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.
The Boulder Valley School District is backing away from a plan to sell the University Hill Elementary building to CU, Superintendent Bruce Messinger said at Tuesday’s school board meeting. The administrative recommendation not to move forward came after the board discussed a feasibility study on the plan Tuesday in a closed-door session to allow for confidential real estate discussions.The district-commissioned study, by architectural firm Hord Coplan Macht, is expected to be made public on Wednesday. But district officials said the study showed the proposal’s costs were prohibitive.
Though the district was waiting for the results of the feasibility study before soliciting community feedback, the proposal had drawn criticism from both parents and community members.
As commercial development explodes in Boulder, the most vulnerable among us continue to be shortchanged. Though new commercial development brings jobs, it increases the demand for already scarce housing, skyrocketing housing prices and rents. Consequently, longtime lower- and middle-income residents are being forced out of Boulder at an unprecedented rate. Attempting to address the affordable housing issue, City Council passed a $12-per-square-foot affordable housing (AH) linkage fee on commercial development, $3 less than city staff recommended. … Alas, it is business as usual on the council — emphasis on “business.” The special interests call the shots and the taxpayer foots the bill. Some things never change. Keep this in mind when November’s election rolls around.
When you travel on I-25 in Denver, you can’t miss the Broncos’ Mile High Stadium. It dominates the landscape. And, when you travel on Broadway in Boulder, it’s hard to miss the grand, historic University Hill Elementary building across the street from CU. … Boulder Valley School District voters consented to renovating Uni Hill as part of the 2014 capital construction bond election. Now BVSD is considering selling the Uni Hill campus to CU … Why now, when the district has the money it needs to renovate Uni Hill? What “problem” is BVSD trying to solve?
Lincoln Miller’s op-ed in response to Steve Pomerance’s column about property tax exemptions for the Masala co-op raises questions about Boulder County’s property tax lien auction. If the BHC/BHA “authority” setup exists to help low-income residents find affordable housing, then what is the justification for the BoCo property tax lien auction which penalizes financially-distressed property owners for failing to pay property taxes?
A version of this letter was originally published on boulderna.org as Tax-exempt co-ops and property tax increases.
If our affordable-housing program in Boulder aims to provide workforce housing, then why is the burden of affordable housing’s property tax-exempt status being carried on the backs of the residential homeowner?