Quick Summary of June 21st City Council Meeting

The City Council meeting on the Co-op Ordinance happened on Tuesday, June 21st.   

This was a continuation of the “First Reading” of the Co-op ordinance which started with Public comment at the May 17th Council meeting.  At this meeting, the Council discussed a number of specific details about the draft ordinance.

Video of the meeting is on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Kbyj8EJj2WM?t=51m27s. The discussion of the Co-op ordinance starts at time 0:51:27 in the video, and runs until 3:52:35.

The Daily Camera article about the meeting can be found here: Boulder co-op plan inching along, with more to come

The Good:

    • Very little was actually decided.  It will be months before this ordinance is passed.  A second reading will happen no sooner than the end of August, more likely sometime in September.
    • It was decided that the City Manager should be in charge of certifying “legitimate” co-ops, not a third party such as BHP or BoCHA.  It was also suggested that if a “Housing Board” is created, it should take over the certification role.
    • It was decided that the per-square footage occupancy limit should vary by zoning district.  Mr. Carr had suggested starting at 400 sq ft per person in the lowest density zones, but the actual numbers were not agreed upon.
    • Matt Appelbaum: “I see huge problems with rental coops.  There will be a lot of phony rental coops”.
    • It was decided to make co-op permits for rental co-ops not be tied to the property ownership.
    • The separation requirement should be one co-op within a circle of some size, rather than being based on a percentage of properties within the circle.  The size of circle was not decided.
    • Matt Appelbaum: “Why do we think we need to allow 15 per year?  We really need to think about this number.”

The Bad:

    • There was a lot of disagreement over creating a property right for equity co-ops.  But they voted to move forward with it.
    • Andrew Shoemaker: “I’m more comfortable with rental co-ops than equity co-ops”
    • Neighborhood notification is to be included, but with no possibility of action on the part of the neighbors. It would just be a “good neighbor” notification, nothing like a use review.
    • Rent limits are off the table.

The Ugly:

    • There was no discussion of our idea of restricting Co-ops to high density and converted commercial/industrial zones.
    • Jan Burton : “Requiring neighbor notification would be profiling co-opers as if they are sex offenders”
    • Andrew Shoemaker: “We should allow all 15 coops per year to be rentals!”
    • They decided not to implement any process for gathering input from the larger community.  Most of them feel they are already getting enough input, via email.    Andrew Shoemaker: “Call me anytime!”

There will be a new draft of the ordinance, and a Second Reading will be held no earlier than end of August, possibly will be pushed out to September.  There will be public comment at that meeting.