Susan Lambert: The stability of the four-body review process

The most important and time-tested component of American democracy is the concept of checks and balances. It ensures the interests of a few never override the values and interests of the larger community. It protects against corruption. It protects against tyranny.On June 13, Boulder City Council’s nine members met to contemplate eliminating Boulder County’s most important system of checks and balances: the BVCP’s four-body review process for land-use changes. Boulder’s four governing bodies are the county commissioners, county Planning Commission, City Council, and city Planning Board.

When the County Planning Commission (CPC) recently — and wisely — voted to maintain the existing density and reject Boulder County Housing Authority’s overreach at Twin Lakes, it sent shock waves through the halls of power in Boulder County — and the city. How dare this governing body listen to the people they serve? How dare they defy the back-door power plays of the county?

Read More: Susan Lambert: The stability of the four-body review process – Boulder Daily Camera

Boulder advances compromise plan to limit county control over future city expansion – Boulder Daily Camera

Boulder County Planning Commission would lose veto power on key parcels; County commissioners would not.

Boulder City Council listens to citizens
Boulder Mayor Suzanne Jones, middle, and Boulder City Council members Andrew Shoemaker, left, and Sam Weaver listen. (Paul Aiken / Daily Camera Staff Photographer)

City Council members, a slight majority of whom would like to limit Boulder County’s control over future city expansion, appear to have come to some agreement on a proposed revision to the procedure by which city and county cooperate on long-range, land-use planning.

In an unofficial straw-poll vote taken late Tuesday night, the council supported a compromise that would let the Board of County Commissioners retain veto power over changes to parcels in categories known as Area II and the Area III-Planning Reserve.

However, the Boulder County Planning Commission would lose its voice in those two areas, under the straw-poll plan.

Full Story: Boulder advances compromise plan to limit county control over future city expansion – Boulder Daily Camera

Bill Karelis: When a city dashes forward 

The implicit theory of growth behind Boulder’s current expansion is that it can become a fast-growing commercial center and retain its residential quality of life at the same time. That idea is proving to be a fantasy, along with many of the other visionary positions of our local government.Now the City Council has voted overwhelmingly to insert co-op housing in virtually any zoning district in the city and is pushing density through such bizarre ideas as “density transfer.” The inadvisability and destructive quality of this pro-density and anti-neighborhood position has been ably described in dozens of letters to the Daily Camera, as well as in editorials by Leonard May, Steve Pomerance, Spense Havlick and others.The indisputable fact is that the unaffordable housing problem is being driven by the push for commercial expansion. As one letter write wrote prior to the 2015 election, “You can’t build your way to affordable housing” — as has been demonstrated in San Francisco and Aspen. Boulder has fallen behind the wisdom of Palo Alto and other cities, which now understands this fallacy well. “Affordable” housing is really only more building, and not affordable at all. Indeed, much of the so-called affordable housing built in the city over the last two years opts out of the affordable housing requirement. Millions are being made, to a great extent by non-Boulder residents, by selling off beautiful downtown and neighborhood space.

Read More: Bill Karelis: When a city dashes forward – Boulder Daily Camera

Jennifer Havlick Platt: Time to cap enrollment at CU

There are viable options to consider other than the controversial development of CU South. Why not cap the enrollment of CU, so that additional housing, classrooms, and playing fields are not necessary?Since the doors to the University of Colorado opened in 1876 with 44 students, the University of Colorado has expanded and become a four-campus system including Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver, and the University of Colorado Medical Campus. With a combined enrollment of over 62,000 students from these four campuses. CU Boulder supports over 31,861 students. In 2015, 6,208 freshman students were enrolled and more students are being admitted every year. It is time to cap the enrollment and consider what is best for the community of Boulder.

read more: Jennifer Havlick Platt: Time to cap enrollment at CU – Boulder Daily Camera

Greenwood Village pro-growth ballot measure fails, 3 to 1

A ballot measure in a special election in Greenwood Village that would have allowed for taller buildings and denser development in the area surrounding Orchard Station failed Tuesday night.

6,092 of Greenwood Village’s approximately 15,000 residents voted in Tuesday’s election, with 1,479 voting in favor of the ballot measure and 4,613 against.