Surplus of Boulder Planning Board candidates interview for two key spots

On Tuesday night, the City Council interviewed the 14 people vying for two open seats on the board. Next to the council, the Planning Board is Boulder’s most influential citizen body, presiding over development proposals and helping to set land-use and design rules. But the last time there was an opening on the board, only four people applied to fill it…

Gerstle, who is seeking a second term, is more of a centrist than May by Boulder’s standards, but has said that some in the city are under the “mistaken impression” that more growth will lead to more affordable housing — a statement very much at odds with what groups such as Open Boulder, Better Boulder and the chamber of commerce have pushed of late.

Gerstle was joined on Tuesday by prospective board members Ira Barron, Morey Bean, David Ensign, Madeline Fetsch, Ann Horwich-Scholefield, Thomas Johnston, Laura Kaplan, Sepideh Miller, Hollie Rogin, Zane Selvans, Peter Vitale, Mark Wallach and Howard Witkin.

Councilman Aaron Brockett posed a question to the applicants about their approaches to development in Boulder, which he called a “full-time contact sport.”

Should it be accelerated to address issues around housing, sustainability and transportation, or slowed so as not to exacerbate existing resource shortages and promote a shift away from the essential character of Boulder as a small city with low-rise buildings and zoning that in most spots calls for low density? A majority of the 14 appeared to support the former vision.

Among that majority is Selvans, one of the city’s most visible activists in the burgeoning “Yes In My Backyard” movement. He’s proven to be a deeply controversial figure in his political opponents’ circles, and his appointment to the Planning Board would surely upset groups such as Livable Boulder and the Boulder Neighborhood Alliance, which have already spoken out against his candidacy….

Given that the Planning Board’s votes on development proposals are usually final and unquestioned by the council, the two who win seats this time around will play key roles in shaping Boulder’s future. Many will be watching closely when the council announces which two it’s chosen during its March 21 meeting.

Source: Surplus of Boulder Planning Board candidates interview for two key spots – Boulder Daily Camera