Lyons residents frustrated at permit process to rebuild after 2013 flood

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LYONS, Colo. — Residents in the Boulder County town of Lyons who are still struggling to rebuild after the devastating flood of 2013 voiced their frustrations at town leaders Monday night.

At a special meeting at Lyons Town Hall, local leaders acknowledged the process and said it has been confusing. They also promised to try and make it easier.

“I definitely want the board to know we would never do anything in this process to make it more difficult than it already is,” said Victoria Simonsen, Lyons' town administrator.

The problem is, a lot of people still waiting for building permits say it’s almost impossible to get them.

“Several of my neighbors, just two houses down, have been rejected six times on their permit,” said Jill Babcock, who lives in the Confluence area of Lyons.

Babcock considers herself lucky; she was able to get a building permit directly after the flood. Her neighbors, on the other hand, are struggling.

“They’ve made it extra hard,” said Linda Hubbard, who lives next door to Babcock.

By "they" Hubbard means the town. She said she has been trying to get a permit for a year and a half.

Hubbard’s home was destroyed and for the past couple of months she has been living in an RV on her property.

“I think everyone here has had a different sense of the process,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard and many others said there is no clear explanation of the requirements for a process, especially if you live in the flood plain area. At times, even the town seemed confused about the process.

“We would like a concrete process that is transparent to everyone,” Hubbard said.

The meeting Monday night featured local and state speakers. The town board told the group it wanted to make sure everyone who needed a permit gets a one.

How long will that take? Only time will tell.

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