Pueblo County Code - Title 17 - Chapter 17.140 APPEALS - Article 1

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17.140.010 Special use permits.

     The County Planning Commission is authorized:
     A. To hear and decide appeals for Special Use Permits required by the terms of this Title;
     B. To receive testimony under oath and to make such studies and surveys as are required to carry out the duties set forth herein;
     C. To request information or opinions from any other agencies and commissions relative to such application;
     D. To request information or opinions from any administrative officer of the County or any other person or persons, including State agencies, considered expert on the matter before the Commission;
     E. To attach such requirements, conditions and/or reviews to actions on applications for Special Use Permits presented to it as it, in its discretion, feels necessary to carry out the intent and purposes of this Title.
     F. Any proposed activity or use, not otherwise exempt from, and which requires a permit pursuant to Division II, Areas and Activities of State and Local Interest (1041 Regulations), as now enacted or hereafter amended, shall not require application for and issuance of a Special Use Permit by the Pueblo County Planning Commission.

17.140.020 Applications.

   Any person and/or any public or private agency making an application for a Special Use Permit to the Planning Commission shall submit the same in writing on forms provided by the Pueblo County Department of Planning and Development for that purpose.

17.140.030 Fees.

   Applications for a Special Use Permit shall be accompanied by a fee as set forth in a separate Resolution of the Board of County Commissioners, which fee must be paid and a receipt therefore be presented to the Secretary of the Planning Commission prior to the hearing on the application. All fees shall be made payable to the County of Pueblo. Fees paid and collected pursuant to this Chapter shall not be refundable.

17.140.040 Public hearings.

   Actions of the Planning Commission on applications for Special Use Permits shall be taken at public hearings, notice of which has been given by the Secretary of the Planning Commission no less than ten (10) days before the date set for such action in the following manner:
   A. Such notice shall give the time, date, and place of the hearing, a brief description of the application and the legal description and/or street address of the property for which such Special Use Permit is sought.
   B. A copy of such notice shall be sent by mail to the last known address of owners of real property lying within three hundred (300) feet of the exterior boundaries of the property for which the Special Use Permit is sought. Failure to mail such notice to every property owner due to clerical omissions shall not affect the validity of any hearing or determination of the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission, however, may determine that such omission should be corrected and, therefore, may continue any such hearing until such time as notice in compliance herewith is made.
   C. A copy of such notice shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the County.
   D. Proof of compliance with this Chapter shall be by the written statement of the Secretary of the Planning Commission, giving the names and addresses of the persons to whom the notice was mailed, and the date of mailing, and that the Publisher's Affidavit of Publication will be obtained. Such proofs shall become a part of the record of the hearing of the Planning Commission on the Special Use Permit application.

17.140.050 Special Use Permit Standards.

   Before approving an application for a Special Use Permit, the Planning Commission shall find, based upon evidence and testimony presented at the hearing, that the following conditions have been met:
   A. The requested use is a use listed as a special use in the zone district in which the parcel is located. Alternatively, the Planning Commission may find, based upon the determination of the Pueblo County Zoning Administrator or upon its own finding, that a requested use is similar to those uses listed as uses-by-right or -by-review in the zone district in which the parcel is located. A similar use determination by the Zoning Administrator or by the Pueblo County Planning Commission shall not be site specific and shall thereafter be binding upon Pueblo County in the interpretation and administration of this Title unless and until the same is amended in accordance with law and regulation.
   B. The granting of the Special Use Permit will not substantially modify the Land Use plan or the intent, purpose and spirit of this Title.
   C. The Special Use Permit proposal incorporates reasonable means to create an environment harmonious with that of the surrounding properties.
   D. The Special Use Permit will not adversely affect the public health, safety, or welfare.

17.140.060 Action of Special Use Permit applications.

   Actions of the Planning Commission on applications for Special Use Permits need not be in writing or set forth in any special form, but the record of such hearing shall, when considered as a whole, include a factual basis for the finding of the Planning Commission that the standards for the granting of a Special Use Permit have been met. The Planning Commission should state clearly for the record those factors, which they have considered in reaching their decision to grant or deny a Special Use Permit. Special Use Permits approved by the Planning Commission shall not be personal to the applicant, but shall be transferable and shall run with the land for which the permit has been approved.

