Elk Falls Ranch Re-Zoning Request

This is a request to Re-zoning Ranch property from Residential to Agricultural. This re-zoning will allow the property to be conforming within Park County Zoning Regulations and maintain the current and historical ranch use since the 1880’s. Although Elk Falls Ranch property has been used and taxed as Agriculture, an adopted zoning map list the property as Residential which is contrary to its historical and current use.

November 2007

Proposed Use and Historical Use

Applicant request to re- zone current Ranch property of 196+- acres presently zoned “Residential” to “Agricultural”, for the purposes to place the Ranch property into Conforming use. Historically, Ranch pasture land has been taxed and operated as Agricultural, while buildings have been taxed at a Residential rate. Since the late 1930’s, the Ranch has grazed cattle, horses, mules etc, and fishing under recreational aquaculture thus creating Elk Falls Ranch. The Ranch has never conducted business as a Residential community on this parcel of land. In fact, Ranch operational use and tax records show that even after, Elk Falls Development Co had platted and developed what is known as Block 3, of Elk Falls Ranch Subdivision in 1966, county records reflected the remaining Ranch property was Zoned and Taxed as Agricultural. Additionally, in 1966, during the Block 3 platting approval process, the subject ranch land was dedicated to been separated from Residential use. However, years later the stipulation separating the property was included in a zoning map changing zoning from Agricultural to Residential. It is because of that zoning map change the Applicant is requesting the re-zoning back to Agricultural. The Ranch has always conducted business under Agricultural guidelines including taxation. Additionally, since the Ranches conception in the late 1800’s, there have been only two owners, 1) the Jensen/Berg family and 2) Elk Falls Development Co, both of which maintained their Agricultural uses. Historically, the Ranch has also been known as Elk Falls Guest Ranch, offering guest indoor and outdoor recreational activities only available to Ranches in an Agricultural zoned district.

This year, the Ranch was visited by the original homesteader, John Jensen’s 90 year old twin granddaughters “Bonnie & Betty”, a great grandson and a great-great grandson. Granddaughters, Bonnie & Betty, were born on the Ranch in 1917. They returned to the Ranch in October 2007 wanting to see the old homestead and the cabins they remembered. During their visit they shared joyous memories of fishing in the Lower Lakes, horseback riding, hiding in their secret mountain place, and watching the wildlife. They told tales of when Aunt Alice Berg and Uncle Elmer Berg, began the Guest Ranch, the cattle drives and roundups, barn dances with cowboy sing-a-longs, and the old Woody car that made the long drive to the ranch along dirt roads up North Turkey Creek Canyon. As Betty shared her memories she laughed so hard she cried, then at the end of their visit they graciously transferred more Ranch history to the next generation by a gift of a large photo taken in the early 1900’s of the Jensen homestead. That homestead photo displays Ranch structures and builds a visual on how Elk Falls Ranch began over 120 years ago.

Applicant is requesting to preserve a part of our history for future generations. There are several reasons this request should be considered and granted. The 196+- acre Ranch exceeds Park County Agricultural Zoning Status of 160 acres or more, the proposed use is the highest and best use for the Ranch, the Ranch has never conducted its business as a Residential lot and last but not least, the Ranch has been taxed as Agricultural since taxation began when the Residential zoning map took place changing the Ranch from Agriculture to Residential that change should have not taken place and was completely opposite to public records of Park County land use and Tax Assessor records. Allowing this zoning change will, 1) allow zoning to match Ranch use, 2) allow the historical and current use of the Ranch to become conforming, and 3) allow applicants to begin the preservation process in restoring Elk Falls Ranch historical buildings.

Proposed Plan with Current and Future Use Agricultural Features

Description of Current and Future Ranch Agricultural Usage

Barn - Historical and current corral use is for horse boarding stalls and hay/feed storage

Outside Stalls - Historical and current corral use is for livestock and horses

Corral - Historical and current corral use is for livestock and horse containment.

Livestock Loading and Unloading Dock - Historical and current loading and unloading dock is for livestock use.

Pasture Land - Currently pasture land and or accessible grazing land for livestock (cattle) and horses consist of approximately 190+ acres.

Current owners have had ranch property for agricultural and recreational purposes since their purchase of the property in 1966. Prior to 1966, previous owner was the historical creator of the guest ranch/recreational use that began in the late 1930’s.

