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March 30, 2021

COMMISSIONERS’ PROCEEDINGS
March 30, 2021

Commissioners Scott Blain, Bill Bullock and Scott Miller; Administrative Officer Angela Newell; and Commissioners’ Secretary Barbara Krizek were present.

8:30 Pledge of Allegiance.

Commissioners attended a DUI Task Force meeting last Thursday and signed a proclamation declaring April as Alcohol Awareness Month.
9:00 Contract County Planner Forrest Mandeville, Clerk and Recorder Christine Stovall, Craig Dalton (Performance Engineering), Jon Moyers (Moyers Law, PC), Kim Wilson (Morrison, Sherwood, Wilson, Deola, PLLP), Bruce Tonn, Dan Catlin, Nev Harding, Denise Maas, Greg Nelson, Mike Cross, Susan Cross, Randy Foos, Diana Foos, Tom Spitzer, Lee Foos, Justin Foos, Ken Metzger, Chris Metzger, Jane Foot, Holly Letch, Beverly Haggerty, Debbie Grewell, and Carbon County News reporter Eleanor Guerrero joined for the Windmill Farms Minor Subdivision Preliminary Plat application.

Mandeville provided the staff report. Performance Engineering, on behalf of Windmill 312, LLC, Bruce Tonn, Partner, and Dan Catlin, has submitted a preliminary plat application for a 3-lot subdivision consisting of 66.25 acres. The tracts were created utilizing an agricultural covenant (Certificate of Survey 2425 AG), which exempted the creation of the property from subdivision review. Placing an agricultural covenant on the property restricts the property from being utilized in a non-agricultural way. However, review and approval of the proposed subdivision will lift the agricultural covenants. The subject property is located on the southeast corner of the intersection of Highway 310 and E. Pryor Road/Elwell Street. The property is legally described as Tracts 2, 3, and 4 of COS 2425 AG, located in Section 26, Township 4 South, Range 23 East, P.M.M., Carbon County, Montana.

Mandeville noted that the developer’s engineering firm (Performance Engineering) has, since the last Planning Board meeting, provided him further information regarding road access as well as a statement from Ervin Schlemmer regarding water availability in Edgar.
Mandeville detailed the Planning Staff recommendation: The Carbon County Planning Board considered this subdivision at their regular meeting of March 16, 2021, and, in a 5-2 vote (three members were absent), recommended approval of the Windmill Farms Subdivision, pursuant to the following conditions (section references are to the Carbon County Subdivision Regulations unless otherwise noted):

1. Filing of the final plat shall be subject to the review and approval by the County Sanitarian, addressing, to the extent possible, concerns about availability of water for existing users.
2. A notation shall be provided on the final plat that the subdivision is not subject to DEQ review per 76-4-102(22), MCA, but that the lots have been reviewed by the Carbon County Sanitarian.
3. A notation shall be provided on the final plat that legal and physical access is provided per 76-3-608(3)(d), MCA.
4. An easement for the irrigation ditch shall be shown on the final plat and the following statement shall be included on the plat: “Nothing herein nor any covenant shall diminish the unobstructed use and maintenance of the existing water delivery ditches, pipelines, and facilities in the subdivision that are necessary to convey water through the subdivision to land adjacent or to beyond the subdivision in quantities and in a manner that are consistent with historic and legal rights.” (Section V-A-18)
5. Per Section V-A-15., the final plat shall show the location of all existing and required utility easements, and must include the following statement: “The undersigned hereby grants unto each and every person, firm or corporation, whether public or private, providing or offering to provide telephone, telegraph, electric, power, gas, cable television, water or sewer service to the public, the right to the joint use of an easement for the construction, maintenance, repair and removal of the lines and other facilities, in, over, under and across each area designated on this plat as “Utility Easement” to have and hold forever.”
6. The developer shall demonstrate the criteria in Section V-A-10 has been met for the access from Loveland Ave. to Lot 2. It removal of vegetation is required to meet the criteria, it must be completed prior to the filing of the final plat.
7. The final plat shall be prepared and reviewed in accordance with Section IIIIV-C and the Uniform Standards for Final Subdivision Plats (24.183.1107, ARM).
8. Developer must enter into a weed management plan with the Carbon County Weed District, if required by the District.
9. Developer must provide confirmation of MDT’s approval of the access to Highway 310 prior to final plat.

Commissioner Bullock stated that since there is new information via the email Mandeville received yesterday from Performance Engineering that it would be prudent to table discussion until after the next planning board meeting. Dalton clarified that the information provided were just exhibits of potential options and not changes. Mandeville recommended that Commissioners ignore new information and only consider the application as submitted. Dalton said the developers would accept going forward with the Planning Board’s recommendation. After further back-and-forth discussion, Mandeville recommended tabling the decision.

