ACTION ITEM: Attend Longmont City Council Meeting at 7pm on Tuesday, October 2nd

Stand With Our St. Vrain Creek has been collecting resident signatures on a petition asking Longmont City Council to protect our St. Vrain Creek corridor from damaging urban development. Specifically, we’re asking Council to delay any development/redevelopment in proximity to St. Vrain Creek until:

  1.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency approves the new flood plain maps,
  2.  The Resilient St. Vrain (RSVP) flood mitigation project’s plans and funding are in place, and
  3.  The Land Development Code’s sections concerning riparian protection and wildlife management are updated.

It does not make sense to develop areas when the new floodplain designation could change and when the design for the entirety of the RSVP has not been determined. In addition, any development/redevelopment should be done under an updated Land Development Code rather than an outdated code that is 17 years old.

We’ll be presenting the petition on Tuesday, October 2nd during that evening’s public invited to be heard portion of the City Council meeting at 7pm at the Civic Center (350 Kimbark Street). In addition, we’ll be presenting City Council with postcards from residents asking that City Council maintain the 150 foot riparian setback and enact stronger protections for our riparian areas.

We ask that you please attend this council meeting to show your support for our St. Vrain corridor and area wildlife. Please wear green.

What: City Council meeting

When: Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Where: Longmont Civic Center 350 Kimbark Street, Longmont CO 80501

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RSVP Project Update, US Army Corp of Engineers Project, and Storm Drainage Utility Financial Update

Longmont City staff and the Army Corps of Engineers presented an update on the Resilient St. Vrain flood mitigation project on Tuesday August 21st at the City Council’s study session. The slides from that presentation are available on the City’s Resilient St. Vrain website.

The complete presentation is also available to watch on Youtube or below.

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Resilient St. Vrain Project Update and United States Army Corp of Engineers 205 Program Project Update

This Tuesday (8/20/2018), City Council will hear an update on the status of the Resilient St. Vrain flood mitigation project from City staff and a presentation from the Army Corps of Engineers regarding the 205 program project they’re working on with City staff. The City Council meeting will be held at the Civic Center at 350 Kimbark Street at 7pm. The full agenda for the meeting is available here.

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100-year flood plain map for Longmont, CO showing the current and new floodplain as well as the anticipated floodplain following completion of the Resilient St. Vrain flood mitigation work.

The “205 project” refers to section 205 of the Flood Control Act of 1948, as amended. This section allows the Corps to partner with non-Federal entities to design and construct small flood damage reduction projects not previously authorized by Congress and that are not part of a larger project.

The Corps is looking into whether this authority might be used to complete the portion of the Resilient St. Vrain project that stretches from Boston Avenue to the Fairgrounds Pond at Rogers Grove natural area. If determined feasible, the Corps anticipates completing their design in 2019 and beginning construction in 2020.

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Proposed timeline and workplan for the Resilient St. Vrain flood mitigation project by sections of the city.

One concern regarding this stretch is that, while Stand With Our St. Vrain Creek has been working with the City to conduct wildlife, particularly bird, surveys in the area of Rogers Grove and Golden Ponds, 1-2 years of data collected prior to construction is not much. In addition, the City does not currently have the resources to analyze the data collected. It is imperative that the City analyze wildlife survey data collected to determine what species are present and what habitats they are utilizing before construction begins.

One species known to occur in the area of Rogers Grove along St. Vrain Creek is the Bank Swallow. Bank Swallows are the smallest swallows in Colorado and are considered to be a Boulder County Species of Special Concern because they only nest in a handful of places within the County. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Longmont must work together to determine how to mitigate the impact of construction on this species and its nesting area, including timing construction so that it does not occur during the nesting season.

Stand With Our St. Vrain Creek will be attending the meeting and speaking during Public Invited To Be Heard to ensure that these points are made before City Council and staff as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Please consider either attending the meeting and speaking in support of the (bolded) points above or contacting City Council and expressing your support for these points.

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City Council Meeting Open Forum

The July 17 city council meeting, beginning at 7 pm in the Council Chambers at 350 Kimbark Street, will be an Open Forum for residents to talk for 5 minutes each to council members about any topic on their minds.

