Rocky Road CUP request; Felt cell tower CUP
Rocky Road: Decision put off until November hearing
15 years ago, the county approved a manufacturing spot zone on the property that has now become Rocky Road Industrial Park. From day one, the neighbors were in opposition, but the county continuously assured them that the industrial businesses would have to comply with strict performance standards to mitigate their impacts. Over time, there has consistently been a lack of compliance with the CUP conditions, and a lack of CC&R enforcement by the Rocky Road Home Owner’s Association. The confusion as to which lots in Rocky Road have valid CUPs has also greatly contributed to the history of compliance issues. That confusion seemed to remain at this hearing.
It was VARD’s understanding that last month’s site visit to Rocky Road by P&Z was done at the insistent request of the neighbors that all the Rocky Road CUPs be reviewed so more effective conditions could be imposed. It was also our understanding that the goal of this BOCC hearing was to review the conditions for all of the existing CUPs and grant the remaining lots their CUPs. That way everyone would be on the same page with the same set of conditions for compliance. Providing that consistency would greatly improve the present situation for both the neighbors and the lot owners.
However, the discussion by the BOCC seemed to focus only on the bulk application for granting a blanket CUP on the 9 lots in Rocky Road that did not previously have valid CUPs. It was unclear why the P&Z’s site visit and review of all the Rocky Road CUPs was not discussed. For a while it seemed that BOCC was determined to create some kind of on-the-spot solution for these 9 lots despite the adamant opinion from County Attorney Kathy Spitzer that it was legally improper to be granting a blanket CUP for all of these vacant lots when there was no real plan for development any time soon.
After much debate, the BOCC voted to continue this application, and directed the lot owners of Rocky Road to submit a commercial development agreement for every lot in Rocky Road. This is a good start to creating an enforceable contract between Rocky Road and the county that will ensure compliance. Only 3 lot owners from Rocky Road even attended the hearing, thus in order to really make these commercial development agreements work, every single lot owner needs to participate in these negotiations so they understand the obligations in the commercial development agreement.
Felt cell tower CUP unanimously approved with several conditions
Edge Wireless submitted a proposal to construct an 80-foot cell tower on lot 9 of the Felt townsite. At the top of everyone’s list of concerns with this CUP were the visual impact of the tower and whether the tower could be designed to be less obtrusive. The BOCC approved this CUP application with some specific conditions regarding the mitigation of visual impacts. VARD commented that now is a good time for the county to devise a cell tower plan to pinpoint future locations for any necessary towers in the valley. This way, the towers site can be specially selected in advance to not obscure scenic views, and also maximize the efficiency of their coverage areas.