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OK, so ADUs. I thought we'd finished with this after the new rules went into effect in 2018 after six(!) readings. This is kind of a cleanup, but bc it's #Boulder, of course they are controversial.
Highlights: Design standards don’t apply to new construction (legally existing structures would have to be remodeled to meet standards for roofs, very costly and likely to discourage their use as ADUs)
So the cleanup would allow them to go up to 25 feet in height for sloped roofs
Other rules: Co-ops and ADUs cannot go on the same lot

Planning Board recommended allowing that if all residents are members of the co-op and occupancy limits are respected for the property as a whole
Staff is recommending the opposite
Drafts have been made for both; council can adopt either version
Another fix would prevent the sale of the ADU separate from the principal dwelling. It's called "condominiumization" bc GD Boulder loves a long, made-up word
Quite a few emails were received on this; a handful were against all changes bc more development = bad. A handful were from architects who felt ADU design shouldn't have to match the main house bc it's boring, basically.
Also a couple in favor of allowing co-ops and ADUs on the same lot, and a couple against.
That's all I got on this; it was pretty boring to me, but the public hearing was allowed for a full hour tonight, so they must be expecting some finagling and public comment.
Q from Wallach: Do we know how many parcels would benefit from the new standards on roof pitch?
Handful of applications have been received, staff says. Unsure how many more might be impacted.
I might not have been clear enough earlier, but the design standards (including roof, height stuff) would be limited to *new* ADUs, not existing structures wanting to convert to ADUs. To make it easier for conversions.
Q from Friend on making design standards match: If you have a heinous house, you have to make an ADU that matches?
Yes, per one of the options before council. But there's another version they could pass to NOT require matching design.
Much laughter at the use of the word heinous.
Brockett: You were bringing this forward bc you felt there were issues to resolve. Do you see any lingering issues, given Planning Board's work and recommendation, that should keep us from allowing co-ops and ADUs on the same lot?
No issues, per se, staff says, just not enough public input.
Sounds of exasperation from some in the audience at that.
Friend: Was there any public engagement at Planning Board?
Staff: There were folks who came to speak to Planning Board. For and against.
Wallach: How many co-ops in the city?
8, and 3 non-conforming. No pending applications.
Young: We got a letter that 2 co-ops essentially already have ADUs. If we allowed co-existence, or not, what would happen to those? Would they be non-compliant?
Staff: They're grandfathered in. They would not be impacted.
Wallach: So this change would apply to approximately 0 properties in town?
Staff: That's correct. Of 8 co-ops, none of them have an ADU on their property. Though some have expressed interest; that's why we're addressing this.
Young: How many are rental co-ops and how many are ownership? Rentals prob wouldn't do this.
7 of 8 are rental; one is nonprofit
Yates: How would parking rules coordinate? We have separate parking requirements for affordable and market-rate ADUs, and another for co-ops?
Karl Guiler: We'd have to look at that. Co-ops have to guarantee no more than 3 cars; ADUs just need one extra space, unless they're affordable. Then no extra.
Guiler: "Co-op regs are somewhat discretionary; we're just going to have to look at those together."

BUT if they added an (non-affordable) ADU, they'd have to add a parking spot.
Joseph: The original structure would be bigger than the ADU, so why would you require more parking? It just seems like a restriction to make it harder for someone to get into an ADU.
Crowd has thinned a bit. Still quite a few folks here; more than usual, anyway.
Brockett: What's the rationale for the rule barring separate ownership of ADU and main house? (By creating a condo, which is outside of city process and control)

Staff: The intent of ADUs was to keep them secondary to main houses; not to be their own home.
This hasn't happened in Boulder yet, but there were notes on other communities where this has happened. Glenwood Springs, I believe, and a couple others.
Young: Could we allow this if the ADU was permanently affordable?
Probably not, assistant city attorney David Gehr.
Friend: I don't get the threat that we're trying to prevent. So I create a condo and sell off my ADU; then what? "What are we protecting against here?"
Gehr: The hope would be that you always have an owner-occupant on-site, for better land use management. That's the primary public policy rationale. And you can enforce occupancy limits (I think).
Q and clarification from Yates and Brockett that boils down to this: We could lose affordability of larger, rent-restricted ADUs if they decided to sell it.
Wallach: Don't you have to create separate tax lots for each structure in a condo situation?
Gehr: Kinda.
Wallach: Couldn't we just prevent subdivision?
Gehr: That's already prohibited by zoning. This would place the same restriction in the case of creating a condo.
Yates: So the issue is that state law allows creating of condos, even without a lot split?
Gehr: Correct. But under our zoning, we would not allow a lot split.

