News is out that the city of Longmont has spent $68,073 in legal fees to thwart the Firestone annexations that would facilitate the LifeBridge Union development. This spiteful expense of taxpayer dollars–pushed by left-wing Progressives Sean McCoy and Karen Benker on city council–is even more outrageous considering the current skintight city budget situation.
The Boulder County commissioners have been just as vengeful in their notorious dealings with Rocky Mountain Christian Church. Recently it was revealed that Boulder County has spent a staggering $1.1 million in legal efforts to prevent RMCC from expanding its church facilities on its own property in Niwot.
What’s going on here is clearly a violation of religious freedom as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. One could argue that our local churches worship the Creator as defended by our nation’s founders, while the new wave of Progressives in Longmont and Boulder County worship the environment (i.e., the Holy Grail of Open Space).
Regarding the Union project in relation to Longmont and Firestone, we repeatedly hear from the green-extreme crowd, “We need to protect Longmont’s eastern borders!” Take a look at the images shown below…
Source: Project LifeBridge Master Plan
Photo: Jill P. Mott Longmont Times-Call
As I have pointed out many times, large housing developments already exist to the immediate east and west of the LifeBridge/Union site; commercial development stands to the south, and there is plenty of city-owned open space to the north in the reservoir surroundings. How in the world would a build-out of the Union plot break up Longmont’s eastern borders?
The only possible point of contention would be the Fairlight (FairView) property areas that are truly on Longmont’s eastern border, but this too was addressed in a spirit of compromise by Firestone and the 4C Corporation. It was described by Firestone Mayor Chad Auer in a Times-Call commentary last December…
“When I took office, I promptly appeared face-to-face with Longmont’s City Council and told your leaders that I was committed to investigating common ground on this regrettably decisive issue (Union). Because open space and a community buffer were central desires of Longmont, I presented a written proposal in which the Fairlight property (hundreds of acres between Union and Longmont) would be available to Longmont for use as both an open space corridor in the flood plain of Union Reservoir and a common sense community buffer. Unfortunately, the offer was soundly rejected by Longmont officials.”
So Longmont had its chance. If it couldn’t afford to buy the immediate eastern border properties as open space, tough luck. Let us hope that the foundations of free enterprise and religious freedom will not be lost if we are truly to progress in the 21st century.