Ballots have arrived. Now it’s time to vote.

| Oct 16, 2015


PRIME MOVERS: Will Toor of One Boulder and Steve Pomerance of Livable Boulder are pictured just before an Oct. 1 debate on ballot measures 300 and 301. (Reporter photo)
Boulder registered voters have now received their ballots for the November election. As for predictions, there’s no soothsayer here at Boulder Reporter. What we do have here is an editor firmly lined up on the side of that irascable Steve Pomerance and his conviction that the developers have gone too far and, if not checked, will continue to overbuild a fragile city.

Unfortunately, much of this damage has already been done in the form of a massively oversized job base. Very telling indeed was an article just appearing in The Blue Line (also in the Camera) analyzing the tragic imbalance between jobs and housing in Boulder — one that dwarfs imbalances being lamented in other cities. The current planned trajectory would have Boulder on its way to a 3-to-1 ratio of jobs to available housing.

Now, a faction led by Will Toor and financed by development interests would seek to right this tragic imbalance by chucking in dense development along transportation corridors. They have a deluded notion that Boulder can grow its way (with more rabbit-hutch housing and, yes, more office space) into an imagined “sustainable” future. This contingent makes no bones about their desire to, in the just-published words of venture capitalist Brad Feld, “keep Boulder prosperous by creating jobs and economic growth.” Isn’t that special?

Endorsements and Beyond

To cut to the chase, we strongly urge a “Yes” vote on the two ballot propositions — 300 and 301 — that would put curbs on the galloping development binge. Similarly, we’ll be voting the straight PLAN-Boulder County endorsements for City Council: Lisa Morzel, Suzanne Jones, Jyotsna Raj, Leonard May and Cindy Carlisle.

Post-election, we hope that the new City Council will take radical steps to clean out quite a few of the developer-coddling apparatchiki now on the city’s payroll, starting from the City Manager’s desk and on down through the “planning” bureaucracy.

And then the regulators can take an abrupt turn towards halting further construction of office space, which can be done via rezoning. Some buildings now holding or planned for offices can be rezoned into residential use. It may not be too late, even, to scale back the planned Google campus.

Given a major change in ideology and direction, a calmer Boulder will begin to emerge: a Boulder not under siege by armies of contractors rolling into town every morning.

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