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.
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 Camera: http://www.dailycamera.com/news/boulder/ci_31025612/boulder-board-approves-housing-homeless-at-1440-pine
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.
Source: CU-South | PBC
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.
A city is a type of living organism with its physical and mental health sustained when its growth is in balance with its environment, and when its citizens are pleased with its present and future conditions. If you walk or bike around Boulder the recent and planned developments are signs of “urban obesity.” They are not in scale. Nor do they have the attractiveness of the Pearl Street Mall or the appeal of Mapleton Hill or Martin Acres.
Noteworthy in the last few weeks has been the coverage of making Boulder a “brand.” It seems we are no longer a community of human beings but have morphed into a brand. To be sold, exploited, manipulated, monetized, etc., which is what happens when people market brands. The essence of our community is being sold by our leaders (Council, Planning Board et. al.) to the highest bidder, further driving up housing prices and adding to our 60,000+ in-commuters. There are already far more jobs in Boulder than work-age adults to work them, yet the alliance of developers, Chamber of Commerce, and City Council continue to floor the accelerator on growth via our brand. And, on the recreation side, attractions such as Chautauqua are turning into over-use nightmares. This should be alarming, and I hope Boulder residents realize what is happening as we change from a city to a brand. To paraphrase the British: “The city is dead, long live the brand.” So sad. And unrecoverable. Just drive down “Box” Canyon Boulevard west of 28th and see the towering results on either side of you. Again, so sad, so unrecoverable. Let’s stop being a brand and return to being a city of human beings.