City News

Posted on: June 6, 2019

Lafayette and Erie embark on a new era of cooperation and collaboration

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In late 2018, the City of Lafayette, Town of Erie, and Erie Urban Renewal Authority began working on the concept of a global settlement agreement. Productive negotiations over the last few months resulted in a successful and mutually beneficial set of resolutions intended to allow the two communities to view issues from a broader perspective, resolve outstanding litigation, and provide a path forward for future cooperation.

On May 28, the Erie Board of Trustees approved a proposed Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the Lafayette City Council and Erie Urban Renewal Authority following suit on June 5. 

This IGA benefits the residents of both communities and sets the stage for a more collaborative affiliation by addressing the following elements;

Influence Area

The IGA designates portions of unincorporated Boulder County as either Lafayette or Erie influence areas. This delineation provides Erie and Lafayette with a level of predictability on how un-annexed parcels will develop, sets planning boundaries, and removes the possibility of border wars. View a map of the influence area. 

50/50 Tax Revenue Sharing

The innovative concept of revenue sharing between the two municipalities reduces competition and lessens the requirement to provide incentives for development.  Splitting revenues levels the playing field, drives a higher and better land use, and diversifies the potential portfolio of revenue generators. 

Oil and Gas Well Removal

Upon annexation of the Tebo property, the Town of Erie will plug and abandon an existing well which will allow development to move forward on the southwestern corner of Highway 287 and Arapahoe Road. 

Granting Access

The City of Lafayette will support a three-quarter turn access point from Highway 287 to the Nine Mile Corner Development (southeast corner of Highway 287 and Arapahoe Road), and on Baseline Road for the Parkdale Development (Baseline Road and County Line Road).

Fire Flow

Lafayette proposes to provide water for fire suppression purposes, not potable water, at the Nine Mile Corner Development as a cost saving measure for Erie. This will allow Erie to avoid the expense of constructing a water storage tank on the site. 

Designated Buffer

Erie has agreed to designate a 150-foot conservation easement along the southern border of the Nine Mile Corner to provide a separation buffer between the development and Lafayette’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. In 2018, Lafayette litigated to have a larger buffer designated in this area but did not prevail. This Colorado Supreme Court decision determined that Erie had no obligation to provide any sort of buffer but, as a result of this global agreement, an easement with enhanced, high density landscaping of trees and plantings will be installed to help provide a more palatable condition for the Beacon Hill neighbors. Upon delivery of the easement, Lafayette will pay $476,500 in legal fees as a result of the previously mentioned litigation. 

Wastewater Treatment Plan 

Erie has agreed to support Lafayette’s plan to construct an expansion of a wastewater treatment plant on the west side of County Line Road. In return, Lafayette agrees to be a good neighbor by mitigating odor control and providing screening. 

“I’m proud to be part of a Council where we’re finally going to be successful to stop the negativity and lack of cooperation,” expressed Lafayette Mayor Alexandra Lynch.  “As everyone has pointed out, the opportunities to address regional problems, which I really think are the most acute issues we’re facing as a community, are things we cannot control all by ourselves. That is so important, and I’m really hopeful this does shepherd in a new era of cooperation.”

VIEW the June 4 City Council IGA presentation....
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