Thank you to those who disagree with me (you know who you are) who spoke to me about their concerns. I mentioned some of these points in the article and my take on them.
Bottom line: in my opinion the parcel in question is not environmentally superior to others already identified in/around Lafayette for preservation/acquisition and the opportunity cost of denial is too high. Without specific economic impacts articulated I still see the proposed development as better than other proposals likely to come in its place later on. Speculation? Sure. However, I'll take the chance the revenue from a Lowe's will be useful to the city (read: open space funding) over watching the revenue go to a neighbor. Regional growth impacts will affect Lafayette either way.
For more details, look for the article in a couple weeks. In the meantime, here's an excerpt:
This basic question brings to bear the uncomfortable reality of dependence Colorado’s communities have on sales- and use-tax revenues. The short answer: yes, Lowe’s is “needed”. It is needed in the Machiavellian sense that Lafayette has the power to accept an offer to build a revenue generator that could otherwise locate just outside its borders in Erie or Broomfield. This annexation is an economic opportunity in the harsh competitive reality Colorado communities must face.