Lyons Residents Vote Against Turning Open Space Into Affordable Housing

LYONS, Colo. (CBS4)– Residents in the flood-ravaged town of Lyons have voted against a plan that would take away some open space to provide for affordable housing.

Following the September 2013 flooding, the Town of Lyons, located north of Boulder, said it would help provide a home for everyone who was displaced.

On Tuesday, voters rejected a plan to use seven acres of Bohn Park to build replacement housing. That vote means those victims may not be able to call Lyons home.

Bohn Park in Lyons (credit: CBS)

Bohn Park in Lyons (credit: CBS)

Lyon’s Mane Salon owner Jenna Brink is still renting property after flood waters destroyed her home. She was shocked after the vote.

“Most people went home and got sick or balled their eyes out,” said Brink.

The proposal would have allowed Boulder County Housing Authority to carve out seven acres of Bohn Park and use it to build more than 60 affordable housing units. It failed with 498 for it and 614 against.

Opponents say they want Lyons open space to remain open. But supporters saw it as their only option.

RELATED STORIES: September Flooding Story Archive

“The direction our town is taking feels like a gated community, homogenized,” said Brink.

Lyons lost 100 homes in the flood. Now available homes are scarce and prices have soared with low supply and high demand.

The welcome sign outside Lyons (credit: CBS)

The welcome sign outside Lyons (credit: CBS)

“Part of what makes Lyons so great is diversity and that’s what so many people love and I’m terrified of losing that if we don’t have housing options that normal people can afford,” said Brink.

With the failed proposal, town employees say voters also turned down access to up to $18 million in grants and tax credits for disaster relief. The town says there is no “Plan B.”

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