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Says it all …

3 May

We apologize for not having posted anything in awhile but the county continues to life difficult for those living in the county! Check out this article in the Longmont Times Call: http://www.longmontweekly.com/longmont-opinion/ci_19562477?source=most_viewed.

Some Hope …

20 Jan
The Boulder County planning department meeting last night went surprisingly well. An article in the Times – Call explained it fairly well (http://www.timescall.com/news/longmont-local-news/ci_19771134).

The Planning Department recognized, after months of public input, that there are legitimate concerns with over-intrusive building codes in the county AND that public input should be one of the guiding principles to be used to draft the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan. After hearing the public testimonies, one person on the Planning Commission suggested the words “personal freedom” be put into the introduction. During the session, there was some confusion though as to who had the authority to approve the plan…the Planning Commission
or the County Commissioners. A speaker from the public suggested, after reading state law, that the Planning Commission was in charge of making the final decision on the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan. After consulting a county attorney, this was “partially verified.” On the surface, this seems hopeful since the Planning Department seems to be a little more balanced than the commissioners with all but two calling for increased public participation.

Is the battle won? Not even close. There are too many people in Boulder that subscribe to UN Agenda 21 and believe people shouldn’t live in the county and should be hoarded into the cities, thus making life difficult for those who live in the unincorporated areas as a way to move them out. And the process for change will be long – pressure MUST be kept on and residents of unincorporated Boulder County MUST be heard. But at least we made it to the race course, the race has started, we are starting into the first curve, and the trip to the finish line is a possibility!

This blog will continue to give hints on dealing with these restrictive codes and how to achieve the dreams you have always had regarding YOUR property!

An Explanation as to WHY we aren’t heard in unincorporated Boulder County

11 Dec

A recent article in the Boulder Daily Camera offers a pretty decent explanation as to why we aren’t listened as a group in unincorporated Boulder County. One of the last paragraphs in the article says it well: ” I think of my neighbors, one a die-hard libertarian and the other a young couple, who have, like so many people, run afoul of the county’s byzantine, unfair, unnecessarily intrusive land-use rules. And so long as you have not just one party, but a cadre of party insiders, running the show, it’s hard for citizens like these to be heard.” Check out the full article at http://www.dailycamera.com/opinion-columnists/ci_19511126.

Eminent Domain

4 Dec

Check out this link: http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-county-news/ci_19463709?source=most_viewed

This is Boulder, not Boulder County (the focus of this blog). The county says they have never used eminent domain and never will. Probably because 70% of the land in the county is already “public” land, they don’t need to take anymore away! But there is always a first time … and with their current attitude of not giving a “you know what” about our property rights, we believe it isn’t far away …

Non Partisan Issue

20 Nov

The issues addressed in this blog are, believe it or not, not partisan. Democrats, Republicans, Liberals, Conservatives, and on and on – just care about their property rights. It turns out, Boulder County isn’t unique in property rights being abused – this is a national issue. A friend in Eugene, Oregon tells me the same thing is going on there … and after years, there has been success in protecting property rights AND that the issue there is also the same! My friend writes me that “… conservative, liberals, progressives, even kids-who-wear-their-baseball-cap backwards have found mutual ground on these issues.”

Additional information can be found at www.freedomadvocates.org. You may or may not agree with all this information, but it address issues will effect you all in unincorporated Boulder County.

Longmont Times-Call Article

20 Nov

http://www.timescall.com/news/longmont-local-news/ci_19375194

Unintended Consequences

19 Nov
Many of the unincorporated areas of Boulder County need repair. The houses are getting older and they are ripe for people to improve the homes and the properties. Unfortunately, with county building codes as stringent as they are and as difficult as it is to do much of anything with your property, this isn’t being done. The unintended consequence? The county is encouraging the “slumming” of unincorporated Boulder County. Values are not increasing (or in our economic times, dropping faster) than areas within the cities. The county is basically squashing the American dream. Someone suggested we do a petition that would not allow the County to have stricter building codes than the cities – if only to make the playing field equal when it came to the value of one’s property!

