By Joseph Lekarczyk
A fortnight apparently was just not enough time. Despite continuing the public hearings from the July 2 Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting, pertaining to amending outdoor activities in the overlay district that was created nearly a decade ago, and the adoption of a plethora of International building codes into the Lyons Municipal codes, the Trustees on Monday night continued to struggle to find exactly the right wording for the two ordinances that would cover all conceivable circumstances and make everyone happy, now and in the future. The two thorny issues where: if, when, and
where outdoor music in the downtown area would be allowed; as well as if indoor fire suppression sprinkler systems would be required in all new/remodeled residential construction.
The first ordinance (amending the overlay district) apparently needed to be changed to accommodate a couple of prospective businesses that wished to add outdoor patio seating in the rear, and maybe some outdoor entertainment. There are three designations in the overlay district, which basically encompasses the properties along Main and High Streets between Third and Fifth Avenues. The “restricted” area, which runs along the northern side of High Street and acts as a buffer between commercial and residential neighborhoods; the “limited” area, which runs along the southern side of High Street, and the “open” area, which runs along Main Street. There a few parcels within the districts that don't conform with their neighboring parcels, and the amendment would make the districts more homogeneous. At issue seemed to be whether outdoor music (acoustic and/or amplified) will be allowed, and if so, on what days (Friday, Saturday, and maybe Sunday), and during what hours (noon to 9 p.m.), or (after school on Fridays till 9 p.m., and noon to 9 p.m. on Saturdays), or (after church on Sundays), and various permutations of all of the above. Exceptions were discussed; how many per year, should they be handled administratively, whether to “grandfather” a particular business, or just re-designate that particular lot as “limited” rather than “restricted,” would Rogers Hall be exempted if they played music outside on the steps, why were some things allowed by right in the “restricted” district but not in the less restrictive “limited” district, who was in compliance, who was not, should we send this back to the PCDC for new recommendation, etc., etc. After all these options were run up the flagpole to see who was saluting what, it was decided that what was really needed was another month, and a workshop, to clarify the sticking points. This will be re-visited at the BOT meeting on August 20.
The second, equally thorny, issue involved an ordinance that would adopt by reference the International building code covering a host of codes: fire, plumbing, mechanical, tiny homes, property management, building, energy conservation, swimming pool, fuel/gas, electrical, etc. These have been routinely adopted periodically when the various International codes are updated. At issue this time was a desire to exempt the requirement to install sprinkler systems in all new/remodeled homes in Lyons. Officials from the Lyons Fire Protection District felt that this should not be exempted. Since the Board had questions at their July 2 meeting and there was no one from the district to provide answers, the issue was continued until Monday's (July 16) meeting. The local fire marshall and building inspectors were present this time, and they did their best to answer most of the Trustees' questions: why other area towns (Longmont, Boulder, Berthoud, Estes Park, etc.) do not require this (turns out, some do); estimated added costs (estimates varied to as much as $10K per 1,000 square feet, i.e., 3,000 sq. ft. = $30K additional cost), did this include a second tap and the cost of cutting the street, were building inspection fees fixed or percentage; average response time for calls within Lyons proper, could a “hardship” exemption clause, in the event of another natural disaster, be added to the ordinance, were tiny homes exempt, how about ADUs, etc., etc. Mayor Connie Sullivan pointed out that since this only applied to new construction (and remodeled), and since Lyons is nearly at build-out, most of Lyons homes would not come under this ordinance; plus since most home fires are caused by faulty wiring, and new homes are build to the current stricter codes, they are less likely to experience a fire than most of the older homes in Lyons. Also, the conundrum of trying to build affordable housing in the future was discussed, as was the option of going back to the original wording of the ordinance that included the exemption. Motions were made and seconded, friendly amendments were made and voted on, one passed, one didn't, one was made and died for lack of a second. Discussion was had. Legal opinions were sought. A “straw poll” was taken, and at one point the Mayor admitted, “I'm lost.” Mayor Pro Tem Barney Dreistadt made a motion to approve the ordinance with the original language (from two weeks ago) with the exemption intact, but with the owner/buyer having the option of installing the sprinklers, and to come up with some way to “incentivize” them to do so. No suggestions on exactly how to do this were offered. However, the motion passed with overwhelming support.
The rest of the items on the meeting's agenda went about as one might expect. The Board formally appointed their new legal firm, Kissinger & Fellman P.C., and welcomed the new Town Attorney, Brandon Dittman.
Sgt. Bill Crist reported that he and his deputies are “Geared up and ready to go for RockyGrass;” the parks are “Still busy;” and he added, “We are ahead of the curve and ready for a busy summer.”
The numbers from the Finance Department are about where they should be for this time of year.
Town Administrator Victoria Simonsen that the auditor will be here on Monday, July 23, and that Governor John Hickenlooper will visit Bohn Park to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the flood.
Flood Recovery Project Manger Joe Kubala reported that the results of the camera scope of the Upper Fifth Avenue 6-inch sewer line have come back, and things look good. He indicated that (when the funding is allocated) a lining to the pipe can be installed, which should last another thirty to fifty years. This would cost about $100K, but would cost only half as much as replacing the entire line with with an 8-inch main. He recommended annual clean out maintenance (about $1K per year) until such time as the pipe can be lined. He added that the Utilities & Engineering Board recommended the Town taking formal possession of the main.
Former Boulder County Commissioner Will Toor gave the Trustees a PowerPoint presentation for a transportation ballot measure that will be on the November 2018 ballot. It is called “Let's Go Colorado” and would be a sales tax whose revenues would address the woeful transportation issues across the state (I-70 and I-25) as well as regional, rural, and Front Range problems. He was seeking a future endorsement via resolution by the Lyons Board of Trustees. Mayor Sullivan was strongly in favor of this idea, and it will most likely be on a future agenda.
The consent agenda was proved, consisting of the July accounts payable; a resolution with JVA Inc. to re-rate the wastewater treatment plant; another resolution with the same party regarding a comprehensive performance evaluation of said plant; a third resolution awarding the bid for the Lyons Valley River Park project to Robert Excavation Corp.; a fourth resolution approving the second amendment for the Second Avenue Bridge project to Loris & Associates; and finally a resolution awarding the bid to L4 Construction, LLC for the fencing along a buyout property.
During general business, a resolution for a memorandum of understanding with the Lyons Area Chamber of Commerce for a marketing and tourism grant was approved, and during her housing update, Simonsen informed the Board that Summit (the firm for the proposed affordable housing project) updated both sites (near the high school and adjacent to Eagle Canyon) and that they are planning a public input session (date and time TBD) “sometime before school starts.” She also informed the Trustees that she received a phone call from Mr. Van Cort (the owner of the Eagle Canyon parcel) last Friday (July 13) saying, “I'm not interested.” So, things on that front are, shall we say, in flux.
The hour was now just past 10:30 p.m., and putting their new legal representative through his paces, the Board then went into executive session to discuss strategies for negotiations, and to obtain legal advise regarding the on-going cost-savings contract dispute with Honeywell International, Inc., for the wastewater treatment plant. I have no idea what time they reconvened and adjourned the meeting. I went home to kiss my wife and walk the dog, and tried not to get it mixed up this time.