Published in the April 28, 2016, edition of the Lyons Recorder.
COMMENTARY: What’s the future of affordable housing in Lyons?
Final Eastern Corridor planning workshop tonight
by Amy Reinholds
The Eastern Corridor could have zoning and land use that is compatible with affordable housing when landowners annex into the Town of Lyons in the future. Tonight you have the opportunity to shape what could happen in this area if you attend the final workshop about the Eastern Corridor Primary Planing Area, from 5:30-7 p.m. at Rogers Hall.
At tonight’s Implementation Open House for the Eastern Corridor Primary Planning Area master plan, both town residents and people who live in the surrounding community can review and provide input on a preferred concept. The preferred concept presented will be based on stakeholder objectives, previous community input, economic feasibility/impact, required actions and resources, and consequences and benefits.
Even if you can’t attend tonight, you can continue to provide feedback on the three development scenarios from the previous April 14 Eastern Corridor Workshop on the forum here: www.townoflyons.com/460/Submit-Public-Input. You can submit your ideas, concerns, and questions on the forum or contact Matthew Manley, Flood Recovery Planner, firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-823-6622, ext. 49. Make sure to get all comments in by early next week.
Before tonight’s meeting, or before you provide input on the forum, review the presentation from a workshop with the Board of Trustees on April 18, with the most recent illustrations, maps, and financial scenarios: http://www.townoflyons.com/DocumentCenter/Home/View/595.
The presentation shows three scenarios, on slides 17-19. For example, in Scenario 1, I like the Mixed Use Employment use in the “Commercial Corridor” area and the live-work residential in the “Neighborhood Corner” area. In Scenario 2, I like the more units in the “Neighborhood Center” area, including 5 live-work. However, in both Scenario 1 and 2, it would be better if there was land use in the “Neighborhood Corner/Center” area that would be compatible for more rentals, including Senior affordable housing. In Scenario 3, I like that the “Mixed Industrial” area would be compatible with affordable live-work housing, and that area would be connected by the pedestrian path to the Lyons Valley Park area.
Another slide to pay attention to is the “State of the Town” slide 12, which shows what would happen if the Town of Lyons didn’t allow annexation from any of the Primary Planning Area and instead focused only on what was already in town limits. Build-out of undeveloped parcels only within current town boundaries will result in a budgetary deficit of $52,846 or 31% per year. Based on 72 acres within the town limits and densities for their current zoning, the balance of revenue generation from residential and non-residential would be projected to be $119,228, but total service costs to the town would be projected to be $172,075 per year.
You don’t have to live within town limits to participate in tonight’s Eastern Corridor meetings or any of the Primary Planning Area Master Plan meetings. Both residents and members of the community who live outside town limits have the right (and in my opinion, the responsibility) to participate in shaping this plan.
I feel very strongly about this: If you don’t attend the meetings or provide input through the forum or other contact info, you lose both credibility and respect when you post complaints on Facebook or complain to neighbors in person. This is your community process. You should participate now instead of just complaining later.
The Town of Lyons, through a Colorado Heritage Planning Grant, is planning for future development and redevelopment in the Lyons Primary Planning Area, which is broken into three areas: the Eastern Corridor, the South St. Vrain River Corridor, and the Apple Valley Road. The purpose of the Lyons Primary Planning Area Master Plan is to understand conditions that will influence future investment, as well as to identify and illustrate the type and location of desired public and private improvements within the area. The Lyons Primary Planning Area is made up parcels in Boulder County, along the fringe but outside of the current Town of Lyons boundaries.
Before properties in the Primary Planning Area can be considered for incorporation/annexation into the Town of Lyons, town officials need to be provided with details about feasible and desired uses for land in the area, in accordance with the Town of Lyons 2010 Comprehensive Plan, the Lyons-Boulder County Intergovernmental Agreement, the Lyons Recovery Action Plan, and Lyons Municipal Code.
The Eastern Corridor is the first portion of the Primary Planning Area Master Plan that consultants from Ricker|Cunningham, a practice of Real Estate Economists, and planners and engineers from Kimley-Horn are completing for the town. Manley, in his role as Lyons Flood Recovery Planner, is coordinating the master planning process. Later in the summer and fall, the South St. Vrain River Corridor and the Apple Valley workshops will be held. You can get more information at www.townoflyons.com/441/Lyons-Primary-Planning-Area.
All town meetings are open to the public and posted on the calendar at www.townoflyons.com/calendar.aspx. Keep following my columns in both Lyons papers for news about any accomplishments to increase affordable housing stock in Lyons. For background and history, you can read previous columns at www.lyonsrecorder.com/index.php/opinions/40-housing. If you have any questions, comments, or complaints about this column, please contact me directly at areinholds @hotmail.com.
Amy Reinholds served on the Lyons Housing Recovery Task Force from December 2013 through its end in February 2015. She is currently a member of the Lyons Human Services and Aging Commission and served as a liaison to the Special Housing Committee in the past year. She has lived in Lyons since 2003 and in the surrounding Lyons area since 1995.