Oct 8, 2023
Time to Face Up to Problems
Over two years ago, city officials made damaging and unpopular changes to Hayden's Comprehensive Plan. Once residents learned of the plan, most were opposed and they quickly made their criticisms known.
But Instead of responding to real complaints, city leaders misrepresented the plans intent, made minor changes, and now maintain that they have addressed the problems and all is well. But this is an evasion. The fundamental problems with the 2040 Comp Plan and Zoning Codes have not even been acknowledged, much less fixed.
Zoning regulations and density comparisons can be complicated, so it is easy to confuse the issues, and mislead with partial truths. To understand the whole picture, it is sometimes necessary to dig into details, and read the fine print. That is why Save Hayden has been reporting on problems with the new zoning plan for two years, pointing out falsehoods, gathering reliable data, and suggesting ways to Fix Hayden's failed Future Land Use Map.
And Save Hayden documents our findings so we can debunk false and misleading claims.
For example, City officials have been assuring residents that requests for multi-family building permits have plummeted recently, so there is no cause for concern. It's true that new development plans have stalled, but its important to understand the reasons why: sharply rising interest rates, high construction costs, and over-development of multi-family in surrounding cities.
But these are temporary factors that could change. Once market conditions improve, Hayden is still on-track for city wide densification, and the existing leadership has shown no inclination to address looming problems, such as:
- The Future Land Use Map allows for far too much high density.
- “Standards of Approval” and requirements for public hearings for multi-family projects have been gutted.
- The 2040 Traffic Plan is inadequate to handle even moderate growth.
Time to Stand up for Residents
Because the existing leadership has consistently refused to address these issues, Save Hayden endorses candidates Luke Sommer for Mayor, and Tom Shafer for City Council seat 3.
What are their qualifications? Please visit the candidate websites at luke4mayor.com and tom4hayden.com to learn more about their background and priorities, but from our point of view, their main qualification is that they are intending to respresent the interests of Hayden residents, rather than those of developers, and to bring much needed transparency to City government.
It's true that their opponents have more experience in government, but that just means they have long records of failing to fix essential problems. They are not leaders, but dependable defenders of the status quo, beholden to stakeholders, not citizens.
Sommer and Shafer are not political "insiders", and they are not aligned with the Hayden establishment. This will make the job of governing Hayden more difficult, but it will allow them to address problems that the existing leadership refuses to acknowledge. Sommer and Shafer are willing to do the difficult job of immersing themselves in the intricacies of Hayden's city laws and zoning codes, and they will do their best to govern, keeping the best interests of residents always in mind.
Its that simple. Hayden needs a change of direction, and only citizen leaders who are NOT beholden to the "powers that be" can say NO to SMART Growth, and yes to slow, steady, healthy growth. Their opponets are simply too complacent and too deferential to "special interests", to prioritize the rights of residents.
Standing up to the Hayden Stakeholders won't be easy, but Sommer and Shafer know what they are up against and are ready for the challenge. Like Sandy White, who is now the City Council's most consistent advocate for residents, they will fight to preserve the small town character of Hayden, and resist the globalist forces that want to colonize Hayden, and turn it into yet another overbuilt, corporate-controlled,"walkable","sustainable", SMART city.
Once on the City Council, Sommer and Shafer will serve their constituents, not "special interests", and over time will steer their way through the rocky waters that all independent leaders must navigate, who decline a seat on the comfortable, establishment-driven cabin cruiser.
Time to Help Citizen Leaders Stay Afloat
How can you help? Vist the candidate websites at luke4mayor.com and tom4hayden.com to learn more, and donate a little bit of time, or little money. If you want citizen leaders, responsive to you, instead of professional politicans dependent on the "donor class", they need your active support. This is a critical election for Hayden, and now is the time to help sustain independent candidates, and to support leaders who will stand up for Hayden residents, Fix the FLUM, and right the ship.
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