Last Friday the Town made an offer to the City of Lafayette to establish a setback buffer between the Beacon Hill neighborhood and Nine Mile Corner. While the setback issue directly affects only a few households, Nine Mile Corner’s true community purpose extends to every corner of our town.
The reason our offer is news is because it is based on recognized and accepted land use standards of the City of Lafayette. What this means is that we have offered to establish a setback buffer that is at least the size and similar in form to what Lafayette would require when someone builds commercial development next to a residential neighborhood in their own city. To be clear, we are offering to use Lafayette’s own requirements as a minimum standard not a maximum standard. Ultimately, the setback buffer could be greater than what is called for in their own requirements.
So why did we make the offer now? One: We are a little further along in the design process. Two: Lafayette has been pushing us for an answer. That said, we can’t give an exact dimensional standard for the buffer yet because it doesn’t exist. First we have to finish the conceptual “Master Plan” and not until we have the final “Site Plan” will we know the detailed engineering drawings that show building footprints, parking, drainage, sanitary sewer lines, landscaping and yes setback buffer.
We think our offer is more than fair. We think this is another demonstration of our good faith efforts in working with our neighbors while both of us pursue commercial interests along the very same stretch of Highway 287.
Now the reason our offer is not news: Because we’re doing what we said we were going to do!
In March of 2015, Mayor Berg and residents from Lafayette’s Beacon Hill neighborhood came to one of our Trustees meetings and asked the Board to consider their concerns related to a setback buffer at Nine Mile Corner. I promised then, that we would not only consider their concerns, but that we would keep them informed of our progress along the way. Since that time, the Town has sent out over 30 notifications related to Nine Mile Corner and both our development partner and I have met with and listened to many of the residents on Lucerne Drive. I believe Erie has done what we said we were going to do. Our offer to establish a setback buffer is the most recent best example.
I want to come back to the concept of “community purpose” I mentioned earlier. Nine Mile Corner’s true community purpose is to assist us in building an economically sustainable community. The annually renewable sales tax revenues generated from Nine Mile Corner have the opportunity to do just that – create new revenue streams to help diversify our economy.
Recently, Erie and Lafayette have both annexed property into their incorporated areas and both of us have announced plans for commercial development at Highway 287 and Arapahoe. Both communities should be free to achieve their best community purpose. We don’t need a judge to decide.
Work continues at the Nine Mile Corner project and I can proudly say each step along the way we continue to live up to our commitments.
It is an honor to serve as your Mayor. Sincerely, Tina Harris