Oct 12, 2022
Save Hayden is a group of residents who oppose Hayden’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan and are working to prevent the densification of our community. We oppose globalist influences and would like Hayden city government to be more responsive to the concerns of its citizens. Please sign up here if you would like to receive our newsletter (a Printable Version is available). This month, the following topics are addressed.
UPCOMING EVENTSHayden's Law Enforcement Levy
The issue of greatest interest for Hayden this month is the November ballot measure to raise property taxes. We are concerned about this issue because Tax Increases are one of the key enablers of rapid growth, and Public safety is one of many "quality-of-life" issues affected by densification.
We've written two articles on the subject of the "Base Budget Tax Increase" on the November ballot. We recommend reading both articles before coming to a decision. Our findings are summarized below:
1) Hayden Prioritizes Growth over Basic Services: Hayden has budgeted over $20 million in 2023 to build parks, sewers and roads to support future growth, yet they do not seem to be able to find $500K in their general services budget for public safety.
2) Infrastructure is over-funded. Services are under-funded. The city claims that it cannot spend "capital improvement" money for maintenance, salaries, or services. It is true that almost all money from developer "impact fees" is restricted to building projects. This is because infrastructure expansion BENEFITS DEVELOPERS, not existing citizens. So why build more parks, roads, and sewers if Hayden residents need to raise taxes on themselves in order to maintain them. The huge disparity in funding for growth vs. basic services can only lead to strained budgets, poor services, and higher taxes.
City leaders need to address this problem by SLOWING GROWTH until unacceptable constraints on impact fees are addressed at the state level. We cannot fix misplaced budget priorites with higher taxes.
3) The Citizen's Task Force Favors Taxes. The "Task Force" that recommended a levy appears to have been assembled specifically to justify a tax increase. The Law Enforcement Levy article referenced above identifies several suspicious factors involving both the composition of the committee and the timing of the levy request, which did not leave the city council council with enough time to consider funding alternatives.
4) Fund Basic Services First. The bottom line is, we believe that Law Enforcement is a "Basic Service" that, along with snow-plowing, road repair, and other critical services should be funded at adequate levels first, before Parks and Rec, or any non-essential Public Works projects are approved. Yes, Hayden has a tight budget, and we area residents want to keep it that way.
If you would like a NO NEW TAXES Yard sign, contact Save Hayden at email@example.com.How to Fix MR Zoning
The Save Hayden group has been contending with the citywide Rezone of hundreds of "medium density" parcels for over three months. Both R-MF and MR are residential zones that allow for duplexes and triplexes as well as single family homes, but there are significant differences in their zoning code.
We believe that the city only needs one medium density zone type but there are serious problems with the new MR zoning regulations, and we wanted these problems to be fixed before the rezone occurred. The most obvious problem with the MR zoning code is the fact that the minimum lot sizes in the actual zoning code flatly contradict the claims of the city regarding maximum densities. We've addressed this and other problems with the MR code in previous articles, such as Objection to the R-MF to MR Rezone and Promised Density Limits are Unenforceable.
The bad news is, the city wide rezone has been approved. But the good news is, the issue is still not permanently resolved and it is still possible to "fix" the problems with the MR zoning code. It would have been better to address these problems before the rezone, but it can still be done if Hayden's elected representatives make it a priority.
How can the MR zoning code be fixed? During the September 13th City Council meeting, an area resident reviewed the problems with MR zoning and presented straight forward change to the zoning code that could fix essential problems and clear up the confusion. A summary of the presentation is here, and the proposed fix to MR zoning is below.
This chart defines minimum lot sizes in a way that conforms to the stated goal of city administrators to limit MR density to 8 dwellings per acre. The existing city council may or may not be willing to make these changes, but if not, the issue can be raised during the 2023 City Council elections.
Two other noteable matters arose during the citywide rezoning conflict and are discussed in the following sections.UNFAIR Standards of Approval
Last month we reported on problems with the Public Hearing of August 15 concerning the citywide rezone. In short, the hearing was a complete waste of time, since everyone except the residents who had come to testify knew that the Zoning Change would be approved no matter how many residents objected. On the bright side, something of great importance was brought to light that evening: Hayden's rigged and unfair "Standards of Approval" for Zoning changes were thoroughly exposed.
Hayden's zoning regulations were revised in 2021 and at that time, every single “Standard of Approval” that related to the concerns of existing residents was removed from the code. The ONLY relevant standard of approval remaining is whether or not the zone change conforms to the FUTURE LAND USE MAP. This means that the public hearing process is entirely pointless, and the P & Z commission has no meaningful decisions to make. This article explains the situation and includes a side by side comparison of the old and new "Standards of Approval".
The good news is, these "Standards of Approval" are so flagrantly biased that when the issue was brought to the attention of the City Council, council members unanimously agreed to schedule a workshop to discuss the issue. The workshop was first set for Sept 19th, then moved to Sept 26th, and finally was canceled. It is now being rescheduled. Save Hayden will keep you appraised of future developments.Defense of Bad Zoning Codes
Another problem that was exposed during the citywide rezone conflict had to do with the critical role of the City Attorney in defending the existing Zoning Regulations and stonewalling efforts to make changes. This is important because there are many problems with the current regulations, and it is unclear whether attorneys from the same firm that wrote the flawed Zoning Regulations can be effective in making corrections to them.
The following articles shed light on the City Attorneys' defense of Hayden's poorly written zoning regulations.
The point of the first article, is that clear, unambiguous, zoning codes are necessary, since only "definite and certain" zoning laws can protect small property owners with limited legal resources. The point of the second article is to demonstrate the degree to which Hayden City lawyers have gone to to advocate for an indefensible zoning code.
It is essential that Hayden officials have access to fair-minded and unbiased legal advice. If the current City Attorney's association with the law firm responsible for the 2040 Comp Plan makes them unable to recognize problems with the new zoning code or work with critics to make necessary changes, we expect that will be a significant obstacle going forward.Other Issues of Importance
Save Hayden has a small research staff but we are doing our best to follow up on issues of importance to Hayden residents. Our long term goal is to change the 2040 Comp Plan and prevent the densification of Hayden, but there are many issues of immediate concern that relate to growth and development. Some of those that we hope to research in the coming months include:
- Status of the Ramsey Road extention and Sewer projects.
- Development of the Stone Creek North subdivision.
- Status of Hayden Canyon and other major developments in the area.
- Status of the upgrade to Hayden's sewer system required by the EPA
- Priorities and Finances of Hayden's Urban Renewal Agency.
There is a great deal of activity going on in the City of Hayden that of concern to residents. By helping to inform residents of what is going on, and what can be done to help Hayden's government be more responsive to residents, we hope to preserve the character of the town and the things we love about living here.
SAVE HAYDEN NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE
If you would like to be on Save Hayden’s Email list, and receive newsletters and notifications, sign up on our website at, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. A Printable Version of the October newsletter is a available, and links to older versions are below: here:
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