FUTURE USE: Applicants plan to continue all present agricultural uses described above. Agricultural amenities that are also considered recreational at the Ranch are, horseback riding, horseshoeing lessons, fly fishing & fishing lessons, nature and birding trail, hiking, and other permissible outdoor use. Combined with the below described indoor and outdoor recreational & lodging features creates a wonderful Ranch environment.

RANCH PROPOSED USE AND FEATURES

Applicant request to down zone current Ranch property of 196+- acres presently zoned “Residential” to “Agricultural”, for the purposes of placing Ranch property into Conforming use and continue the current and historical use. During the restoration process, applicant plans to incorporate recycling old lumber when ever possible to keep within the historical integrity of the Ranch. Other materials that may also be incorporated include recyclable and environmental friendly materials such as trek boards for decking and picnic tables. Considering issues of material conservation and the natural surroundings will maintain the desired historical integrity of the Ranch. Below are a brief description of past, current and future uses of Ranch property.

DESCRIPTION OF CURRENT AND FUTURE RANCH BUILDING USEAGE

Structures on Ranch property described below are located on approximately 30 acres. Presently the buildings are occupied by full time and seasonal guest residents. The proposed restoration would allow buildings to be updated and become more functional. Refer to Exhibit “A” for exact location of buildings.

Examples of current and future Ranch use:

Raising of cattle/livestock

Horseback Riding

Hayrides Rides

Lodging Accommodations

Children’s Programs (soccer & baseball field use)

Meals

Fishing

Hiking

Picnics

Indoor Recreation

Outdoor Recreation

Winter Activities include: ice hockey, ice skating, ice fishing etc.

Future Restoration will allow these activities to continue plus make the Ranch more accessible to all guest including handicapped by making facilities functionally accessible.

Current and Future Lodging Use

Based on historical over night accommodations, the Ranch has 15 lodging rooms as described below.

#3

Cabin “Cl”- Is currently occupied by the Ranch Manager and his wife as full time residence. The building was originally designed with 5 bedroom cabin rooms. Each cabin room were designed with a small kitchenette and restroom. The current resident uses the bedrooms as guest rooms and other personal and full time residential purposes.

C1- Is an undocumented structure. It was built prior to building permits being issued at Park County.

C1- In 1965, re-platting of Ranch property known as Elk Falls Ranch, Block 3 was accepted by Park County Board of Commissioners. However, the re-platting placed Cl within 36 feet of the property line for Block 3. According to Agricultural regulations, Cl may need a variance.

C1 has an undocumented septic system, it was installed prior to septic permits being issued by Park County. The current system is in use and operational.

FUTURE USE: Once the full time resident vacates the property, the cabin rooms will be used for overnight accommodations by guest at Elk Falls Guest Ranch. Building has been used in its full time capacity since it was built either as guest lodging or staff full time lodging.

REMODELING ISSUE: Building should not need restoration or remodeling to be used as lodging for overnight guest.

#5

Cabin “C2”- Is currently occupied by one of the owners of the Ranch. The cabin is primarily used as a vacation cabin by the owner and his guest. The cabin accommodates overnight stays while the owner and guest are at the ranch. The cabin was originally designed as a duplex cabin (two bedrooms with two separate bathrooms) for overnight accommodations by guest at Elk Falls Guest Ranch is an undocumented structure. It was built prior to building permits being issued at Park County, septic system is undocumented or documented. There is one documented septic system for a two bedroom and due to lack of records it appears this may or may not be the building it is linked to. The system is in use and operational.

FUTURE USE: Once the full time resident vacates the property, the cabin rooms will be used for overnight accommodations by guest at Elk Falls Guest Ranch. Building should not need restoration or remodeling to be used as lodging for overnight guest.

REMODELING ISSUE: Building should not need restoration or remodeling to be used as lodging for overnight guest.

#4

Cabin “C3”- Is currently occupied by Ranch Tenants as full time residential use. The current tenant installed a temporary metal kit garage that will be removed by Tenant when tenant vacates the property. The cabin was previously used as guest ranch accommodations with four (4) bedrooms and bathrooms along with a kitchenette.

C3 - is an undocumented structure, It was built prior to building permits being issued at Park County.