Commissioner Blain moved to table the application until 10 days after next Planning Board meeting (April 27th); Commissioner Miller seconded; public comment from Grewell who would like to leave the property as agricultural land so as not to worry about water/septic for neighbors; Moyer would like to have full access to all information/concerns in advance; Nelson was concerned about access over Loveland Ave, wear on a clay pipe underneath the road, as well as septic/sewer issues. Other public members voiced concern over water contamination with sewage citing Edgar’s installation of a sewer system in the 1960s; motion carried.

10:00 Mandeville presented with the Hall Group 1 Development Permit and Variance request. Jesse Hall has submitted a variance application from setback requirements for a Group 1 Development Permit. The site of the proposed development is located in Roberts on the corner of Carbon Avenue and Larowe Street. The legal description is Lot 2 Amended, Plat 2282 RB, Section 32, T 5S, R 21E, Carbon County, MT. The applicant intends to construct a single-family residential home on the 0.172 acre property. The site is served by Roberts Water and Sewer. Due to the size and shape of the property, any development of the lot would be nearly impossible to meet the County setbacks of 30-feet from the front property line, 20-feet from the rear property line, and 10-feet from the sides, as the property is only 50 feet wide. The applicant has stated his intention to places a manufactured home on the site, and has indicated his willingness to place a deed restriction on the lot to not allow mobile homes. The Carbon County Development Regulations allow an applicant to request variance to allow for deviation from the literal interpretation of the requirements of the regulations. Variances may be granted if the request is determined to be not contrary to the public interest, and where, owing to special conditions, literal enforcement based on these regulations results in an unnecessary hardship, excluding financial hardships.

Mandeville provided the Planning Staff’s recommendation. The County Planning Board recommends approval of the Hall Group 1 Development Permit variance, pursuant to the following conditions:

1. The variance approval shall be interpreted as the minimum needed – i.e. to allow 10-foot front and rear setbacks as shown on the site plan. Any other encroachment into the setback will be in violation of the Development Regulations.
2. A deed restriction shall be placed on the property disallowing placement of mobile homes on the site.
3. Any deviation from the site plan must be made known to the Planning Office to determine whether or not the deviation is in compliance with the approved development permit or if a new permit is needed.
4. All other necessary permits must be obtained. This includes obtaining an approved rural address.
Having reviewed and considered the variance request, staff report, public comment, Planning Board recommendation, and all of the information presented, Commissioner Miller moved to conditionally approve of the variance request for the Hall Group 1 Development Permit; Commissioner Blain seconded; no public comment; motion carried.
10:15 Commissioner Blain moved to accept the contract with Cushing Terrell for planning services; Commissioner Miller seconded; no public comment; motion carried.

Commissioner Miller moved to approve Commissioner Proceedings for March 11, 16 and 18; Commissioner Blain seconded; motion carried.

Commissioner Miller moved to approve Employee Time as submitted; Commissioner Blain seconded; motion carried.

10:30 Clerk and Recorder Christine Stovall and Geospatial Information Systems Coordinator / Fire Warden Tom Kohley joined to discuss the Road Superintendent position. Commissioner Bullock would prefer to hire three road crew positions with management residing with the Foremen; while Commissioner Blain agreed that less administration is better but that a Superintendent could increase efficiencies. Newell recounted discussion about Commissioners’ time being freed up to attend to other County business. Commissioner Blain noted that 54 counties in the state function with a Road Superintendent. Commissioner Bullock noted that while other departments have increased in staffing to accommodate the growth of the County, the Road Department has not grown while the expectation of service has grown. Commissioner Miller expressed that efficiencies can be created by more open communication between district Foremen, but that ultimately timing would be better in the future regarding on-boarding a Superintendent. Newell contemplated the position as part of a bigger growth discussion in the longer term. Commissioners decided to budget a Superintendent for the upcoming fiscal year, with the understanding that without a perfect candidate, the position will remain unfilled.

Stovall approached Commissioners about the Secretary position on the Tax Appeal board; so far, no interest.

11:00 Commissioner Blain moved to transfer County bank accounts from First Interstate Bank to Bank of Bridger; Commissioner Miller seconded; Newell discussed cost savings through better interest rates and decreased payroll ACH processing fees; motion carried.

Discussion regarding Richard Gorsuch’s notice of retirement from the Joliet Road District; Newell will begin advertising a Road Crew vacancy and hiring pool next week non-specific to Road District.

12:00 Adjourned.

2:30 Commissioners returned to discuss the agenda for the Detention Facility Community Advisory Committee meeting tomorrow night and the public meeting being held at the Fair Grounds on April 14.