- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 25, 2015

LYONS, Colo. (AP) - Voters in Lyons have rejected a proposal to use part of a downtown park to build affordable housing for people who lost their homes in the September 2013 flood.

Residents voted 614-498 against the measure in a special weeklong election that ended Tuesday evening, the Daily Camera (https://bit.ly/1ET0dZG) newspaper reported.

The proposal would have allowed Lyons to lease between 5 and 7 acres of the nearly 26-acre Bohn Park to the Boulder County Housing Authority to build 60 rental units and six single-family homes for sale. Lyons town officials and the housing authority promised to give priority to flood victims in filling the units, especially those at or below 60 percent of the area’s median income.

About 200 houses in the town - about one-fifth of its housing stock - were badly damaged or destroyed in the flood.

The need for more affordable housing in town wasn’t in dispute, but opponents argued that using a portion of the park for the units would have a big impact on the rest of the property.

The town expected to all get another 9 acres of land adjacent to the park from Boulder County as well as some smaller parcels to make up for the loss, but opponents said it could take a while before those properties are spruced up.

Janaki Jane, an advocate for displaced residents for the Lyons Emergency Assistance Fund, said many of her clients are crushed by the vote.

“These people want to come back,” she said. “For some of them, the contentiousness of this has been extremely painful. Some have lived in Lyons for decades and, now, because of the contentiousness of this particular vote, they feel a little unwanted.”


Information from: Daily Camera, https://www.dailycamera.com/

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