I read with interest last week’s guest opinion from City Council candidates Benjamin, Rigler and Grano, who appear perplexed that much of the Boulder community feels threatened by the high-growth policies with which they have been associated. The most pro-development groups in town have endorsed two of them: Engage Boulder, Better Boulder and Open Boulder. And while they each now pledge allegiance to the Blue Line and height restrictions the conversion appears to be more expedient than heartfelt: none of their websites contains a single sentence supporting those policies.
Has anyone noticed all the Boulder businesses closing their doors after years of serving Boulder? The list is long and distinguished and a sign of the dysfunction of Boulder’s governmental policies. These businesses reflect the soul of what Boulder stands for and will sorely be missed.
The open space acquisition happened in Boulder 50 years ago this year, just before our family came to Boulder. It was followed by the Blue Line regulation to prevent development over 5,750 feet, by building height limitations and by the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan. Approved by the voters, these restrictions made the city the beautiful place it is. As Professor Charles Wilkinson stated in Ruth Wright’s groundbreaking “Limiting Building Height” thesis: “Boulder’s stirring beauty is largely due to the verticality of the backdrop to town rising sharply up from the plains at the exact base of the Rockies.”
A steering committee member of “Better Boulder” recently posted on Facebook that a Boulder of 250,000 people (from our current 109,000) “would be awesome.” Many people are very unhappy with the direction this city is going in and want to see balance restored to City Council.
Cha Cha Spinrad: I live in a co-op and strive to have my life entirely encompassed by cooperatives. I also support Jan Burton. She isn’t afraid to speak her mind. She doesn’t care about maintaining her seat — she cares about positive impact while sitting in it. Last point: Jill Grano rocks.
Michelle Estrella: Burton walks the talk with diversity and will champion our tax dollars. McIntrye will take care of open space and understand small business. Grano is a breath of fresh air and wicked smart about housing. Rigler and Budd will keep our streets safe.
Boulder’s Planning Board voted 6-1 late Thursday to recommend the City Council deny a developer’s request to annex a 22-acre parcel of Boulder County land into the city limits for a proposed housing development.
Board Member Bryan Bowen cast the sole dissenting vote.
In addition to that recommendation, the board also voted 5-2 to send a group of “guiding principles” regarding development of the controversial Hogan-Pancost property to the council for its consideration.
City Council election season is upon us and a boatload of candidates will be vying for your vote. I am not clairvoyant, but I can safely promise that they will all tell you that they favor diversity, inclusivity, affordable housing, resilience, preservation of neighborhoods, creation of walkable neighborhoods, open space is good, etc., etc. You will hear them at debates and meetings, and they will provide you with feel-good statements of intent with as few specifics as possible.
I call this candidate blather “Boulderspeak.” The problem is that many voters have been complicit in this electoral dance, responding positively to expressions of purpose without detail, and making decisions based on superficial information, slogans and buzzwords. This is no way to select our leaders.