City Council votes on moratorium and meeting procedures

Austria Cohn

a sign that reads "city hall"
A sign stands signifying Fort Collins City Hall at 300 Laporte Ave. Nov. 8, 2020. (Skyler Pradhan | The Collegian)

The Fort Collins City Council meeting on Oct. 19 discussed the options for establishing 1041 regulations, which includes a moratorium, with many Fort Collins residents speaking during the public comment for this item.

The council meeting discussion topics also included council meeting rules and procedures and the Northfield development. The last discussion item, the Sam’s Club gas station appeal, has been postponed until Jan. 18, 2022. There were also two consent items pulled for further discussion.

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At public comment, many Fort Collins residents expressed their opinions on the moratorium, including fears for adopting this while others focused on the benefits.

The majority of the council meeting focused on the second reading of two ordinances that had to do with the establishment of 1041 regulations, which apply to new/expanded domestic water, highways and interchanges. 

Originally, there were three options for the adoption of the moratorium, and City Attorney Carrie Daggett mentioned a fourth option that was integrated into the ordinance language and adopted. 

Option 1: The council adopts the ordinance and the moratorium goes into effect immediately and would last for one year.

Option 2: The council postpones the ordinance until June 7, 2022, and City staff would begin community engagement and drafting regulations. If the ordinance was passed in June, it would last for six months. 

Option 3: The council would not include a moratorium and would postpone the ordinance indefinitely. 

The fourth option that was adopted includes a moratorium being put in effect immediately and lasting until the council adopts the 1041 regulations

The reading of Ordinance No. 122, which includes the moratorium, came to a vote 6-1 with Councilmember Shirley Peel of District 4 voting against

This gives the local government control over development projects occurring within natural areas or parks, even if the project has statewide impacts

“When we first started this, I was thinking that 1041 powers or regulations are a great tool in our toolbox, like (Councilmember) Kelly (Ohlson) says,” Peel said. “I still don’t think we understand the unintended consequences of this.” 

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The second ordinance, No. 123 (“Appropriating Prior Year Reserves to Support Completion of the 1041 Regulations Project”), passed with a 6-1 vote, Peel against

The next item discussed was council meeting rules and procedures. One change made was that a speaker cannot comment during discussion of a particular agenda item if they also spoke on it during general public comment.

Another change to the meeting rules and procedures was the language used, removing the use of  “his or her” in favor of “they.” 

The ordinance and resolution were both passed 4-3, with Ohlson, Peel and Councilmember Susan Gutowsky voting against

The second to last item for discussion was “Approving First Amendment to Agreement to Secure Public Benefits for the Northfield Development.”

The Northfield developer partnered with Mercy Housing to provide affordable rental housing units, which would be 64 units in total. This amendment is providing affordable housing by renting, and it passed 7-0

The first of the two consent items was No. 14, “Making an Appointment to the Planning and Zoning Commission.” The resolution for this consent item came to a vote of 5-2, with Ohlson and Gutowsky against

The second item was No. 11, “Items Relating to the Purchase and Sale Agreement for City-Owned Land at 3620 Kechter Road.” The two ordinances associated with this item were No. 137 and No. 138, both of which were adopted 7-0

For a the full meeting or to view the voting results, go to the City’s website

Austria Cohn can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @AustriaCohn.