Kimberly Gibbs: Trampling citizens’ rights

The Jan. 19 Camera article (“Twin Lakes debate resumes“) accurately quoted my comments to the BoCo Planning Commission, describing efforts to annex Gunbarrel land parcels into the city of Boulder and upzone them to medium-density residential as “an outright theft from the Gunbarrel community.

Should dedicated lands be used for their intended purpose? Do property owners have adequate recourse when radical zoning changes are proposed on adjacent parcels? Does the intense pressure to build affordable housing justify trampling citizen rights, degrading existing neighborhoods and destroying valuable wildlife habitat? Isn’t it about time we had an honest debate about the merits and pitfalls of unbridled commercial development?

Source: Kimberly Gibbs: Trampling citizens’ rights – Boulder Daily Camera

Rick Adams and Sarah Bexell: Why Twin Lakes Matters 

A smallish parcel of grassland habitat that abuts Twin Lakes Open Space is being considered for destruction and development. To the untrained human eye, this parcel may seem an eyesores compared to the surrounding human-manicured landscapes. However, to the wildlife species that call it home, it is all they have. Even though these two parcels are not pristine or even historically natural, they provide resources in the form of food, shelter and safety. They are also part of a migration and dispersal corridor that is unique and irreplaceable.

Source: Rick Adams and Sarah Bexell: Why Twin Lakes Matters – Boulder Daily Camera

Michael L. Smith: Shut down Twin Lakes train wreck

Reality Check! Boulder will always have what the Boulder County Housing Authority mis-labels as an “affordable housing crisis.” Here’s why:

Boulder remains a desirable place to live. Even as Boulder’s quality of life begins to crumble under its own success, people and corporations still want to come here. That creates more jobs, and more demand for housing. That demand, in turn, drives housing prices even higher. As long as corporations and people stream into Boulder, that cycle will continue. Even if Boulder County Housing Authority (BCHA) built 500 new affordable housing units each year, they still could never get ahead of that simple economic curve. Build more affordable housing, and even more folks in need of affordable housing will flock to Boulder and fill it up. And the word will spread, which puts us even further behind the curve.

Do you see the cycle? Do you see the insoluble problem? There is a word for what’s going on in Boulder — “unsustainable.” And there is a word for what BCHA is trying to do to fix it — “insanity.”

Full Story: Michael L. Smith: Shut down Twin Lakes train wreck – Boulder Daily Camera

Boulder County planning panel hears resumed debates over Twin Lakes properties – Boulder Daily Camera

Arguing once again against the Housing Authority’s and school district’s higher-density housing-designation proposal, however, was Dave Rechberger, chairman of the Twin Lakes Action Group.

Rechberger, whose organization has pushed to keep the 20 acres designated as open space, precluding any future development there, accused backers of the change to a medium-density category of having engaged in “a pattern of manipulation and misrepresentation of the process and facts.”

Full Story: Boulder County planning panel hears resumed debates over Twin Lakes properties – Boulder Daily Camera

Twin Lakes Action Group objects to Boulder County-arranged rides to land-use hearings – Boulder Daily Camera

Boulder County shouldn’t arrange or provide rides for affordable-housing supporters who want to speak at a county Planning Commission hearing next Wednesday, according to a neighborhood group opposing a medium-density-residential land-use designation for the properties being proposed for such a project.

Full Story: Twin Lakes Action Group objects to Boulder County-arranged rides to land-use hearings – Boulder Daily Camera

Matt Samet: Come hell or high water at Twin Lakes?

In Gunbarrel, two 10-acre parcels near the Twin Lakes Open Space are being considered for medium-density residential development. With an MR designation and annexation, the rural-residential fields would go from allowing one dwelling unit on each parcel to allowing up to 140 units on each.

Along with other problematic issues, the area’s hydrology renders any development highly questionable. According to Boulder’s 2013 FEMA map, the properties are inside the zone most impacted by the 2013 floods in all of Gunbarrel, with that zone’s color corresponding to the assigned range of 66 to 137 claims.

Full Story: Matt Samet: Come hell or high water at Twin Lakes? – Boulder Daily Camera

Susan Lambert: Taking Twin Lakes dedicated land

In this myriad of broken agreements, broken rules and broken policies, it’s hard to decide which is the worst offense, but I choose the blatant abuse of dedicated lands owned by Boulder Valley School District. These dedicated lands were granted to BVSD as a county requirement of subdivision developers for one sole purpose: to build a school or park for the benefit of the contributing neighborhood. Period. If BVSD chooses not to build a school, then the land should serve as green space. Any other contrived use of dedicated lands should be considered stealing from the communities for which they were intended. Any other use would be breaking the agreement BVSD entered into when they took possession.

Source: Susan Lambert: Taking Twin Lakes dedicated land – Boulder Daily Camera