Message to Tech Firms From Palo Alto Mayor: Go Away. Please. – The New York Times

There’s a back story to the spotty cell reception in the heart of Silicon Valley: the city’s very mixed feelings about the influx of tech companies.

In an election year, with nearly constant squawking from presidential candidates about well-paying jobs, the mayor of Palo Alto has an unusual message for some of the cash-flush tech companies based here: Go away. Please.

“Big tech companies are choking off the downtown,” Mayor Patrick Burt said. “It’s not healthy.”

Read More: Message to Tech Firms From Palo Alto Mayor: Go Away. Please. – The New York Times

Twin Lakes Action Group – Critical County Meeting Aug 30

A quick reminder from our friends at  the BVCP land-use designation meeting with the County Commissioners and Planning Commission is in just a few hours …

When:  4pm – late on Tuesday August 30th
Where: Boulder County Courthouse
What:  This is the last opportunity to publicly talk to the County and share your opinions.  This critical meeting  starts at 4pm – Yes – that is early so come as soon as you can.  Twin Lakes is the 3rd item on the agenda, and no we don’t know what time that corresponds to.

Continue reading “Twin Lakes Action Group – Critical County Meeting Aug 30”

Urgent: Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan Open House

Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan Open House and Advisory Board Workshop

One of most important meetings of the year will be this coming Monday:

Monday, August 29th
5:30 PM to 6:30 PM
First Presbyterian Church
1820 15th Street (map)

This is a significant opportunity to weigh in on three different proposed growth scenarios within the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan.  Incredibly, the City announced this with just a few days’ notice.

We really need to pack the room with as many BNA participants as possible.

One of the scenarios they will present is to add another 19,000 new jobs to Boulder and 6,750 new housings units.  Incredibly, this scenario will do nothing to ease any of Boulder’s current problems and in fact, will add to them.  It means losing ground on the housing front and having an 12,250 net additional in-commuters, which will only add pressure on housing, and our neighborhoods’ roles in “solving the housing crisis.”

The City’s senior planner who presented this scenario said she “hadn’t heard that there was concern in the community about adding more jobs.”  (Reality check: we have made this point, repeatedly.)

So please, everyone, let’s show up on Monday.  As many of us as possible need to say to City staff at the event, write on feedback forms at the event, etc, that Boulder does not need more jobs.  We already have tens of thousands more jobs than workforce age adults to work them.   A Comprehensive Plan strategy to add more jobs at this point will only markedly increase every measurable strain on our community.  But it very well may happen, unless we say something.

Click here for the full agenda.   Note, the first hour of the event (5:30-6:30) is the public open house.  The rest of the evening (6:30-8:30) is the Joint Advisory Board Meeting, which is open to the public, but there will be no public input during that session.

See also the city’s official website for this event.  You can also email your feedback to the Comp Plan team at

See you on Monday!

Mark Wallach: Boulder housing: law enforcement optional 

Prospective tenants at Sterling University Peaks apartments were told they would be occupying private bedrooms. But the fine print of the lease stated that they agreed to share a bedroom. How is it that these landlords are permitted to retain their rental license for one day more after behavior that is duplicitous at best towards the tenants, and fraudulent with respect to the city?

This selective and understaffed approach to law enforcement is one of the key elements in the growing neighborhood opposition to the city’s plans to expand the use of co-ops into low-density neighborhoods. In addition to the destructive impact on residential neighborhoods resulting from 10-12 unrelated individuals with cars living next door, the city has also made it amply clear that there will be no serious regulation of these living arrangements. If there is no enforcement now, when co-ops are few, what can we expect when they increase exponentially?

Full Story: Mark Wallach: Boulder housing: law enforcement optional – Boulder Daily Camera

Proposal to build housing for homeless adults in Whittier neighborhood has been unusually contentious

Critics say the design is problematic because it doesn’t meet setback requirements or transition comfortably to nearby residential areas.  Many believe the new project, at 35 feet and three stories, would simply be too tall for the historic Whittier neighborhood. Design aside, siting a program for at-risk young adults downtown is asking for trouble, opponents have argued.  “The people that would be housed there are very vulnerable” to other homeless people in the Pearl Street area, said Melody Lyle, a High Street homeowner and a mother of five. “It’s easy access to drugs, and they’re vulnerable to predators.”

Opponents of the project also have lodged a common, high-level complaint concerning a perceived public-process sham. “Right from the beginning, it’s been ‘our way or the highway,'” Whittier Neighborhood Association president and former Planning Board member John Spitzer said. “At the so-called ‘neighborhood meetings’ with Attention Homes, all of our concerns have been ignored completely.”

Full Story: Fevered battle over plans to house Boulder’s young homeless – Boulder Daily Camera

Boulder County rejects site for owl activists’ concert

The Boulder County Housing Authority has told Ken Beitel, the activist who’s been pushing to get 20 acres of now-vacant government-owned fields in Gunbarrel designated as a great horned owl preserve, that he cannot use the Housing Authority’s property for a musical “Owls and Open Space” concert on Friday night…

“Boulder County wants to bulldoze the proposed Twin Lakes Owl Open Space to slap up more than 275 apartment units.  Apparently the the ‘Owls and Open Space’ concert would disturb the wildlife there so we warned about trespassing.” – Ken Beitel

Source: Boulder County rejects site for owl activists’ concert – Boulder Daily Camera

TLAG’s response to BVCP staff recommendations for Twin Lakes


Recommendations unchanged despite public participation

TLAG calls for unbiased staff report 

Aug. 25, 2016

If community engagement made any difference, they wouldn’t let us do it. That’s the lesson Gunbarrel residents learned yesterday when the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan staff released their final recommendations of 14 units per acre for the Twin Lakes parcels.

“All of our concerns about misuse of public lands, wildlife, preservation of neighborhoods, hydrology and other serious problems with this development proposal fell on deaf ears,” says Twin Lakes Action Group chair Dave Rechberger. “They never authentically considered or addressed any of these issues and how they would affect residents. We ended up where we started.” Continue reading “TLAG’s response to BVCP staff recommendations for Twin Lakes”