EDITOR’S NOTES: This is a summary as of September 1st. The meeting on September 15 before the Commissioners concerning the 15 year lease request from CEMEX is not included below. ==As previously reported, the Town of Lyons Board of Trustees recommended denial of approval of the lease, citing environmental and public health reasons, as well as a desire to be a part of negotiations. The hearing was postponed until September 29. There will not be opportunity for further public comments, whether verbal or in written form. They already received approximately 60 comments, and the hearing lasted approximately seven hours.
September 1, 2022 Newsletter from Boulder County Commissioner Claire Levy:
Mobility and Access
We county commissioners approved Boulder County’s first plan for Mobility and Access for All Ages and Abilities. The plan will guide funding for improvements and services to help people of all ages and abilities achieve mobility and independence. It was inspiring to hear from people for whom the services outlined in the plan helped them continue to live independent lives even after events such as a stroke took away their ability to drive.
We approved regulations for the Marshall Fire area to allow Accessory Dwelling Units on a more liberal basis than they are allowed elsewhere in unincorporated Boulder County. Currently, ADU’s are limited to agricultural workers, family care providers and preservation of historic structures. This limited policy furthers a long-standing goal to direct population growth to incorporated municipalities that are better able to provide services and that minimizes ex-urban sprawl. The part of unincorporated Boulder County that burned in the Marshall Fire is proximate to the city of Boulder, Louisville and Superior, and has easy access to the transportation network and other services. These conditions aren’t prevalent throughout the county so we will probably not simply replicate the ADU regulations for the entire county. But the process of considering appropriate criteria for expanded eligibility for an ADU will guide our consideration of whether to allow more ADU’s in other parts of Boulder County.
Front Range Passenger Transit Update
Governor Polis appointed me to a voting seat on the board of the new governmental entity that will guide development of inter-city passenger rail in Colorado. The Front Range Passenger Rail District was created by the legislature in 2021 to guide the development of a plan to finance, construct and operate passenger rail from Pueblo to Fort Collins. The District has the authority to seek voter approval for a tax to help pay for train service. But before we can do that, we need to get this new governmental entity up and running, engage a consultant to develop a service development plan, secure federal funds and determine the financial and operational feasibility of intercity passenger rail on the front range. I have embarked on my service from the premise that rail is best way to transport people without exacerbating climate change and congestion. But I’m very mindful of the challenges RTD is experiencing in running a light rail and commuter rail network to serve its district and want to assure we learn from those challenges.
Three Ballot Measures to Fund Needs
I mentioned in my previous newsletter that the Board of County Commissioners was considering three ballot measures to fund important needs. We approved a measure to extend the existing penny on a ten-dollar purchase that funds transportation projects. I will be leading the campaign to enact that extension, and am joined by Cyclists for Community, Via Mobility Services, Boulder Chamber of Commerce, Commuting Solutions, Family Resource Centers, organizations dedicated to mobility for people who are disabled as well as mayors of Boulder County municipalities. It will fund mobility services, safety improvements, transit, regional trails and more. Information about what has been done with the existing tax and what will be done with the extension is right here. I would be happy to meet with you or any organizations with which you are affiliated to share more about the need to extend this sales tax. We also approved new sales taxes for wild fire mitigation and emergency rescue services, which you can read about here.
Recreational Sport Shooting Location
It took far longer than I wanted it to, but the Board of County Commissioners has finally scheduled a public hearing on proposals to close certain areas in unincorporated Boulder County to recreational sport shooting. I have heard for years about what residents on Sugarloaf and in the Raymond/Riverside area have been facing with dispersed shooting in their neighborhoods. Residents have asked the commissioners to enact ordinances to prohibit shooting in their communities, which we have the power to do under Colorado law. After many conversations, I am pleased to say that we will be hearing those requests on November 15 at 1:00.
Distribution of Denver Water funds
The commissioners have been meeting with various people and organizations from the Gross Reservoir area to determine how to distribute the funds Denver Water provided to Boulder County to mitigate the impacts of the construction project. I met with the Boulder County Nature Association. Marta Loachamin and I met with The Environmental Group. And the three of us held a community meeting at the Coal Creek Canyon Community Association. We have assigned a staff person to meet with community members to address their specific issues, and we engaged an environmental consultant to model the noise and air quality impacts of the project. All three of us are very clear that we think the project is ill-advised (to say the least) and irresponsible (another under-statement). Our regulatory authority was preempted by the federal government and so we are doing the best we can with the resources available to mitigate the worst of the impacts.
There are three Commissioners and three Districts. The Boulder County District 3 commissioners are: Matt Jones, Claire Levy, and Marta Loachamin. You have to live in the District so that there is geographic diversity on the board. Marta comes from the Lyons district. (She lives in Longmont.) But they represent all districts; no one person represents one district.
To learn more, go to COMMISSIONERS., which includes biographies, maps, meeting days/times, and more. If you would like to write to the entire board, write to firstname.lastname@example.org