Open Space Master Plan Community Workshop

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.

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.”

Longmont Sustainability Forum

This is your opportunity to meet the candidates for Longmont’s mayoral and city council races!

Join Sustainable Resilient Longmont and Eco-cycle to hear mayoral and city council candidates answer questions about their views on sustainability issues. The forum will be held from 6:30pm to 8:30pm on Wednesday, October 11th at the Longmont Public Library (409 4th Avenue Longmont CO 80501).

Go to srlongmont.org or contact info@srlongmont.org for more information.

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.