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How can Lafayette’s Comprehensive Plan address future growth sustainably while retaining a sense of place?  



How can Lafayette’s Comprehensive Plan address future growth sustainably while retaining a sense of place?

5 Answers

It isn't clear to me what this question is asking.  It implies that sustainability is, somehow, at odds with whatever a "sense of place" is.  I'm a bit concerned that different people will answer using their own, unarticulated, definition of "sense of place," and that means that the answers will not be correlate-able.


Similar to Guy Higgins response, the question requires an explanation of "sustainability".  This word is most often used in an ecological sense, but more relevant is an economic sense, or in a sense of "how can we just sustain growth".  My best answer is to define sustainability and make it clearer how that is conflicts with sustaining a "sense of place".     


The city covers a lot of square miles. Boulder has South Boulder, North Boulder and downtown. Lafayette could have a downtown (old town), similar to Louisville (5 years ago), a west area around 95th and Arapahoe and a SE area around Good Sam. 

Old town should be walk-able, with store fronts close to S. Public Rd. (similar to the shops that surround BRU.)

I agree with John. Continue to promote a walkable Public Road that attracts visitors at different times of day for services in addition to restaurants. I was in Louisville on a Saturday morning recently to get my eyeglasses fixed on Main Street and it was absolutely buzzing with a mix of locals and visitors to shop, eat, and sight see.



If we want to keep nature around us, we need to reduce sprawl.  That means finding ways to grown inward not outward.  This will mean more density, which should also mean more affordable units, and more opportunities for public transportation.  We must protect our urban growth boundary because it means protecting the agricultural land and open space from further human encroachment. Lafayette can be a leader or it can succumb to the pressure to continue to sprawl.  I want us to be a leader in finding other ways of developing. Please read this article folks. 

Unaltered natural landscapes help contain global warming because air pollution with heat-trapping greenhouse gases isn’t emitted and natural vegetation absorbs and stores carbon.

Landscape conversion also hammers non-human species. A United Nations-backed biodiversity and ecosystem science panel recently determined that about three-quarters of the land around the planet and two-thirds of marine environments have been altered significantly by human activity. An estimated 1 million plant and animal species face extinction.

I agree with Annmarie that it is crucial that we protect our urban growth boundary. That was put in place as part of our managed growth amendment which is in our city charter. The voters approve it every 6 years.

That boundary prevents sprawl now in that we cannot grow beyond it. Within that boundary we must act with caution. Preserving and protecting natural lands and ag lands is high on residents list of what they love about this city. They have voted to approve two sales taxes in order to purchase and maintain these lands, including parkland and trails.

However I caution against hyping density too much. We have planned our city within the growth boundary for many years now. Retail sales taxes are the engine that powers the city services. We can only expect to take in so much sales tax within the city. It we don't consider that and let the housing in the city get out of balance with the money coming in, we will be in a difficult spot. Rooftops do not pay for themselves. They are a drain on the services, hence the importance of sales tax.

If we add too much housing and throw off the balance in our finances we run the risk of needing to find funding elsewhere, that path leads to an increase in property tax, not a place we want to be, especially if affordable housing is in play.

The more people we add to the city the more pressure it puts on city services, suddenly the library is too small, as is the rec center, we don't have money to take care of everyday needs like public works, more police and firefighters are needed.

The growth boundary itself helps to facilitate a sense of place as it determines the outline of our city. I always explain it as a jigsaw puzzle with an abstract border. Within the puzzle we fill in areas for housing, for open space and nature, for stores and for employment. How we determine how to fill in the remaining pieces will set us up to be sustainable from an economic angle while still maintaining the sense of place that we have created. As we move into redevelopment we must never forget that keeping the balance between housing and retail is extremely important.

Yes balance in the way that Karen describes makes a lot of sense.


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