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6A - Recommendations to City Council to approve the vacation of specific access easements in the DevCIT1~ OF BOULDER FLANNING BOARD AGENDA ITEM MEETING DATE: Apri120, 2400 (Agenda Item Preparation Date: April 13, 2000 AGENDA TITLE: This memorandum constitutes official notice, as required by Section 79 of the City of Boulder Charter, of a request for a right-of-way vacation. The request is to vacate certain access easements located in the Devil's Thumb Subdivision. REQUESTING DEPARTMENT: Peter Pollock, Planning Director Robert O. Cole, Director of Project Review Jerry P. Gordon, Deputy City Attorney Maureen T. Amundson, Legal Assistant OVERVIEW: The City Attorney's Office is proposing to vacate six access easements adjacent to the Devil's Thumb Subdivision to satisfy a condition of the Settlement Agreement entered into between the City of Boulder and the Devil's Thumb Homeowners' Association. This Settlement Agreement was approved on December 16, 1999, by the Open Space Board of Trustees and on January 4, 2000, by the City Council. BACKGROUND: After years of negotiation and exchange between the City and the Devil's Thumb Homeowners' Association ("Association"), a settlement has been negotiated regarding public access to City Open Space in the Devil's Thumb area. The City owns Open Space land (also referred to as the "greenbelt areas") adjacent to the Devil's Thumb Subdivision and adjacent to portions of the common area owned by the Association. The dispute arose as a result of vague and unclear language contained in the original platting of this area on January 3, 1974, the date of the original Devil's Thumb Subdivision Filing #6. Since that time, an access committee convened and the s:\plan\pb-items~nemos~madevil.pbm AGENDA ITEM #!v/7 Page 1 City and the Association have continuously met and corresponded without success in resolving these issues, until now. The Agreement in Settlement of a Dispute Between the City of Boulder and the D.~vil's Thumb Homeowners' Association ("Agreement") was approved on December 16, 1999, by the Open Space Board of Trustees and on January 4, 2000, by the City Council. Part of the Agreement includes a requirement that the City vacate its interests in specific access points. The Agreement does not take effect until the City Council passes an ordinance vacating claims to access easements across Access Points #l, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. In exchange for the vacation of these access easements, the City and the Association have agreed to three access points. The Association will dedicate a specific access easement at access point #3 so that the ownership interests are clearly defined. The Agreement provides that the City agees to vacate, release, waive and relinquish any legal claims supporting public access acrt?ss Association property or other non-City owned property with reference to the following acc~:,~ points (see Area Map, Attachment A): Access Point #l: Wildwood Road; Access Point #~ ~ End of Stony Hill Road; Access Point #5: Stony Hill Road; Access Point #6: Blue Sage Court; Access Point #7: End of Viewpoint Road; and Access Point #8: Viewpoint Road (vacant lot access). The Association and the City also agree that the following three of the disputed access points are appropriate for public access: Access Point #2: Wildwood Road (adjacent to the power station Public Service Company); Access Point #3: Bear Mountain Drive; and Access Point #9: Cragmoor Road (end of the road). Once City Council approves the vacation of interest in access points #1, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, then a Grant of Access Easement for Access Point #3 from the Devil's Thumb Homeowners' Association can be recorded. The City has already established its rights to access points #2 and #9. ANALYSIS: City Council adopted the following guidelines for the vacation of public-rights-of-way in Section 8-6-9, B.R.C., 1981. s:\plan\pb-items~nemos~madevil.pbm AGENDA IT'EM #(OJ~ Page 2 It is presumed that easements or rights-of-way were originally acquired or dedicated for a valid purpose. Applicants seeking to vacate said portions ofproperties bear the burden to show tlsat the change is not contrary to the public interest. Vacation of these access points is not contrary to the public interest, rather vacation of these access points is sound land management practice. Providing three specified access points will help eliminate the web of undesignated trails that are currently used for access to Open Space. Additionally, access at point #5 is not a desirable access to focus public use due to the potential for high environmental impacts as Fern Creek is a natural and relatively undisturbed riparian and montane shrubland with high wildlife habitat values. 