My Three Minutes to the County Planning Board

17 Nov
My three minutes to the County Planning Board on November 16, 2011
My husband and I live in Unincorporated Boulder County…before we moved to Boulder, we each lived a hectic life – he in the military and me in 3rd world countries. We chose to make our forever home in Boulder County for a variety fo reasons, here are several: we are close to family, we want to embrace the urban agriculture movement of growing our own food and raising chickens and goats, and because the people in this county are intelligent and active. It is because everyone is out riding their bikes or trying to change the world, that no one knows of the injustice happening in the least likely of all places….Boulder County!
I came to a Commissioners’ Hearing earlier this month and was inspired to hear Commissioner Pearlman talk about how fairness needs to be their guiding principle in making decisions.  However, I have a list of the following inequities to bring to your attention from a very underrepresented group – the Unincorporated Residents.
1st unfairness: Our Property Rights
My understanding of Economics 101 is that government’s role is to protect the people’s property rights – not take them away.
We are only talking about 30% of the land in Boulder County that is privately “owned” – the rest is owned by government.
In our case in Unincorporated Boulder County – the local government’s regulations are taking away our property rights. The Land Use Code by the County is too aggressive – specifically the 1.25 of the median home size in our neighborhood – which has caused severe economic implications. Not to mention – has created contradictions:
The obvious ones are:
Contradiction #1: The use of the term “Rural Character” in the Guiding Principles contradicts the recommendation from Land Use to tear down our barn. To me, this solution ruins the “Rural Character.”
Contradiction #2: We must build to a strict Green Code – but again, to not exceed the limiting sq. footage restrictions, Land Use Code suggests tearing down our barn for the land fill…sounds UnGreen to me, how about you?
Contradiction #3: The County holds residents to a strict Green Code (which I don’t actually mind as I strive to be green) – but you, the government, will use our land to grow GMO crops? Again, not green!
If we continue on this path of restrictions in the Unincorporated County – we should change the definition of “Rural Character” to mean “The Slums” – as homes will continue to deteriorate, barns will be ripped down, and property values will continue plummeting.
With the current regulations, we can’t invest money in our property to get the value back! Our homes are losing value at a rapid rate and no one else wants to buy them. I feel even worse for the elderly in our old neighborhood who have lived there for 30+ years and now can’t sell their homes and their large acre plots to move on to an easier life. Taking care of an acre of land is hard work! (And, by the way, requires a barn for tractors, and animal feed, etc!)
We moved to an HOA-free neighborhood, only to get saddled with the most aggressive of all HOAs….the County!
Unfairness #2: Property Tax Increase
As our property values are plummeting, the County has raised our property taxes?! We are being pinched, squeezed, and bled dry by the County.
Unfairness #3: Our Silent Voice
The number of votes we contribute to the pool is small, we get that, but even so…we still have a right to be heard and protected by the government who has obligated itself to do so. This is not happening. Please remember that you work for us too!
We are suffering. Please hear us. Please include us and our property rights in your Guiding Principles.
Thank you.
Kristen Mecca

Just Not Fair

14 Nov
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
My husband and I live in Unincorporated Boulder County. We moved from Boulder to our neighborhood in November of 2008. We love our neighborhood, including the rural character, the location within the County, and those of you whom we have met. We planned to make this our forever home.
However, as we are finding out, Boulder County has taken away the property rights of Unincorporated Boulder County residents….including our neighborhood. We are seeing what we believe to be a direct correlation between the overly restrictive land use codes and our rapidly deteriorating property values.  Not to mention that the County just increased our property taxes. Ouch! As well, these Land Use Codes that are overly restrictive and cost prohibitive, preventing us from improving our homes, don’t apply to those in Boulder. And to add insult to injury, these overly burdensome restrictions were not even a result of a vote, but rather the decision of the Boulder County Commissioners.  Doesn’t sound fair, does it?
My husband and I have been doing our best to inform ourselves on the restrictions, and have been attending meetings where we seek out dialogue with County staff.  These opportunities seem limited, and are hard to find out about. But, we feel that if we keep discussing the inequities and financial hardships the County’s restrictions are causing County residents, that maybe we might be heard.
It is our impression that most of us in Unincorporated Boulder County don’t know these restrictions exist until we try to update our homes or sell our homes. For that reason, if these issues are at all interesting to you…if they trigger your feelings of what is right and what is wrong…if you want to be part of the dialogue with County officials…I wanted to inform you of two meetings that will have a direct impact on Unincorporated Boulder County residents for years to come.
Information is power. Maybe we don’t have to stand for this treatment from our County.
Sincerely,
A concerned resident

Unintended Consequences

14 Nov

Advice someone gave me as a young adult in regards to dating was that if you squeeze something too tight, it slips out of your fingers. One of the unintended consequences of building codes as restrictive as they are is that A LOT of people simply don’t get building permits. Even though someone at the planning department told me “the number is very low”, we all know differently. The unintended consequence? The few things that probably should get inspected DON’T get inspected! Boulder County is not less safe (assuming inspections really effect safety) because of TOO restrictive building codes.