C-3’s septic system is undocumented, it was installed prior to septic system permits being required. The current system is in use and operational.

FUTURE USE: Once the full time resident vacates the property, the cabin rooms will be used for overnight accommodations by guest at Ranch.

REMODELING ISSUE: Building should not need remodeling to be used as lodging for overnight guest.

#6

Cabin “C4”- Is currently not occupied. C4 was known as the Cooks Cabin. The cabin was a heated structure with a small living space, bedroom area, and bathroom. These structure needs to be extensively restored. Restoration is not scheduled at this time. Prior to restoration, Park County Building Dept. will be consulted and all necessary permits requested and issued. After restoration is complete, the Cooks Cabin will be accommodations for overnight guest.

C4 - is an undocumented structure. It was built prior to building permits being issued at Park County. Plumbing and water lines were connected to the Lodge building, but have been or will be disconnected. Request for relocating the Cooks Cabin would be closer to the cabin area west of the Lodge.

FUTURE USE: Stand alone Cabin used for overnight accommodations for Guest at the Ranch.

REMODELING ISSUE: With approval of the Board of County Commissioners for rezoning to Agricultural, applicant will work with Park County building department for necessary permits pertaining to cabin restoration.

The lodge building is approximately 7500+ sq. Ft.

The lodge includes the dining hall, food service, restrooms, and historical overnight accommodations for Staff and Guest upstairs etc. (This building has had several names since its conception)

#7

Lodge “L”- Is currently occupied and used by the Ranch owners and ranch guest. Use of Ranch facilities include access to indoor and outdoor structures and recreational features as described above. The lodge gathering room is a large indoor area (28 x 68) that has occupied guest for indoor social gatherings etc. Historically, the lodges uses includes chuck wagon dinner, entertainment by cowboy singers, square dancing, playing cards, games, sing-a-longs, after dinner gatherings, family reunion indoor activities, and other indoor social gatherings. In its more recent years, other types of gatherings have taken place that include Neighborhood Homeowner meetings and Neighborhood holiday parties. Adjacent to the Lodge room are his and her restrooms. Each restroom has private stalls and an adjacent dressing room.

L - Is an undocumented structure. It was built prior to building permits being issued at Park County.

Restrooms in the Lodge Building- Currently there are Mens’ and Ladies Restrooms with dressing room located in the Lodge Building. These stalls are connected to the Lodge Septic System as described on Septic System drawing.

The Septic System is an Undocumented System- At the time of installation, Park County did not require a septic permit or inspection. The septic system is still in use and operable. Grant of Easement for Septic System reception # 518863.

FUTURE USE: With approval of the Board of County Commissioners for the rezoning application from Residential to Agricultural, applicant will work with Park County building department for permits to begin Lodge Building restoration
Activities in the Lodge room will be the historical indoor usage as described above.

REMODELING ISSUE: Currently, the building needs a new roof, updated restrooms and cleanup. Leaky roof has caused some internal ceiling damage that will need repairing. After rezoning, Applicant will work with Park County Building Dept. for necessary permits, inspections etc.

#7a

Dining Hall & Kitchen - “DR/K”- Is not currently licensed for food service. Current Ranch owners have elected not to offer food service. Kitchen is equipped with commercial equipment. In years past the Ranch did have additional kitchen staff to prepare meals. Ranch food service included a special Steak Night, or Fish Fry (bring the kitchen your catch for the day and they will prepare it). Food currently brought onto Ranch property is self catered.

FUTURE: With approval of County Commissioners approves for the rezoning application from Residential to Agricultural, applicant will work with Park County building department during the restoration process. Applicant will work with Park County Building Dept. for necessary permits, inspections etc. and Health Department to bring the facility up to standards that allows such usage.

REMODELING ISSUE: Currently, the dining hall and kitchen are one area under the same building structure as the Lodge room is. The building is approximately 7500+ sq. feet. The entire building needs a new roof, updated restrooms and cleanup. Applicant will work with Park County Building Dept. for necessary permits, inspections etc. and Health Department to bring the facility up to standards that allows such usage.

#7b

Upstairs “LU”- Is an upstairs area above the Kitchen and Dining Hall Historical uses included, area for small private parties or gatherings, staff housing and guest overnight accommodations.

