What’s the Issue?
Longmont’s 100-year flood mitigation project “Resilient St. Vrain (RSVP)” will impact the entire length of St. Vrain Creek from Airport Road to the confluence of St. Vrain and Boulder Creeks. The most dramatic changes to the St. Vrain will occur in the “city reach” especially between Lefthand Creek and the BNSF railroad bridge, where the creek channel will be widened and deepened.
After flood mitigation work is complete, landowners, developers, and the City of Longmont intend to do massive redevelopment along St. Vrain Creek between Main Street and Boston Avenue, which will include residential housing, restaurants, outdoor decks, and businesses. This is not only unwise considering there have been 11 recorded flood events along the St. Vrain corridor since 1876, but we are likely to see another major flood event in our lifetimes. It will also be detrimental to the health of the creek, the surrounding riparian habitat, resident wildlife, and people’s enjoyment of a natural area. Longmont has lots of well-manicured city parks but only one “wild jewel of nature” running through the middle of our city. Let’s preserve and protect it!
Property owners and developers are ALREADY submitting their plans for development along the St. Vrain despite the fact the RSVP has not been fully funded as I type this in early 2022 and won’t be completed for several years. It isn’t until the project is complete that property will be removed from the flood plain and development can actually occur.
Considering the HUGE public investment for RSVP, the public should have a significant voice in what type of development might be built, including ensuring it doesn’t negatively impact our riparian areas and wildlife.