Two unanimous Boulder City Council decisions within two months of each other illuminate a deep-seated ambivalence about city priorities.
A steering committee member of “Better Boulder” recently posted on Facebook that a Boulder of 250,000 people (from our current 109,000) “would be awesome.” Many people are very unhappy with the direction this city is going in and want to see balance restored to City Council.
Cha Cha Spinrad: I live in a co-op and strive to have my life entirely encompassed by cooperatives. I also support Jan Burton. She isn’t afraid to speak her mind. She doesn’t care about maintaining her seat — she cares about positive impact while sitting in it. Last point: Jill Grano rocks.
Michelle Estrella: Burton walks the talk with diversity and will champion our tax dollars. McIntrye will take care of open space and understand small business. Grano is a breath of fresh air and wicked smart about housing. Rigler and Budd will keep our streets safe.
Boulder’s Planning Board voted 6-1 late Thursday to recommend the City Council deny a developer’s request to annex a 22-acre parcel of Boulder County land into the city limits for a proposed housing development.
Board Member Bryan Bowen cast the sole dissenting vote.
In addition to that recommendation, the board also voted 5-2 to send a group of “guiding principles” regarding development of the controversial Hogan-Pancost property to the council for its consideration.
City Council election season is upon us and a boatload of candidates will be vying for your vote. I am not clairvoyant, but I can safely promise that they will all tell you that they favor diversity, inclusivity, affordable housing, resilience, preservation of neighborhoods, creation of walkable neighborhoods, open space is good, etc., etc. You will hear them at debates and meetings, and they will provide you with feel-good statements of intent with as few specifics as possible.
I call this candidate blather “Boulderspeak.” The problem is that many voters have been complicit in this electoral dance, responding positively to expressions of purpose without detail, and making decisions based on superficial information, slogans and buzzwords. This is no way to select our leaders.
A public hearing on the concept plan for annexation and development of the Hogan-Pancost parcel, delayed in May at the developer’s request, will take place Thursday before the Boulder Planning Board.
But it might have been delayed one more time, had a citizens group opposing the plan gotten its way.T
The Southeast Boulder Neighborhood Association, a group primarily concerned with … development at Hogan-Pancost, believes the hearing should be held in September and not in mid-summer, when many are out of town.
“A lot of people are on vacation,” said Suzanne de Lucia, president of the group, which refers to itself as SEBNA, and which has worked with other groups such as the Boulder Neighborhood Association and the Twin Lakes Action Group.
The Nov. 7 election for the Boulder City Council will be one of the most important in the city’s history. There, I said it. Sound like hyperbole? Then consider this: The results will determine who will decide policy surrounding the extremely important planning issues of growth, housing and zoning/density — the NIMBYs (Not in My Backyard) or the YIMBYs (Yes in My Backyard).It’s going to be a very contentious race, based on candidates’ stands on these issues facing the city in the next few years.
Will new council members, YIMBYs, increase density and encourage the building of more housing to attract more people to move here and ease pressure on ever-climbing home costs? If we do increase density, will the housing supply ever keep pace with the demand in Boulder, which is becoming an even more desirable place to live because of its beauty and a rising high-tech presence?
Or will they, NIMBYs, leave density laws untouched? That would discourage, for example, the relaxing of the present regulation that limits the number of unrelated people that may live in one dwelling.