Co-op housing ordinance passed with NO compromise by City Council

Daily Camera (1/4/17):

After a year of deliberation, including thousands of citizen comments and four marathon public hearings, Boulder at long last finalized and approved a co-operative housing ordinance early Wednesday, bringing to a close one of the most contentious and drawn-out community debates in the city’s recent history.

Some advocates could be seen celebrating … after the meeting adjourned, while the Boulder Neighborhood Alliance — a group that gained prominence in recent months through its opposition to the ordinance — was already tweeting about a referendum.

But the final ordinance was so one-sided, Councilwomen Lisa Morzel and Mary Young felt, that it hardly reflected a year of process meant to mine some middle ground from a debate short on that from the onset.

“We didn’t get there,” Young lamented. “I think it’s my absolute responsibility to be democratic. I tried and it didn’t happen, and I can’t vote for it for that reason.”

Added Morzel: “I think what is before us now is way too extreme, especially in the low-density neighborhoods. We do have two very polarized sides in this community.

“We’ve had people talk about recalls. We’ve had people talk about referendums. And I wouldn’t be surprised if something like that happens.”

Those who opposed the ordinance have maintained that co-ops, which are by definition high-density and tend to attract young adults, will fundamentally upend neighborhood order in areas that many homeowners say they chose specifically because they wanted to live among other quiet, single-family households.

Opponents asked the council to consider a pilot program with many fewer co-ops to start, but that request was never seriously entertained during any public deliberations.

Source: At long last, Boulder approves new co-op housing ordinance – Boulder Daily Camera