Live from Boulder Planning Board...We've got a discussion of parking (the Access Management And Parking Strategy/AMPS) program, and Planning Board's annual report to City Council. Also we'll have a visit from Boulder's new Director of Planning Jacob Lindsey.
A profile of Lindsey and some of his earlier work in Charleston, SC here:…
Some folks are here in open comment to advocate for more aggressive work on housing in the coming year. I might say a few words on that too...
Former Councilmember Macon Cowles has recruited some of these speakers.
Mark McIntyre (currently on Boulder's Transportation Advisory Board) sharing that TAB's goals shared w/Council have not been met. Advice to Planning Board: Focus on measurable outcomes. Like units of housing.
McIntyre also urges a focus on parking reform. "Wage the battle now" for parking minimums, so we don't keep fighting for reform project-by-project.
Former Councilmember Jan Burton is here. Also urging support for housing, esp. from perspective of her work on arts advocacy. Says a word for simplifying public art approvals as well.
Ugh, that should have been parking *maximums*. As in, cap it.
Kurt Nordback said a few words about keeping the public process around parking reform from going off the rails. We know what our transportation goals require.
Macon Cowles is here to talk about housing, but first a little reminiscence about five years on Planning Board.
Another Cowles reminiscence: The Middle Income Housing Strategy (which is actually still in play, though we don't talk much about it). Boulder set a target of 3500 middle income affordable housing units by 2030.
Cowles wants Council to look at the Area III Planning Reserve and expand ADUs. "Light a fire under Council."
David Adamson of Goose Creek Community Land Trust is continuing the pro-housing message. His enthusiasm is undying. Really, I've missed this mood in recent PB meetings.
Your live-tweeter hath spoken.
Lisa Gunther is here from Boulder Meadows (manufactured housing community), talking about the erosion of affordable housing. Ground rents are going up in her neighborhood. Could the city take over and keep lot rents down?
We've also had a few speakers supporting a project at 1902 Walnut, former site of September School. It's proposed to be a supportive sober living facility, and might be called up tonight.
The 1902 Walnut project is up for discussion now. Congregate living facilities are allowed in the RH-2 zone, so the only thing Planning Board can review here is the site plan. They're not calling it up.
Moving on to parking. Pro-tip: It's always about parking.
Lots of parts to the AMPS program, but two things up tonight: Parking pricing and the Neighborhood Parking Permit program.
The basic question underpinning both: How do we distribute access to the curb on our streets?
Hey look, even during 'normal' times we've still got parking capacity downtown:
But 'spillover' parking from commercial/recreational areas into residential areas is a big public concern.
City-managed parking supply and income, shown together. Neighborhood Parking Permits are only 2% of parking revenues.
John Gerstle: What is considered a 'success' in the NPP program? Staff: It's mostly resident-driven now. And they see success. But parking demand often just displaced by a few blocks. "We're always chasing the problem."
Sarah Silver: Does every neighborhood have an NPP? No (and it was in the packet). Neighborhoods have to apply, and there is currently a moratorium on new applications.
Yes, another Boulder moratorium.
Silver: Why is it such a difficult process to start an NPP? Answer: To ensure neighborhood buy-in. People get possessive. And enforcement/management is expensive.
Lupita Montoya: Do we know who uses parking - residents vs. commuters? It's not directly tracked, but commuting studies show residents drive alone less often.
David Ensign: Is Boulder ready to use new management/pricing technologies? Staff: Currently no dynamic data, but they're working on it.
David Ensign on the NPP (which hasn't been updated since 1994): "It's a sledgehammer and we need to work with a scalpel." Shape the program to neighborhoods and parking/travel patterns.
He can't in good faith tell residents concerned about parking (during development reviews) to go apply for an NPP. There are too many headaches.
Gerstle: How does this relate to unbundled parking, payouts to employees, other transportation demand management strategies Planning Board often sees?
Staff: It's all related, but work on parking codes has been delayed due to budget/staff cuts.
Lupita Montoya on proposed public process: Happy to see community connectors program used (a strategy for reaching underrepresented communities).
Sarah Silver, who lives in an NPP zone, appreciates consideration of differences between neighborhoods.
Silver also wants EcoPass requirements for new developments to extend longer than 3 years. City has been hesitant because relationship w/RTD could change.
David Ensign: Though its not part of *this* project as presented, we do need action on parking minimums/maximums. Board spends too much time reviewing reductions, shows that current requirements are out of date.
Lisa Smith: Wants incentives to turnover parking spaces, extend hours of payment later.
Peter Vitale: Where does micromobility fit in?
Staff: The intersection is in curbside management, and parking/docking of scooters/shared bikes. And now, making space for outdoor dining.
Sarah Silver recounting the clutter of scooters from a recent visit to D.C.
Harmon Zuckerman taking on parking maximums. Doesn't think its worth time and effort to deal w/ parking reductions in site review processes. Could we do more holistic analysis of supply/demand in larger areas?
Year-end report is up next. Planning Board is going to use Mural collaboration software, which apparently requires a lot of screen real estate. I'm toast.
This is the last item of the night and they intend to be efficient. LOL, but also, please. I'm already fried.
My god, I am supposed to follow this on a laptop screen:
Watching board members track around the document w animal avatars:

