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This one is slightly easier to explain, but the devil is really in the details (which are more confusing). Presentation:…
Reminder: Use tables govern what can go where in Boulder. Where can office space be? What types of housing? Where can restaurants and retail go?
A couple questions for council tonight: Should we allow more uses in neighborhood centers?
Allow small cafes or corner stores in neighborhoods?
Allow other uses in industrial areas? (Homes, restaurants, retail?)
Allow more live/work space?
Streamline use tables?
More support from this on the BeHeardBoulder surveys, though there were fewer responses than on Community Benefit. And still a fair amount of confusion, as evidenced by some comments.
Such as: "Create an explanatory "e-course" style "class" that people can take online in their own time to understand it!"

"I am not a lawyer, so do not feel confident commenting on specific changes to use tables"
And "40 pages printed on 11x17 paper, if I recall? You shouldn't have to be a wonk to read and understand it."
This is a Phase 2 as well. The first part was to require first-floor retail in shopping centers:…
Then part 2 of Phase 1 was done in May of last year (at the bottom of this story)…
That mostly focused on limiting office space. Phase 2 has a couple goals, mostly around 15-min neighborhoods.
Some ways of accomplishing that: : More mixed-use neighborhoods
Incentivize more diverse housing
Flexibility for live/work
Allow more retail in Public zones
Allow second-floor housing in industrial areas
There are going to be many references to "string of pearls" which is basically "stringing" retail or non-residential use in neighborhood centers. Kind of like creating mini main streets.
I'm glad they went with string of pearls rather than pearl necklace. Though that didn't keep this song out of my head while reading the packet, or right now.
Possible uses that might be allowed in neighborhood centers:
Art galleries
Convenience stores
Personal services (yoga, hair salons)
Light industrial (bike or small equipment repair)
Restaurants or coffee shops
Retail uses
Possible additional uses in homogeneous neighborhoods:
Small grocers
Personal services (yoga or hair salon)
Small restaurant or coffee shop
Small retail (hardware or shops)
Some examples of integrating retail into neighborhoods is like the Alpine Modern Cafe on the Hill.
Basically, what we're talking about here is how much to inter-mingle things. Should shopping/biz be clustered in areas and housing in others? Or should they be more integrated to promote walkability?
"The idea is not to have these everywhere, but to have them more dispersed" appropriately in neighborhoods, says planning's Andrew Collins.
If council is cool with more integration, a couple things staff wants them to consider:
Should non-residential uses be limited to corner lots? Conversion of existing buildings? Limited to multi-modal corridors? Limited in size? Subject to saturation limits? Minimum distance from other similar uses?
Planning Board was pretty much on board with all of these things, albeit with limits and if they are pursued slowly. (Pilot projects or opening up only mixed-use zoning districts to things like live/work artist spaces — not single-family neighborhoods)
Council will ask qs now.
Wallach: When we talk about appropriate locations for commercial uses in neighborhoods (sigh) what input will neighborhoods have in that?
Collins: Input will have to be accommodated. We'll do engagement.
Collins: There would still be a process for any property owner who wanted to change an old house to a business, or something. These changes would simply allow that to happen, not mandate that it would happen.
Friend: I'm a little bit wary of something rolled out without concrete boundaries. When we're talking about veto power for neighborhoods, does it have to be the whole neighborhood? 1 or 2 people?
Collins: "We're not there yet." Those details are still TBD. The public process needs to be worked out. "We hope to get there kinda soon."
Friend: Along with this project of allowing uses to create walkable neighborhoods, are we considering the quality of the walk?
Collins: That is for other departments and projects. This is just for the use table.
Use tables*
Guiler: It dovetails nicely with other work that is ongoing, and departments can look at what's happening and take the opportunity to make changes with the same goals in mind. We will communicate with other departments.
Brockett: Are we considering changes in all industrial zones or just some?
Collins: All.
Swetlik: Light industrial comes up a lot. What's the trend of how much we have, is it changing? It's important to have some to provide jobs that aren't high-tech.
Idk about Light Industrial, but all industrial zones are about 13% of the city's land, according to a very handy chart I got in 2018 or 2019. Not sure how much that's changed.
First q for council to answer: Should we allow more uses in neighborhood centers?
Wallach: We don't even know what the vibrance of these centers will look like post-COVID, so this is easy. Yes.

(Neighborhood centers are like the shopping centers. Ideal Market, BaseMar, etc.)
Weaver: I would focus on community-serving, and de-emphasize office space. We already addressed that a bit last year with the changes in Phase 1.
Young returning to her earlier point: We talk about restaurants and retail... those create low-wage jobs. So walkable neighborhoods are walkable for whom?
Let's thing "more holistically" about who is going to be walking and driving and how we can minimize driving by incorporating affordable housing, she says.
Let's think* not thing.
Swetlik: Trying to incorporate affordable housing into neighborhoods makes so much sense, as much as we can.
Next q: Should we allow more uses in neighborhoods themselves? Coffee shops, small retail, etc.
Yes, Weaver says.
What level of review is staff imagining? If you want to change a house into a small cafe, for example, Weaver asks.
Guiler: Today, that process is use review.
Charles Ferro: We could also require neighborhood management plans, or looking at hours of operation.
Council generally on board with this change as well.
Question 3: Should we allow restaurants, retail and housing in industrial areas? (housing on the second floor only)
Weaver: "I think this is really important and somewhat difficult to do a good job in."
Lots of opportunity for housing, but there are compatibility issues. Coffee roasting or marijuana grows have a lot of odor. That creates conflict that could "run out the original uses."
Weaver: There would need to be covenants around these additional uses, which is you're not allowed to drive away the use that was here first. We sometimes have these around airports.
Weaver: But also, if a place is desirable for residential, it may price out other things. Like Western Ave, it has a lot of "funky little" nonprofits and small biz.
Suggests saturation limits on housing in industrial areas.
Wallach: I'm supportive, but we need to be "very, very careful" about how we do it. Cites Pearl Parkway: We don't want to drive up the cost of the land there and push those biz out.
"I don't want us to be losing all our small, affordable businesses simply to level the area and end up with pure residential," Wallach says.
Brockett agrees, "particularly getting more food" and convenience retail into industrial areas.
"It's about having a complete city," Brockett says. We want to make sure we can still get an oil change in town.
OK, so council on board with more flexibility in industrial areas and generally throughout town.
Weaver: "Use tables, they don't get a ton of air play ... but they govern a huge amount of the way the fabric of the city comes together."
Hey, I'm here right now with the air play! I told people it was important. I can't make them care.
I can only tell them why they should.
Young: We've been talking about this project for years and years. It just shows how long things take.
LOL. Young: Are we removing typewriter factories from the list of uses in all zones?

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