I'm *slightly* confused, but we're going to public hearing. 11 speakers.
Eric Budd, a co-op resident and board member of Boulder Housing Coalition, wants to allow ADUs and co-ops on the same lot. "The way I see this, as someone who lives in a co-operative ... we see this as an opportunity to give flexibly to new cooperatives."
"Take the Planning Board's suggestions." Current rules, developed over four-year process, address concerns for parking. "It's really hard to do this: it's challenging to make an ADU, it's 10X more challenging to do a co-op. Support another way for affordable housing in Boulder."
Swetlik: Have any plans for ADUs at Ingram?
Budd: No. This is more thinking outside the current co-ops and seeing that it could work elsewhere.
Charlotte Pitts also supporting more relaxed rules, including not requiring design to match the main house and making it easier for conversions. "This repurposing process reduces environmental impact."
New buildings are responsible for carbon emissions. With this, Boulder has an opportunity to live its values on sustainability, Pitts says.
New phrase I've never heard: "homeowner's right to self-expression"
Young: You work in the ADU industry. How many folks have come to you to feel out the situation for creating one and decide it's too complicated?
Pitts: Almost a dozen individuals; a number of ppl have backed out of projects due to restrictions in neighborhood (saturation limits)
Pitts: Another reason is ppl living in an older house, they're not able to accommodate architectural requirements. And accrued construction costs.

"There are many ppl in Boulder who want ADUs."
Joshua Merriman, formerly homeless, talking about his experience and (I think) supporting more relaxed ADU rules: "There’s a huge need for all sorts of affordable housing in Boulder."
Robert Ross: Requiring ADU design to match main structure or nearby structures. Planning Board OK'd that, but in the discussion, they said it's not necessarily a good code. Most design professionals and homeowners didn't know about it.
"Most of our neighborhoods are already an eclectic mix of styles," Ross says. Why require this for ADUs when we don't for other buildings?
Planning staff is busy, Ross says. If there's one thing we can do to make their life easier, it's taking subjective decisions like this off their plate.
David Adamson: "We haven't had many co-ops; it's hard to do. We spent a lot of time in the city trying to allow this. I don't understand... why would we prohibit this? There's no occupancy impact. It only makes it less likely to have families, less diversity in the city."
We see people who might want some more privacy, being part of the co-op but in their own space in the backyard.

"We have an urgent housing crisis in the city. This is a beautiful way" to create more housing and affordability.
Lincoln Miller, clarifying the two co-ops with ADUs: They're in use as detached ADUs. They're providing affordable housing, particularly to single parents.
"It's important as a developer who is trying to do affordable co-ops that we have options." Allowing co-ops and ADUs "can be very powerful."
It took six years to get co-op rules passed. The market during that time pushed single-family homes further out of our reach for purchase and potential co-ops. We're looking at "nightmare" scenario where every house in the city is 7,000 sq ft mansion haunted by a "retired couple"
Miller: "Let's be bold. When it takes 45 min to explain our simplified ADU ordinance, that's not what bold looks like."
Mark Gelband, back again: Our built environment, the McMansions we're seeing, are a direct result of our policies. Out my window, I can see 10 houses with 30 empty bedrooms. Is that sustainable? Or is it sustainable to encourage smaller dwellings?
Also revisiting some of the rules as adjusted in 2018. Staff is recommending a comprehensive look at those in 2020.
This has been such an interesting council season so far.
Eli McCutchen, a co-op resident: I moved away for awhile. Coming back, I was surprised how limited options were for ppl who didn't already live in Boulder.

