by Joseph Lekarczyk
In the interest of full disclosure, let it be known that the author of this article is married to the Mayor.Nearly two dozen citizens turned out for Monday’s Board of Trustees’ (BOT) meeting. The big attraction? A second reading and public hearing for an ordinance concerning amendments to the Commercial Eastern Corridor (CEC) Zone. At issue? Pretty much whether or not to make “formula businesses” (read franchises) a conditional use in the zone.
The score (of the sixteen or so who spoke)? Approximately twelve for conditional use, four against (one or two speakers were a little hard to determine where they came down).
The result by the BOT? No decision.
Discussion began with an overview by Town Planner Danna Ortiz, presentations and recommendations by Planning and Community Development Commission (PCDC) Chair Marty Hine and Economic Development Council (EDC) Chair Tom Douglas (PCDC was for conditional use, EDC against). Followed by public input from the aforementioned sixteen concerned citizens, Mayor Julie Van Domelen then asked the Board to focus on the less contentious aspects (those not having to do with “formula businesses) of the purposed ordinance. After a thirty-five minute discussion about rear set backs (five feet or twenty-five feet, exceptions granted by the Board of Adjustments, the Administrator, or the BOT, lot shapes and sizes, etc.) and no clear consensus among the Trustees, the Mayor then suggested, due to the late hour and the other items on the agenda, maybe compiling a list of questions (how much extra time/money for conditional use proposals, size of buildings, set backs, recommendations for developing criteria for design standards/guidelines for formula businesses, et al) that needed further explanation from the Planner, the PCDC, and the EDC for the June 20 meeting would be the prudent course. A motion was made, and it was so.
Then it was on to the second reading and public hearing for the ordinance concerning the Whipp annexation. This one, thankfully, wasn’t nearly as contentious, and nary a sole from the now almost empty room elected to speak. Just Mr. Whipp himself, and his neighbor, former Mayor Nick Angelo, who said everything was copasetic. A motion was made, which passed unanimously, and Whipp and his wife, Betsy Burton, became residents of the Town of Lyons.
The consent agenda, consisting of a resolution appointing Administrator Victoria Simonsen to the Members Council of Nebraska Powerpool, the May 16 BOT meeting minutes, and the May 2011 accounts payable (with the last minute addition of a $2500 contribution [budgeted] to the Historical Society) was passed. As was a resolution extending the 2011 Lyons Economic Development Incentive Plan for annexation requests until the end of the calendar year. The Trustees gave their reports (nothing earth shattering), and Simonsen gave her Administrator’s report; the highlights of which were twofold. First, the Lyons Comprehensive Plan was selected for a 2011 Merit Award in the category of Community Engagement (that committee should have seen the “community engagement” in the medical marijuana and formula business discussion), and second, Tom Plant, State Representative and ex Director of the Governor’s Energy Office, will be meeting with Lyons representatives on Monday, June 20, at 4 p.m. (in Town Hall) to discuss the possibility of having the first electric bus route in the state, between Boulder and Lyons!
As the clock inched past the ten o’clock hour, the Trustees and Staff went into executive session to discuss strategies for upcoming Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) and Super IGA between the Town of Lyons and Boulder County. No one got home before 11:30 p.m.