2. All agencies and departments having a conceivable interest in the easement or right-of- way must indicate that no need exists, either at the present or conceivable in the future, to retain the property as an easement or right-of-way, either for its original purpose or for some public purpose. The proposed vacation has been reviewed by the City Development Review Committee. All agencies and departments have reviewed this proposal and agree that no need exists now or in the future to retain the areas proposed for vacation. Additionally, Public Service Company, U.S. West and AT&T (TCI Cablevision) have all consented to these vacations. 3. The applicant must demonstrate, consistent with the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan and the City's Land Use Regulations, either: a) that failure to vacate an existing right-of-way or easement on the property would cause substantial hardship to the use of the property consistent with the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan and the City's Land Use Regulations; or b) that the vacation of the easement or right-of-way would actually provide a greater public bene~t than retaining the property in its present status. As stated above, vacation of these access points allows the implementation of the Agreement and accomplishes the following: 1. Ending a long-term, ongoing 25-year dispute which needs resolution; 2. Ecological benefits for choosing Access Points #2, 3 and 9 versus the alternatives. These benefits include elimination of undesignated social trails and protection for the Fern Creek corridor; 3. An access agreement with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research ("UCAR"), the custodian of the National Center for Atmospheric Research ("NCAR") Mesa Lab property, which makes it possible to designate Access Points #2 and 3 as official Open Space access points; and s:\plan\pb-items~nemos~madevil.pbm AGENDA ITEM #~A Page 3 4. Allowing the City and the Association to work cooperatively in enhancing and encouraging both public AND neighborhood use of the chosen access points. There are a number of inerits in having this dispute resolved for the sake of the City and the Association. The City has already established its rights to Access Points #2 and #9. Access Point #2 is an outlot owned by Public Service Company, which allows for City and public use. Access Point #9 is owned by the City and is a legal public access. Furthermore, there is less environmental impact if the trails remain in these established locations. These access points are not in dispute between the City and the Association. The City believes that Access Point #3 is the best additional access point for a number of reasons: (1) there is a pattern of established use at Access Point #3 and this access point is most easily accessible by the public, (2) there is an existing maintained trail to which this access point leads, (3) natural resource impacts are less at Access Point #3 than in other contested access points, and (4) an Agreement with UCAR is in place allowing the public to pass through the NCAR Mesa Lab property via Access Point #3. PUBLIC COMMENT AND PROCESS: Prior to the Agreement's approval by the Open Space Board of Trustees, the Homeowners' Association representatives visited with each Association member to explain the settlement agreement and obtain the consensus needed to make it work. The proposal was approved by the Association by a vote of approximately 183 in favor and 3 against on November 30, 1999. There was public participation at the hearing before the Open Space Board on December 16th, 1999 at which time the Open Space Board of Trustees recommended that the City Council approve the Agreement. On January 4, 2000, the Agreement was approved by the City Council. The final vacation ordinance will provide that the provisions of Section 8-6-9(b), B.R.C. 1981, that relate to requirements for mailed notification of these vacations to surrounding property owners will be suspended. Instead, notice will be provided by publication and posting of said properties. Additionally, all surrounding property owners are aware of these vacations, due to the Homeowner's Association approval of the Settlement Agreement with the City. No letters have been received from the public regarding this vacation proposal. NEXT STEP: After receiving comments from the Planning Board, staff will prepare a recommendation for City Council action. Vacation of right-of-way requires approval of an ordinance by City Council after a public hearing. s:\plan\pb-items~rnemos~madevil.pbm AGENDA ITEM #(G ~ Pa~e 4 STAFF RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends that the Planning Board pass a motion recommending that the City Council approve the vacation of interests in access points #1, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 in the Devil's Thumb Subdivision. Approved By: / ~Peter Pollock, Pl nning Director ATTACHMENTS: Attachment A: Area Map Depicting Access Points to be Vacated Attachment B: Vicinity Map Attachment C: Legal Descriptions s:\plan\pb-items~nemos~madevil.pbm AGENDA ITEM #~~ Paee 5 ATTACHM~:N'1' A ~ Map~ Depicting Access Points to be Vacated by the City