Developer Skip Howes’ application to the Woodland Park Planning Commission for a conditional use permit for Tamarac Contractor Services at Tamarac Tech Park has been filed twice – but his third time before planners, at their April 28 meeting, has does the trick.
Unbeknownst to Howes, the service located at 1010 Research Drive in Tamarac Tech Park has operated for over 20 years with no conditional use license required. When Woodland Park annexed the area in 1997, maps show the building was already there. Photographs taken in 2004 show that there was already a contractor services business on the site. The need for a conditional use permit was triggered when Howes requested the construction of a second driveway and other improvements.
As the meeting agenda stated, “The purpose of this conditional use license application is to bring an existing non-compliant use into compliance. …”
The planning commission first heard Howes’ application on March 10 and asked Howes to work with planning staff to revise the terms. The request was filed at the April 14 meeting, but Howes and staff had more work to do, so it was refiled.
Technical issues prevented the Zoom audience from hearing the first hour of the meeting, but audio was semi-fixed in time to hear the committee unanimously approve Howes’ request with a change to one of the conditions. and an additional condition.
The requested change was to fees. The planning commissioners wanted to make it clear that even if the current fees have been paid, there may be more fees in the future. The added condition allows a 25 foot setback in front of a 6 foot fence.
“We’re comfortable with a 25-foot setback,” commission chairman Ken Hartsfield said.
Normally, a site plan would be submitted with the conditional use permit application, but planning director Karen Schminke calls the site plan a concept plan because the business already exists.
When the conditional use permit application is presented to Woodland Park City Council on May 19, it will be referred to as the “Final Concept Site Plan”.
Commissioner Lee Brown pointed out that many of the conditions listed had little or nothing to do with the commission’s recommendation to approve the permit application.
“Are any of these terms informative? ” He asked.
“Yeah, that way we know it’s all done,” Schminke said.
An audience member complained about the company, but Commissioner Larry Larsen replied, “This property was already zoned commercial before you built your homes. I understand your concerns, but this property has been zoned for this use.
At the end of the meeting, Schminke announced that the city had hired a new senior planner, Chelsea Stromberg, who previously served as a planner for Pueblo and Colorado Springs.
Commissioner Al Bunge, absent for several meetings, resigned from the commission. Schminke said a change in Bunge’s work schedule has created scheduling conflicts.