Petitions Seek Affordable and Workforce Housing at the Boulder Airport

BHN editors recently were asked to share two ballot petitions that, combined, seek to present Boulder voters with a choice to decommission the Boulder Municipal Airport and redevelop the site with mixed-use housing and services.

The airport consists of 179 acres of land–135 of which are owned outright by the city. City ownership  reduces the land cost to near zero for potential housing.

BHN previously wrote about the airport’s future last year. In that article, we said, “Currently, the Boulder Municipal Airport serves 125 wealthy hobbyists. Air tankers that extinguish fires do not stage their operations at this airport. Search and rescue operations using a helicopter do not require a runway. In the future…that magnificent plateau could be a complete neighborhood, with affordable homes and amenities on site.” We have since learned that 102 people or entities rent hangar space for 180 planes. Only 40% of the aircraft owners actually live in the City of Boulder.

The Airport Neighborhood Campaign is working to get two measures approved for the November ballot by obtaining 3,401 signatures from City of Boulder registered voters by May 29. This campaign aligns with BHN’s commitment to get more people involved in the early stages of the City of Boulder’s planning process and advocating strongly for affordable housing to make Boulder a more inclusive and equitable community. The two linked ballot initiatives of the Airport Neighborhood Campaign are: 1) Repurpose Our Runways, to close the airport while maintaining emergency helicopter services; and 2) Runways to Neighborhoods, to specify the future land use of neighborhoods with 50% permanently affordable housing for low, moderate, and middle-income families, with a focus on middle-income. 

How to Get Involved and Sign the Petitions

If you have questions or want to contact the campaign, visit If you are a City of Boulder registered voter and want to sign the petitions, you can view and endorse online at Or review and sign the petitions with campaign volunteers. Boulder Housing Network’s funding status as a 501(c)(3) does not permit endorsing political candidates or ballot questions–but it is our job to make sure you are aware of opportunities to support affordable and work force housing.

BHN notes that the airport is outside of Boulder’s core development, so new housing there would require new infrastructure of all kinds to turn the area into the desirable 15-minute neighborhoods we like so much. We would really like to see the city focusing on greater density and urban infill projects that support 15-minute neighborhoods, walkability, and connectivity to existing transportation and services infrastructure. An airport housing redevelopment project would be several decades away, with significant challenges. There are many steps we can take now to increase affordable housing in the urban core, and we hope the City Council will continue to focus on more immediate opportunities.

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