By Joseph Lekarczyk
The Board of Trustees (BOT) held a pre-meeting workshop Monday evening to “conceptually” discuss their desires and ideas for a request for proposals (RFP) for the development of Lyons Village East (aka the Eastern Corridor; aka the ten-acre decommissioned waste water treatment plant recently purchased by the Town of Lyons from the City of Longmont). The consensus among the Trustees seemed to be, follow the guidelines set forth in the Comp Plan, make the request broad enough not to dissuade nor favor any particular developer (large or small), but, to put a fine enough point on it so that potential developers will understand what the town wants and needs in the realm of future development (i.e., hotel, affordable
housing, commercial, multiple use, etc.), not to compete, but rather “support” existing businesses (wedding venues, festivals, etc.), include the possible relocation of existing in-town businesses to the area (so as to free up in-town parcels for possible affordable housing), and, oh yeah, be sure to mention that the property is zoned for a marijuana grow facility. That should keep staff busy for the next couple of weeks.
The other item on the workshop agenda was a presentation by staff that concerned a proposal for bringing an annual Powerman race (a duathlon - running and biking) to Lyons, perhaps as early as October of 2018. The event would be part of a world-wide series of Powerman races (similar to the Ironman series of races), that are apparently quite popular among the European, Australian, and Asian running population, and according to Mayor Connie Sullivan are gaining attention with U.S. competitors as well. The races can be multi-day events, and Sullivan and staff expressed the desire to make them “family friendly” with races for kids, families, individuals, and teams, with the inclusion of food trucks, beer tents, live music, etc.
The idea of “branding” the events as “The Lyons, Colorado Powerman Race” was deemed important, and would help to generate sponsorship revenues and entry fees. Sullivan envisioned not only capturing the runners from the Boulder/Front Range area, but indicated that runners from all over the country might potentially use the race to qualify for other international Powerman races. She even postulated that international competitors might eventually find their way to Lyons for the event. Staff was instructed to work up some numbers, and the Board will take it under consider for the 2018 budget.
Sgt. Bill Crist of the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office reported that “a few things needed to be tweaked" for the Good Old Days celebration, but otherwise things went fairly smoothly. Not so the weekend traffic. According to Crist, “it was a real mess, with two lanes of cars backed up all the way to Diamond Shamrock.” He added it was all about “volume, volume, volume.” Crist noted that several of the drivers whom he spoke with, who were using the back street neighborhoods to get through town, had been directed to do so by their on board GPS systems! Crist also noted that, “LaVern Johnson Park was a complete nightmare, with cars constantly going in and out of the park looking for parking, and eventually parking on the neighborhood streets.” He reported that there was an unruly couple camping in the park who were creating a constant disturbance that wasn’t quite up to the level to be taken in to custody, however it was later discovered that the male half of the couple was responsible for the theft at the Lyons Laundromat, and he was hauled in for that. His “better half” high-tailed it for parts unknown, and the BoCo deputies where left to decamp for unrulies. Crist suggested that staff might want to re-visit the length of time campers are allowed to stay, and park regulations. Town Administrator Victoria Simonsen indicated that would be looked into after the Labor Day weekend.
During staff reports, the Trustees were told that approximately one hundred sixty health clinic survey responses were complied, and more were expected if and when they expand the pool to include those who live outside of Lyons. A Good Old Days update, from the Town’s perspective was given. The two main items touched on were, “more things for the tweens and teens to do,” and “rerouting the 5K run.”
Apparently the Mayor stepped on a snake while in the midst of her run! In reference to camping in the park, it was learned that the fees would be going up to a nice round number to lessen the park host’s need to constantly be making change, and the length of time for camping might also be tweaked seasonally; longer in the winter, and shorter during the summer. Using local sandstone to create high water flood markers at various sites (Bohn and Meadow Parks, the Confluence Neighborhood, etc.) received a round of support from the Board. And Simonsen introduced recently hired Flood Recovery Manager, Richard Markovich, to the Trustees, and he gave a brief bio of his previous work experience.
