I have lost track of how many times council has talked about this. It's a plan for the future of East Boulder: How much housing we can do, where it can go, transportation amenities/facilities/plans, etc.
We had a joint public hearing with Planning Board on this... at some point. I no longer remember.

Planning Board had a couple of big suggestions for changes that we're gonna discuss tonight. Council AND PB have to agree on the exact same thing here.
Subcommunity plans require joint approval from both bodies.
Well, joint adoption. Same, same.
Something about the airport was added "in recent weeks," Kathleen King says, after chatting with airport users. It has to do with noise studies and the area which might be impacted.
King: There was a concern that expanding the Airport Influence Zone would prevent the construction of structures in East Boulder. Planning Board suggested a condition to avoid this.
I don't *quite* understand that yet, but I'll listen and then translate for you.
King: There are federal regs about building things of a certain height in the area around an airport.
There are also requirements for noise studies, and that may change the zoning around the airport, King says.
I'm sorry, I still don't quite understand what the deal is here. But basically, King says Planning Board's concern around the airport (whatever it is) is unlikely. Staff recommending not changing anything around the airport UNTIL a noise study is done.
Really fucking wish I understood this, but staff is using so much damn jargon that I can't.
Grumble, grumble
OK, next Planning Board recommendation is attempting to limit the number of jobs that can be added over the life of the plan in East Boulder (through regulations like floor area ratio, how much commercial/biz space is allowed, etc.)
That's not really how it works, King explains. Conditions fluctuate over time; we can guide policies and such to get a desired outcome, but a hard cap... that's not something staff recommends.
Basically, this is the meat of tonight's discussion. Again, council and Planning Board have to agree on this for the plan to be adopted. So if they don't, it will go *back* to Planning Board (and then come back to council).
Stuff like this is why Planning Board is so important. I try to tell ya'll every time we do board/commission appointments, even tho they're boring as hell.
Folkerts: I know we're discussing evaluating (possible redevelopment of) the airport as part of council's workplan. How would that fit into this?
NRV: Council discussed that as a priority, but it didn't earn majority support. So it didn't move forward.
There is an Airport Master Plan update scheduled for 2025, but that might happen sooner.
This city has a master plan for everything.
John Kinney, Boulder's airport manager (he's been here for 6 months) has his name in ALL CAPS on Zoom, and I don't like it one bit.
Friend: What happens if council and Planning Board doesn't agree on the subcommunity plan?
David Gehr, interim planning director: "Typically, we resolve it. There have been a few times we haven't been able to." In that case, the rest of the document is approved but not that part.
Brockett with a joke: Don't the mayor and chair of the Planning Board thumb wrestle at some point to decide things?
Speer: I'm confused about this airport stuff. It was added late, right? We did so much public feedback on this plan for 3 years. Why is this different?
King: Yes, it was added late. Airport users felt their concerns were not included in the plan, and we worked with them for the last couple months. "It did not go through the rigor of community review that other parts of the plan experienced."
The working group who was involved through this whole thing (3 years) did not weigh in on the airport stuff, King says.
Speer: "I'm concerned it didn't go through the same engagement that everything else did." Can we leave it out?
Benjamin: "The goal here is housing, and I worry that some of these zones (around the airport) create restrictions" to the types of housing we can do, "which is antithetical to what our core purpose has been here."
Winer: "We have a lot of complaints about airport noise, so I think we need to be careful. I don't think people are being crybabies."
(I think people are being crybabies.)
Winer: How do we let people know they're moving into an airport zone so we don't have continued issues?

Brockett: The first step is a noise study, which is what staff's language is trying to get at.
Gehr: I don't think this is that big of a deal. What's in the language is already in the workplan. We're going to continue to prioritize housing.
Speer wants to throw out the whole airport part bc it didn't get the engagement that the rest of the plan did.

