I recently read through the latest draft of the co-op ordinance. Unfortunately, it is still a mash-up of ideas that sound good but have significant flaws. And it is still disorganized — general requirements are mixed with specifics, concepts show up in multiple places, and some terms, including “limited equity cooperative,” “certification,” and “privilege,” are undefined. One of the biggest problem areas is the “permanently affordable Group Equity Cooperative” (GEC). I’ll focus there, but it is not the only problem by any means.
Under the Boulder City Council’s latest, tentative plan, the city’s new co-operative housing ordinance would permit higher occupancy than previously suggested, but would also be more restrictive on several fronts. During a special meeting Tuesday night — called to continue the hearing that started last week, when more than 100 people signed up to offer feedback on the controversial ordinance — the council was supportive of capping co-ops at 12 people in low-density residential zones, and 15 people in medium- and high-density zones. Previous plans had called for a cap of 12.
Bottom Line: the City Council ignored virtually all input from concerned citizens, the Boulder Neighborhood Alliance, and PLAN-Boulder County. Instead, they handed the co-op special interest group everything they had demanded, and more.
See also: Video of the October 4th and October 11th meetings: Co-op Ordinance Second Reading
The yearlong community conversation about how Boulder should regulate co-operative housing has focused largely on the question of whether those who seek this lifestyle option are good neighbors. … But during last week’s nearly 100-speaker hearing, … many who oppose the ordinance said they aren’t interested in dissecting the merits of co-ops. Instead, opponents focused their arguments on the threat they believe co-ops impose on low-density residential neighborhoods …
“I have no doubt co-ops are great. They shovel walks. They make pies,” said Beth Helgans, who lives in the Whitter neighborhood. “My family’s great, too, and we chose purposely to live in a low-density zone.”
Helgans said that “high-density, democratic” co-ops are “completely in contrast to my low-density lifestyle.”
Mike Marsh of Martin Acres called the ordinance a “sneak attack” by the city on residents who bought homes in single-family neighborhoods with the expectation that those areas would preserve low-density living without exception.
Alex Burness takes the draft co-op ordinance at face value. Not much thought behind this report:
The latest draft of Boulder’s new co-operative housing ordinance lays out specific criteria for co-op certification and subsequent neighborhood notification, minimum and maximum occupancy limits, and a requirement that no two co-ops be located within 100 feet of one another.
The following article has been submitted to the Daily Camera as a Guest Opinion. Update (9/13/16): The Daily Camera has rejected Jan’s submission! Update (9/22/16): But the Boulder Weekly has published it as: The Six Million Dollar Question on Co-ops!
It’s becoming quite clear co-op advocates can’t come up with better arguments other than referring to those of us that disagree with their proposals as rich, white, wealthy, privileged NIMBY classists. Now we can add the amusing new phrase of being “nefariously financially motivated.”
I would like to remind Michael Rush, author of that captivating judgmental guest opinion in favor of co-ops on 09/08/2016, that the Progressive homeowners in question are not wicked, evil, wealthy elitists. The wealthy here in Boulder don’t have to worry about large co-op rentals moving in next to them. Co-ops activists are specifically targeting the most affordable low to medium density neighborhoods in Boulder located on the Hill, Goss Grove, Martin Acres, among others.
Yes Michael, most of us purchased homes in Boulder to live in them, not to make a killing on the market. We poured our life savings into them because we wished to put down roots here in Boulder. One of the primary motivators people like myself chose detached homes in areas zoned for low to medium density use was because we wanted to get away from exactly what you’re proposing. Continue reading “Jan Trussell: Co-op advocates resort to name-calling”
The Daily Camera appears to have abandoned balanced reporting, as it degrades into advocacy journalism in the manner of its conservative counterpart, Fox News… I refer to the Camera’s sympathy story about the illegally over occupied Picklebric co-op, having to vacate the premises of 765 13th St. The real story is that the property’s owner/landlord complied with the law, as he should, operated well within his rights, and did the responsible thing…
Fair journalism about a controversial topic should cover and/or quote both sides of the story. Alex Burness’s highly biased article about co-ops did not even attempt to cover both sides … He should have at least attempted to interview one or two of the thousands of residents in quiet, low- and medium-density, single-family neighborhoods that aren’t interested in living next to a six-to-15 person co-op. Most homeowners did not sink their life savings into the biggest purchase of their life with the expectation that one day they could live next to a grossly over-occupied house…