Boulder County Subdivision Paving heats up!

This important announcement came out yesterday from my Community Cycles source. There is also an Letter to the Editor in the Daily Camera today on this topic.

The Community Cycles advocacy committee has been monitoring the discussions of the Boulder County Subdivision Paving Group. This group is working with the county to decide what to do about deteriorating subdivision roads in the county and who will pay to repave them. Many of these roads are very local - not through roads- and simply access houses in the various subdivisions in the county. The county does repairs and snow removal on these roads, but does not have the funding to repave them. The policy of the county not repaving these roads is fairly old. The subdivision residents may have know this for years and should have been informed when they purchased their homes, but the county admits they have done a poor job in the past making residents aware of this policy.

Community Cycles does not support using county funds to pave these roads, since county funds are very limited and these roads serve a very small portion of the county population. Also, if county funds are used to pave these roads, we may very likely see a reduction in shoulder paving for bicycles, a reduction of paving on county arterials, and a decrease in funding for the county trails network.

There is a good KGNU discussion on this topic (including talk from some members of this sub-committee about moving money from bike projects to subdivsion road paving) on the Feb 22 Morning Magazine ( http://kgnu.org/ht/news.html#morningmag ) go to the archive for 2/22 and it is about 35:50 into the show.

More info on the subcommittee from the Boulder County wed site:
http://www.bouldercounty.org/transportation/SubdivisionPaving.htm

So what can you do? The Longmont -Times Call is having an informal poll today on their web site. Please go and vote (and tell your friends) that the burden of paving subdivision roads should be paid for by the residents of those subdivisions. Again, using limited county funds to pave subdivision roads used by a small number of people may very well take money from county bike projects and county arterials used by many more residents of Boulder County. See below:

http://www.timescall.com/

News Item: 

3 Comments

County Subdivision Paving

The position by Boulder Cycling is myopic and narrow minded. Using this same logic, schools should only be paid for by individuals with children. Also, many non-subdivision, county roads lead only to select subdivisions and are not though streets - again using this same logic, only those subdivision residents should pay for their maintenance. And, what about the myriad of subdivision streets the county now refuses to maintain that are through streets or lead to destinations accessed and used by all residents (trail heads, open space, parks, other facilities)?

Every subdivision road was paid for when built by the developer and the residents that bought the homes. The county accepted ownership of the roads and committed to providing full maintenance of them. The county collected taxes from every resident to do just that for decades - with no tax reduction when they unilaterally and surreptitious changed a minor comp plan wording to abrogate this responsibility. The comp plan is just a guideline or vision, it does not override law or legal responsibilities.

If the County Commissioners can unilaterally decide not to provide a service for which they have and continue to collect taxes, what services will be next? Will they stop plowing all streets? Will they stop providing all road maintenance? This means that the government can stop providing any tax paid service at any time while still collecting the taxes implemented for such service. They then can assess residents directly for the same service.

Agreed!

The decision by the county 15 years ago to eliminate road maintenance was made quietly and was not communicated to residents. As recently as 7 years ago, the County was still chip-sealing subdivision roads. It is only in the last few years that such maintenance has been discontinued, as money was spent elsewhere.

I don't use the mountain parks, yet I pay taxes to provide them for others. I don't have kids, yet I pay $$$ every year to send kids to school. I pay for innumerable other governmental services which do not directly benefit me, yet I pay them because they serve a community need and I respect that not all of us will benefit from each service.

Here's an analogy. Suppose your live in a condo/townhome complex and you pay a monthly fee for maintenance of common areas. Imagine if your HOA changed their policy and expected the residents of each building to pay for that building's roof, but they didn't bother telling the residents. Only after 15 years when they needed a new roof did the residents find out that: 1) the policy was unilaterilly changed without their input or notification and 2) no one - not the HOA nor residents - has been saving up money to pay fro the new roof.

Hypocritical

Community Cycles says subdivision residents are the only beneficiaries of subdivision paving and hence should pay the cost entirely themselves.

Doesn't that also mean that only cyclists should pay for the cost of cycling projects? When the County improves a road by creating or widening shoulders, shouldn't the County expect only cyclists to pay? What about the proposed Boulder-Lyons trail that would be used only by a small percentage of residents?

I bet Community Cycles would say oh no, those projects benefit everybody. Sounds like hypocrisy to me.

Should we lobby for a "line item veto" on our property tax bill so we can pay only for those services we use? That would be disaster for any of us in the minority who use expensive services (like road shoulders & bike paths) since the majority of residents don't use them. Same for social services, parks, rec centers, skate parks, and most everything else.