Tomorrow I will pay my property bill, including the LID tax of $9,420 that we will pay over the next 15 years for the repavement of the roads here in Fairview Estates. Our three roads are: Ord, Theresa Dr., and Fairview. Three roads that by visual inspection anyone can see do not “need” repaving.
I would invite any interested Boulder County resident to visit Fairview Estates. There are two entrances to this collection of homes without a homeowners association in the eastern part of the county between Boulder and Louisville. You can enter onto Ord off Baseline just east of 76th or onto Fairview directly off 76th between South Boulder Road and Baseline. You can drive, or ride your bike, or take the bus which stops right by Ord on Baseline.
Fairview Estates at the eastern end of Fairview has an entrance to a unique piece of county open space, which makes for a nice walk with a great view of the county back toward Boulder. What you will see is three roads with very little traffic that are thoroughfare to nowhere. Nobody but residents and visitors use these roads. The neighborhood just west of 76th still has gravel roads.
It is part of why people live in the county. Fairview Estates is a throwback to a simpler time in Boulder where you could own an acre. Some of those commenting on the LID assessment have made derogatory comments about free riders and rich county residents. When you walk or bike Fairview Estates you will see mixed housing. Yes, the redevelopment the City of Boulder has adopted and has transformed it into a modern mix of high end brands for elites or the middle-class willing to live in overpriced often tiny housing has impacted the neighborhood. But it also retains a high percentage of folks who bought their houses decades ago, have not remodelled, and live on a fixed income.
Nine thousand dollars goes a long way for a retired couple, or a middle-class family putting a child through college, or a young family buying their first home in a county with a big down payment requirement. It goes a long way for any taxpayer. And that really is the issue – people in Fairview Estates need the money but they do not need a new fancy St. Julien access road.
The taxpayers in the county have voted over and over again to support open space and school taxes. They are not freeloaders. They voted last fall not to reject taxes, but to reject the idea that the roads need repavement at these costs.
The legal aspects of all this will play out in court. This piece is not about the court case or intended to divide city and county residents from each other in a divisive play so cynically typical in the politics of our day and age. Rather it asks you to come out on a nice spring or summer day and see for yourself.
The politicians that have lost an election on this issue, by all accounts lost the communications and marketing battle, also told you these roads need repaving. The sad story is that they have never taken the time to visit our little neighborhood and see the truth. Nobody would pay nine thousand dollars to repave these three roads, because all they need is a few hundred dollars of annual pothole and crack repair to handle a trivial amount of traffic.
I love downtown Boulder, but let the county keep an echo of our history. In a time of scarce resources the Commissioners should focus on the homeless, the hungry, the flood victims, and the less fortunate. Leave the centrally planned gentrification projects on the shelf for the day after they pass in an election.