Boulder City Council Puts Home Size Regs On Hold

The Boulder City Council decided to listen to public sentiment and also to a recommendation from the Boulder Planning Board. The temporary ordinance limiting house sizes is on hold as of late Tuesday night.

In a decision made after 10:00 pm on the 8th, the City Council unanimously voted not to hear a first reading of an interim ordinance on the matter. The Council decided instead to hold a discussion next week at the public meeting to review the options for putting together such an ordinance.

You know, it seems that City Council can’t help but listen to the people on this one. There’s been so much negative response locally from homeowners over this issue that it’s been a constant media topic.

I’ve heard that Mayor Shaun McGrath seems to believe that the focus on “floor-area ratios” doesn’t really work. The Planning Board apparently agrees and told McGrath that this style of measurement is a ‘blunt tool’ that really doesn’t meet the City Council’s goals on this issue.

I think in many respects it’s a great idea to talk about preserving neighborhood character and unfortunately, local officials seem to be reacting rather than actively planning as they’ve seen things get out of hand with Mc-Mansions in some older Boulder neighborhoods.

Fortunately the City Council and Planning Board aren’t getting too caught up in their reactive mentality and are now slowing down their process of implementing new rules for home sizes in the county. While some new regulations may be a good move in the long run, putting something together that doesn’t unnecessarily harm the local economy, or violate any homeowner rights, as it has been alleged it would do, could be a good thing.

The issue will be on the City Council’s agenda for their meeting on 4/15/8. The official title of the agenda item is “discussion of options to address remodels and demolition rebuilds that greatly impact established neighborhoods.”

There will be a 45 minute public participation period for anyone who wants to speak on the issue at the Council’s meeting.

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