The Town Administrator and Town Board made a huge mistake to pursue and pass the Haworth annexation in the face of strong public opposition. Next Tuesday they have an opportunity to correct their mistake.
Here is a thumbnail history of how the Town has handled this issue, despite a clear consensus in 2007 that the Town should not expand west into rural Larimer County.
First, on October 23rd, 2012, at the urging of Town staff, the Town Trustees opposed a Larimer County Rural Land Use Subdivision that the Haworths were requesting the Town support. This County plan matched the Town’s Comprehensive Plan. It would have resulted in four lots and approximately 60 acres of agricultural land, preserved in a 40 year Conservation Easement with Larimer County. This would have been a perfect entrance to Town at Berthoud’s western gateway. This private open space would have been preserved at zero cost to the Town due to Larimer County requirements. Second, again at the urging of staff, the Trustees urged the Haworths to annex even though their property was outside the Town’s growth area at that time and was not eligible for annexation. This was a significant departure from past Town long range planning and was made with no notification or input from the public. And finally, the Town proceeded to pass the annexation despite overwhelming opposition at the public hearing.
Is this how our elected leaders are supposed to represent their constituents and uphold Town land use plans?
Fortunately, Colorado law allows for citizens to challenge flawed decisions of their elected representatives with a petition. In this case, it was easy to get approximately twice the required signatures in just two weekends because there is strong opposition to the recent actions of the Town Board.
Next Tuesday, January 14, at 6:30, the Town Board has an opportunity to adopt the citizen petition and fix their previous mistakes. This will avoid a spring election which they have said they do not want. If the current mode of operation of the Town Board or the spread of urban density west of 287 is of concern to you, please attend the meeting next week and let the Board hear your concerns. If you are unable to attend please send them an email or call them. Contact info is on the Town website.
Note: Mr. Hindman is a former Trustee of the Berthoud Town Board and has served on the Berthoud Planning Commission.