17.140.070 Establishment of Special Uses: Administrative Reviews.
 

   A. The staff of the Pueblo County Department of Planning and Development shall conduct an administrative review of all Special Use Permits within one (1) year from the date of approval of such Special Use Permit. The administrative review shall be set forth in writing and shall advise the Planning Commission of staff's determinations as to whether or not the use has been established and, if so, if it has been established in conformance with any conditions placed upon the approval. Staff may modify or change the conditions of approval where such conditions have been satisfied or, due to the passage of time and the happening of circumstances, are no longer applicable. Any such change or modification may be reviewed and changed or eliminated by the Planning Commission conducting an administrative review. If the use has not been established, staff shall so advise the Planning Commission, but shall also advise whether the applicant is proceeding with due diligence in establishing the use in accordance with the conditions placed upon the Special Use Permit approval.
   B. Upon receipt of the administrative review conducted by staff, the Planning Commission may receive the report on the record at a Public Meeting and give staff such direction as it, in its sole discretion, deems necessary. Alternatively, if the Planning Commission, in its discretion, determines that the applicant is not proceeding with due diligence to establish the Special Use Permit in accordance with the conditions placed on the approval, then it may direct staff to so advise the applicant of its concerns and, further, to schedule a hearing pursuant to notice in accordance with this Chapter ordering the applicant to show cause why the Special Use Permit should not be revoked for a failure to establish the use or to proceed with due diligence in establishing the use in accordance with the conditions placed on the approval.
   C. A Special Use Permit may, after a public hearing conducted pursuant to notice, be revoked if:
   1. In the judgment of the Planning Commission the applicant has failed to establish the use or has failed to proceed with due diligence in establishing the use, in accordance with the conditions placed on the approval; or
   2. If the use was established but has been discontinued. In no event shall a previously granted Special Use Permit be revoked prior to the expiration of one year from the date of its original grant.
   D. Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding paragraphs of this Chapter, a special use which has not been established or which has been established but thereafter discontinued for a period of five (5) or more years shall be deemed abandoned and, thereafter, upon the request of staff, the Planning Commission, acting in its administrative capacity, may issue a Declaration of Abandonment of the Special Use Permit or the Planning Commission may, in its discretion, continue the Special Use Permit for an additional period certain.

17.140.080 Time limit for consideration.

   Decisions by the Planning Commission on Special Use Permit applications shall be rendered within sixty (60) days from the date of the hearing. Failure of the Planning Commission to render a decision within the allotted time shall constitute acceptance of the Special Use Permit application. Upon mutual agreement of the Planning Commission and the applicant, the time period within which the Planning Commission shall act on a Special Use Permit may be extended.

17.140.090 Reapplication.

   In the event an appeal for a Special Use Permit is denied, no new appeal shall be made for the same or a substantially similar special use on the same property covered by the original application within six (6) months of the denial.

17.140.100 Appeals to the Board of County Commissioners.

Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Planning Commission may, upon the terms and conditions hereinafter set forth, appeal the decision of the Planning Commission to the Board of County Commissioners.  The term "any person or entity" as used herein shall include, but not be limited to, any department, under the direction of its director, of Pueblo County.

17.140.101 Procedure.

Any person or entity desiring to appeal a decision of the Planning Commission upon a Special Use Permit may initiate an appeal by filing a request for the same with the Director of the Pueblo County Planning and Development Department.  Such request for an appeal shall include the number of the Special Use Permit being appealed, the date of the decision rendered by the Pueblo County Planning Commission, the decision of the Pueblo County Planning Commission and the grounds for the objection to the decision.  Such appeal shall be initiated by such person or entity by filing the request in writing with the Director of the Pueblo County Planning and Development Department within ten (10) days of the date of the final decision of the Planning Commission.  Such time limitation shall be jurisdictional and no request for an appeal will be considered if filed later than the period specified herein.

17.140.102  Consideration of Appeal.

A review before the Board of County Commissioners upon a request for appeal from the Pueblo County Planning Commission's final decision granting or denying a Special Use Permit is a matter addressed to, and to be determined by and within, the sound and sole discretion of the Board of County Commissioners.  Requests for appeal will be granted only where there are special and important reasons therefore.  The following considerations, while not limiting, measuring or completely controlling the Board of County Commissioners' discretion, are an indication of the type and character of reasons which will be considered by the Board in deciding whether or not to hear an appeal.

A.    Where there have been conflicting, or apparently conflicting, decisions by the Planning Commission on the same or substantially similar Special Use Permit applications.

B.    Where the decision being appealed has or may have a significant impact on the administration of the land use regulatory authority of Pueblo County.

C.    Where the decision on the Special Use Permit is, or appears to be, contrary to the dictates of the Pueblo County Comprehensive Plan.

