I read with interest last week’s guest opinion from City Council candidates Benjamin, Rigler and Grano, who appear perplexed that much of the Boulder community feels threatened by the high-growth policies with which they have been associated. The most pro-development groups in town have endorsed two of them: Engage Boulder, Better Boulder and Open Boulder. And while they each now pledge allegiance to the Blue Line and height restrictions the conversion appears to be more expedient than heartfelt: none of their websites contains a single sentence supporting those policies.
Has anyone noticed all the Boulder businesses closing their doors after years of serving Boulder? The list is long and distinguished and a sign of the dysfunction of Boulder’s governmental policies. These businesses reflect the soul of what Boulder stands for and will sorely be missed.
Vote no more taxes, renewals, new or otherwise, for anything. Think about it, If City Council and Jane Brautigam, city manager, can find millions of dollars to squander on divorcing Xcel Energy, then they surely can find the money they need to run the city without more taxes. Oh, sure it is nice to put more money into schools and all kinds of programs for the homeless and low-income, but think about it just a moment. Every time you extract more taxes are you not making another person homeless, marginalizing yet another person? Case in point, the gentleman who lost his home, a trailer in a trailer park, because he couldn’t pay his property taxes. Do you remember the story in the Camera?
The open space acquisition happened in Boulder 50 years ago this year, just before our family came to Boulder. It was followed by the Blue Line regulation to prevent development over 5,750 feet, by building height limitations and by the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan. Approved by the voters, these restrictions made the city the beautiful place it is. As Professor Charles Wilkinson stated in Ruth Wright’s groundbreaking “Limiting Building Height” thesis: “Boulder’s stirring beauty is largely due to the verticality of the backdrop to town rising sharply up from the plains at the exact base of the Rockies.”
A Boulder pro-growth advocate regularly tweets, “If you love your city, you should build more of it.” The tweeter’s perspective seems at odds with the reality of our finite world. Science everywhere confirms finite limits: resources, the amount of carbon our atmosphere can handle, and the population a bioregion can sustain.
Two unanimous Boulder City Council decisions within two months of each other illuminate a deep-seated ambivalence about city priorities.
A steering committee member of “Better Boulder” recently posted on Facebook that a Boulder of 250,000 people (from our current 109,000) “would be awesome.” Many people are very unhappy with the direction this city is going in and want to see balance restored to City Council.