Vote for 300 to avoid ‘heat island’ effect

Mary Eberle: Vote for 300 to avoid ‘heat island’ effect

Buildings that reach higher than trees not only block views but also increase a city’s “heat island” effect.

A city’s heat island is environmentally damaging in several ways. Baking streets and sidewalks make it unpleasant to be outdoors, which could encourage more summer driving instead of walking or biking. It may cause more building air conditioning use. Plants wilt and die or require more water.

Having buildings that are “tree sized” makes them human scale. That is how Boulder’s single-family neighborhoods and some of Boulder’s commercial areas are designed. I would like citizens to have the opportunity to preserve that human scale in existing neighborhoods. Supporting Question 300 is a vote to permit a neighborhood to petition to vote on any city-imposed zoning change in that neighborhood. For example, the height of buildings allowed in that neighborhood could be increased above the height of mature trees. Another possible change to a neighborhood would be replacing some single-family homes with buildings that cover several lots, previously separated by shade trees. Neighborhoods should be able to vote on such changes.

Please support city of Boulder Ballot Question 300, “Neighborhood Right to Vote on Land Use Regulation Changes” on the back of your ballot. Voting “Yes” on this question is the ultimate in “Think Globally, Act Locally.” What’s more local than keeping one’s neighborhood cool?

Mary Eberle