Please plan on attending the forum and speaking up for stronger riparian protections including:

  • Rewriting the criteria in 15.05.020(E)(3)(b) used to identify circumstances where the 150-foot riparian setback may be reduced in order to eliminate loopholes and
    provide more stringent requirements that will effectively protect rivers/streams and riparian habitat from encroaching development/redevelopment;
  • Expressly prohibiting artificial lighting along Longmont’s greenways and within its open spaces and riparian corridors to protect nocturnal wildlife and maintain wildlife movement 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, which is especially necessary along the St. Vrain where the removal of vegetation has eliminated an important natural screen and sound dampener;
  • Restricting building heights adjacent to riparian areas;
  • Minimizing the amount of impervious materials that contribute to storm-water runoff (e.g. concrete sidewalks and parking lots) near rivers/streams and other bodies of water;
  • Requiring in 15.05.030 (H) that the planning and development manager rather than the applicant for development retain “a qualified person with demonstrated expertise in the field “ to prepare a required species or habitat conservation plan and that the applicant will reimburse the city for the cost of preparing the conservation plan.; and
  • Requiring that variance requests pertaining to the 150-foot riparian setback be decided upon by City Council, an elected body, rather than the Planning and Zoning Commission.
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City Council Meeting Open Forum

The July 17 city council meeting, beginning at 7 pm in the Council Chambers at 350 Kimbark Street, will be an Open Forum for residents to talk for 5 minutes each to council members about any topic on their minds. There are no other items on the agenda for this meeting. Residents who wish to speak will need to sign up in the lobby of Council Chambers between 6:45pm and 7pm.

City staff is hoping to finalize the first half of the Land Development Code updates in the next couple of months and will then move on to the second half of updates, including those pertaining to rivers/streams/wetlands/riparian areas (15.05.020) and habitat and species protection (15.05.030). Therefore, this is a very crucial time to speak up in favor of stronger riparian and wildlife protections. 

Please attend the July 17th city council meeting and consider speaking during the Open Forum to encourage city staff to:

  • Rewrite the criteria in 15.05.020(E)(3)(b) used to identify circumstances where the 150-foot riparian setback may be reduced in order to eliminate loopholes and
    provide more stringent requirements that will effectively protect rivers/streams and riparian habitat from encroaching development/redevelopment;
  • Expressly prohibit artificial lighting along Longmont’s greenways and within its open spaces and riparian corridors to protect nocturnal wildlife and maintain wildlife movement corridors;
  • Establish 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, which is especially necessary along the St. Vrain where the removal of vegetation has eliminated an important natural screen and sound dampener;
  • Restrict building heights adjacent to riparian areas;
  • Minimize the amount of impervious materials that contribute to storm-water runoff (e.g. concrete sidewalks and parking lots) near rivers/streams and other bodies of water;
  • Require in 15.05.030 (H) that the planning and development manager rather than the applicant for development retain “a qualified person with demonstrated expertise in the field “ to prepare a required species or habitat conservation plan and that the applicant will reimburse the city for the cost of preparing the conservation plan.; and
  • Require that variance requests pertaining to the 150-foot riparian setback be decided upon by City Council, an elected body, rather than the Planning and Zoning Commission.

If you are unable to attend the Open Forum, please send your written comments to Valeria Skitt, City Clerk, at valeria.skitt@longmontcolorado.gov.

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City Council Meeting

Longmont City Council will be hearing from Riverset, LLC. on a proposal for the city to annex 21 acres of land at 21 S. Sunset Street owned by the company. The land is currently zoned as general industrial, but the property owner is requesting mixed use-planned unit development zoning in order to build a mix of residential and commercial buildings.

The meeting will be held at the Longmont Civic Center at 350 Kimbark Street at 7pm. The meeting agenda and relevant documents pertaining to the agenda item can be found at the link below.

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Longmont City Council Meeting

Stand With Our St. Vrain Creek will be speaking in front of City Council on Tuesday, April 3rd regarding protections for St. Vrain Creek and other City Open Space properties and riparian areas.

Please come to the meeting wearing green to show your support for our natural areas and wildlife. You can also sign up to speak at public invited to be heard. Comments are limited to 3 minutes max.

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ACTION ITEM: City Council Meeting

Due to Spring Break, Longmont City Council is off this week. Therefore, Stand With Our St. Vrain Creek will be speaking in front of City Council regarding protections for St. Vrain Creek and other City Open Space properties and riparian areas on Tuesday, April 3rd.

The meeting will be held at City Council Chambers (350 Kimbark St., Longmont, CO 80501) at 7pm. Please come to the meeting wearing green to show your support for our natural areas and wildlife. You can also sign up to speak during public invited to be heard. Comments are limited to 3 minutes max.

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