Boulder is the most expensive city in the region. With average single-family home prices near one million dollars, and many apartments renting for thousands of dollars a month, it is not affordable for most middle-, median- and low-income households. The City of Boulder has implemented a variety of affordable housing policies to address the issue, yet we continue to lose ground. Job growth continues to outpace residential growth causing upward pressure on housing prices, the local real estate market continues to skyrocket, and existing housing that is still relatively affordable is being redeveloped as high-end. If the current development trends continue, Boulder will be a place for mostly the very wealthy and a few lower income people in subsidized units.
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.
Respected environmentalist Tim Hogan’s letter to the newspaper, outlining the issues. For many longtime residents of Boulder, the current proposal from the university requesting annexation, engineered flood mitigation, and additions to their housing and academic building portfolio stirs up a host of reservations. The more one delves into the details, the greater those reservations become.
When I heard about the Attention Homes project at 1440 Pine, now under review by the Planning Board, something about the large size and high number of at-risk young adults that would be housed there didn’t ring true to me. Then I learned that this was the result of a “density transfer.” I couldn’t remember ever hearing that term in my 10 years on the City Council, so I inquired as to what was being proposed. What I learned was, frankly, pretty bizarre.
Beginning June 1, 2017 prospective applicants will be able to download the applications online from the Applications and Forms Database or by obtaining a hard copy at 1739 Broadway on the third floor. Please search or ask for the “Administrative Review Application Form” and attachment document.