and they are frustrated that they don’t have a voice in the possible election.

“It’s very concerning that 100 percent of the people surrounding this satellite annexed development cannot vote because our properties are Larimer County and not annexed into the town of Berthoud,” Kahle wrote in a message to the Surveyor.

Developer Bob Dehn had no comment on the petition being turned in. As well, Mayor David Gregg did not want to comment on the issue as of Wednesday morning.