Vitale = Visiting Goat
Smith = Visiting Horse
Silver = Visiting Hippopotamus
Gerstle = Visiting Penguin

Montoya and Zuckerman wisely avoiding the area of the screen now being shared.
This is beyond my tweeting skills. Lupita Montoya wants thematic vs. linear grouping of topics. Fewer words, more visual representation. There's as much organizational talk as content talk so far.
If I pick up my knitting they'll probably say something important, right?
UPDATE: Equity will be in the final document. Somewhere. Maybe several somewheres.
The NoBo branch library made both David Ensign's and Lupita Montoya's list of 2020 highlights. Nice recognition for a small project.
Lisa Smith: Concerned about code getting in the way of the kind of housing we want. And also/still getting in the way of 15-minute neighborhoods.
Polite and less-polite criticism of Boulder's land use codes:
Peter Vitale calling out the obvious politicization of Planning Board activities. Says he wrote this comment from a dark place, but feels it's important:
Recusal/disclosure shouldn't just involve business entanglements, but also acknowledge political positions.
Sarah Silver on CU South: "The fact that we haven't been able to unlink flood mitigation from annexation" makes current process problematic. Whoa.
John Gerstle wasn't planning on relitigating CU South, but people active in the field of water management (like him) might have made a different choice. "The choice has been made, but this is my last time to grumble about it."
Montoya: "I'll remember that, John, when the flood comes."
Sarah Silver: Disappointed in public engagement this year, though staff has been working hard. We're not getting good results (good results not defined).
David Ensign: Occupancy limits/Bedrooms are for People saga was a huge disappointment. City is not listening to expressed needs.
Lupita Montoya is disappointed about NIMBYism in public hearings. "There must be some training for people coming to say these things. They come w/out fail to speak about 'not in this particular place'..."
Those were the disappointments, now on to planning priorities for 2021.
Peter Vitale is unfiltered tonight: "If we showed the kind of leadership on equity that we show on open space, where would we be?"
Montoya also rising: Beyond focus on middle income housing, we have to protect at-risk people who are already here. Her story was about maintenance/housing quality.
CU South keeps coming up, and Harmon Zuckerman reminds everyone that 3 of 7 on the board have to recuse from that topic. Suggests it be left out of the letter entirely.
And counsels Gerstle and others to not presage a position on CU South in this letter, because the issue will come back to the board in the future. Trying to discourage a minority report.
Sarah Silver wants to preserve voice for people who 'don't have a conflict of interest'.
Wrt to conflict of interest, gonna re-up this tweet from a half hour ago:
This is getting tense. City Attorney says recusal means three board members w/employment relations w/CU shouldn't even be involved in *this* discussion as it's currently unfolding.
I tweet these meetings as a volunteer gadfly, but I suppose you should know my spouse is employed at CU, so I'd have to recuse from these discussions too.
Would students have to recuse? Student employees? How many people in town are really in the clear?
I think we're moving on. Harmon Zuckerman urges prioritizing 'innovation' that will make delightful places (e.g. cottage courts). Nice ideas, though most of what he listed is no longer innovative. We're operating on Boulder time, of course.
They are still group-writing this letter, and back to discussing whether CU South can be in it, and I did once apply to be on this board.
I'm really just waiting to screenshot the final product unless things get particularly surly. It's late, and one member is on East Coast time, so it could happen...
Some unresolvable disagreement between Zuckerman and Silver for subcommunity planning for the whole city. Zuckerman doesn't like it for it's own sake. For Gunbarrel would be ok though.
I might have missed my chance to screenshot that final 'whiteboard for ants' (thanks for that image @Thatmushroom). Silver and Ensign are going to turn it into a draft letter. Thoughts and prayers for them.
Oh sweet adjournment.
@threadreaderapp please unroll.

