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County and Driggs Centre working towards water agreement; Nutrient Pathogen studies policy; MD Nursery Garden Cafe complaint; Spring Hollow complaint update

Driggs Centre and county working towards firewater agreement
The firewater agreement with Driggs Centre is still outstanding and Driggs Centre has some remaining questions about who will pay for installing the fire line from Driggs Centre to connect to the county transfer station. However, County Attorney Spitzer said she was hopeful that a final agreement would soon be signed so that the county can begin operating out of the brand-new permanent transfer station.

Commissioners mandate policy on nutrient-pathogen studies
Planning Administrator Vaile asked for clarification from the commissioners on when a development application may be scheduled for a preliminary plat hearing if it also qualifies for mandatory nutrient pathogen (NP) studies to address sewage and groundwater quality concerns. County ordinances require that NP studies are reviewed by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and DEQ then sends their recommendations on the study back to the county. Because the results of these studies are often integral to the layout and design of a development, the BOCC resolved that DEQ's recommendations on an NP study must be received by the county before a development proposal can be scheduled for preliminary plat hearing with P&Z.  We commend the BOCC for providing clarity and guidance on this issue which will promote a logical planning process that protects groundwater quality.

Board discussed complaint from the owners of MD Nursery Garden Café
The current operators of the MD Nursery Garden Café (Victuals LLC) filed a complaint to the county stating that when they entered into their operating agreement with MD Nursery this December, they did not understand that they would have to comply with the conditions imposed on the café conditional use permit (CUP). Their letter petitioned the county to waive conditions #12 and #13 which prohibited signage and advertising of the café. Former P&Z commissioner Gwenn Heileson presented a factual history of the MD Nursery approvals process and expressed frustration that MD had expanded so far beyond their original permitted uses, and that now the café (which was originally described by MD as more of a snack stall) had morphed into a full restaurant and catering business. County Attorney Kathy Spitzer pointed out that according to condition #4 of the permit, a change of use requires automatic termination of the permit.

Commissioner Rinaldi said that it sounded like the root of the complaint was really an issue between Victuals and their landlord, MD. Commissioner Young expressed remorse for ever approving the café CUP, stating that “this has been a migraine from day one.” The BOCC unanimously declined to remove conditions #12 and #13 from the CUP, and directed Attorney Spitzer to look into the issue of whether the use of the café had indeed changed as prohibited by condition #4.

Spring Hollow complaint update
Planning Administrator Vaile updated the BOCC on his efforts to work with the developers and permanently relocate the remaining 49 building envelopes in Spring Hollow Ranch to ensure that another skylining house will not be built adjacent to the one that we all see today. This is a very positive first step to ensuring past mistakes are not repeated in the future. Project engineer Arnold Woolstenhulme presented additional background information which showed that the house on the hill was not even built in the approved building envelope site. Mr. Woolstenhulme opined that the fault lay with the HOA design committee (which consisted of the three developers) and the county's failure to require a site plan before granting a building permit – which would have held the design committee to the county's rules regarding skylining. He then proposed a simple, but effective solution to the problem: for developments falling in specific overlays (like wetlands, hillsides, etc) an engineer-certified site plan would be required with building permit applications to ensure that homes are appropriately located.

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