McKenzie Junction, the 20-acre strip of field surrounded by highways at Boulder’s northeast gateway, may finally be headed for development… But on Thursday just before midnight, the Boulder Planning Board approved a mixed-use plan brought forth by the same team that failed to win approval in 2015.
About 10 different neighbors of the site addressed the board on Thursday to air their complaints with what the developers, Allison Management and Trammell Crow Residential, working in conjunction with architect Coburn Partners, brought forth.
“It just doesn’t seem like a nice entrance into our Boulder town,” Gary Carmichael said. “There’s just too much density on this, and it needs to be lightened up.”
“We have horses, cattle, dogs, kids,” Erin Harding said. “To hear that it’s going to be an active area 24/7 is very disconcerting to us, because that’s not our lifestyle out there. … The density is everyone’s huge concern.”
“I simply feel this site cannot be mitigated into a situation of livability,” Rodger Ewy offered. “I’m very sympathetic to our need for housing… but I believe this would be another one of Boulder’s big mistakes.”
Several Boulder County Planning Commission members objected Wednesday to the possibility that they might lose their current ability to approve or reject proposed changes to the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan.
During a joint Wednesday afternoon discussion of comprehensive plan issues with the Board of County Commissioners and city and county planning staffs, Planning Commissioner Sam Fitch argued for retaining the four-party review-and-approval requirement.
That’s “really important,” Fitch said. “Land-use mistakes are very hard to reverse.”
A Boulder City Council majority has emerged in favor of removing the county commissioners and county planning commissioners from their present decision-making roles about proposed changes in Area II.
The Bear Creek Flood Prevention Plan was approved by City Council in February 2017. Now, it’s time to obtain funding approval. That starts with a funding review by the Water Resources Advisory Board (WRAB) on April 17, 2017, at 6:00 pm. If the funding is approved by WRAB, the plan will be forwarded to Council for further review. This info pertains to any neighborhood along Bear Creek.
The Bear Creek mitigation project is estimated to cost $11,000,000 and will provide protection for us from a statistical 100 year flood. This means that Bear Creek may flood once every 100 years. Engineering Consultants have determined that Bear Creek, between US 36 and Baseline Road, currently has just a 2 year flood expectancy. This means presently it statistically may flood once every 2 years.
The Flood Prevention Plan for Bear Creek is quite simple and easy for all of us to understand. It primarily consists of enlarging culverts, removing trees and bushes from the stream bed, deepening and widening the stream bed, and creating a recessed grassy dry flood plain east of Williams Village to catch overflow.
The plan isn’t far-out rocket science; it’s conventional engineering. It simply creates an adequate size channel to contain the creek during high flow to prevent flooding our homes.
The $11,000,000 cost of the Bear Creek project is part of a $172,000,000 project to repair and/ or prevent all of the 2013 flood damage throughout the city. Consequently, there is much concern as to which projects may be funded first, or even if they will ever be funded. At this time the city doesn’t know the source of the necessary funds.
The Bear Creek project needs a lot of strong visible support from many of our affected residents to show that the project is absolutely necessary. If residents don’t show up at WRAB and Council meetings to show support, the decision makers tend to move on to the next better supported project. Too bad for us.
During the 2013 flood there were 1,500 Boulder homes flooded with ugly sewage which backed up from the main sewage lines. Most of the backups occurred in SE Boulder. The primary cause of sewage backing up was Bear Creek and South Boulder Creek overflowed and lifted off manhole covers, then the creeks flowed into the open sanitary sewers. The sewers were then filled and backed up into our homes. If the creeks had not overflowed there would not have been any sewage in our homes. It’s simple to see that flood-proofing Bear Creek is our first line of defense for de-pooping our homes. The many health consequences of sewage and mold in our homes are astronomical.
The city has provided written info stating that “if the Bear Creek project is not approved for funding now during this present funding review cycle, it will likely be 80 to 100 years before there will be another opportunity to do so”. Are we willing to help ourselves and our neighbors? If not now – in 100 years?
You are needed to help on Monday, April 17, at 6:00 pm. The location is 5050 PearlStreet (Old Pearl – see map). Enter the door near the flag pole.
The WRAB meeting is rather informal. If you wish to speak at the meeting, please sign up a few minutes before 6:00. It’s extremely important that we have many residents attending the meeting so WRAB can see we’re interested in the Bear Creek project to eliminate flooding and sewage from entering our homes. There really isn’t much to say about the technical aspects of the plan, that’s already been established. Our voices and attendance need to blend together as cheer leaders saying “PLEASE DO IT, GET IT DONE”. We hope to see you there.
A massive 357 unit housing project has been proposed for the “Diagonal Crossing” site (officially called “3600 State Highway 119”, it’s also been known as “Mackenzie Junction” or “Alexan Flatirons” in past proposals). This is that awkward area of land between the highways where the Diagonal Highway intersects with the Foothills Parkway (see map). This proposal goes to a Public Hearing before the Planning Board next Thursday for Site and Use Review. Read more about the proposal in this recent Daily Camera article.
What: Planning Board Public Hearing When: Thursday, April 20, 6:00 PM Where: Boulder Municipal Building (1777 Broadway)
Come to the meeting to speak on this topic during the Public Hearing, or write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Late last year, developer Margaret Freund brought forth a proposal for a mixed-use high-density development, with … 50 middle-income housing units. Her vision for the currently vacant lot, which sits near the corner of Broadway and Iris Avenue, was shot down in a unanimous decision by the Planning Board.
Council members did appear open, however, to re-evaluating 3303 Broadway for its potential as a project with lower density than that which Fruend proposed.
That opportunity for re-evaluation came Tuesday, and the council, by a 5-4 margin, voiced reluctant support for a designation of the site that allows for as few as 10 units per acre, and gives a density bonus of up to 20 units per acre if Fruend decides to develop on-site affordable housing.
Will the current City Council never cease with their Build-Build-Build philosophy? Now they want to dissolve an agreement with the county so they can continue their plowing up of unoccupied lands unabated. They make a great show of soliciting citizen input, but unfortunately, they never listen.
The Boulder Planning Board on Thursday night unanimously elected John Putnam to replace John Gerstle as board chair.
Bryan Bowen, who chaired the Planning Board prior to Gerstle, said he resented the implication by some that the board might be a venue in which to play politics.He said he didn’t feel the board would change much with Peter Vitale and David Ensign replacing Gerstle and May, who did not seek another term after his expired.