Boulder notched another small but important win for housing on February 16. City Council approved changes to rules for residential uses in industrial zones, taking input from housing advocates, including BHN readers, into account.
Large swaths of the city, especially the eastern reaches and much of Gunbarrel, are zoned for industrial uses. Current rules allow housing in those industrial areas in certain cases, but the limitations are both strict and not conducive to the most appropriate types of residential uses. As part of a project to update the rules, city staff proposed changes that were disappointingly timid, and actually would have prohibited a couple of the small number of housing projects that have happened recently in industrial areas.
Boulder Housing Network advocated for changes that would welcome more housing in industrial zones. City Council was of a similar mind, and asked Staff to implement more housing-friendly rules in the industrial zones. Before this change, only 71 parcels within industrial zones in Boulder are eligible to include housing. Under the new rules, 267 parcels will be eligible. The land area where housing will be allowed will also increase significantly.
This is a success to celebrate. We look forward to more housing on underutilized pieces of industrially-zoned land, putting people closer to jobs and diversifying our overly-stratified land use.