A group of 20 Boulder City residents gathered at Boulder City Library on Nov. 17 to discuss their concern over what they feel is a waning city growth ordinance.
The Boulder City Community Alliance’s first meeting was hosted by the group’s leaders, Tracy Folda and Laura Pyzer. The women called the meeting to order as a way to organize against a city government that they feel is looking to overly expand the size of Boulder City by severely weakening or outright ending the growth ordinance.
“I wanted to form a group so we can organize and stop some of the things that we don’t agree with from happening in the city,” Folda said. “Our short-term goal is to protect our small town by protecting the growth ordinance and our long-term goal is to make some changes in City Council because I think we can all agree that they have lost their compass about what residents want.”
The ordinance limits the number of residential plots the city can give out each year to a maximum of 120. However, the Director of Community Development Brok Armantrout said that the city has never allocated the maximum number of allotments allowed since he started working for the city 13 years ago.
“We can give 120 allotments per year but it actually averages around 10 to 20,” Armantrout said. “The number of plots we give each year varies but it is never anywhere close to our limit.”
Distrust of leaders
The majority of the meeting went on with members of the alliance in agreement when it came to ensuring the safety of the growth ordinance and distrusting the current mayor and council.
“If they get rid of the growth ordinance, this town will go ballistic,” resident Gayle Willman said. “We need to fight tooth and nail to protect it.”
Neither the mayor nor council members have publicly come out against the city’s growth ordinance and no one has made any mention of ending the longstanding regulation.
Councilman Cam Walker wrote in an email that the growth ordinance has the full support of the City Council and that any changes to the law would have to be approved by the voters.
“I have never heard anyone at the city, nor is it my intention or desire to destroy, or change the growth-control ordinance as it was put in place by the voters of Boulder City. That would require a vote of the citizens,” Walker wrote.
Pyzer said that the alliance will serve as a counterpoint to the council’s agenda.
“We are just a group of concerned citizens who don’t want the council to put things through that would hurt our small town,” Pyzer said.
The group’s first meeting was about organization as the 20 members discussed the best ground game to put their demands into motion.
“We need to get out there and inform the public anyway we can,” Folda said. “We need to study the growth ordinance and understand it to a point that we can counter anything the city says with a fact or a solution.”
The alliance members split off into smaller groups in order to focus on specific points of interest with some members working together to understand the ordinance and other members focusing on recruiting more residents to their cause.
Matt Di Teresa said that the best way to inform the public is to get area residents to every alliance meeting.
“We need to bring everyone that we can to these meetings,” Di Teresa said. “We need to recruit more people and make sure they are informed about our city laws. The growth ordinance has been great for our city and we need to make sure it stays that way.”
Resident Ernie Koontz encouraged alliance members to call the mayor and council to express their concerns.
“We should call members of the council and express our displeasure in a private conversation and if they refuse to listen or answer our calls, then we take our concerns to the public,” Koontz said.
The community alliance does plan to meet with Mayor Rod Woodbury via an “informal cottage meeting.” Woodbury wrote in a column in the Boulder City Review on Nov. 2 that he would host an informal discussion with members of the community once a month at a place of their choosing.
Folda said that the community alliance plans to take up Woodbury’s offer, but no formal date has been set yet.
“We plan on having a cottage meeting with the mayor to address our concerns and we hope we are heard,” Folda said. “We are worried that the city does not care about balancing growth while keeping our small town small.”
The community alliance plans to have monthly meetings, but no dates have been set for future gatherings.
Those looking for information on the community alliance, can contact Folda at firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact reporter Max Lancaster at mlancaster @bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow him on Twitter @MLancasterBCR.