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Now some planning priorities. Essentially, council said the top priority was the opportunity zone use table changes, THEN large homes/large lots.
But now council members think community benefit (and the height moratorium) deserves more attention.
Planning dept is overwhelmed, so they need some prioritization. Workload is No. 1 concern.
"Staff is excited to do the work, but we do have a capacity limit," Chris Meschuk says. (Interim head of planning)
To get community benefit partially done by 2019:
Phase 1 could just be height mods in exchange for affordable housing
Community benefit added to code; height moratorium lifted

All other community benefits (arts, environmental, etc.) would be tackled in 2020
Large homes/large lots:
Phase 1: FAR (floor area ratio) and ADU design
Phase 2 in 2020: subdivision and multiple homes (duplex, triplex, tiny homes)
Subdivision and new homes would require a lot of work. Bc there would need to be new roads/drives/etc., plus lots of code changes and possible a land use map change.
To clarify, Phase 1 of large homes/large lots would be FAR or straight-up home size limits.
Weaver q: If we go with amended plan, will workload be under control?
Meschuk: Yes.
Weaver: If we amend building codes to require homes over 3K sq ft to be net zero, will that help encourage ppl to build smaller homes?
Carl Guiller, from planning: I think the net zero change would be a disincentive. It's going to take other tools, but I certainly think it helps.
Nagle: I know you want our opinion. In your perfect world, do you have a way you'd like to see it that's easiest?
Meschuk: It's a challenge we wrestle with as staff. Both these projects are really important and exciting.
"The challenge is, do we bring one project start to finish, or is there a desire to do a little bit of both. We're just interested in hearing council's feedback at this point in time, is it best to get part of both done, or should we focus on one?"
Jones: When we change priorities on staff and they don't get to finish a project, it's a real bummer. A lot of work satisfaction is tied to getting something done.
Morzel: Is it the same staff doing large home/large lots and community benefit?
Meschuk: Yes. Primarily Guiller, and Phil Kleisler. These specific projects impact a small and specific number of staff.
There are 40 full-time planning dept employees. 60 in the public works dept.
There's no community benefit in any city ordinances. It's only in the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan. This project is at attempt to codify community benefit. (What developers give in exchange for extra height, density, etc.)
Guiller: We are hearing from the community more comfort to ADUs on large lots than cottages or larger dwellings. One interim thing we can do is relax regulations in those larger lot zoning districts.
Yates: My concern for splitting large homes in two is that "we're doing stick first and then the carrot later." (Restrictions vs. incentives)
"I trust us to eventually get it done; I just worry that if all we do is limit home size and say 'Don't worry, we'll talk about carrots later on,' we're going to get a lot of pushback."
Morzel agrees. "I've been having ppl coming in asking how they do this. There's ppl out here waiting to do that so they don't have to build giant houses."
Weaver: I think we can do some pretty interesting carrots with ADUs.
Jones: I do think subdividing and rezoning are bigger political lifts. Looking at last 7 months before an election, it might be hard to tackle.
To clarify: Another reason staff thought large homes should be broken in 2 phases is that subdividing lots and adding dwellings might require a rezone.
Young asked a q that I kind of missed. Guiller is coming up to clarify.
It's a bit over my head, but I think it boils down to: community benefit language will replace some site review criteria for land use modifications.

I realize that is so much jargon. I cannot translate it for you at this time. I'm sorry.
You ever have that? Where you can define each word/phrase in a sentence, but when you put them all together, you can't?
Brockett wants to finish large homes/large lots.
"I feel there's going to be a process of giving and taking away, and that will go better as a package."
"In terms of getting community outreach and buy-in, I think that project works well as a whole package. We get really busy and things come at us. I worry if we finish Phase 1 that we might not get to second phases for a long time."
Weaver disagrees. "This is an opportunity to get a definition of community benefit into site plan review, and it's the one that addresses our greatest need."
If community benefit extends out further, height moratorium will, too.
“We have a lot of places where above by-right height can happen" that are exempt from the moratorium.
Jones: To me, community benefit phases much nicer than large homes. Given that affordable housing is such a top priority, I want to get the community benefit piece locked in.
Just to clarify, the council doesn't *have* to lift the height moratorium.
Nagle: I'm not really interested in having height for anything (including affordable housing). Can we limit it to places that are exempt from the height moratorium? Or does it have to be everywhere?
Weaver: It's a choice.
Nagle: I think what Mirabai is asking is keep the height moratorium forever in place. What we decided, maybe not unanimously, was that it wouldn't stay in place forever. Just until community benefit is completed.
Young: So now the q is, do we lift it or not?
Weaver: We have the option to life earlier or change. We can tinker with it or leave it in place. That's a q we can discuss as part of this.
Weaver: Original intent was, OK, height can go anywhere, but it has to provide community benefit.
Jones corrals council to make a decision.
Young supports breaking up of the projects into two parts, as will Weaver.
Brockett dissents bc of the large homes being broken up: "It undermines that project in a fundamental way."
Yates suggest prioritizing Phase 1 of community benefit, and bringing together large homes, large lots as one, even if it's next year.
Morzel: Wants to do affordable housing community benefit. "I'm OK with not adding height to it bc it's too much details."

