Longmont Open Space Master Plan Update

Natural Resources Announcement:

The department of Public Works and Natural Resources is in the process of updating the City’s Open Space Master Plan.  The intent of this comprehensive plan is to evaluate our community’s open space needs so we can proactively plan for the future.

The City has engaged the services of GreenPlay LLC, a nationally renowned park/open space and recreation consulting firm, to help in analysis and development of the updated plan.  GreenPlay LLC drafted the initial Open Space and Trails Master Plan in 2002.

As a component of the planning process, City staff and GreenPlay are working together to conduct a community needs assessment.  This will take shape in two forms, surveys and workshops.

A survey will be distributed via mail to a random selection of households across Longmont in early-mid February.  This survey will be used to produce a statistically valid sample and results.  If your household receives this mailed survey, your participation is greatly appreciated.  A web questionnaire will also open in mid-late February for the general public until mid-March (watch for another announcement when it is live).

In addition to the surveys, two public workshops will be held on the evenings of Thursday, Feb.22 and Thursday, March 22.  These meetings will consist of a presentation and interactive work stations.  Participants will be asked a variety of questions to evaluate 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.

We thank you in advance for participating in our master plan update and encourage youth participation in this process, too.  As well, Spanish translators will be available at both public workshops.  Your input will help guide the future of the City’s Open Space program-improving the quality of life in our community for generations to come.  Find details on the public workshops more at bit.ly/openspaceplan or by calling 303-651-8416.

Link to OS workshop details here.

Link to city announcement:  OS master plan update press-release-announcement

Some birds are so stressed by noise pollution it looks like they have PTSD!

Take a look at this interesting Washington Post article about the negative impacts of noise pollution on wildlife.

“But in a paper published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Guralnick and his colleagues say there is a clear connection between noise pollution, abnormal levels of stress hormones, and lower survival rates.  This is the first time that link has been established in a population of wild animals, they argue, and it should make us all think hard about what our ruckus is doing to the Earth.  “Habitat degradation is always conceived of as clear cutting, or, you know, changing the environment in a physical way.  But this is an acoustic degradation of the environment,” Guralnick said.  “We think it is a real conservation concern.”

Comprehensive Plan Needs Revising Relative to St. Vrain Corridor

In the wake of the 2013 flood, we should ask whether more development along our city’s St. Vrain Creek corridor makes sense. This means reevaluating and revising our Longmont Comprehensive Plan as it applies to properties along this corridor.

All the homes on south side of 9th between Airport and Hover were horribly impacted by 2013’s flood.  The damage was massive to the homes and businesses that were already developed.  More life and property would have been devastated if more development existed along this corridor.

According to The Army Corps of Engineers, there have been 11 floods along this corridor in the last 100 years.  Experts on climate change say we can expect more frequent and damaging flood events in the future.  We can’t “mitigate” Mother Nature.  For instance, even with Left-hand Creek flood mitigation efforts just completed prior to the 2013 flood, many homes in Creekside and Southmoore Park were flooded and Kanemoto Park/pool were destroyed.

Over 80% of properties along the city reach of our St. Vrain corridor are privately owned.  Currently these properties are in the flood plain, so they are not available for development.  However, due to the massive publicly-funded flood mitigation efforts underway, these properties will no longer be designated as flood plain and will be available for development.  Because of our HUGE public investment in flood mitigation ($150 million and counting), the public should have a significant say in what and how this development proceeds. Revisiting our Comprehensive Plan with public input relative to future proposed development in this corridor is warranted.

Our 2013 flood was a wake up call that demands we revisit and revise our Longmont Comprehensive Plan accordingly.  It’s the responsible thing to do logically, morally and fiscally.