City map ordinance finally given first reading in Stanford
Stanford City Councilman Scotty Ernst uses an aerial photograph during a discussion about city boundaries at Thursday¿¿¿s council meeting. (Todd Kleffmanfirstname.lastname@example.org)
Council members gave first-reading approval to an ordinance adopting an official map of the city’s boundaries to include the annexation of Forest Hills subdivision, which was completed more than 30 years ago in 1977.
The need to establish the boundary line first arose last summer, when neighbors James Jarrett and Michael Jackson clashed over a small horse operation Jackson had created on his property.
Jackson’s 24-acre Forest Hill Farm off Edgewood Drive contains a barn and training ring. Jackson, president of Fort Logan Hospital, raises his horses there, boards horses for others, offers riding lessons and hosts an occasional pony club meeting for kids.
Jarrett, who lives on Edgewood Drive, complained about safety and reduced quality of life concerns created by the trucks and horse trailers going to and from the farm through the subdivision.
Jarrett contended that Jackson’s farm lies within the city and violates city planning and zoning rules by operating a business in a residential zone. Jackson maintained Forest Hills Farm is in the county.
Jackson initially took the matter to Stanford Planning and Zoning, which said it couldn’t act because there was no official map showing where city boundaries were after the 1977 annexation. It passed the problem on to City Council, which hired Doug Gooch of AGE Engineering to figure out where the city ends and county begins.
Gooch created a map based on the original survey of the area done as part of the annexation process and presented it to City Council Thursday.
According to Gooch’s map, Jackson’s property straddles the line, with part in the city and part in the county. The boundary actually runs through the horse barn Jackson built, Gooch said.
Final approval of the ordinance adopting the map — which also shows four properties previously thought to be in the county are actually in the city — is likely to come at City Council’s April meeting. The matter then will be handed back to city P&Z to decide.
“We have done what we needed to do,” Mayor Bill Miracle said. “It needs to go back to planning and zoning.”
P&Z officials may already have made up their minds. In a letter sent to Jackson, P&Z attorney Kirk Correll requested Jackson cease and desist operating his horse business on the property.
According to Correll, Jackson is violating zoning laws on two fronts. He is conducting business in an area zoned residential and the access road leading to the farm is within 20 feet of the intersection of two city streets, which creates traffic hazards, Correll states in the letter.
Miracle and other council members said they thought Correll jumped the gun. The letter to Jackson is dated Feb. 3 while Gooch’s map wasn’t completed until Feb. 8.
“That letter was sent prematurely, in my opinion,” Miracle said.
Jackson declined to comment after the meeting.