BREAKING – One day after North Weld County Water District approved an amendment to its water service agreement with the town of Severance, the Severance City Council reciprocated, approving the amendment and subsequently lifting a moratorium on building permits stemming from its dispute with North Weld.
The actions pave the way for the resumption of new construction activities within the city. Approval of the amendment and lifting of the moratorium was achieved by a 4-0 vote, with board member Tad Stout withdrawing from the discussion. Stout also sits on the North Weld County Water District Board of Directors.
“I’m glad we’ve gotten to this point where we can lift this ordinance,” Severance Mayor Matt Fries said at Tuesday’s city council meeting. “I wish I could say that’s what I would consider the end of this issue, but I think I can say that’s the beginning of the end.”
The addendum to the water service contract calls for the district to sell 100 factory investment taps to the town of Severance, allowing North Weld to increase water flow to the main meter that serves the town.
North Weld had imposed a moratorium on new taps in September 2021 due to concerns about processing and delivery capacity. This moratorium on taps was eased in February, with the district council allowing 120 taps to be issued in 2022.
Departure also in February lifted its moratorium on building permits in parts of the city served directly by North Weld but retained it in areas served by the city.
Tuesday’s action lifts the moratorium on building permits entirely.
“The main rationales for imposing the moratorium were essentially to prevent the city from getting into a situation where it was approving the construction of new residential housing that would be fundamentally uninhabitable because it could not receive water service from the public utility. ‘city water,’ City Attorney Keith Martin said during a staff presentation. “We now believe that with the approval of the Second Amendment which allows for the purchase of these 100 additional factory investment faucets, the city is no longer in a position where it must maintain the existing moratorium to prevent the creation of uninhabitable residential dwellings. .”
Fries noted the consequences of the moratorium on property owners and developers, and praised city staff for helping to resolve the issue.
“We’ve learned a tremendous amount, and I think it’s a big step in enabling homeowners to continue building their homes,” he said. “As mayor, I appreciate everyone’s patience throughout this process. It was very painful. I can’t imagine what some people have been through. »
The North Weld County Water District also lifted its 2022 limit of 120 faucets on Monday, after concluding that capital improvements, including the installation of a new one-mile stretch of pipeline, would allow it to increase speeds for new developments.
But any new taps issued would fall under its more restrictive tap criteria policy, adopted in February. The moratorium on taps continues for developments that do not meet the criteria.