Now the big one, so I'll start paying attention. Occupancy limits and enforcement of those. Should the city stop evicting ppl due to over-occupancy during the pandemic? That's what council is deliberating.
Reminder: Boulder limits how many unrelated persons can live together to 3 or 4 folks. (3 in lower density areas, which is most of the city, and 4 in higher density ones)
There are no limits on related persons living together. Here's how the city defines family: “[T]he heads of household plus the following persons who are related to the heads of the household: parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, brothers and sisters ...
... aunts and uncles, nephews and nieces, first cousins, the children of first cousins, great-grandchildren, great- grandparents, great-great-grandchildren, great-great-grandparents, grandnieces, grandnephews, great-aunts and great-uncles. ....
...These relationships may be of the whole or half blood, by adoption, guardianship, including foster children, or through a marriage or a domestic partnership meeting the requirements of Chapter 12-4, "Domestic Partners," B.R.C. 1981.
Council debates skipping the presentation and going straight to votes... ? Which is never a good sign.
Oh wait, jk, they're doing it anyway.
Here's how the city defines domestic partnerships: "Any two unrelated adults in a committed relationship who meet the domestic partnership criteria to register with the city and to obtain a certificate attesting to their status...
... or to receive a certificate documenting their status but not be formally registered in the city's domestic partnership registry”
There are some rules around that, including that you can only be in a Domestic Partnership with one person at a time. Which is extremely monoga-normative (which is a phrase I just coined)
Not to make you clutch your pearls, Boulder, but not every relationship involves only two people.
There are other rules, too, like a mandatory Rebound Period (something else I coined) stating that you can't get a domestic partnership certified within so many days of a previous domestic partnership dissolving. (Don't remember if it was 30 or 90..? Can someone find my tweet?)
"We've tried to include every degree of relationship," Carr says of the city's family definitions.

My logical sister (faux adopted from my support group) isn't on that list, so that list ain't shit!
We aren't living together or anything. Just pointing out that family has a broader definition for some people than others.
Back to the issue at hand: Enforcement is ensured 2 ways
Staff reviews ads for rooms to make sure they are not over-occupied (Title 10)
Complaint-based; staff reviews and forces evictions if over-occupied (Title 9)
What we're talking about tonight is Title 9.

From the packet: ‘If staff finds a violation, the landlord can be required to reduce the occupancy by evicting one or more tenants.”
Title 9 violations by year
2017: 24 violations
2018: 12
2019: 24
2020 YTD: 15
Total: 53% of Title 9 complaints result in violation
Apparently no questions from council...? Also a bad sign.
Friend brought this forward after Gov. Polis asked cities to not enforce evictions due to over-occupancy.
That was in July.
Polis emailed council tonight, apparently. Friend reading it. "I fully support your initiative to temporarily suspend the city's occupancy limits until next May."
"This is not hypothetical," Friend says. And disadvantaged people will be hit harder.
"I think we should figure out the guardrails, but I don't think we should reject this as not necessary," she says. "I support us doing what the governor requested."
Brockett has a q: Life safety codes would still be in effect, right? Unsafe living conditions wouldn't be allowed.
Carr: That's correct.
Brockett: "If we enforce on over-occupancy, that's an eviction. ... That's exactly the kind of disruption we want to be avoiding right now. ... It's just for a few months."
Swetlik has a q, too! "Since this is essentially loosening rules and providing more opportunity for income" ... can we tie this to affordability?
I was under the impression we were looking ONLY at Title 9, not Title 10 (the process by which landlords get their rental licenses). So just the enforcement piece... ?
Anyway, Carr says potentially maybe we can tie this to affordability. So you can only be evicted for over-occupancy if you pay high rent...?
Yates asking about families with children. Carr confirming no families with children have been evicted due to over-occupancy.
At least in the last 3 years
Yates: Is occupancy increasing? Any evidence of that?
Carr: The folks we usually have doing enforcement are doing other things.
Yates: So we've already softened up on occupancy?
Yates says passing this would be akin to "encouraging more people" to pack into one place. Actually used the words packed in, in case you're wondering how he feels about things.
Yates: If ppl pack into houses now, they'll have to leave in May when this expires, right?

(In case you were still unclear about where he stands)
Carr confirmed, yes, that is the case
Aannnd we're already voting. Weaver reminding ppl it will need 5 votes, then asks Friend if she's "comfortable" moving forward... All signs point to a no.
Friend: This is a request from a governor who has been proactive and has us handling COVID better than a lot of states. What are your fears? she asks to council members who are opposed.
"There's always a risk of discriminatory enforcement when somebody does complain," Friend says. "There's a lot of concern for protecting ppl who have the least protections in a hard economic time right now."
Wallach: I had thought we had a discussion sometime in the past about discussing occupancy in a more measured way as part of our workplan for the coming year. Is that still on the table?
Weaver: It's separate from the motion. We have a study session Oct. 12
Reminder: The federal eviction moratorium doesn't cover this. It only covers inability to pay.
Wallach: I share Swetlik's concerns for affordability. We may turn this into an "income generator" for landlords.

Reminder: Landlords opposed changing occupancy limits.
Swetlik: Obviously there's a lot to talk about on the issue of occupancy. One of the things I'm weighing in this vote. We don't have any data. I hear a lot from both sides about impacts on rents.
Swetlik: "We are in a crisis and the governor has asked us to do something about it." Leaning toward supporting, esp since it has a deadline.
Reminder: He was on HAB when they recommended looking at occupancy. Council put the kibosh on that.
We're already making a motion.
Motion fails
Weaver, Wallach, Yates, Young opposed (Nagle absent but she's against it, too)
Friend, Swetlik, Brockett, Joseph in favor
So Boulder will keep evicting unrelated renters during the COVID pandemic, ignoring governor's request.
Less than 30 min they spent on that.

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More from @shayshinecastle

15 Sep
We'll be getting to our city attorney search update after a couple of declarations. Here's the staff presentation. Looks like we'll have a city attorney by Oct. 12.…
Well, we'll have one named by then. Start date is TBD.
Finalists will be named at the Sept. 28 meeting.
A reminder that council reopened this search after we only got 12 applicants the first time, and they weren't impressed with the two finalists.…
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14 Sep
Well, we've arrived #Boulder. Tonight is the public hearing for the CU South annexation.

Oh, and a quick update on the city attorney search. Stay tuned. Coming to you soon.
A reminder that the vote is not tonight. That's next week.
But we will get some info from staff and CU, as is usual for annexations.

You can catch yourself up here:…
Read 62 tweets
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Next up: Discussion of COVID biz recovery from the city regulation perspective, which mostly includes outdoor dining.

Staff presentation:…
I only have a few notes on this, bc the packet item on this was as dense as a pound cake.
88 biz benefitted from looser city rules
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10 Sep
Moving on to Boulder's lobbying agenda. That is, what the city will ask state and fed lawmakers to do. Or not to do.
This is like my fourth one I'm covering and the only notable difference is that so much stuff from the last one got done last year at the state level.
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10 Sep
Quick (or maybe not) call-up item for an older adult affordable housing community by BHP.

3485 Stanford Ct (Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church)
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Planning Board OK’d 5-0
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Getting a quick update on the city's financial audit. I think for the first time I've been doing this, there are no deficiencies.

I mean, there are never many: 4, I think, was the high.
But still, our finances look good, a consultant says.
I think I said this last year, but lord give me the enthusiasm of the auditor describing his work analyzing the city's financial practices.
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