The Longmont City Council recently voted to initiate settlement discussions in its lawsuit against the Town of Firestone. The Firestone lawsuit was and is a hot-button political issue for many people in Longmont. It concerns Longmont’s willingness to contest the proposed development plans of the Life Bridge Church on property annexed by Firestone, which is so near to the Union Reservoir.
Many folks are disappointed by Council’s settlement decision because we continue to be worried about the impacts of the proposed LifeBridge development on quality of life in Longmont. For example:
- The planned Life Bridge development is putting Longmont’s eastern boundary at risk of being swallowed up into undifferentiated urban sprawl.
- The planned Life Bridge development would put the equivalent of a new town right on the edge of Longmont’s eastern border.
- Longmont has a very substantial financial investment in the Union Reservoir and surrounding properties – almost $75 million dollars. This huge public investment would be negatively impacted by the Life Bridge development and by Longmont’s loss of control over what happens around its properties.
- The sensitive environmental ecosystem in and around Union Reservoir would be seriously compromised by a development the size of Life Bridge. This at-risk ecosystem includes bald eagle plus migratory bird habitat.
I am not surprised that the newly elected City council – which now is controlled by a majority of four conservative members who are very pro-development – would vote to settle the Firestone lawsuit rather than proceed with it. That doesn’t mean that we folks who were concerned with the Life Bridge mega-development are any happier with it. We will be following the settlement negotiations and continue to make our opinions heard. The issue isn’t over – it is too important to forget.