Wallach: I think we have all the feedback we're going to get. There are airport users and neighbors who don't like airport noise. What else could we possibly hear?
Winer: Noise is super annoying. I can't imagine anyone living near and airport would not feel that way, whether they're writing to council or not.
How many times do I have to tweet that I lived by the airport for 10 years and was never bothered by the noise for my voice to be heard?
They're not flying 747s in there.
Gehr: There are federal regulations around an airport. We cannot supersede that. I don't think anything we develop will be meaningful, regulation-wise.
Gehr: "We're done regulating the runway, and we're done regulating the takeoff and landing zones. All we're really talking about is disclosure zones."
Brockett: "There's not really a danger of this prohibiting residential development," then?
Gehr: "I don't think it will."
Planning Board's other recommendation (arguably more consequential) is to limit job growth in Flatiron Business Park to 5,000 jobs total over the life of the plan — about 20 years.
Today, Flatiron Biz parks is home to 24% of Boulder's jobs. The jobs projections "are assumption-based," King says, "so we don't necessarily want to create a tool that" caps job growth.
That 5,000 projection will keep Flatiron Biz park at 24% of Boulder's projected jobs over that time, King says.
Benjamin: I think it's really inappropriate to cap jobs. We live on people needing to have jobs. If we want to talk about specific policies that could limit commercial/biz space, sure. But not a cap.
Joseph: I completely agree. I don't think it's appropriate to have a cap. It's not in line with any values of economic vibrancy in a neighborhood.
Friend: "I would not favor capping jobs at a jobs center."
Also, for this to get lifted up in the last couple weeks.... it's not "baked in," Friend says.
Staff's recommended language is to follow comp plan policies when it comes to balancing jobs and housing... which is largely achieved by adding a whole buttload of housing.
Wallach: "How do you proceed without any reference to the jobs/housing imbalance? Either we need to abandon that as a principle or give it some recognition here that we have to keep one eye on a problem that's been plaguing us for some time."
7 council members voted to reject Planning Board's suggestion on the job cap. Again, both bodies have to agree on this, so it will go back to Planning Board.
Lots of talk tonight about "letting" housing near the airport or train tracks and whether or not people should live there... maybe if ya'll let us into your nice neighborhoods, we wouldn't have to. But we do, so please let us. Cuz the other option is worse.
Sorry, I'm just grumpy AF tonight.
Ya'll complaining about lights and noise and such... have you ever been homeless? Or had to commute for an hour+ each way?
Winer: "In a sense I feel like we're protecting people by saying we're not going to build housing here." They move in and then they really don't like it.
I mean, I get what she's saying. It sucks that we shove all our poor people up against highways and train tracks and airports. But homeowners in nice neighborhoods arguing to NOT let us live there is just... I can't.
I have lived next to two highways, a train track and an airport for 10 years. And you know what? I freaking loved it. I also had a bike path and park nearby and a view of the Flatirons. I could walk to the grocery store.
Joseph: "I'm a proponent of housing, but I'm a proponent of housing done right. We know housing for working class people tends to be next to the highway. We want more housing but we want desirable housing."
This is all in response to a suggestion from Brockett about letting housing in a particular industrial area.
Speer: "Right now I'm thinking we have people living on the streets, in their cars, in pretty unsafe situations right now because we don't have enough housing. Not everybody has the ability to live in a nice neighborhood. People need roofs."
Friend: The feedback on this came from industry, not the people who might live there. To me, that's not complete.
Folkerts: Saying we're not going to have housing in an area precludes any designs or creative solutions that might mitigate our concerns.
This might be a new type of living than we have elsewhere in Boulder, Folkerts says, but the community engagement suggests that's what is wanted.
There's a majority support for Brockett's plan, which is essentially not to build housing in a certain industrial area until /unless the uses over there change.
It was by Conestoga Court
Unclear how many housing units that might take out from staff's projections. And of course, those industrial uses may change over time. Again, this is a 20-year plan.
Omg we're done .... with this one.
To sum up
- No hard cap on jobs in Flatiron Park; policies on jobs/housing imbalance will still apply
- Doing a noise study near the airport before any changes are made to zones around there
- Don't allow housing north of Western Ave for now
And some other small stuff. This now goes *back* to Planning Board to see if they agree, since council rejected their two substantive changes.
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More from @shayshinecastle

May 18
OK, so our next one is a little weird. On its face, not that big a deal: It's an old annexation agreement of a v small piece of land — 1 acre.

But the owner and city wants to rejigger the affordable housing requirements, so it has become A Thing.
It's 1422 55th Street, which was annexed (added into city limits) Sept. 7, 1999. documents.bouldercolorado.gov/WebLink/DocVie…
Annexations have dif requirements for affordable housing. They have to provide more, via either building or cash-in-lieu, than already-in-the-city projects.

The thinking is: You're getting the benefit of city services, so give us the benefit of affordable housing.
Read 70 tweets
May 18
Next: Transportation projects the city is asking $$$ for. documents.bouldercolorado.gov/WebLink/DocVie…
They're requesting $6.5M from DRCOG, the Denver Regional Council of Gov't, for 3 projects. They are a collaborative group who gets federal and state $$ for transportation projects.

Also asking for $1.5M from CDOT or RTD for one of the projects.
Those projects:
- 30th Street Preliminary Design (Arapahoe to Diagonal)
- Broadway + Table Mesa, Broadway + Regent - Transit Priority Intersections
- Baseline enhanced transit stops, bike lanes (30th to Foothills)
Read 24 tweets
May 18
Next up: The first adjustment to the base 2022 budget.

Staff notes: documents.bouldercolorado.gov/WebLink/DocVie…
Looks like we're adding some $$ to tackle councils' priorities, including housing/human services stuff and wildfire/disaster resilience.

It also includes $2M for more staff: 22.5 Full-Time Employees. The city is still short on workers.
More details on those:
HHS: $612,500
- $375K to rehab existing city facility for “homeless respite center”
- $40K for middle-income down payment assistance pilot
- $70K for 5-yr strategic plan for inclusionary housing
- $7,500 for survey for updating ADU regulations
Read 24 tweets
May 18
Council might vote to call up (review) the Diagonal Plaza partial redevelopment again. They already dealt with this project by passing a special ordinance to allow more housing there.

Staff notes: documents.bouldercolorado.gov/WebLink/DocVie…
Or you can read more about the plans here. They call for
282 dwellings and 22,917 square feet of ground-floor commercial space on the west and south sides, mostly parking lot today. The ex-Sports Authority and Walgreens are part of that.

This project also calls for expansion of an existing Boulder Housing Partners community. And a new (small) park!
Read 16 tweets
May 17
Council's not talking about this until next week.
Tonight, we've got
- Vote on East Boulder Subcommunity Plan
- Some interesting development projects
- A quick COVID update
- Adjustments to the 2022 budget

And some other stuff. It's a busy night, ya'll.
This meeting was *supposed* to be in person, with the public back in chambers, too, but then council members got COVID after an in-person meeting. So we're back virtual.

BoCo has moved into "medium" levels of transmission, according to the CDC. We'll return to that later.
We're not discussing our current COVID situation due to the late hour, but here are the staff slides on that anyway: documents.bouldercolorado.gov/WebLink/DocVie…
Read 9 tweets
May 4
Next: Should council allow speakers, attending remotely, during public hearings/open comment use video when they give testimony?

Quick few slides on this: documents.bouldercolorado.gov/WebLink/DocVie…
We've talked about this before. TL;DR is that there are First Amendment concerns, bc if someone does something obscene during a live video, staff would want to censor it, but bc it's a government, it's problematic. Or could be.
For this reason, in the past council has always said no to video testimony.
Read 23 tweets

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