Longmont’s Natural Resources Department is still seeking comments from residents regarding its update of the city’s Open Space Master Plan until Monday, April 1st. Please consider making your voice heard by responding to the survey. It only takes a couple of minutes. You can find the survey here .
Hi all, Stand With Our St. Vrain Creek will be tabling at Longmont’s Earth Day celebration on April 21st from 10am to 3pm at the Longmont Museum! We’re looking to highlight some of YOUR pictures of Longmont’s natural areas and open spaces, especially along the St. Vrain Creek riparian corridor.
If you’d like to have your pictures displayed at our booth, please email them to us at email@example.com and provide how you’d like to be credited and where the photo was taken.
Admission to the Earth Day celebration is FREE, family-friendly, and there will be food vendors, arts and crafts, and live music. For more information, check out http://www.srlongmont.org/earth-day.html.
For those who weren’t able to attend the Open Space Master Plan Community Workshop last week, the city has posted the comments it received during the workshop on its website. There were a lot of good ideas brought up and Stand With Our St. Vrain Creek looks forward to seeing the eventual outcome.
On March 22, the city will be holding a second workshop at 6pm at the Sunset Campus (7 South Sunset Street). Check out the events section for more details or go to the city’s website.
Longmont’s Department of Public Works & Natural Resources is in the process of updating the City’s Open Space Master Plan. The intent of this comprehensive plan is to evaluate Longmont’s open space needs to proactively plan for the future. To that end, the city is holding an interactive community workshop on February 22, 2018 from 7-9pm at the Natural Resources building located at 7 South Sunset Street Longmont, CO 80501.
The original plan is 16 years old (2002) and a lot has changed since then. Let your voice be heard as the city revises its plan for Longmont’s Open Space!
- The meeting will consist of a presentation and interactive work stations. Participants will be asked a variety of questions to evaluate the open space accomplishments over the past 15 years and to assess the needs of the community that should be addressed in this updated comprehensive plan.
- Dinnertime snacks will be provided during a welcome period from 6:30 – 7pm just before the meeting.
- Participants should plan to attend for the full time.
- Youth participation is encouraged.
- Spanish translators will be available.
A more open attitude toward development along the St. Vrain Creek corridor once the Resilient St. Vrain flood restoration project is completed further separated Longmont Ward 1 City Council candidates Josh Goldberg and Tim Waters at a forum Thursday night.
The conversation about the future of development along St. Vrain Creek took center stage last night at the Sustainability Forum hosted by Sustainable Resilient Longmont, Eco-Cycle, and the Longmont Observer and participated in by Longmont City Council Ward 1 candidates Tim Waters and Josh Goldberg. The third candidate for the seat vacated by Brian Bagley when he became mayor last year, Russ Lyman, did not attend. Ward 1 comprises the majority of Longmont east of Main Street.
The river otter is a Colorado state threatened species that looks to be making a comeback in Boulder County, including in St. Vrain Creek.
A sleek brown body surged through the water. A broad head turned, and curious eyes surveyed the astounded onlookers. A muskrat? A mink? No, a river-otter! After an absence of almost half a century, they are coming back.
The next Planning and Zoning commission meeting is scheduled for 7pm on January 24th at the Civic Center (350 Kimbark Street) where the commission will continue to go over the Land Development Code.
The agenda for the P&Z meeting states that “no substantive changes are proposed to [the sections of the Development Code dealing with protection of rivers/streams/wetlands/riparian areas and habitat and species protection] pending the Open Space and Trails Master Plan and Wildlife Management Plan updates, plus ongoing work on Resilient St. Vrain and the St. Vrain Blueprint.” HOWEVER, it would be good for P&Z to hear support for maintaining the 150-foot riparian setback, closing loopholes to the 150-foot setback in the Development Code, and strengthening protections for open space and natural areas, including the St. Vrain Creek corridor.
Please consider speaking during the Public Invited to Be Heard section of the meeting. You may also email City Planning and Development Services Director Joni Marsh to submit written comments.
The City of Longmont is currently updating its Land Development Code (chapter 15 of the Longmont Municipal Code) and taking public comment. Comments can be submitted to the Longmont Planning and Development Services Department via phone by calling 303-651-8330, via email by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling out this online form.
The Land Development Code contains requirements relating to development in the city, including the 150-foot setback for development/redevelopment along St. Vrain Creek and minimizing light pollution in areas of important wildlife habitat. The entire Municipal Code, including the Land Development Code can be read here.
Though these are good first steps, the Land Development Code’s protections for St. Vrain Creek and other sensitive wildlife habitats within the city could be strengthened by:
- Expressly prohibiting artificial lighting within Longmont’s greenways, open spaces, and riparian corridors;
- Establishing light fixture shielding requirements and vegetation buffers to minimize the impacts of light and noise pollution from nearby development on greenways, open spaces, and riparian corridors;
- Restricting building heights adjacent to riparian areas; and
- Minimizing the amount of impervious materials that contribute to storm-water runoff (e.g. concrete sidewalks and parking lots) near streams and other bodies of water.
We urge you to submit comments in support of stronger protections for Longmont’s natural areas, especially the St. Vrain Creek riparian corridor.
On Wednesday, October 25th, the Planning and Zoning Commission heard a development request for the Harvest Junction shopping center regarding an 8-foot variance to the 150-foot riparian setback required by the City Code. It was clear from the discussion that many questions could have been answered if staff from the city’s Department of Natural Resources had been present at the meeting. Such questions involved the ecology of the riparian area, the reasoning behind the setback, and the work being done as part of the Resilient St. Vrain flood mitigation project.
Currently, there is no procedure in place to refer variance requests to the Department of Natural Resources when the request may impact a natural area such as the St. Vrain Creek corridor. In order to learn of variance requests, the Department of Natural Resources must either hear of it through word of mouth or through another informal channel.
It doesn’t strike Stand With Our St. Vrain Creek as productive for the left hand to not know what the right is doing when it’s the left hand that has the needed expertise. Therefore, we suggest that a standard operating procedure be put into place requiring the Department of Natural Resources be consulted when variances are requested that may impact wildlife or sensitive ecological areas such as the St. Vrain corridor.
This recently posted New York Times article (12/2/17) shows that many of the homes and businesses that were damaged in Houston, TX, had been “lifted out of” the flood plain by filling in low-lying areas with dirt.
While the damages from the 2013 Longmont flood didn’t result from infilling, this article does raise questions about whether “taking an area out of the flood plain” is truly possible.