Daily Camera, Boulder, CO
POSTED: 02/27/2015 06:31:31 PM MST
In the years preceding the building of Coors Field, the surrounding area was mostly blighted. Much to the credit of the city of Denver and entrepreneurs (and Major League Baseball), the area was transformed into a successful “neighborhood” known as LoDo.
Last week, at the Boulder Planning Board meeting, during public testimony, a Boulder resident said “If I wanted to live in LoDo, I’d live in LoDo!” He asked that the Planning Board recommend to Council to not persist along its path of transforming Boulder into something the majority of its residents don’t want,
Boulder’s history fostered the creation of building height limits, the Blue Line, the Danish Plan and Open Space. These efforts weren’t undertaken to purposely be exclusionary or against growth, per se. They were created to preserve that which the residents of the city and county deemed important. Those measures were (and are) an attempt to arrest cancerous growth emanating from special interest groups.
We’re not a blighted area! We don’t need to provide economic incentives, such as anemic linkage fees and what seems to be a rubber stamping of height exceptions to lure businesses to Boulder. Businesses want to come here because of what we’ve created with our measured approach to growth. But this process of exception has become the new normal. Well, it’s time to stop before we lose what most of us value. It’s time for a two-year moratorium on height ordinance exceptions (as suggested by the Planning Board),and to reevaluate embracing the thinking that gave us projects like the Great Wall of Pearl St. (Boulder Junction) or the purposed S *#!$* Park and other forms of urban density.
Let’s all pause, take a collective breath and create a sensible Comprehensive Plan that reflects the will of its constituents not just those of the development community.