Fort Collins may give final OK for ‘1041’ rules
FORT COLLINS — A final vote on regulations that would give the city of Fort Collins more say over large water and highway projects is among the highlights of Tuesday night’s crowded City Council agenda.
Among other issues due for final votes are appropriations for design of the West Elizabeth Street corridor, as well as the Community Development Block Grant and Home Investment Partnerships Grant funds, and rezoning of a northside mobile-home park. The council also will consider a resolution authorizing an intergovernmental agreement between the city and Larimer County for extension of the city’s “Connexion” broadband utility services into unincorporated areas of the county.
On a 6-1 vote on May 2, the council gave first-reading approval to rules that would implement its authority to address environmental and other concerns under state “1041” regulations. Passed in 1974, Colorado House Bill 1041 gives local authority to local governments in cases where governmental units are in conflict over developments, especially those of “statewide concern,” with one asserting authority over another. The council had placed a moratorium on such projects through June 30.
One such project is the Northern Integrated Supply Project, which has been in the works for years. Spearheaded by the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, known locally as Northern Water, NISP has received the state and federal regulatory approvals it needs to build two reservoirs in Northern Colorado and supply the water to multiple cities and water districts. One of those reservoirs, Glade, would be built north of Fort Collins and would feed into a pipeline running south and east, traversing some land within the city.
In September 2015, just after Larimer County commissioners had expressed support for NISP, the Fort Collins City Council unanimously passed a resolution opposing it over concerns about diminished flows of the Cache la Poudre River through the city.
The council’s first-reading approval of the 1041 rules came despite pleas from water-district officials and mayors from Windsor and Severance — as well as from council member Shirley Peel, who cast the lone dissenting vote — that collaboration through intergovernmental agreements offered a better solution to such disputes.
Projects not defined in the 1041 regulations would still be funneled through the city’s Site Plan Advisory Review process.
The two ordinances concerning appropriations to the grant funds were unanimously adopted on first reading May 2. They would appropriate the city’s fiscal-year 2023 Community Development Block Grant Entitlement Grant and Home Investment Partnerships Program grants from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development as well as income from the programs generated during fiscal years 2021 and 2022.
Also adopted unanimously on May 2 and due for final approval Tuesday is an ordinance allowing the city to receive and spend federal and Colorado Department of Transportation funds to proceed with design and outreach regarding improvements along West Elizabeth Street from Mason Street and the Colorado State University campus westward to Overland Drive. The ordinance would authorized spending $651,628 from the city’s Transportation Capital Expansion Fee and unanticipated revenue from Fort Collins’ Transfort public-transit system, $616,124 of matching funds provided by CSU, and $1,232,248 of multi-modal options grant funds for the project. The ordinance would appropriate $6,516 to the Art in Public Places Program.
The council may give a final nod to rezoning the 33-acre North College Mobile Home Park, southwest of the intersection of North College Avenue and Wilcox Lane, from Service Commercial and Low-Density Mixed-Use Neighborhood to a Manufactured Housing zone district. Currently, half the property is in the CS zone, and the other half is in LMN. The rezoning is part of the city’s push to promote preservation of existing manufactured-housing communities, and the Planning and Zoning Commission voted 5-1 on March 23 to recommend approval of the rezoning.
The intergovernmental agreement with Larimer County for Connexion would first extend services from the city-owned broadband utility to unincorporated areas near the intersection of Harmony and Taft Hill roads. The initial project would establish a cost- and revenue-sharing relationship through which the county would provide $3.58 million to fund the design and construction of the expansion of Connexion service, ultimately serving approximately 1,000 premises. Thereafter, Connexion would share with the county a portion of the service revenue from these areas.