of Boulder Within the Devils Thumb Subdivision Access Points to be Vacated by the City of Boulder O Lot 66 of the Replat of a portion of Devils Thumb Subdivision Filing No. 6 'Tract Y" of Devils T /umb Subdivision Filing No. 6 Q "Tract Z" of Devils Thumb Subdivision Filing No. 6 O "Pedestrian Walkway" dedicated on Devils Thumb Subdivision Filing No.5 Q "Pedestrian Walkway" dedicated on Devils Thumb Subdivision Filing No. 5 Q 'Tract H" on Devils Thumb Subdivision Filing No. 1 ,~~r~~/ ~ e ~ ~ryof so~`'° Legend 02000 City of Boulder, ~o~o~~ Q Access Point ~ ~ot 66 Ciry of Boulder Open Space q~~ riyyhts reserved. The map infortnation contained hereon is iMended Iorthe sde To Be Vacated ~ Tract H Other Govemment Land use of the purchaser and may not be coped, duplipted or redistributed in ss Point O ~ Trad Y ~°~y~ Creek a~~f, in whole or in part, without the expressed written consent of the City of Othe Q Trad Z ~ •~~ Trail N Proposed Access Route for Access The infortnatiai de ided is rovided as a 2 hiql re resentation onl While P P 9 P P Y~ Number 3 source documents were developed in compliance with National Map Accuraq Standards, the City oi Boulder provides no guarantee, express or 0 100 Meters Q 0 250 500 Feet implied, as to the accuracy and/or completeness of the information contained 0 N hereon. ~genda ftem ~ _~~_ Page # ~ Main Roads ~ Arterial ~ Highway Street Centertines ~-~~~~~~~ Survey Polygons Lakes _.. City Limits '/1 ll.~%/~ ~ ~~~~ ~ MapLink City of Boulder GIS ~.~1 N Scale 1:1200 1 inch = 100 feet 10m00 Feet .Y ion onfy. The City of 8oulder provides information contained hereon. agei~ua ~t~~~ . -- -- a~ ~ - ATTACHMENT C LEGAL DESCRIPTION ACCESS POINT #1 Lot 66 of the Replat of a Portion of Devils Thumb Subdivision Filing No. 6, recorded at Boulder County Clerk and Recorder's Office Planfile P-5 F-2 No. 22, and more commonly known as 1205 Wildwood Road, City of Boulder, County of Boulder, Colorado. LEGAL DESCRIPTION ACCESS POINT #5 Tract 'Z' of Devils Thumb 5ubdivision Filing No. 6, recorded at Boulder County Clerk and Recorder's Office Planfile P-4 F-3 No. 22. LEGAL DESCRIPTION ACCESS POINT #6 The pedestrian walkway or public access between Lots 16 and 17 and as designated in Plat Note 3 of the plat for Devils Thumb Subdivision Filing No. 5, recorded at Boulder County Clerk and Recorder's Office Planfile P-4 F-2 No. 17 and as shown on the plat thereof. LEGAL DESCRIPTION ACCESS POINT #7 The pedestrian walkway or public access between Lots 1 and 2 and as designated in Plat Note 3 of the plat for Devils Thumb 5ubdivision Filing No. 5, recorded at Boulder County Clerk and Recorder's Office Planfile P-4 F-2 No. 17 and as shown on the plat thereof. LEGAL DESCRIPTION ACCESS POINT #8 Tract'H' as shown on the Devils Thtunb Subdivision Filing No. l, recorded at Boulder County Clerk and Recorder's Office Planfile R-2-1-22. H:bc-legalpbmemo ,a~enda Item ~ . ~~ Page # ~_ LEGAL DESCRIPTION ACCESS POINT #4 Tract 'Y' of Devils Thumb Subdivision Filing No. 6, recorded at Boulder County Clerk and Recorder's Office Planfile P-4 F-3 No. 22, and Tract'Y' of a Replat of a Portion of Devils T'humb Subdivision Filing No. 6, recorded at Boulder County Clerk and Recorder's Office Planfile P-5 F-2 No. 22, excepting the access easement as shown on Exhibit A, attached hereto and incorporated herein by this reference. H:~x-legalpbmemo ~qenda It~m # ~~ _ Page # ~ LEGAL DESCRIPTION A twenty foot wide easement located in the S.W. 1/4, S.E. 1/4, Section 7, Township 1 S., Range 70 W., 6th P.M., over and across a part of Tract `Y' of Devils Thumb Subdivision Filing No. 6 a subdivision of a part of the City of Boulder, Colorado, according to the recorded plat thereof, described as being ten feet on both sides of the following described centerline: Beginning at a point on the line between Corner No. 6 and Corner No. 7 of the exterior boundary of said Devils Thumb Subdivision (said line being denoted by a number 6 in a circle on the N.E. end of said Line and by a number 7 in a circle on the S.W. end of said Line on said recorded plat) from whence said Corner No. 6 bears N.37° 10' 10"E., 58.23' (said line labeled S. 37° 10'00"W ~ on said recorded plat); Thence S. 58° 39'19"E., 10.30' to a 2" aluminum cap on a short 5/8" rebar pin embedded in a large boulder in place on the Southeasterly bank of Bear Creek, marked "Wm. Stengle PLS 4846"; Thence continuing S. 58° 39'19" E., 42.97' to a 2" aluminum cap on a 12"x5/8" rebar pin set to under lying rock; Thence N. 58° 33'27"E., 182.29', more or less, to a point on the Westerly right-of-way line of Bear Mountain Drive, the point of terminus, said point of terminus being witnessed by a 1 1/8" copper disc and "MAG" nail set in the center of a 4 foot wide concrete sidewalk, marked "PLS 4846". It is intended that the side lines of this 20' wide easement should begin on and extend to, touch and terminate on the exterior boundaries of said Tract `Y'. G:\agents\julia\devil's\legal Ex h i b i t A ~genda fiem # __ ~o~I__ Page# ~~