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Friday, September 22, 2023

Latest Headlines | Longmont City Council reverses course, approves Francis Street annexation 

The Longmont City Council approved by a 4-3 vote the annexation of 150 Francis St. into the city limits during its regular meeting Tuesday.

The decision comes after the Council initially voted to deny the annexation during its July 25 meeting. However, in August, Councilmember Shiquita Yarbrough requested that the council members reconsider that decision, which it did Tuesday.

Yarbrough, who originally voted against the annexation, said last month that if the property is ever developed, she wanted to ensure that it would abide by all of the city’s safety and design standards.

At the time, concerns were also raised about the property being unkempt.

The annexation comprises 2.26 acres on the east side of Francis Street adjacent to the Bohn Farm property.

The land, which currently has two dwellings on it, will be zoned “residential – mixed neighborhood.”

In a previous memo, staff said that the owners are requesting annexation in order to connect to the city’s sanitary sewer system and that no development is proposed on the property at this time.

The site currently relies on more than 50-year-old septic systems.

In a letter to the Council, the owners of 150 Francis St. — Mark Van Wagner and Tonja Pulfer — said they recently hired a landscape crew to clean up the site and reiterated they themselves are not developers.

Several residents spoke during Tuesday’s Council meeting in opposition to the proposed annexation. Concerns were raised about the property potentially being redeveloped into higher-density housing despite the owners indicating otherwise.

Councilmember Marcia Martin, who supported the annexation, did not agree with many of those speakers’ comments.

“What I have heard tonight is an overwhelming demonstration of people acting in their own self interest against the common good and they are willing to say things that simply are not true,” Martin said. “There’s not a developer. There’s not a conspiracy among developers.”

Mayor Joan Peck, who opposed the annexation, thought the city needed to develop a more thought out, comprehensive policy for annexations such as this.

“I think for the good of the city we have to decide are we going to annex an entire enclave or are we just going to take single properties out of an enclave and annex them separately?” Peck said. “It doesn’t make sense to me …  to do that so I will be voting against this.”

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