*screams into the void*
Also agrees that large homes should be kept together.
"I don't want to lose momentum" on that. Afraid ppl will say council didn't keep their word and it will impact elections.
Weaver: "I think we have brought in a stick already" with the net zero. I would be comfortable rejiggering this so it doesn't prescribe size, but make Phase 1 the carrot part.
Brockett: Maybe if Phase 1 were easy to lift carrots....
Young: Baby carrots
Brockett: ... so they're easier to do from a staff perspective
Jones asks if staff has what they need in terms of priorities.
Meschuk: This concept of is there a baby carrots list (is good)
Guiller: We have a lot of info for May 28 study session. We might have a better idea of what those baby carrots could be.
Guiller: Obvs it's hard to predict everything. We're going to have to do some feasibility studies. "So that they really are carrots and not just regulations going in."
Jones tries to sum up: Yes to phasing both projects, and taking a baby carrot lens to what goes into phase 1 of large homes/large lots, which will be further reviewed at the May 28 study session.
Morzel: "At that meeting, if there's a feeling there is still too much, you have to let us know."
OK. that's a wrap on that. I'm gonna keep the same thread for the electronic/online petitions.
Council on March 5 declined to pass an ordinance creating electronic petitioning. There were concerns about staff time and prioritizing that over online petitions, which are what the public wanted. E-petitions can give and advantage to wealthy groups who can afford tablets.
Carr: "There's a lot of community passion around this. We get criticized all the time for what we do."
Now, staff is saying online petitioning can't happen until at least 2021 elections. Although staff is "working toward" 2020 implementation.
Part of why is that there isn't a system Boulder can replicate exactly. Arizona has one, but it doesn't verify the online signer using a signature.... which Boulder's charter requires.
Here's why: Boulder voters in November approved some changes that included requiring the clerk to verify petition signatures with signatures on record. Staff is arguing that this means online petitions can't be verified, in conflict with Boulder law.
City is chatting with Maplight, an organization the working group recommended, to see if Boulder can adopt their program/software, for free.
One problem with the system in place in Arizona, per Carr: No ways to block out bots.
Another consideration: Are you still going to allow paper petitions? If not, all those signatures will have to be compared to online ones to make sure ppl didn't sign things twice.
Carr is now walking back a bit on the charter conflict I referenced earlier: "I probably made too much of that in my memo, and I apologize for that."
“There are good arguments that we don't need to do it, but I don't want to rely on good arguments when it comes to elections."
Still recommending council make that charter tweak this year via the ballot, which is a no-cost protection just in case.
"I never intended this would delay this process.”
Speaking to some of the community outcry, he says this is just an update. It will be a "heavy lift" to get done by April 2020, in time for the 2020 elections, but council will be kept apprised.
Carr: I think this improves the process. We’re excited to work on this. It’s going to be something good, it’s just not something you can" (rush; I think he said?)
Few cities or states are pursuing this, he says. Arizona said Boulder was the first municipality to call about their system.
Brockett: This is the field I work in. The year timeframe "is aggressive."
"It's more important that we do it right."
Charter amendment sounds like "an abundance of caution but harmless," he says.
Morzel: I'd rather be safe than sorry. It's not like it's going to undo anything.
Weaver: Keep moving. The community's hungry for it.
Carr: I understand that.

Ok, that's a wrap on that.
Now the 30th Street call-up. Keeping this in the same thread bc I probably won't write this up. Unless council does something crazy which, to be fair, is entirely possible.
Brockett has already said he doesn't want to call it up. Young says she doesn't want to either bc it's an affordable project. (BHP's at the Pollard site, which will be 120 units and include rentals for adults with developmental disabilities.)
Planning board approval was unanimous.
Someone should explain to me what form-based code is.
Big ups from Brockett to the team for keeping the train on the tracks. This was the project that could have lost federal $$ when a partner pulled out. BHP stepped in and saved things, with the city's help.
Weaver: This has been an empty parking lot for years. This is going to be so much better. Can be used as a template for other difficult areas, like Alpine-Balsam.
I say it's been saved, but they still haven't been approved for their CHFA funding yet. (BHP met with them today.)
Young praising form-based code bc it allowed for rooftop space. Without it, buildings could have gone up to four full floors.

(And maybe added more affordable units? So how is that good?)
"The absence of some things adds some real benefits for the public." Young, saying she's glad the apartments don't have balconies.
That's that. Council will not call this up.

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