Greeley Planning Commission OKs 400-home subdivision in west Greeley
June 13, 2017
A new subdivision at the southwest corner of 10th Street and 83rd Avenue will still require final approval from planning staff before construction will begin. It’s unclear when home sales will begin in the area.
Greeley will continue its march west, as the city's planning commission on Tuesday approved a more than 400-home neighborhood on the southwest corner of 10th Street and 83rd Avenue.
The approval was for 166 acres of land that will include 428 residential lots, as well as 30 acres for multi-family housing. The planned neighborhood, called The Trails at Sheep Draw, comes with fees or donations up front for parks and fire services — the cost of doing business out west, where city services are still playing catch-up. Community Development Director Brad Mueller said the subdivision is about average size for Greeley.
Greeley-based Journey Homes is the builder, and that company specializes in affordable, starter homes. With still a few hurdles left to clear, it's unclear when construction will begin in the area.
Technically in the Windsor Re-4 School District, the neighborhood will feature a trail system, nice signage, split-rail fences, land for a city park and a connection to Sheep Draw Trail. It will not feature a metropolitan taxing district, areas with higher property taxes used to pay for development, that have become popular as of late.
Planning commission members peppered Journey representative Larry Buckendorf on the presence of active, vertical wells in the area. Buckendorf said such questioning was par for the course — and expected — since a home exploded April 17 in Firestone in south Weld, the result of a cut flow line leaking gas in and around the home's foundation. The line was abandoned, but it had not been properly capped.
This development, Buckendorf said, will ensure flow lines are identified and safe, and they'll be given their own easement to ensure safety in the future.
Developers have hopes of oil and gas operators shutting down the wells, which aren't as productive as new horizontal wells.
Until then, the lots featuring oil and gas wells will be left alone — and 200 feet back from other homes.
Commissioners asked city staffers about the 200-foot setback, less than half the state-required 500-foot setback for new drilling operations. The 500-foot setbacks, however, do not apply when locating housing near existing oil and gas wells.
Mueller gave a variety of explanations, including history and a 2006 study that used modeling to predict damage from explosions or fires. All of that points to 200 feet being safe, Mueller said.
Commissioners considered making the identification of flow lines part of the conditions of approval for the subdivision. Staffers recommended a number of other conditions:
Revise the plat to add a general note as follows: The development fees for parks and fire will be due prior to recording the final plat, and impact fees for police, sanitary sewer, water, storm sewer, park and transportation will be required at the time of issuance of individual building permit;
Revise the plat to show all lots meeting the minimum lot size standard of 6,000 square feet;
Revise the plat to show the oil and gas setback radius;
Revise the Preliminary Landscaping Treatment Plan by providing the appropriate buffer yards for the oil and gas facilities located within the proposed subdivision, and by providing a note that the connection to the Sheep Draw Trail will include a pedestrian bridge;
Revise the Preliminary Treatment Plan by showing all street trees to be located at 35 feet on center from each other street tree;
Provide a note on the plat that requires open fencing for all lots that face open space areas;
Provide a written approval to the city of Greeley from the North Boomerang Ditch Company that states they accept the location and design of the proposed ditch, with an easement width of 40 feet, or as otherwise mutually agreed upon.
Revise the associated construction drawings to show a combined single sewer line that would cross the high-pressure oil line (Suncor); in the event Suncor will not accept the crossing (provide documented Suncor crossing denial, Suncor reasoning for denial and why sewer design could not meet Suncor crossing requirements), parallel sewer lines will be considered, in a design and manner acceptable to the city.
The planned subdivision would have a longer than six-minute response time for firefighters should a fire break out. That's why the developer is required to provide a development fee for fire. The city would use that fee — eventually — to build a fire station closer to the subdivision in west Greeley.
Likewise, the developer will dedicate land for a park. It will be up to Greeley's parks department to finish it, though.
— Tyler Silvy covers government and politics for The Greeley Tribune. Reach him at email@example.com. Connect with him at Facebook.com/TylerSilvy or @TylerSilvy on Twitter.