Wants ADUs to be allowed on co-op lots, as a way to attract small families or single parents.
Claudia Hanson Thiem, speaking for Boulder Community Housing Association: Our group is surprised by staff's continued recommendation against co-ops and ADUs. Occupancy limits are set; ADUs don't change that. They just change how ppl are distributed.
"There are good reasons to allow these types of housing together," including opening up more properties to co-ops. Very few homes are suitable for that. Semi-private living is also more attractive to more types of people.
Tru dat. One reason I want to live in a tiny house community. Lots of close neighbors and shared space but also private space.

Or like a co-op for Midwesterners, where we live together but don't have to talk about our feelings.
Another new phrase: "rogue house"
Kurt Nordback, Boulder Housing Coalition: Staff's proposal seems "intended to avoid imagined harms while creating actual harms."
If the reason is there hasn't been enough public input to allow co-ops and ADUs on the same lot, the same logic dictates that more public input is needed before disallowing them, Nordback says.
Marta Loachamin, running for BoCo commissioner: 90 min ago, we were talking about people experiencing homelessness. "Why would we not open our arms and be dynamic in the city of Boulder to opportunities that would give ppl access to housing?"
12 speakers in total; all in favor of relaxed rules. (I missed most of Lynn Segal's comments; she was the least enthusiastic, but still OK with most of them, from what I heard.)

Either way, overwhelming support.
Condos are typically the first way to get into buying homes, Lochamin says. We have such a shortage bc of a legislative issue.
Swetlik: Would you be OK losing a permanently affordable ADU if someone came in and sold it as a condo?
Loachamin: There's no real structure to keep ADUs affordable (they can only be rent-restricted, but they're not tied to incomes).
Brockett: Could we outlaw the condo approach for the affordable ADUs only?
Gehr: I don't think so.
Friend: The only potential bad I see is that we could lose affordable ADUs. But if you build a larger ADU with the rent restrictions, do you even have to rent it out at all?
No, staff says.
Friend: Maybe there's a way to prevent that.
Guiler: The intent of the regulation, always, with ADUs is that it was secondary and have some ownership oversight.
Friend: It would still have an owner. The new owner could live there.
Guiler: They could. But when you allow the sale of that unit, it's more of a principal DU.
Young: So what you're saying is that if the condo-ization makes the ADU a principal dwelling unit, effectively what you've done is subdivide?
Yes, staff says.
Young: So maybe there's something there.
Yates: When we approve an ADU, we provide a license. If the property owner violated that license, we can withdraw it. If the ADU could be sold off, the license would still be with the original property owner. What recourse would you have for violations?
Gehr: I don't see from a practical perspective you'd have any remedy. I don't see us taking somebody out of a home that they own.
Much laughter from me on that one.
Gehr now thinks Boulder *can* exempt affordable units from being sold as condos.
I think. Too much chatter from the Peanut Gallery near me to know for sure.
Going change-by-change: Allowing taller roof pitches for legally existing structures, to more easily allow conversion. Council generally OK with that.
Design standards: do or don't have to match main house or surrounding houses. Council leaning toward don't, but...
Wallach: I'm supportive of keeping architectural design requirements, but I'd like to ensure reasonable application so we don't require an ADU to be built of brick, for example.
"I don't think abandoning all architectural design standards is a good thing."
Young: I'm on the fence. I need more discussion.
Brockett: "It's a staff-level review. I think they do their best, with context. It's subjective. It's not just your home, it's also other homes near you. To me, that seems kind of onerous to have to comply with neighboring houses you may not even like."
Wallach arguing that provides *more* freedom, bc you can pick which of surrounding houses you want to look like.
Friend: Could there be a climate component? What if all the homes around me are 1950s and not to the same standards? Would we then require substandard design?
Guilder: We don't apply criterion strictly enough. And it would have to be compliant with energy codes.
Swetlik: This was a unanimous Planning Board decision to remove design standards. That's pretty compelling.
Nagle speaks! I don't think there's been enough input. A Frankenstein building can go up and suddenly all the neighbors don't know what's going on.
Nagle, Wallach for keeping design standards; everyone else for removing them, per Planning Board.
Now on to co-ops and ADUs on the same lot.

