Boulder Real Estate Pop-n-Scrape Revisited

You may remember that about six months ago, Boulder leaders looked like they were moving very quickly to impose new restrictions on Boulder real estate remodeling projects. Their concern was focused on preventing over-sized houses in Boulder neighborhoods.

This caused a lot of controversy, especially from folks who bought Boulder real estate with the specific intent to remodel and enlarge their new property.

Now, it looks as if the city is once again getting ready to look at the issue. This time, with a slightly more cautious pace, Boulder City Council will consider a proposal from a consulting firm on how to move forward with guidelines for remodeling and new construction restrictions.

From what I can tell, it seems that the city council realized that they didn’t have to move with such a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction, and now they are taking a slightly broader view on the issue.

The floor-area ratios that were originally considered may be abandoned for a different approach to limiting the impact of larger homes. The new way of measuring a proposed home may include looking at the length of outside walls as they compare to the other homes in a given neighborhood, and also whether or not these walls include any breaks in the planes and lines of them.

The consulting firm said that it can also offer computer simulations on proposed building designs to give property owners a better idea of what will be allowed once the guidelines are in effect.

Even if some new homes or remodeling projects slip through without review and are completed prior to establishing new guidelines and restrictions, most people speaking out on this topic seem to agree that the slower and more careful pace the city council is taking is preferred to its earlier over-reaction in the spring.


One Response to “Boulder Real Estate Pop-n-Scrape Revisited”

  1. Argon Deloitte on September 2nd, 2008 8:35 pm

    Take a look at Vancouver, BC — the mega-remodels have destroyed neighborhoods. We have some here, a new nasty one not too far from us. It’s a difficult situation: existing homes cannot support the needs of today’s families…there simply is not enough room. On the other hand, no one should build a 6- 10,000 sq.ft. monstrosity just to prove they can. Existing small lots cannot easily accommodate a large remodel, but inelegant restrictions do nothing to support a community landscape. Some of the requirements Boulder has imposed reflect the usual idiocy of the city council….which has existed for years. Why the voters have not seen to change the way the city is run defies the imagination…other than they enjoy the chaos and upheaval such a system enables….which I think is the case.

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