Boulder: Moving up or moving out?

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Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 8.28.03 PMA height ordinance that adopted restrictions on buildings in Boulder to be no more than thirty five feet, expired this past March. There has always been concern throughout in Boulder about maintaining the city’s small town aesthetic and view of the flatirons. The city held a public hearing on the matter and even considered adopting a possible third ordinance. The ruling; a fifteen month extension of the 2015 height ordinance.

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The extension was set so the city could propose a number of studies and figure out where to implement the rapid growth in Boulder. Thousands of people commute to Boulder for work everyday, but none can afford or even fit in the parameters. So what better way than to build up if you can’t build out right? Jan Burton, a member of the Boulder City Council spoke of residents lingering concern on the issue since day one. “The residents in Boulder have always been very committed to even using their own tax dollars to limit the growth so that we end up with a very beautiful livable city” Burton stated.

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Burton noted that it is the issue of supply and demand that remains, and building height could alleviate that and possibly even create affordable housing. Uncertainty is high throughout the community and the debate nevertheless continues on. Shall we stop growth completely, which some say will keep housing costs high? Or, shall Boulder become open to certain amount of growth to keep up with today’s high demands? These next fifteen months to come will give us some answers.


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