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  • Chris Ennis

Victories for Community Groups!

June 2024

 

A lot has happened since our May message!  Here's a quick run-down of the biggies. 


Application for a Private Tennis Complex, 79th Street/Gunbarrel Hill:  We were thrilled to see that the owners of the property have put the parcel up for sale!  Though they have not formally withdrawn their application SU-23-0016, this is a good indication that things are headed in the right direction.  The community's opposition has certainly made a difference- kudos to all those who have organized, held neighborhood meetings, researched the issues, developed an awesome website, posted banners and signs, signed the petition, and wrote letters to the County. This has set a gold standard for community action!


Speaking of amazing community actions... two more biggies to report:


111th and Arapahoe Rd (Erie) Proposed High Density Zoning Change/Development:  We hadn't flagged this issue in our past emails.  In Erie, the Town Council considered a developer's proposal to change the zoning of a 19-acre rural property to allow high density housing. (The property had been annexed into Erie in March.)  Upon seeing the signs posted about the zoning proposal, the community organized very quickly and effectively to research the many issues raised by rezoning to high density for the proposed 336 units on this parcel.  The Erie Town Council heard some 3 hours of testimony by over 80 residents on June 11, and continued the issue until a June 18 meeting.  At that meeting, after 3-1/2 hours of questions and discussion by the council members, staff, and the developer, the final vote was taken at about 11:15 pm:  5-1 AGAINST the rezoning.  The two main issues identified by council members as they cast their vote were: inadequacy of infrastructure for the development (especially related to traffic and drainage), and overwhelming community opposition and concern.  High-fives to the community organizers, who once again raised the bar for effective community organizing and action!  Articles about this issue:  June 18 meeting recap by Colorado Hometown Weekly     June 11 meeting recap by Daily Camera (paywall)    Erie Community's Victory Message


Proposed Development of Kanemoto Conservation Easement:

    * Community Lawsuit

    * Formation of Nonprofit for the Preservation of Conservation Easements


Huge news to report here!  The opposition group KARES (Keep Airport Road Environmental and Safe) is now fiscally sponsored by the tax-exempt non-profit, the Conservation Easement Preservation Society (CEPS).  This new 501(c)(3) non-profit just formed in late March, motivated by the Kanemoto issue and the more general issues raised by the County's actions regarding Conservation Easements.  The expressed mission of CEPS is to preserve and protect conservation easements in Boulder County from residential and commercial development. The mission is to also educate the public regarding the environmental, ecological, and communal benefits of conservation easements, as well as the importance of the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan (BCCP) and its role in preventing urban sprawl. 

The big implications of the CEPS formation are:  (1) Contributions to KARES are now tax exempt. (2) The group has retained an experienced environmental attorney who especially focuses on representing the interests of nonprofits.  As mentioned in our previous update, the judge has ruled that the plaintiffs (residents/KARES members) have standing and the lawsuit can proceed.  The group requests the community's donations for the legal fund.  Also, just set up by the group: please link your King Soopers card to the cause-- it's a way to donate without spending an extra penny, every time you shop.  Watch the one-minute video on how to link your card.  For more information, please see the KARES group website, stopkanemotosubdivision.com and especially the Updates tab of their website.


Other news:

  • Longmont is trying to balance development plans with aviation/FAA rules in area near Vance Brand airport:  Longmont Times-Call


  • A relatively new category of issue seems to be arising in rural areas-- applications for the installation of solar energy facilities on agricultural or rural residential lands.  See SU-24-0002 and the County's referral document(Pivot Solar Energy/Xcel Energy proposal for 4 acres, 9215 Arapahoe Rd) and SU-23-0005 (Harvest Moon proposal for 10 acres, 9770 Isabelle Rd., public hearing upcoming on July 19)


  • Early heads-up:  We hear that the owners of the 40-acre property at Niwot Road and 63rd Street are working on a new application, involving fewer homes but still using a TDR mechanism (Transferred Development Rights) to go beyond what the parcel would normally allow.  Stay tuned to our website and these email updates for information when it becomes available.  See our opposition website stop63rdstreetsubdivision.org for the previous (2023) application.  The petition against it had gathered about 900 signatures in a very short time last summer, and many residents had prepared presentations for the Planning Commission hearing in October when the applicants tabled their application.


Help us! 

We need volunteers to help us keep up with what's going on.  Please reach out to us. 


Bests,

Chris Ennis and Karen Mandery

Co-founders, Pro-RURAL Alliance

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