*New* East Boulder planning survey!

(Please note: If you’ve previously completed the East Boulder subcommunity planning survey, this is a new one, so you can resubmit! And maybe win free ice cream!)

East Boulder (east of Foothills, north of Arapahoe) has been undergoing subcommunity planning for some time now, and the city has opened up another survey to get community input. As you’ll see in the new survey, the “areas of change” are limited to just a few places in the subcommunity, and unfortunately the City is strongly listening to people who want less density.

We asking pro-housing folks who live in Boulder, or who might like to live in Boulder if there were more housing options, to take the new survey: East Boulder Survey on Be Heard Boulder (details below). Comments will be receive on that survey at least through Monday, November 29.

The details: The City is envisioning what this area might become in 20 years and is tweaking land use and other guidance to help make that happen. This is a BIG DEAL for potential future housing in Boulder. Right now, this area has almost zero housing (300 units), even though it’s 1/10th of the city. Almost the whole area is zoned light industrial. We can help change this so that the area will have neighborhoods and homes in the future, allowing more people to live here, including a focus on low and middle income housing. This could be such a cool, funky place to live! The current 60% draft plan envisions UP TO 4400 units of housing built in this area over the next 20 years as properties redevelop. They have already backed away from the previous draft where they envisioned scenarios with up to 6100 units of new housing. Many folks thought that was too low in the first place, and now there’s a danger this number could get reduced even further! As many of us are aware, one of our key methods to achieve affordable housing is by requiring 25% of units in new multi-family developments to be permanently affordable (or for the developer to contribute cash-in-lieu to the Inclusionary Housing Program). Therefore, the total number of units built has a big impact on our ability as a City to provide permanently affordable, attainable housing for low, moderate, and middle income residents. 

East Boulder Subcommunity Plan map

The survey will ask where additional housing could go. Some ideas that have already come up in previous discussions with the Working Group and City Council are:

  • other areas along Araphaoe including further east;
  • south of the Parkside West proposed area of change, on the other side of Goose Creek;
  • Sterling Circle, near the existing San Lazaro mobile home park; and
  • more density along the 55th street corridor.

Here are some other points that you (yes, you!) might comment on: -There are currently areas that are very hard to walk or bike through because of a lack of connections and sidewalks. The plan looks at improving these issues and adding a multi-modal transit station (bus, bike, scooters, uber/lyft pickup, etc.) at 55th and Araphaoe. This transit “station area” is planned to include higher-density housing, which is great since it would be near transit. The area is home to a lot of lower cost commercial space. Some folks are afraid that developing housing here will mean that small businesses will get pushed out. We can help encourage a “Both / And” perspective with mixed use neighborhoods including restaurants, cafes, grocery stores, retail shops, and small business space, similar to parts of the Holiday neighborhood. Please take the survey, make your voice heard and spread the word! The results of this survey will be presented to City Council to inform their choices.

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