Although over 200 people who lost their homes in the Colorado flooding of 2013 would like to return to Lyons, CO, on March 24 over 50 percent of the town’s voters rejected a proposal to allow 50 to 70 units of affordable housing on five to seven acres of 25.66 acre Bohn Park.
On Tuesday, April 21 the voters re-affirmed that position by voting to adopt an ordinance requiring voter approval to rezone any public land that’s over one-half acre in size for any purpose. Mayor John O’Brien expressed disappointment at the voting, as did the Town Board. Housing Committee member Justin Spencer is in favor of a manufactured home community (MHC) as one possibility to lure the flood victims back to Lyons, as timescall tells MHProNews.
“Affordable housing is a long-term problem already present before the flood, exacerbated by the destruction of 86 housing units, including 43 mobile homes,” Spencer said. “Real estate and land in Lyons is already expensive and likely to get more expensive in the future.”
Nothwithstanding the town’s voters’ rejection of using Bohn Park, the Lyons Board of Trustees approved the formation of a housing advisory committee to seek other options to provide replacement housing for flood victims who want to move back. Opponents have organized to oppose not only the use of Bohn Park, but also any open space properties covered by conservation easements or housing or commercial developments.
One other option is federal Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funds, but the deadline for application is May 31 of this year. However, due to the vote from April 21, it would require voter approval for a specific housing proposal, something that does not seem likely given the two different initiatives the townsfolk have rejected. ##
(Photo credit: Denver Post–Colorado flooding 2013)
Article submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.