Affordable Housing Strategy, Development, Diversity | PBC

The Problem:  

Boulder is the most expensive city in the region. With average single-family home prices near one million dollars, and many apartments renting for thousands of dollars a month, it is not affordable for most middle-, median- and low-income households. The City of Boulder has implemented a variety of affordable housing policies to address the issue, yet we continue to lose ground. Job growth continues to outpace residential growth causing upward pressure on housing prices, the local real estate market continues to skyrocket, and existing housing that is still relatively affordable is being redeveloped as high-end. If the current development trends continue, Boulder will be a place for mostly the very wealthy and a few lower income people in subsidized units.

Full Story: PBC

Steve Pomerance: Don’t do flood planning using the rear view mirror – Boulder Daily Camera

Back almost 30 years ago, when I was on the City Council, we engaged in a very detailed study of the major drainages that flow through Boulder, and the likely damage that could result from floods. Our objective was to come up with appropriate risk mitigation standards… Out of this study came Boulder’s regulatory standard using the 100-year and 500-year flood maps and also the high hazard areas, which were based on such flows.

Setting the rules based on these standards was a compromise. The council did end up requiring some buildings that were at very serious risk to be torn down. But buildings in areas at somewhat lower risk were left in place, even though they never should have been built in the first place.

The current regulations need some serious updating. First, they are not appropriate for areas where development can be avoided; they were created for already-developed areas, and so compromise the level of protection. Second, the frequency/intensity forecasts are really just educated guesses because the historic events are so infrequent, so they form a weak basis for doing quantitative risk assessment. Third, and critically important, the climate is changing, so we can expect more and more intense flood events.

Source: Steve Pomerance: Don’t do flood planning using the rear view mirror – 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

Boulder Planning Board produces expected outcome: approves housing for homeless young adults at 1440 Pine St.

Boulder Planning Board produces the result they were expected to produce: they approved housing for young homeless adults at 1440 Pine St.

After 18 months of community debate — often unusually heated, even by Boulder’s standards — the city Planning Board on Tuesday night approved a proposal to build housing for homeless young adults in a new downtown facility.

The board voted 6-1, with member Crystal Gray representing the lone voice of dissent.

Read the Full Story at the 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

CU-South | PLAN Boulder County

Respected environmentalist Tim Hogan’s letter to the newspaper, outlining the issues.   For many longtime residents of Boulder, the current proposal from the university requesting annexation, engineered flood mitigation, and additions to their housing and academic building portfolio stirs up a host of reservations.  The more one delves into the details, the greater those reservations become.

Source: CU-South | PBC

Rick Adams and Sarah Bexell: Why Twin Lakes Matters 

A smallish parcel of grassland habitat that abuts Twin Lakes Open Space is being considered for destruction and development. To the untrained human eye, this parcel may seem an eyesores compared to the surrounding human-manicured landscapes. However, to the wildlife species that call it home, it is all they have. Even though these two parcels are not pristine or even historically natural, they provide resources in the form of food, shelter and safety. They are also part of a migration and dispersal corridor that is unique and irreplaceable.

Source: Rick Adams and Sarah Bexell: Why Twin Lakes Matters – Boulder Daily Camera