For those of you who live in Boulder, here is a quick voting guide. Please feel free to forward it around. I get involved in local politics and planning policy because it has dramatic impacts on all our lives. My main criteria for these recommendations are environmental and social responsibility.Please vote NO on ballot issue #300 & 301. They have deceptively innocuous and reasonable sounding names, but their impacts will be quite negative.300 – Neighborhood right to vote – divides Boulder into 60+ neighborhoods, all of which are interested in keeping “unwanted” projects in someone else’s backyard – it allows just 10% of any neighborhood to force an expensive vote on any proposed upzoning. The delay, expense and uncertainty it adds will in effect kill all affordable housing projects forever (including co-ops and cohousing).301 – Development shall pay its own way – It already does. Boulder already has some of the highest development fees in the region. Proponents claim that developers will simply reduce their profits to pay for the extra fees, but in reality we know that all costs flow through to the end purchaser/renter, making the cost of living in Boulder even higher. Additionally, independent reviewers of the proposal agree that the vague language of this ballot will stop all development in its tracks (potentially for years) as the fee formulas are hashed out in courts.Both 300& 301 will have the direct impact on cutting off supply of housing, which will accelerate already skyrocketing prices. If you care about affordable housing, please vote NO on 300 & 301.Lastly, Sierra Club, the Urban Land Institute, the American Planning Association and every other national planning organization in the country agree that concentrating new development in currently developed areas is the preferred location because:
- Reduces urban sprawl and the habitat destruction that comes with it.
- Promotes the use of alternative modes of transit.
- Reduces the size and energy consumption of dwelling units and the carbon footprint per capital associated with each dwelling unit.
So if you care about the environment, please vote no on 300 & 301.
There are five open seats on City Council this year. The folks I am voting for and supporting are:
Bob Yates — Former Chairman of Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. He's an all around great guy and community member. He's a former exec turned non-profit leader.
Aaron Brockett — Already a strong, independent voice of reason on the Planning Board, focused on land use, Open Space, the arts, and transportation. He is a dad, lives in the Holiday neighborhood, is a balanced and reasoned voice on Planning Board. He is amazing.
Jan Burton — Jan is an intelligent and kind person who listens well. She brings refreshing perspective as a long-time tech executive, now focused on creative housing solutions and inclusive leadership.
Bill Rigler — A young, strong voice from a former international aid expert turned Naropa executive, with an emphasis on encouraging our entrepreneurial economy.
Tim Plass — An independent voice on Council for restraint and moderation, and a leader on economic policy and land use.
If you’re interested in learning more about these folks you can see their answers to Open Boulder’s questionnaire (and those of all the candidates) here: http://openboulder.org