Talking Points for comments on St. Vrain Development

Our over-reaching concern is keeping the St. Vrain Creek corridor as natural as possible and we’re concerned that economic development will trump wildlife, ecosystem, and public health and safety. If you’re in agreement, please submit comments to the City including the following points:

General comments:

+ Biological surveys & studies are needed to identify habitat and species along the creek corridor and to designate sensitive areas for habitat and species protection. We need data/science including expert professional opinions in order to plan well.

Specific to the Blueprint Plan for Development:  All development in Longmont is required to be based on the 3-legged stool (Environment, Social, and Economic) criteria.  The Blueprint is  primarily an economic plan.

+The City is updating our Land Use Code, which won’t be ready for City Council until 2018. The blueprint could require major revisions, so what’s the rush with bringing it forward now for City Council consideration on Sept. 26, 2017???

+This plan is premature—the City does not currently have flood mitigation plans finalized for west of the railroad crossing (east of Sunset/Isaak Walton) nor who will pay for this…

+Building in the flood plain (even with mitigation) is unwise.  There have been 11 flood events in this corridor in the last 100 years.  It’s logical there will be another flood in our lifetime.

+The Longmont Comprehensive Plan needs to be revised to reflect post-2013 flood realities relative to this corridor. To do otherwise puts people & property in harm’s way & puts taxpayers on-the-hook in terms of $$ for recovery.

+The City must hold firm to the 150-foot riparian setback as designated in the City’s Land Development Standards for any and all proposed new OR re-development along creek. Especially essential is not allowing developers to be granted the variances they are certain to request.

 +We must preserve St. Vrain Creek as a wildlife movement corridor and as a natural area by not allowing lighting along the path (wildlife moves at night) & limiting noise (i.e. Lefthand Brewery’s designs to expand with decks, more music etc.).

+We must preserve as many mature trees as is possible for creek health (cooling).  Riparian and aquatic habitat including several rare and native fish in our creek have been identified by CPW as having “immense conservation value to the State of Colorado.”

+Development along our St. Vrain corridor is a HUGE game changer for the residents of Longmont.  Therefore, much more public participation is needed.  Perhaps a vote of the people is in order??

 

 

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.