Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Vicky Dorvee

NCA hosting BOCO commissioner candidate forum


September 13, 2018

The Niwot Community Association (NCA) announced at its September board meeting that all three candidates for the Boulder County Commissioners District 3 position have accepted an invitation to participate in a public candidate forum on Wednesday, Sept. 19, at Left Hand Grange, 195 Second Avenue, Niwot.

The election for the position being vacated by three-term commissioner Cindy Domenico is being held Nov. 6. Candidates hoping to replace Domenico are Matt Jones (D), Gary Cooper (R), and Cliff Wilmeng (G).

Suggested questions for the candidates may be submitted through the NCA website - http://www.Niwot.org. The forum format will include an informal candidate mingling session from 6:30-7 p.m., followed by timed opening statements, questions and answers, rebuttals and closing statements.

RTD bus rapid transit informational meetings

NCA president, David Limbach, informed the association that RTD is two-thirds of the way through a study concerning bus rapid transit on Highway 119 between Boulder and Longmont. Public meetings will be scheduled in Boulder, Longmont, and Niwot. The meetings are expected to be held in October and will be publicized when details are available.

Discussion items include adding a dedicated bus lane, allowing buses to use the shoulder of the highway and installing bus stations along Highway 119. Two locations have been mentioned for a Niwot bus station – the medians at either the intersection of Highway 119 and Niwot Road or Highway 119 and 2nd Avenue. Pedestrian underpasses are also part of the dialogue.

A public opinion survey is being formulated, Limbach said, but it appears the questioning will be “generic to the whole corridor.” The Niwot bus station would not be included on the survey, so Limbach offered to, in conjunction with the Niwot Business Association, prepare and conduct a survey to address issues specific to Niwot.

Niwot Rural Community District discussions with Boulder County

NCA members Terry Larsen, Pat Murphy, and Laura Skaggs informed the board of recent discussions between the Niwot Design Review Subcommittee, of which all three are also members, and the Boulder County Land Use Department. Talks included proposed developments at the conjoined properties of 364 and 376 2nd Ave., submitted by Von’s Colorado Concepts (VCC), for 10 residences and two commercial units and a proposal for two duplexes submitted by Postle Properties IV in the 200 block of 2nd Avenue behind Osmosis Art Gallery.

The subcommittee will review the proposed buildings for aesthetics and will make recommendations, but has no legal authority in decisions.

Residents on 3rd Avenue have criticized the effect of the Southpaw Commons development located on 2nd Avenue (also a Postle project) on their privacy and the alley traffic between the streets and expressed concern for future projects.

Larsen said the county’s comment upon reviewing the VCC proposed layout was that the property was being subdivided and therefore “has to go to a whole other organization within the county and they (the county) actually went back and reread the regulations.” In doing so the county learned that the three residential units of the Southpaw Commons development were approved, because the county “erroneously missed a step,” according to Larsen.  

“The guidelines are loosey-goosey, and character and feelings is subjective,” Murphy said. “There are no guidelines on percentages of commercial versus residential buildings.”

Larsen and Murphy stated the regulations for that section of 2nd Avenue can be changed if a majority of property owners within the defined Niwot Rural Community District vote to amend them.

Skaggs stated that for now there are reasonable people involved in the process who are willing to compromise, but down the road, “there might be builders who would build to the letter of the law, not the spirit of it.”

“There’s a lot of adversarial heat building up about this that hopefully doesn’t have to go that distance,” Skaggs said. “That is what the county is hoping to be able to mediate by putting a little more flesh on the guidelines. Twenty years from now, there needs to be something in place that keeps Niwot Niwot and we don’t have to count on compromise, but that we will actually have the support of good documents.”

The county has expressed interest in setting up a public meeting prior to year end to discuss the guidelines, but thus far scheduling has not occurred.  

Recap of Niwot Cleanup Day

Tom Sesnic, NBA Vice President and Cleanup Day organizer, reported the day’s efforts diverted more items from trash piles than last year. In all, 62,000 pounds of recyclables were collected in 2017 while the unofficial figure for 2018 is nearly 77,500 pounds. Notably, more than 2500 pounds of mattresses were collected, an item new to this year’s list.

Sheriff’s crime map

NCA board member Johnny Barrett shared the Boulder County’s Sheriff’s website http://www.sheriff.boco.solutions/crime/ which informs the public of the types of crimes being reported and where they’ve taken place. Barrett reiterated the importance of keeping doors locked and reporting all crimes to the police.

In other business, guidelines for NCA grant requests have been completed and will be posted on the organization’s website.  It was also reported that attendance at Niwot’s National Night Out was lower than anticipated, but logistically the event went well.

The next NCA board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 3.



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