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Claudia Hanson Thiem

Claudia Hanson Thiem Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @CHThiem

19 Nov
Boulder’s Planning Board will be drafting its annual letter to City Council at its meeting tomorrow (11/19). And tweeting this exercise will be so much more fun with a little public participation. Please share your thoughts at 6PM:
City Council wants to know what work made Planning Board ‘happy’ and ‘sad’ this year. Talk at an earlier meeting went directly to climate change and structural racism (both sad, to be clear), so some hearts are in the right place.
But they can also push on specific projects. A lot from last year’s letter is still out there: Alpine Balsam, CU South, updating use tables (zoning), parking codes, and an area plan for East Boulder. Diversifying housing and transportation alternatives are perennial concerns.
Read 4 tweets
6 Nov
Boulder Planning Board is meeting tonight in case anyone still cares about local politics. We’ve got a deeply personal fight about live music at a restaurant on E. Pearl, a minor change to the NoBo subcommunity plan, and an update on CU South annexation and public process.
I hope some folks will be at the library’s One Book conversation with Ijeoma Oluo tonight. Tbh I’d rather be there.
The restaurant fight involves River and Woods (formerly John’s), which has been hosting nearly-nightly live music in its rear garden seating area since reopening in after stay-at-home. A neighbor (or maybe two?) is upset by the noise.
Read 117 tweets
5 Nov
Meanwhile in Boulder…I’m listening in on a town hall meeting with Police Chief Maris Herold hosted by the Dairy Arts Center. There's been an increase in camping in the park north of the Dairy, and two weeks ago a homicide victim was found there.
More than 100 people in attendance. Herold starts her introduction talking about challenges of COVID capacity limits at the jail.
Chief Herold is big on data-driven policing, so we've got a data-heavy report on citywide trends. Property crimes - theft, burglary, arson - are up this year.
Read 20 tweets
23 Oct
Hey Boulder, if you need something other than fires and elections to doomscroll tonight, I’ve got you covered. Planning Board is doing a concept review of a big downtown project…
Grace Commons Church (formerly First Pres) wants to redevelop its main campus and annex at 16th/Walnut. Church spaces, a cafe, and 30 units affordable housing are in the mix. Here’s the packet:…
My drink for this meeting is a "Sparks Fly" from Ratio Beerworks. Not sure what message spouse is trying to send with that delivery...
Read 51 tweets
25 Sep
Boulder Planning Board's site review of the proposed Macy's redevelopment is happening now.
I've heard so much over the years about the Crossroads Mall, but it was gone by the time I arrived in 2007. So appreciated that city staff's presentation started with this history: Image
The proposal for office and a small amount of retail adds about 12,000 sq ft to the existing building.
Read 52 tweets
20 Aug
Some of you Boulderites are following the Muni hearing tonight, but I - and a not insignificant number of city staff - am hanging with the Planning Board.
Some jokes amongst staff about double-screening it tonight. Let's try not to inflict too much brain damage on them, ok?
Anyway, tonight's meeting is starting an hour early because it's a big agenda: There's a site review for the NoBo branch library, and a discussion of Use Tables and Community Benefit - two zoning projects that deserve far more public attention than they've gotten.
Read 129 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!