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?
Boulder County Planning Commission would lose veto power on key parcels; County commissioners would not.
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.
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.
Source: CU-South | PBC
For 20 years, it has been known that hundreds of homes in south Boulder are in danger of flooding from South Boulder Creek, and the city has spent millions developing a $40 million plan to mitigate the problem. A major component of the plan is a detention pond west of U.S. 36 designed to store a flood’s peak flows and release them slowly over time…. CU’s strategy is to hold residents of Frasier Meadows and surrounding neighborhoods hostage and prevent any flood mitigation until it gets what it wants.
City Council is now executing a land grab by proposing the elimination of the four-party review-and-approval requirement for Area II land use.This is not a small change when City Council may allow itself to change Area III territory to Area II. Compromises proposed lead to the same loss of power for two of the four current partners, giving all voting rights to City Council and the city Planning Board. The county is pushed aside. Do we smile and say welcome to the wild, wild west, citified?