Recommendations unchanged despite public participation
TLAG calls for unbiased staff report
Aug. 25, 2016
If community engagement made any difference, they wouldn’t let us do it. That’s the lesson Gunbarrel residents learned yesterday when the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan staff released their final recommendations of 14 units per acre for the Twin Lakes parcels.
“All of our concerns about misuse of public lands, wildlife, preservation of neighborhoods, hydrology and other serious problems with this development proposal fell on deaf ears,” says Twin Lakes Action Group chair Dave Rechberger. “They never authentically considered or addressed any of these issues and how they would affect residents. We ended up where we started.”
When the BVCP Update process began more than a year ago, the Boulder County Housing Authority stated its intent to build 12 units per acre on the Twin Lakes fields (yielding 240 units total).
The BVCP staff’s final recommendations of 14 units per acre (Medium Density Residential) came after three months of facilitated talks, two open houses, and hundreds of letters, during which time citizens overwhelmingly called for the creation of a Greater Twin Lakes Open Space. All four governing bodies voted to advance TLAG’s Open Space request for further study, yet to date, that request has received no objective investigation or consideration.
At the Aug. 8 Open House for the BVCP staff draft recommendations, more than 90 percent of the comment cards submitted objected to MDR at the Twin Lakes. Specifically, 74 of the 80 comment cards (given to TLAG by request) called for an Open Space designation or the status quo, but with no effect: the final recommendations were the same as the draft recommendations. The proposed Environmental Preservation designations for the designated wetlands are also a poor bone to toss since Waters of the United States are already federally protected.
“For more than a year, hundreds of people have been sacrificing their nights and weekends, coming to meetings, researching, writing letters, speaking out, all in the good faith that their voices would be heard,” Rechberger said. “It is discouraging in the extreme that our public servants ignored us so completely in a fake public process. It’s time for citizens to demand better.”