FUTURE USE: The upstairs area is divided up into several areas giving it multi uses. The Upstairs hall which is quit large and can be used as a history Library area, providing guest a place to surround themselves among books and the history of the Ranch, while the other separate rooms that were historically used as additional accommodations for staff or overnight guest can continue such use.

Outdoor Recreational Facilities Current and Future Uses

All of the pavilion and picnic areas have been used for over 50 years. Uses include but not limited to as follows:

Family reunions & social celebrations, birthday celebrations, company picnics, and other social gatherings. Guest have access to all of the Ranches indoor and outdoor facilities. Some guest enjoy horseback riding on ranch property along with fishing in the Ranches stocked ponds or along Elk Creek during their stay. These uses would continue under new ownership/management.

Specific Location uses:

#8

Pavilion 1 - P1 is currently an outdoor recreational area used by guest. P1 is a covered picnic area with tables. The structure is 24 x 36, it has 5 rows of wooden benched tables that are 24 feet in length. Each table capacity is from 35 to 40 people. The total picnicking capacity is approximately 150 to 200. Groups and or members with their family and friends use the picnic area pavilion tables for eating, protection from inclement weather, and or just sitting and enjoying the outdoors. The pavilion is conveniently located near other outdoor activity features on the Ranch, such as horse shoes, volleyball, bar-be-que pit for outdoor cooking, baseball field, and soccer field.

FUTURE: With Board of County Commissioners approval of the rezoning to Agricultural, applicant will work with Park County building department during the restoration process to determine how to preserve historical integrity of P1.

#9

Pavilion 2 - P2 is currently an outdoor recreational area used by guest. P2 is a covered picnic area with tables. The structure is 24 x 24, it has a couple of rows of tables that are 20+ feet in length. Each table capacity is from to 20 to 40 . The total picnicking capacity is approximately 60 to 80. Guest use the picnic area pavilion tables for eating, protection from inclement weather and or just sitting and enjoying the outdoors. The pavilion is conveniently located near other outdoor activity features on the Ranch such as horse shoes, volleyball, bar-be-que pit for outdoor cooking, baseball field, and soccer field.

FUTURE: With Board of County Commissioners approval of the rezoning to Agricultural, applicant will work with Park County building department during the restoration process to determine how to preserve historical integrity of P2.

#10
Pavilion 3- P3 fell down due to disrepair years ago. It was located near Area 2 baseball/soccer field. As of today the only remaining feature of P3 is the concrete foundation. The old pavilion area provided outdoor shelter for guest The approximate size was 36 x 36. Picnic Tables were free standing.

FUTURE: With Board of County Commissioners approval of the rezoning to Agricultural, applicant will work with Park County building department during the restoration process to determine how to preserve historical integrity of P3.

#11

Restrooms (4 Stalls ea.) Restroom building is currently located 75’ W of N. Elk Creek water way, and 15 feet S. of property line off of CR. 1184, Park County. Septic Leach Field is located 50+ feet South of C.R. 1184 property line and 115 ‘ W of N. Elk Creek water way. Current use has been internally damaged by Horses, although the main structure and plumbing fixtures are still there. Other structural issues include roof damage. During a wind storm, parts of the corrugated roof blew off and needs repairs.

Picnic Restrooms- In 1965, re-platting of Ranch property known as Elk Falls Ranch, Block 3 was accepted by Park County Board of Commissioners. However, the re-plating placed PR within 15 feet of the property line for Block 3. According to current Agricultural regulations, PR may need a variance.

FUTURE: With Board of County Commissioners approval of the rezoning to Agricultural, applicant will work with Park County building department during the restoration process to determine how to preserve historical integrity of the restrooms.

#12

Picnic Area 1 - Open outdoor area along Elk Creek. Some areas have wooden picnic tables, and small bar-be-que pits.

#13

Picnic Area 2 - Open outdoor area along Elk Creek. Some areas have wooden picnic tables, and small bar-be-que pits.

#14

Picnic Area 3 - Open outdoor area along Elk Creek. Some areas have wooden picnic tables, and small bar-be-que pits.

#15

Picnic Area 4 - Open outdoor area along Elk Creek. Some areas have wooden picnic tables, and small bar-be-que pits.

#16

Picnic Area 5 - Open outdoor area along Elk Creek. Some areas have wooden picnic tables, and small bar-be-que pits.

Complete Re-Zoning Application

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