Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jesse Murphy

Public meeting next week for IGA


A public hearing between the Boulder County Commissioners and the Boulder County Planning Commission is scheduled for June 28 from 1 to 4 p.m.

The purpose of the hearing is to discuss matters related to the final approval of updates to the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan as part of the 5-year review process.

What is of concern to residents in unincorporated Boulder County is that one particular point of discussion during the hearing will also review renewal of the current Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) between Boulder County and the City of Boulder.

The proposed changes would, in effect, allow the City of Boulder to make land use changes and possibly annex parts of the county without needing the approval of the Boulder County Planning Commission, which is currently required.

Dave Rechberger, a member of the Twin Lakes Action Group which helped convince the Boulder County Planning Commission to deny a Twin Lakes affordable housing proposal, said that this move equates to voters and taxpayers in parts of the county deemed “Area 2” will no longer have a say in what happens in their communities.

“We’re really concerned that the inter-governmental agreements are taking away the power of the county and its residents,” Rechberger said. “It basically leaves us with no voice whatsoever on land use changes. We don’t think that’s appropriate.”

The move would eliminate the current four-body review required by the IGA and give the City of Boulder more control over land use decisions for properties adjacent to the city.

Rechberger said that at a city council meeting last week, the IGA and changes to the comprehensive plan were discussed.

He said two members of the Boulder City Council — Lisa Morzel and Mary Young — were against the move to eliminate the four-body review process.

TLAG formed as a result of the county and city making open space available for development, and is currently fighting against a proposed housing development near Twin Lakes that many residents think would not only be a detriment to the area, but also allow housing where infrastructure is not in place to support the proposed influx of residents.

Currently, the comprehensive plan is updated every five years, with a clause that emergency changes can be made if needed. The changes as proposed would turn that into a 10-year cycle.

“I think these things have a tendency to compound,” Rechberger said. “And I think elected officials just want to let it go, and that’s just inappropriate.”

“There’s an agenda that they want to accomplish, but too many voices have got in the way of that. It doesn’t seem logical with the progression of things that have happened. With Twin Lakes in particular, we kind of beat them at their own game so now they’re just changing the rules.”

Since TLAG is a non-profit entity, it is not allowed to be politically active outside of attending public hearings and speaking their mind to elected officials on current issues.

Rechberger said that is going to change soon in that some members are working to form another group, Greater Gunbarrel, that will operate similar to a political action group

“We’re not going to give up,” Rechberger said. “Twin Lakes Action Group as a committee has continued to grow. What we’re trying to do is preserve the rural look and feel of our neighborhoods.

“Bringing in more housing and development without having a mechanism to be heard by our local government just seems wrong.”

But for now, TLAG is going to continue to work to try and keep the inter-governmental agreement in place.

“The comprehensive plan basically has been re-written start to finish,” Rechberger said. “Our website has a link to the changes, it’s been gutted.”

More information and a detailed list of changes to the plan can be found on their website, http://www.tlag.org.


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