Senior Town Council Discusses Water Issues, Changes to Land Use Regulations

On Monday night, some senior residents opposed some aspects of the rebuilding process during a senior town council meeting in the wake of the Marshall fire.

Several residents of the Sagamore community, which were destroyed in the fire, raised concerns with the town council, particularly the zoning and building requirements needed for the redevelopment.

The Sagamore Community is a program development originally planned in 1997. As PD, the homes in this community are all built to similar development standards, which include specific setbacks for front yards, back yards, side yards and building separation.

After the Sagamore community was devastated by the Marshall Fire, some residents have been vocal about their concerns about rebuilding to current PD standards, and have asked the town to provide more flexibility on zoning requirements, arguing that more flexible zoning requirements could speed up rebuilding and allow for more Cost effective.

During one presentation, town staff suggested changes to setback requirements, among other aspects of PD. However, residents’ feedback on the presentation involved a lack of freedom in the building’s design.

In a public comment, senior resident Joey Cassidy expressed concern about restrictions on rebuilding the building.

“I feel like we should be able to design the house the way we want. We’re not going to spend more than half a million dollars building something that looks bad and that our neighbors will think is bad,” Cassidy said, adding that she worries Timing issues.

“I feel like this needs to be done as soon as possible, and it’s been delayed,” Cassidy said.

Another resident, Nadim Furzli, agreed with Cassidy. “All the designs in Denver and downtown Boulder have flexibility. Is everyone building hobbit houses and rocket ships? No. If someone does that, great. That shouldn’t stop people if they want to. Build rocket ships,” Furzli said.

“A more eclectic community is actually good for everyone financially, aesthetically, and in that sense, we want to be inclusive and fair,” Furzli added.

After hearing from town staff and the public, trustee Neil Shah agreed that the building redevelopment guidelines could be opened.

“Nobody would build a glass house, although if they wanted to, they could – it’s fire-resistant, maybe?” Shah joked.

“Let’s do what we can to remove barriers. Sagamore is a fairly united group and I honestly don’t think we’re moving as fast as they can, so let’s pick up the pace. I know it’s going to be hard on the staff and others. Say more pressure; let’s have a special meeting and whatever it takes to get this done,” Shah said.

Trustee Ken Lish reflected that the same rules for Original Town may not apply to Sagamore, and he wanted more input from residents on the matter.

“Sagamore is different from Original Town in that it has to be built in a way that is up to standard – not that that’s good or bad – but you know what you get, and as a homeowner you buy it. Change the whole rules of the road, basically Saying we’re going to put the same type of rules into Sagamore as in the original town, and I haven’t heard most of the Sagamore residents say that’s what they want, it probably hurts them a lot,” Leish said.

In conclusion, the Board generally agreed that they agreed to the proposed amendments to the original Town Land Use Commission. Regarding the Sagamore PD, the Board agreed to hold a special meeting to discuss changes to the Sagamore Community PD and gather additional information from residents on what they are looking for in the next step in the redevelopment process.

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