By Joseph Lekarczyk
In the interest of full disclosure, let it be known that the author of this article is married to the Mayor.The Board of Trustees (BOT) met at 5:30 p.m. Monday evening for a pre-meeting workshop to map out their latest strategies in the ongoing Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) discussions between the Town of Lyons and Boulder County. The IGA is a guideline between the two entities that determines, among other things, what properties and land will be in the Lyons primary planning area, which ones will be in the secondary planning area, who has final say over what properties are eligible to be annexed into the Town of Lyons, which ones are eligible to be purchased for open space, what kind of development will be allowed on annexed properties, what will become of the CEMEX property (over 800 acres) if the plant ever ceases to operate and they want to sell their assets, etc., and one final nugget: the length of time the IGA will cover.
The BOT was leaning toward a ten-year term on the IGA, while Boulder County feels that twenty-five years would be more appropriate. The Board, Town Staff, and the Planning and Community Development Commission (PCDC) have spent an enormous amount of time on this agreement over the last two years, as different proposals have been batted back and forth between the two governments. Most of the Trustees and Mayor Julie Van Domelen feel like the Town of Lyons has achieved almost everything they had hoped for, and in fact later, at a public hearing on the matter during the regularly scheduled 7 o’clock BOT meeting, Jeff Cornell and Marty Hine (both former PCDC Chairmen who had worked on the IGA extensively, and admitted they felt a lot of frustration with the County’s tactics during the process) lauded the latest proposal, saying they never imagined that the Town could negotiate such a favorable agreement with the County. The lone holdout on the Board was Trustee Ed Bruder, who stated he still didn’t feel comfortable with the proposal. The Mayor instructed Administrator Victoria Simonsen to send the latest changes back to the County, and have any additional changes from the County ready for perusal by the end of the week, for another workshop on Monday, March 26, at 7 p.m.
At a little after 7 p.m., the Mayor closed the workshop, and called the regular meeting to order. Things looked like they might continue apace. Lyons Substation Supervisor Sgt. Kevin Parker was out of town, so he had no report and no one spoke during audience business. After a short presentation and a few “atta girls” by supporters, the Trustees, acting as the local liquor licensing authority, approved a beer and wine liquor license for Wanda’s Coffee, Tea, & Gifts, located in the Lyons Village Central Plaza on Main Street. This decision resulted in a breakout of spontaneous applause by the two dozen or so people who were in attendance. The consent agenda, consisting of the March 5 BOT meeting minutes, the March accounts payable, and the January 2012 financials, was passed without much ado. Likewise first reading on ordinance approving the lease of Town property with Spirit Hound Distillery at 4196 Ute Highway (the former Red Hill Motorcycle WERX), although it seems some money is still owed the Town from the previous lease. A public hearing for an eight-dollar reduction of the base water rate for the Lyons Fire Protection District and out-of-town users got no speakers, and was passed post haste, as was the first reading for the Vasquez 2 property (the old motel next to the Blue Mountain Stone Yard) annexation.
Next up was a first reading of an ordinance to amend the zoning regulations for the proposed Commercial Eastern Corridor. It was at this point that the meeting ground to a halt. Apparently Planner Danna Ortiz had prepared at least three, possibly four, different memos for the Board. All of them confusing, and none of them seemingly reflecting the changes the Trustees and Mayor had asked for. This led to a laborious (and extremely difficult to follow) procedure of going over each of seven criteria, to see if they were indeed covered in other parts of the code, determining if they applied only for this new zone or across the board in all zones, and if they reflected the Board’s positions concerning square footage for retail establishments, restaurants with drive up windows, number of rooms/beds for hotels, and on and on. This was all sorted out, and Ortiz was instructed to make the changes that would trigger “use by special review” (5,000 sq. ft. for retail, drive up windows at restaurants, and greater than 20 rooms for hotels) as opposed to use by right.
It was now pushing 9:45 p.m., and in a whirl-wind of legislative activity, the Board passed a resolution for requests for proposal for Auditing services for the Town, another to approve 2011 budget adjustments, and a third amending support for a River Corridor Initiative Grant from GOCO in the space of about two minutes.
It was then time for them to go into executive session to discuss the possible acquisition of real property, and give the negotiator direction on the purchase of said property. The Mayor cleared the room of all four people who were still present, and the Board toiled on with their appointed duties until the wee hours of the night (about 11:30 p.m.).