Recent articles in the Daily Camera reported that the Boulder Valley School District may sell the University Hill Elementary School to the University of Colorado. This magnificent building and city landmark has been part of the University Hill community of Boulder since 1905, both as a functioning and vibrant school and a focal point for our city. Historic Boulder is concerned about this potential sale because the University of Colorado has repeatedly demolished or removed buildings that were eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and the university is not bound by city ordinances, including the landmarking of buildings.
I enjoyed reading Craig Jones’ Open Forum letter in last Tuesday’s Daily Camera (“There’s no way to meet Boulder’s housing demand,” Jan. 24). However, I think he too quickly dismisses his suggestion of increasing business taxes to the point where many employers (would) move out. It makes a lot of sense to relocate businesses to places where their employees can afford to live. And having (my estimation) 5,000 managers commuting rather than 60,000 workers would greatly reduce Boulder’s traffic and parking problems — and maybe even reduce the presently unsatisfiable demands for affordable housing.
Jim Faller, Boulder
The Jan. 19 Camera article (“Twin Lakes debate resumes“) accurately quoted my comments to the BoCo Planning Commission, describing efforts to annex Gunbarrel land parcels into the city of Boulder and upzone them to medium-density residential as “an outright theft from the Gunbarrel community.
Should dedicated lands be used for their intended purpose? Do property owners have adequate recourse when radical zoning changes are proposed on adjacent parcels? Does the intense pressure to build affordable housing justify trampling citizen rights, degrading existing neighborhoods and destroying valuable wildlife habitat? Isn’t it about time we had an honest debate about the merits and pitfalls of unbridled commercial development?
“I think it definitely warrants a study,” Maher advocated. “The city spends a lot of money on studies and I think for not a whole lot of money they could have one on this. There’s a lot of questions out there, so I’m not saying with absolute certainty this a good idea. But I do think it’s worth investing in some research.”
Only in Boulder does talk seem to take precedent over action when life and limb are at stake. I attended last night’s combined City Council and Planning Board meeting.
Any potential development of the 308-acre CU Boulder South parcel is still years away, but to the delight of the university and the dismay of those concerned about flood risk on the property, it’s inching closer to fruition.Earlier this week, members of the Boulder City Council and Planning Board gave city staff the go-ahead to draft proposed changes that would redesignate the allowable land uses on the site. The move was made by the two bodies, via 13 yes votes and two “maybe” votes from Councilwoman Lisa Morzel and Planning Board member Liz Payton, in the context of the continuing 5-year update to the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan.
…Unfortunately, the school district is rushing towards a sale of the building and has not communicated very skillfully, nor made a convincing argument for abandoning Uni Hill’s rich tradition in favor of relocating to a to-be-built facility near New Vista High School. … I urge BVSD to take a deep breath, make time to organize meetings with the community, and promote open dialog about the pros and cons of making the sale.
Please see http://www.unihillschoolfuture.org/ for additional background.