This article has also been published as a letter to the editor: Stacey Goldfarb: A planning mockery – Boulder Daily Camera
I’ve got the answer for Boulder:
Let’s just keep expanding our population – 200,000, 250,000, heck, even a half million people! Boulder should house the world! Let’s have no occupancy limits. Better yet, no limits whatsoever! Building Size? Height limit? Who cares? We’re talking Manhattan on Mapleton, baby! Silicon Valley on Sanitas!
Here’s the best part: If anyone dares question our plan, we’ll just call ‘em selfish. That’s it! If anyone invokes science, natural limits, finite water resources, ecology, carrying capacity…or Phoenix or LA …we’ll call ‘em elitists! That’s it! That’s how we’ll subdue anyone who questions us.
It’ll be great. The City of Boulder, the Chamber of Commerce, Better Boulder, Open Boulder, Boulder Housing Partners, hundreds of Boulder developers, out of state developers, foreign real estate investors, “wealth advisors,” – and everyone eyeing Boulder as “growth opportunity for profit” – can rejoice. Our boards of directors are all intertwined…but nobody will notice!
But it gets better. Although we’re really out to develop and build, build, build – we’ll say we’re “creating opportunity.” That’s it! Developers can say they’re about affordable housing, although 90 percent of their buildings are luxury. We’ll say we’re altruistic, as our bank accounts swell with every new development fast tracked through that pesky Boulder “review process” and bothersome “citizen comment.” The heck with ‘em! It’s Boulder’s Development Bonanza!
All those thoughtful forebearers who created Boulder as an anecdote to big cities, crowds, and traffic; and shaped the beautiful, manageable size community we’ve enjoyed? The heck with ‘em! Neighborhoods? Forget about ‘em! People who thought their zoning meant something? Ha! The joke’s on them! Just call ‘em NIMBY’s. Better yet, let’s create Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) conferences, which really means “Yes, In Their Backyard!” It’ll be hilarious! It’ll be the ultimate public deception coup!