Moving on to the East Boulder subcommunity plan. I do have a presentation for you on this one. Hopefully it works; the city's new system is buggy.…
This one's even harder to tweet than the parks & rec plan, bc so much of it is "what street is going where" and that's hard to describe via text.
But I'll do my best.
We've talked about this before, on April 13.…
And we're gonna talk about it again toward the end of the year, when the plan is 90% done. It's at 60% right now.
But if you wanna get involved, now's the time. This stage “offers community members the greatest opportunity for participatory planning and impact on the plan’s final recommendations," according to staff.
Council's going to be giving feedback on proposed land use, street plans, a bus station / mobility hub at Arapahoe and 55th.
So what/where is East Boulder (other than, you know, east)?
East of Foothills, north of Arapahoe
1,610 acres
16,984 jobs - 11% of city total
V few homes - 466 residents
I'm gonna break my tweets into two main categories: Built environment + transportation
As the plan stands right now, the Future East Boulder could have:
Between 2,642 - 4,399 homes by 2040
61% Residential
17% Office
15% Light Industrial
7% Retail, Restaurant/ Entertainment
1,800 parking spaces
That range of homes is bc there's still a few options for land use that could dictate how much residential is allowed. Staff wants to keep industrial out here but also allow more homes and retail.
A lot of the land use will be Mixed Use - Industrial, and staff is proposing updating the definition of MUI in the Boulder Valley Comp Plan.
To... "a transitional use between existing or planned residential or mixed-use neighborhoods and Light, Community or General Industrial land uses."

Supporting uses allowed include residential, retail, service and commercial.
That's the biggest change: Some of these lands are just industrial now.
Staff is also proposing a whole NEW land use category: Mixed Use - Transit Oriented Development
"MUTOD areas should be strategically located at regional or local mobility hubs and/or along key transit corridors. MUTOD areas pair existing or planned transit facilities with residential and commercial development...
... opportunities with the goal of transforming existing, disparate uses into mixed-use, transit-oriented, 15- minute neighborhoods."

Residential will be the predominating use. Supporting uses allowed include office, retail, service, commercial and light industrial.
I know this is all incredibly dry and jargon-y. But it's basically guiding what can go here in the future. Like, homes, biz, offices, industrial, etc. So it's *super* important.
That's bc the way Boulder's building and development regulations work (land use, zoning, etc.) is to dictate WHAT KIND of things can be located where. Historically (well, for the past 90-100 years) there's been a lot of segregation of uses: Housing here, biz here, etc.
That's been shifting, in no small part bc it's really bad for the environment (encourages driving). The new method is to let a bunch of dif things to locate closer together so ppl can walk to what they need: 15-min neighborhoods.
Walk, bike, transit, obviously. Not just walking. But having stuff closer together would allow ppl to not drive, is the point.
So let's talk transportation! Some proposals:
HOP will be extended to East Boulderas full route extension or micro transit
Arapahoe will get raised, separated bike lanes
Missing sidewalks on Pearl Parkway, 47th to be filled in
Conestoga to be connected, as is Sterling and Pearl
Oh, and a bus station at 55th/Arapahoe, as previously mentioned.

Arapahoe is part of a large corridor plan to provide bus rapid transit along SH-7 from Brighton (I-25) to Boulder
So a major "mobility hub" (bus station, but also bike share, e-scooters, etc.) is planned for 55th/Arapahoe
Very difficult to convey what this all looks like IRL. Staff has some slides to demonstrate, so I'd recommend looking at that presentation.
The written word has its limits.
"This area has great potential for providing missing middle housing," says Kathleen King.

