Bill Karelis: When a city dashes forward 

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.

Read More: Bill Karelis: When a city dashes forward – Boulder Daily Camera

Jennifer Havlick Platt: Time to cap enrollment at CU

There are viable options to consider other than the controversial development of CU South. Why not cap the enrollment of CU, so that additional housing, classrooms, and playing fields are not necessary?Since the doors to the University of Colorado opened in 1876 with 44 students, the University of Colorado has expanded and become a four-campus system including Boulder, Colorado Springs, Denver, and the University of Colorado Medical Campus. With a combined enrollment of over 62,000 students from these four campuses. CU Boulder supports over 31,861 students. In 2015, 6,208 freshman students were enrolled and more students are being admitted every year. It is time to cap the enrollment and consider what is best for the community of Boulder.

read more: Jennifer Havlick Platt: Time to cap enrollment at CU – Boulder Daily Camera

John Gerstle and Pat Shanks: Don’t compromise the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan

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.

Read More: John Gerstle and Pat Shanks: Don’t compromise the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan – Boulder Daily Camera

Steve Pomerance: ‘Density transfers’ at 1440 Pine – Boulder Daily Camera

Gentle Infill
Transferred Density

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.

Source: Steve Pomerance: ‘Density transfers’ at 1440 Pine – Boulder Daily Camera

Jeff Schulz: An imaginary conversation

I recently scooped the Daily Camera when several pro-growth City Council members sat down with me to outline their thoughts surrounding density and subsidized housing programs.

First, I asked if they were aware that higher density has only driven up home prices, reduced quality of life, and has never, ever, solved affordability. “But it’s sustainable” was the response. I then asked: “Is there any data that shows sustainability will actually increase for the specific case of Boulder?” “Not really, but Will Toor said it would” was the reply.

Read More: Jeff Schulz: An imaginary conversation – Boulder Daily Camera

Stacey Goldfarb: Supporting real affordability

Chloe Pachovas’ May 11 letter suggested that ultra high occupancy co-ops are necessary for there to be artists and innovators in Boulder. Actually, Boulder’s low-density neighborhoods are filled with artists and innovators who abide by the zoning regulations. If Pachovas attended an “Open Studios” tour, she might be surprised at the number of participating artists in low-density neighborhoods.

Read More: Stacey Goldfarb: Supporting real affordability – Boulder Daily Camera

Cara Luneau: Attention Homes project a misuse of public funds

The Boulder Planning Board held a public hearing Thursday night on the proposed $12.5 million Attention Homes residence for homeless young adults.

…There are many compelling reasons for us to reject this proposal. While many have already been written about, I will attempt to summarize them here:

The proposed transfer of public funds for this project from the city to a private equity firm (Gardner Capital) and to the Methodist Church is a betrayal of taxpayers…

The cost of the building far exceeds the cost of other “affordable housing” projects…

If approved the project will violate numerous building restrictions set in place to protect the historic Whittier neighborhood, including height, setback, parking, and density requirements…

As for the proposed residents of the building, Attention Homes plans to house 40 units’ worth of high-risk 18-24 year-olds. This age of young adulthood is unstable and characterized by reckless behavior in the best of circumstances…

There are four schools within a few blocks of 1440 Pine St.: Whittier Elementary, Sacred Heart, the YWCA Children’s Alley, and Casey Middle School. As a community we need to stand up for the safety of these young children, stand up for taxpayers, for the character of our downtown area, and for the Whittier neighborhood. We must not support this misuse of public funds but find a better way to address the needs of homeless adults…

The Planning Board should just say ‘No.’

Continue reading “Cara Luneau: Attention Homes project a misuse of public funds”