Acting as the Lyons Liquor Authority, a special events permit was granted to the Lyons Arts & Humanities Commission for a farm-to-table dinner to be held at the Lyons Farmette later this summer.
A public hearing for a resolution authorizing a conditional use for a detached auxillary dwelling unit (ADU) at 600 Indian Lookout Road, which was continued from the June 19 BOT meeting was resumed. The applicant indicated he had met with his neighbors to discuss the plans for the ADU, and that “five out of the six had, if not supported the idea, at least agreed not to oppose it,” after a breeze-way was added to connect the two structures. The sixth neighbor attended the public hearing, and was still not happy with the plans and contended that among other things, the addition of an ADU was in violation of the H.O.A. covenants and regulations. There seems to be differing opinions as to whether or not an H.O.A. of the properties still exists, or whether one was ever even filed with the county or registered with the state. Be that as it may, the Trustees indicated that it was not within their purview to come between two residents in an H.O.A. squabble, and that as long as Town codes and zoning requirements were met, they were inclined to authorize the conditional use. And so it was done, in a six to zero vote. Trustee James Kerr was in absentia.
The consent agenda, consisting of the following items was passed in short order: a resolution authorizing the Town Administrator to enter into a contract with Powerman Colorado; a resolution approving the EDA award second amendment for the Easter Corridor utilities; a resolution authorizing a professional service agreement with S2O for a hydraulics study; the July 2017 accounts payable; the June 8 and June 19 BOT meeting minutes; a resolution approving a sales contract by the Town for the property located at 323 Fifth Avenue (CDBG-DR buyout); a resolution appointing one new member to the Board of the Lyons Regional Library District; and three resolutions determining that the 2013 flood response and recovery service and materials performed by Brekke Storage, Colorado Precast Concrete, and Martin Marietta Materials, Inc., were reasonable and necessary.
During general business the Trustees discussed and formalized the information that had been talked about in the workshop concerning the RFP for Lyons Village East. Staff was directed to proceed with putting together the items discussed into an RFP. A second item, was about whether any ballot issues might need to be prepared for the November coordinated election. A room tax or occupancy fee was bandied about (a tax has to be approved by the voters, while a fee can be implemented by a vote of the BOT), and the Mayor wanted to get a feel how the Board felt about perhaps amending the five-acre annexation ordinance since it is fresh in everyone’s mind with the recent Planet Bluegrass Farm annexation request. It was determined that the “window” for getting something on the November ballot was a little tight (must be filed by the second BOT meeting in August), so it may be readdressed in the April election.
The last item discussed during this portion of the agenda was the location/relocation of the Fourth Avenue pedestrian bridge that was washed away during the flood.
Option 1 is to put it back where it was. This would require elevating it, much like the homes in the area, and adding a long ramp on the south side of the river to comply with federal ADA regulations. These requirements would make it the most expensive option (about $285K).
Option 2 is to position the bridge downstream, crossing the river at the corner of Third Avenue and Park Street (at the site of the former Christmas House). This site would connect two buyout properties on either side of the river, and would meld nicely with the proposed new Bohn Park plans. It would require the construction of a
crushed stone path to connect with the trail in Bohn Park, but would still be less expensive than Option 1 (between $225K and $240K depending on the cost of the path).
Option 3 is to construct a pedestrian bridge next to the Fifth Avenue Bridge, which would be the least expensive (maybe 175K), but was deemed to be redundant, since there is already a sidewalk crossing the Fifth Avenue Bridge.
Option 4 was the “do nothing” option. This was definitely the least expensive-zero dollars, but was not terribly popular with anyone on the Board.
After much discussion and rationalizing about pedestrian flow, access to downtown, access to the Post Office, adaptability of residents, accessibility/connectivity to the park, keeping the neighborhood feel for the area, etc., it was determined, in a unanimous vote, that Option 2 (Third Avenue and Park Street) was the preferred site for the replacement bridge.
The Trustees gave their reports, and the meeting was adjourned.