You can learn more about missing middle housing here:
Just bc we say this land use is allowed doesn't mean it's going to change overnight, says Mark De La Torre, a consultant for the city. This is private property; it will change over time, as its owners want it to.
Indeed, subcommunity plans are meant to guide the next 20 years of an area.
One of the reasons East Boulder isn't changing much right now, De La Torre says, is that property owners are making plenty of $$ without needed to redevelop. They *are* changing industrial spaces to office or flex, but doing so with internal remodels.
So the overall look, feel and flow of East Boulder has not really changed, De La Torre says.
I've never seen this in a city planning process before (but this is the first subcommunity plan since the 90s). The plan includes "place types" which I think are basically what kind of built environment and uses the plan will produce.
There are 4 for East Boulder:
Residential mixed-use: Homes with ground floor retail, personal services
Innovation mixed-use: Homes/office above creative office/retail or light industrial
Flex: Office and/or industrial
Flex mixed-use: Office/industrial with ground-floor retail
Jay Renkens, another consultant, talking about how developing dif streetscapes and such will include adding more trees — they're lacking in east Boulder today, contributing to a heat island.
Also LOTS of free parking, which biz love bc it's easy for their workers. But over time, not compatible with the city's climate goals. Or, you know, the actual climate.
The 55th/Arap bus station will be up to 55 feet, and a (very small) area around it will be, too, Renkens says. But height will step down as it radiates out from the station and toward the rest of the city.
I mean, that's all still subject to about a million steps of the city process. But that's the plan right now.
Lots of tall buildings in East Boulder today. Not at that exact spot, but the hospital and Ball Aerospace are in East Boulder, and they're both up to 55 ft
There has been some concern from council (I'd expect more tonight) about losing industrial space here. That's already happening, according to staff, as ppl shift buildings to office space internally, without redevelopment.
Office space is cheaper here than the rest of Boulder (a bit) but industrial/flex space is not.

"That perception of affordability has not been accurate for over a decade," staff wrote.
Brockett asking about the place types, which I didn't quite understand (see earlier tweets). He describes it as "sitting between land use and zoning."

Are these guidance or rigid requirements? Brockett asks.
King: Subcommunity plans are used as guidance during the regulatory process. So there are ranges for some things that can be referenced later on.
Weaver: What controls will we have to make sure industrial space remains? When you have a menu, people choose what will make the most $$.
Renkens: You can make non-industrial uses supporting or only allowed in certain places (along streets or rail). There's a bunch of tools we'll recommend in the next phase of this plan.
Weaver: How are we going to mix residential with some of these industrial uses that are more disruptive (noisy or smelly)? And make it so that we don't get all gentrified apartments and software firms?
"The picture you shared felt fairly gentrified to me," Weaver says.
I didn't quite follow the answer to that, so I can't say. Weaver promises to revisit, tho.
Wallach picking up that thread now: How are you visualizing mixing homes and industry? "I'm a little unclear as to how this plays out in the real world."
Have these people literally never traveled anywhere outside Boulder?
Wallach: "There are industrial uses that create odor, noise. I find it perplexing that we're going to try and put residences on top of it or across the street. Is there a precedence for this? Are there other industrial mixed neighborhoods that have been successful?"
(See previous tweet)
King gives RiNo as an example. The East Central neighborhood in Portland.

"Our use review process will allow us to help negotiate some of that and determine some of the best places for uses," King says. "Industrial can live peacefully with residential."
Wallach asks about displacing industrial space.
King: I don't think we could say right now. This change will happen over time.
Wallach: Can we at least make a list? X number of biz, of this type, etc. "I think that should be a knowing decision."
Renkens talking about compatibility: There's a lot of dif types of light industrial. Breweries or distilleries, for one, which some ppl don't mind living near.
Wallach: I would be happy to live across from a brewery.
Friend: What is the density required to make a 15-min neighborhood feasible? To sustain transit, or a grocery store and other retail, etc?
King: I don't have the numbers off the top of my head, but staff has approached a lot of different grocery retailers, which is essential for that area.
Jean Sanson also not sharing specific numbers RE: RTD, but saying that this plan should support service in the area. "We feel pretty confident that we're going to have the numbers to support robust transit."
King: There's a residential component to that, but also a jobs and workforce number. You need both to make retail and transit successful.
Renkens: We use the term activity units (employees, residents, students, etc.) 20 activity units per acre is a minimum threshold, as a rule of thumb.
Yates: How do we incentivize middle-income housing units in this area?
King: We're thinking of dif options and strategies. I don't have a great answer right now, but we're working on it.
Yates: It would be a shame if we end up with a bunch of expensive condos and some cash-in-lieu payments, so if you need some regulatory help from council, please let us know.
Rachel Shindman, another consultant: It's really hard to make it pencil, from a market perspective. It will have to be a targeted effort from the city. "The market won't provide it on its own."
Moving onto council comments. Weaver starts by praising the plan but says he has "a lot of specific comments."
It's a "pretty substantial increase" of housing, Weaver says, which is "much needed in Boulder right now. We talk about what we're losing" but we should also focus on what we need, which is housing.
Weaver: "We have to be super careful to not only preserve but improve" the retail offerings out there.
This plan is on the right track, Weaver says. "I think the devil will be in the details of how you don't chase out the industrial."
Brockett: "East Boulder has almost no housing, lots of jobs and few retail opportunities. This plan is moving us in the right direction."
Young: I would like to see us set a goal of annexing San Lazara mobile home park. "They have had tons and tons of water quality issues."
"This is a golden opportunity to take some of the ARPA funds and leverage that for this particular use," Young says.
"Who knew that some folks consider Boulder a recreation mecca and an arts and culture mecca?" Young says

