Save Our Public Road

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Vicky Uhland
Vicky Uhland signed this petition

Through its closed-door efforts to remove longtime, mom-and-pop businesses and redevelop the 700 block of S. Public Road, we believe the Lafayette Urban Renewal Authority is overstepping its authority and ignoring the values that have been repeatedly expressed by Lafayette residents.
 
Specifically, we oppose the following LURA actions:
 
·     Secretly working to push out Deluxe Liquor, Rocky Mountain Legal Center, La Nena’s Salon and Boutique, and Coal Creek Barbers from the buildings they rent, using publicly funded incentives.
 
·     Secretly entering into an agreement regarding purchase of these properties, and working on redevelopment plans, without soliciting any public input during this critical first phase of the project. 
 
·     Refusing to discuss its motivations, goals, vision or any other aspect of this project in any public session, or even acknowledging that this project exists (except when the LURA chair read a statement refusing comment on the project at the July LURA meeting). Instead, if this project is like other recent LURA projects, all of the secretly negotiated plans and agreements will be voted on and approved unanimously at a single LURA meeting, with little or no public comment from LURA members. 
 
·     Ignoring the guiding mission of LURA, which is to remove blight. None of the buildings that house the businesses mentioned above are blighted, according to LURA’s own criteria for determining blight.
 
·      Ignoring the message of LURA’s guiding document, the Downtown Vision Plan, which states: “Most people like the eclectic nature of Old Town. They like the variety of buildings and spaces, and the unique character that exists in some areas of Public Road. It is important for the Vision Plan to enhance these characteristics and improve the overall continuity of Public Road, rather than prescribe homogenous solutions.”
 
·     Ignoring the downtown slogan established in the Downtown Vision Plan: creative, eclectic and diverse. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the 700 block of South Public, with its distinctive architecture and inclusive businesses that serve Lafayette residents of every socioeconomic status.
 
·     Ignoring the values that have been identified time and time again as important to Lafayette residents: supporting small businesses, diversity, inclusivity, affordability, historic preservation and sustainability.
 
We strongly urge LURA to change how it’s handling the 700 S. Public Road project in the following ways:
 
1) Stop its eviction process and make a good-faith effort to retain the remaining businesses on this block.
 
2) Develop a creative and inclusive redevelopment plan for this commercial block that’s centered around small, local, independent business, and that respects the character, diversity and history of Old Town Lafayette.
 
3) Respect the Colorado Open Meetings laws, both in letter and in spirit, and remove the cloak of absolute secrecy from this project. Discuss this project as much as possible in open sessions with time for public comment, and only use private executive sessions when absolutely necessary and allowed by law.