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.
I have had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with John Tayer, Dan Powers, and Sue Prant, three of the people who signed the guest opinion “Let building height moratorium lapse” (Daily Camera, March 5). These are all fine people, and I share their view on some transportation issues concerning our fine city of Boulder.
However, concerning the issue of density and building height I could not disagree more. Now is the time to hold firm to the height moratorium, as it is for the Blue line — and we should also hold firm in our commitment to open space. Having lived in Boulder for only 40 years, I still hold tight to the reasons I came to adopt Boulder as my home town — open space, beautiful vistas, and a smaller town feel. If I had wanted to live in a big city I would have moved to Denver.
In January, a panel of visiting urban design and development experts published a report envisioning what the industrial zone around Arapahoe Avenue and 55th Street could look like under very different circumstances. The panelists, working for the Urban Land Institute and commissioned by the Boulder Chamber and the Boulder Area Realtors Association, devised a plan for a new “East Edge” of the city that felt like more of a “special place” than it currently does. Focusing on the 55th Street corridor from Arapahoe to Pearl Parkway, the advisory panel recommended introducing housing in several formats and at varied price levels. …
The panelists recommended exploring buildings above Boulder’s 55-foot height limit, and as high as 90 feet tall, as a way to accommodate extra office space and some of the up to 2,400 dwelling units they considered for the area.
How can Boulder balance maintaining open spaces with its need for affordable housing?
For more than a year, Boulder County residents and government have squared off over a 20-acre stretch of land northeast of town. Tucked between residential housing and Twin Lakes Open Space in the unincorporated town of Gunbarrel, the Boulder County Housing Authority proposed a change to the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan—which has been in place since the 1970s and acts as a blueprint for the city’s growth—to allow an affordable housing development on this land, about 12 units per acre or around 200 units total, thus incorporating the area into Boulder city limits.
Source: When It Comes to Housing, Boulder Can’t Have It All – 5280.com
Yes, there are some dreary block-style apartments in Munich, as there are in Boulder, thankfully not many here. But what you see in Munich that I have yet to see in Boulder are some exquisite residences with four to six families. About as tall as the old Pearl Street Mall buildings, dense, and yet very attractive. Is this a cultural no-no here? Most would say yes, but I don’t believe it’s really so — I believe that people just have not seen a good example yet.
When you discuss the future of Boulder with the various no-growth, slow-growth, responsible-growth folks who have become so active in recent months, it is pretty clear what they want: limited height, preservation of open space, and an evolutionary growth that envisions Boulder as a sophisticated, yet small municipality.
But in all of the columns and letters from the growth and density aficionados, what has not been clear is this: what is their ultimate vision for Boulder? What do they want the City to look like and feel like when all of the growth they desire comes to pass?
The maps with circles that were shown at the October 11th City Council meeting were drawn incorrectly, giving a false impression of the actual density that City Council was legislating. For example, here’s what they showed for University Hill with 600-foot separation: Continue reading “A Co-op Every 500 feet”