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

Boulder Planning Board produces expected outcome: approves housing for homeless young adults at 1440 Pine St.

Boulder Planning Board produces the result they were expected to produce: they approved housing for young homeless adults at 1440 Pine St.

After 18 months of community debate — often unusually heated, even by Boulder’s standards — the city Planning Board on Tuesday night approved a proposal to build housing for homeless young adults in a new downtown facility.

The board voted 6-1, with member Crystal Gray representing the lone voice of dissent.

Read the Full Story at the Daily Camerahttp://www.dailycamera.com/news/boulder/ci_31025612/boulder-board-approves-housing-homeless-at-1440-pine

John Gerstle and Pat Shanks: Don’t compromise the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan

The Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan (BVCP) is an agreement that guides land use in the Boulder County area that surrounds the city of Boulder (about 12,000 residents and 44,000 acres of land) and within the city (about 104,000 residents and 16,000 acres). Recent comments from several Boulder City Council members indicate some frustration with implementation of the BVCP using a process called “four-body review.” Under these time-honored and effective procedures, some BVCP changes of policy and land-use designation must be approved by majority votes of the four bodies with expertise in land-use decisions: City Council, Planning Board, county commissioners, and county Planning Commission.As former members and chairs of the county Planning Commission (both of us) and the city Planning Board (one of us), we believe we have a thorough understanding of BVCP processes. The four-body approval process ensures both responsiveness to the electoral process (all those formally involved in the approval process are either elected or appointed by elected officials) and long-term stability necessary for BVCP implementation, providing residents and local government a clear indication of how their neighborhoods and lands are to be managed in the coming years. Because of the BVCP’s important role in coordinating city and county actions and decisions, representing the interests of both city and county residents, and its generally acknowledged success over the past four decades, changes to the process by which the BVCP is adopted should be considered only with great care.

Read More: John Gerstle and Pat Shanks: Don’t compromise the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan – Boulder Daily Camera

Important Meeting Tonight: BVCP Update

Important Public Hearing Tonight (May 23 2017):

Where: City Council Chambers of the municipal Building at 1777 Broadway,

When: 5/23/17 starting at 6:00 p.m. (you can sign up to speak between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m.) Continue reading “Important Meeting Tonight: BVCP Update”