Instead of calling the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan “Our Plan” for our community, we should be calling it the “Developers’ Plan for Our Community” or the “Politicians’ Plan for Our Community. The process to update the BVCP has created structural disenfranchisement of the very people it is supposed to serve. Repeatedly, as the plans are distilled, we are invited to “give input on” scenarios and options that aren’t what residents suggest, or want. Citizen preferences are collected, but are not included in the decisions; they are simply disregarded since they don’t fit with the current fast-growth agenda.
I read with interest that the city has appointed a working group to examine the public processes the city uses to gather citizen input.
Too often, these processes are designed to be closed-ended, to consider limited options, and to reach predetermined conclusions. The decisions have been made; citizens’ time is wasted to make them appear legitimate…
Critics say the design is problematic because it doesn’t meet setback requirements or transition comfortably to nearby residential areas. Many believe the new project, at 35 feet and three stories, would simply be too tall for the historic Whittier neighborhood. Design aside, siting a program for at-risk young adults downtown is asking for trouble, opponents have argued. “The people that would be housed there are very vulnerable” to other homeless people in the Pearl Street area, said Melody Lyle, a High Street homeowner and a mother of five. “It’s easy access to drugs, and they’re vulnerable to predators.”
Opponents of the project also have lodged a common, high-level complaint concerning a perceived public-process sham. “Right from the beginning, it’s been ‘our way or the highway,'” Whittier Neighborhood Association president and former Planning Board member John Spitzer said. “At the so-called ‘neighborhood meetings’ with Attention Homes, all of our concerns have been ignored completely.”
Recommendations unchanged despite public participation
TLAG calls for unbiased staff report
Aug. 25, 2016
If community engagement made any difference, they wouldn’t let us do it. That’s the lesson Gunbarrel residents learned yesterday when the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan staff released their final recommendations of 14 units per acre for the Twin Lakes parcels.
“All of our concerns about misuse of public lands, wildlife, preservation of neighborhoods, hydrology and other serious problems with this development proposal fell on deaf ears,” says Twin Lakes Action Group chair Dave Rechberger. “They never authentically considered or addressed any of these issues and how they would affect residents. We ended up where we started.” Continue reading “TLAG’s response to BVCP staff recommendations for Twin Lakes”
Sender: Young, Mary Dear Colleagues and hotline subscribers, Here are more articles that are worth taking the time to read. Some, like the one Matt posted recently, have previously been shared on the hotline. Happy summer reading! http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/04/business/how-anti-growth-sentiment-reflected-in-zoning-laws-thwarts-equality.html?emc=edit_th_20160704&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=65613619&_r=0 http://www.citylab.com/housing/2015/10/affordable-housing-is-a-moral-choice-and-the-numbers-prove-it/411235/ http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/26656-developers-aren-t-going-to-solve-the-housing-crisis-in-san-francisco-the-definitive-response-to-supply-side-solutionists http://48hills.org/2016/03/29/city-planners-treat-us-like-infants/ http://www.planetizen.com/node/86508/has-portland-lost-its-way http://www.newgeography.com/content/002046-why-duany-wrong-about-importance-public-participation http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/05/opinion/who-gets-the-subsidized-apartments.html?smprod=nytcore-iphone&smid=nytcore-iphone-share&_r=0 Regards, Mary Dolores Young Mayor Pro Tem Boulder City Council
At the request of City Council during the January 2016 council retreat and based on community feedback, city staff is exploring ways to improve the City of Boulder’s community engagement and public processes. In collaboration with community mediators and facilitators, staff will be developing recommendations to improve dialogue between the city and community members that would result in more thoughtful decision making and process development….