Longmont City Council to Consider a 2018-2019 ‘work Plan’

July 31, 2018

Forms are built Monday for a foundation on Widgeon Drive in Longmont. Longmont City Council on Tuesday will consider a work plan for the rest of this year and 2019, which is expected to include the goal of having a "full spectrum of affordable housing for all incomes and stages of life."

If you go

What: Longmont City Council study session to consider a city government “work plan”

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Civic Center council chambers, 350 Kimbark St., Longmont

Furrther information: The full council agenda, including staff memos about the items to be discussed, can be viewed through a link at tinyurl.com/yc52lz9c

Longmont’s City Council on Tuesday night is to consider adopting a formal “work plan” that would set some priorities for city government’s attention the rest of this year and in 2019.

That work plan, drafted by Longmont’s staff for council review and discussion during this week’s study session, would concentrate on three areas that council members earlier this year agreed the city should focus on: transportation and the city’s future development and redevelopment.

Longmont should have “a full spectrum of attainable housing for all incomes and stages of life,” according to the staff’s draft, which is based in part on visions and goals the council informally agreed upon during a retreat earlier this year.

The city should have “connected, efficient, innovative, affordable local and regional transportation,” according to the draft plan. It also would say that development and redevelopment of parts of the city should be “thoughtful” and balance environmental, economic and social goals set in Envision Longmont, the long-range comprehensive master plan the City Council adopted in 2016.

Several council members have emphasized that any formal work plan should include specific “action work steps” and “metrics” that they, the staff and Longmont residents could use to track and measure the city’s progress toward achieving the goals and policies set in the plan.

Some of those tasks are already underway or are soon to be up for council votes, with or without inclusion in the yet-to-be-adopted work plan.

In the housing and development categories, for example, the council on July 25 voted its initial approval of a sweeping set of updates to the municipal code section that contains the city’s regulations, restrictions and conditions for annexing, zoning, subdividing and developing properties. A final council vote on that Land Development Code ordinance is set for Aug. 14.

A council majority has indicated its support for reinstating an inclusionary-housing mandate that would require housing development projects to have a certain percentage of their units meet affordable-housing standards. The council is moving toward adoption of such a requirement and is expected in several weeks to consider an ordinance that would put it into place.

The city staff has suggested that Longmont could measure progress toward its affordable housing goals in the proposed work plan by profiling the population being served by city policies, by tracking the number of affordable homes added annually as well as the number of affordable homes that are kept affordable when they’re resold, and by gauging “market reactions” to the inclusionary-housing ordinance.

As for the proposed work plan’s transportation focus area, the city staff’s draft would include refining Longmont’s own transportation projects “wish list.”

The city also would work toward ensuring that Longmont’s transportation priorities are included on any statewide project list, such as one that the Colorado Transportation Commission has developed in the event a proposed state sales-tax hike for transportation funding makes it onto November’s ballot and is approved by the state’s voters.

City officials and Longmont’s Regional Transportation District representative were unsuccessful on July 19 to get the state commission to specifically add funding for a share of the costs of moving ahead with the Regional Transportation District’s long-delayed Northwest Rail commuter passenger train service to Longmont.

The transportation focus area of the proposed work plan also would include continuing to have Longmont work with other officials from communities and counties along the Northwest Rail corridor toward securing funding for an initial “peak rail” service during morning and evening commuter rush hours.

The city staff’s suggested work plan draft is based at least in part on the general goals and visions council members informally agreed upon during their annual retreat on May 18.

One of the long-range visions that council members agreed to during their May retreat that they wanted to emphasize was to work toward a goal that “in 20 years, Longmont will be the world’s greatest village, where children are most fortunate to be born and raised, where people will have access to food and shelter and everyone has the opportunity to thrive and feel they belong.”

Council members also outlined goals of developing Main Street from Pike Road to Highway 66 and developing the river corridor from Sugar Mill to the fairgrounds, in addition to diversifying housing stock, developing business opportunities and its workforce and protecting the natural environment.

Contact Staff Writer John Fryar at 303-684-5211 or jfryar@times-call.com or twitter.com/jfryartc

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