POSTING by Lyons Mayor Hollie Rogin in “Lyons Open Discussion” on Facebook, 1/13/24
NOTE: We have listed two key statements that Mayor Rogin made on Facebook.
The mayor started out her list of about a half dozen responses with:
As you may know, I rarely post on Facebook. There are a few reasons for that…
However, when I browse Open Discussion and see factually incorrect information, innuendos, and accusations, I feel I must respond.
Accusation: This Board of Trustees wants to build affordable housing in the Confluence/everywhere.
Fact: In order to opt in to potentially receiving Proposition 123 monies, the Town, like all other municipalities, had to complete a Housing Needs Assessment Plan. Which we did, using a DOLA IHOP grant. In order to access Prop 123 monies, the Town must adopt three affordable housing policies. These can be policies such as updated ADU ordinances or the commitment to build THREE new housing units per year. Are we looking at all options to create more affordability? We are. We should. If we weren’t, we’d be doing a massive disservice to people struggling to stay in our town. We want our neighbors to be able to continue to live here, and we still want displaced people back. Does that mean we’ll be building in the Confluence or repurposing the dog park? No, it does not. Accepting the Housing Needs Assessment Plan does not mean *adopting* the Housing Needs Assessment Plan. We highly value local control over land use decisions. I personally spent 13 hours (in one long day) at the State Capitol last year to provide testimony opposing SB 213, which would have taken local land use control away from municipalities. We know there are many more conversations to be had about housing and where it should or should not go, and we look forward to having them.
Accusation: The Board is misappropriating Marijuana tax funds.
Fact: Ordinance 953, approved in 2014, reads as follows:
“The revenues collected from the Marijuana Sales Tax imposed hereunder shall be used to pay or reimburse the Town for direct and indirect costs incurred for: (i) adequate training, enforcement, and administration of the Town’s medical and retail marijuana regulations not otherwise covered by the fees collected by the Town under the Colorado Medical Marijuana Code, the Colorado Retail Marijuana Code, and the Town’s ordinances, (ii) monies expended by the Town in connection with drug or drug and alcohol prevention programs and facilities, and for (iii) other general purposes of the Town.”
About a dozen people commented in short sentences stating that they appreciate the Mayor’s post and work.
Three people who have studied these issues, responded on Facebook to Mayor Rogin’s post as follows:
Anthea Rice’s commented to Mayor Rogin: “Thank you so much for these clear and thoughtful replies. What I read earlier this evening from Mr Angelo was confusing, hostile, and reminiscent of the political discord that I see in our daily dose of national news…”
—– Ex-Mayor Nick Angelo, who posted some of the initial complaints, responded to both Rogin and Rice: “If the truth is hostile, so be it. No denial by the Mayor that funds have not been appropriated according to the language of the ordinance and the ballot language regarding funds being dedicated to alcohol & drug abuse and facilities. Perhaps over $1,000,000 collected. We must abide by the language of a ballot question and ordinances are law. Both were ignored and as is proper I apologized when as Mayor I did not see to it that funds were appropriated accordingly…”
Robert Brakenridge (who had just returned from a trip) had a very long response to the post by Rogin, and here are the introductory highlights: “Mayor Rogin’s post covered a lot of ground, I want to comment ASAP only on one part: the draft housing study: and why the Town and the BoT should NOT accept this as as a planning study for Lyons. I earlier sent these and other inputs to Mayor Rogin and to the BoT.” — In his list, he points out: “several things are in error here and should be corrected in the final draft. Namely: 1) None of the DRBOP properties can be used for housing. Period. The Plan Contractor needs to familiarize themselves with the FEMA and federal regulations in this regard. 2) The town-owned vacant parcels at south end of Bohn Park include lots E and F (Dog Park and parcel to the south) respectively. They both have conservation covenants on their deeds that do not allow housing to be built on them. 3) If Boulder County could be convinced to remove those “in perpetuity” covenants (which would set a terrible precedent for other covenant- and easement- protected properties), a town-wide vote would still be required by Lyons municipal code for rezoning them into housing. 4) If pieces of Bohn Park to the north were instead to be desired for housing, there is also a state law that requires a town vote should this park land be sold to any developer or otherwise parted from town-wide use.”
He concluded with “A useful Housing Futures Plan must include these constraints. They are part of the reasons why this land remains “vacant” but heavily used as Lyons park land, up to today…. xxxx To accept and publish a Plan that indicates flexibility that actually is not there would invite developers and future town staff and governments to once again pursue bad options. Options on which multiple federal, state, and local entities, including our own residents, have installed stringent prohibitions on pursuing for this type of land use. Even if you are a warrior for more affordable housing for Lyons, this is not language that you should welcome, in a study that will certainly be referred to in the coming years.”
— Greg Lowell responded to him with: “This is my biggest problem with this analysis – that while it’s understood now that it’s a check-the-box exercise for Prop 123 money, future staff and Town boards may interpret its flawed analysis as gospel and plan according to it. To your point on DrBOP parcels – what developer in his right mind would repay FEMA some $350K+ (what they paid previous owners and what they paid to raze the house and regrade the lot) to build affordable housing on a 1/4-acre lot? And does anybody believe that the state officials who hold the Prop 123 purse strings would ever kick in grant money on such projects? All references using buyout properties for housing need to be struck from the analysis.”
NOTE: Please see “Lyons Open Discussion” page on Facebook for the entire discussion, and where readers can post their comments. Edits have been made for space considerations, and not for presenting or choosing preferences. The text has not been altered, and the two responses by the mayor are in tact.