Wallach: This change may be entirely benign and even positive. But I have no idea. We haven't seen analysis. This may be fine, but I just think it's a little premature from a process POV.
Friend: I'd go for allowing them on the same lot. I disagree it's status quo to prohibit it, bc right now they're not allowed or disallowed. Either one is a change from the status quo. We should recognize that. This is a 7-0 Planning Board recommendation.
Joseph: "For me as well, it's a no-brainer" to allow them on the same lot. "Staff has a lot of expertise, but for me it goes back to values. What do we value in this community?" Providing housing for families is a value.
Allowing them is the "more humane alternative." We can revisit it if there are issues.
Brockett: Planning Board did a great job of ID'ing and clarifying potential issues. I'm swayed by testimony and emails that I don't see any apparent additional impacts: Same parking requirements, same occupancy.

"There's only the opportunity for more housing flexibility."
"It seems like a harmless thing that might help."
Swetlik: "The likelihood of anyone building any of these is very small. We have no co-ops in the pipeline. There's just not much that's going to change currently. ... Maybe 7 at most is going to be affected. It's not enough in my mind" to vote against.
Young concurs with Swetlik: I'm particularly swayed by Planning Board's vote. And also the fact that after 2 yrs of deliberation on co-op ordinance, we have only seen 8 co-ops.

(Actually all were existing but illegal already, pretty sure.)
Both Nagle and Yates for allowing them both on the same lot.

Yates: Co-op reviews are very extensive already.
Yates: All an internal ADU requires is a stove and a sink. You could section off part of the co-op and have a separate bathroom and kitchen. That could help with families having some privacy. Occupancy rules apply, parking rules apply. I don't see a ton of neighborhood impact.
Reminder: Occupancy of co-ops is 12-15, depending on zoning.
Wallach was convinced by Swetlik. So that's everyone on board.
Condo issue up now.
Wallach: Reading some of the literature and emails, I don't think this is much more than an opportunity for a property owner to enhance the value of the property.
"Idk what it's going to do for us. If the objectives are to create more affordable housing, Idk how many ppl are going to want to live in a 600-sq-ft home that's going to cost them $300K-$400K."
Nagle and Swetlik also in favor of preventing someone from selling their ADU as a condo.
Swetlik: "I don't like the idea of making things even more complicated." and wants to preserve affordable ADUs.
Yates also in favor of preventing this. So that's 4 and there's only 8 ppl here tonight.
Brockett: I don't want to lose affordable rental ADUs, but I like the idea of allowing non-affordable ones to become condos, which could help ppl buy cheaper homes.

Friend agrees.
Joseph: For me, it goes back to equity. If we want to build affordable housing, we have to do it through the right processes. I can imagine as well, somebody with a huge property building an ADU and then selling it for a large amount of $$.
Young: I think this one just requires a little more thought. I would go with banning it for now. If we're able to cordon off the affordable ADUs, you end up with 500 sq ft home that would probably be, that could possibly be sold as a second home.
"There wouldn't be anybody there for a large part of the time."
Young: "It could provide another way into home ownership, but it needs more exploration. And this one definitely needs more outreach."
Yates: Let's go ahead and pass Attachment C (not allowing this) and then revisit it on the deep dive in the next 8-12 months. It functions essentially as a moratorium.
Friend: If we're prohibiting it without public input, that seems no better than allowing it with public input. I would do nothing; if we haven't had any input, why would we prohibit it. It's not an emergency warranting a moratorium. As far as we know, it's not happening.
Young: "If we left it, we could lose affordable units."
Yates: What I'm worried about is the licensing issue. License is held by the property owner. If that can be parsed off and is out there floating in space ... we don't have a whole lot of recourse to comply with ADU rules.
Swetlik: 7-0 planning decision.
Staff: They recommended council look into this more. There wasn't a judgement either way.
Wallach: I think a $1,600 rental does more good to the community than a $300-$400K home, especially bc ppl could buy it as a vacation property.
Brockett: To me, it's important not to lose the affordable unit. This requires more process.
Yates: So we'll revisit it no matter what. Do we put a restriction on it or not? That's where we're at.
Joseph: Since we're revisiting it in a year or so, can we in that time have public participation?
Brockett: There will be outreach for that ADU update.
Council in favor of prohibiting sale of ADUs as condos for now; will revisit that as part of larger ADU look this or next year-ish.
Unanimous vote. Friend not super pumped about the condo thing, but she goes along since it's a package deal.

This will go to third reading for a final vote, but still, pretty done deal.

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