D.    Where the Special Use Permit application involves consideration of matters important to the overall regulatory policy of the Board of County Commissioners.

E.    Where the Special Use Permit application has drawn significant interest amongst the community at large and beyond the more immediate interests of the applicant landowner and adjacent landowners.

17.140.103  Board Action.

The Board of County Commissioners shall consider such requests for appeal in accordance with the standards set forth in the previous section and shall, first, make a decision whether or not to grant and hear the appeal within forty-five (45) days following the date of the final action on the Special Use Permit application by the Pueblo County Planning Commission.  The Board may issue a decision refusing to grant and hear the appeal and, upon the date which the Board issues such final action, the decision of the Board shall affirm the decision of the Pueblo County Planning Commission and, shall, for all purposes, including further appeal to the Courts, be final.

Alternatively, the Board may decide to grant and hear the appeal and, in such event, the Pueblo County Department of Planning and Development shall notify the person or entity initiating the appeal and, additionally, shall prepare, send and publish notice of the hearing on the appeal in accordance with the following provisions.

A.    A notice shall be prepared which gives the time, date, and place of the hearing, a brief description of the appeal and the legal description and/or street address of the property to which the Special Use Permit being reviewed applies.

B.    A copy of such notice shall be sent by mail to the person or entity initiating the appeal and, further, to those same persons or entities at their last known addresses to whom notice of the hearing before the Pueblo County Planning Commission on the Special Use Permit was given.  Failure to mail such notice to every property owner due to clerical omission shall not affect the validity of any hearing or determination of the Board of County Commissioners.  The Board of County Commissioners, however, may determine that such act of omission should be corrected and, therefore, may continue any such hearing until such time as notice in compliance herewith is made.

C.    A copy of such notice shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the County.

D.    Proof of compliance with this Chapter shall be by the written statement of the Director of the Department of Planning and Development, or his designee, giving the names and addresses of the persons to whom the notice was mailed, and the date of mailing, and that the publisher's affidavit of publication will be obtained.  Such proof shall become a part of the record of the hearing before the Board of County Commissioners on the appeal.

The hearing on all appeals granted by the Board of County Commissioners in accordance with this Section shall be de novo and the hearings shall be conducted in the same manner as are other land use hearings pursuant to the Pueblo County Zoning Resolution.  The decision of the Board, after hearing, shall be made through the application of the Board's findings on the evidence presented at the hearing and applying the standards for Special Use Permits set forth in Section 17.140.050 of this Code.

The Board shall take action on an appeal so heard at a public meeting and its action need not be in writing or set forth in any special form, but the record of such hearing shall, when considered as a whole, include a factual basis for the finding of the Board that the standards for the granting of a Special Use Permit have, or have not, been met.  The Board of County Commissioners should state clearly for the record those factors, which it has considered in reaching its decision to grant or deny a Special Use Permit.  Special Use Permits approved by the Board of County Commissioners pursuant to this Section shall not be personal to the applicant, but shall be transferable and shall run with the land for which the permit has been approved.

The Board may, in accordance with the provisions of this Section, reverse or modify the decision of the Pueblo County Planning Commission or the Board may affirm the decision of the Pueblo County Planning Commission.  The Board shall enact its final decision on such appeals by a summary written resolution and the decision of the Board shall, for all purposes, including appeals to the Courts, be final on the date of enactment of said resolution.

In the event the Board decides to hear an appeal in accordance with the provisions of this Section, it shall render a final decision and the resolution referenced herein no later than ninety (90) days following the date upon which the Pueblo County Planning Commission action on the Special Use Permit application was entered and became final.

17.140.104  Legal Remedy.

The findings and decision of the Board of County Commissioners on such appeals for Special Use Permits shall be final.  Appeals to the District Court shall be made within thirty (30) days from the date of the final action by the Board of County Commissioners on appeals of Special Use Permit decisions as specified herein.

17.140.105  Fee.

All applications for the appeal of a Special Use Permit decision previously entered by the Pueblo County Planning Commission shall be accompanied by a fee as set forth in a separate Resolution of the Board of County Commissioners, which fee must be paid and a receipt therefore be presented to the Director of the Pueblo County Department of Planning and Development prior to any action by the Board on the appeal.  All fees shall be made payable to the County of Pueblo.  Fees paid and collected pursuant to this Chapter shall not be refundable.  No application for an appeal will be considered unless the same is accompanied, when submitted, by a payment of the required fee.