Valmont bike park (+disc golf, soccer fields, etc.) Boulder dinner theatre, a huge event / dance space and many smaller spaces... Boulder ain't just west of Broadway, lady!
Wallach: I remain concerned that we will be pushing out the messy but necessary industrial uses we need by allowing mixed use here.
"When they're gone and we're all traveling to Longmont to get a set of tires, we will regret that loss," Wallach says.
Friend echoes Wallach: I've spent a lot of time in east Boulder this year; "My son is working at a marshmallow factory"
"My son is working at a marshmallow factory" was not on my council BINGO card.
Nagle also concerned about losing industrial space: As we continue to push jobs out of Boulder, it's difficult to meet our climate goals if we have to drive out of town for what we need.
First reference to pitched roofs! From Nagle, again railing against "big, ugly square buildings." She wants "European-style villages."
Also a fan of annexing San Lazaro.
Last words on this from Swetlik: "I don't have as much fear about the industrial mixed-use zoning, because believe it or not, some people like to live gritt-ily." It keeps rent down and some ppl enjoy it; most places don't work past 5-6 and most ppl don't get home until 5-6.
That's all for this one, but again we'll revisit a nearly final plan in December, I believe.
Ohhh maybe council will do a field trip. LOL. Imagine having to take a field trip to a part of town in a town this small. Like, what are people's lives like that they don't go to different parts of town regularly?
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More from @shayshinecastle

28 Jul
Last topic! A new timeline for hiring a new city attorney. Looks like final recommendation by Oct. 5.…
The city is reopening its search after drawing only 12 applicants. They did still ID and interview 2 finalists, who also did public q&a sessions. Yikes.…
I thought they did pretty well, but I'm guessing Boulder wants an acting city attorney, not an assistant or a non-municipal attorney.
Read 22 tweets
27 Jul
Hey, #Boulder. Time for another city council meeting on this very hot Tuesday.

It's a study session, and we're talking Plans (Parks & Rec, East Boulder) so it should be pretty chill.
Also an update on the continuing search for a new city attorney.
It's kinda hard to tweet these planning topics, bc it's a lot of visioning and strategery. Not a lot of details.

I'll do my best.
Read 107 tweets
21 Jul
OMG last item: Update on the city attorney search!
Friend, Yates (subcommittee) recommending continuing the search process. They didn't get enough applicants (12) and were apparently unhappy with the 2 finalists.
Wow. Interesting.
Read 17 tweets
21 Jul
Quick update on board and commission vacancies:
2 on HAB, 1 on downtown mgt commission

Nagle/Brockett will notify ppl who have applied in past years and open it to new folks as well.
HAB = Housing Advisory Board
Brockett responding to Young's concerns last week that maybe there's an issue with HAB since it has a lot of turnover. The 2 resignations were ppl moving out of town.

So maybe it's a housing affordability issue.
Read 4 tweets
21 Jul
Jump-starting this thread on the Boulder Rez resolution, bc it's so damned interesting and somewhat unprecedented. We rarely get pushback on neighbor opposition from the city.
Some background: The visitor center at the Rez got a serious redo in recent years, after the 2012 Parks & Rec master plan ID'd it as a need.
That included a restaurant/bar, to meet the goals of the 2017 concept plan for the new facility:
“extending shoulder season use opportunities, establishing partnerships with various groups to expand programming and offset construction and operating costs...
Read 56 tweets
21 Jul
Next item is a discussion about the CCS tax extension that we've covered so much lately.

Or you can read my stories.…
Read 21 tweets

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