In November of 2021, the people of Boulder elected a progressive supermajority overturning 40 years of PLAN-Boulder county rule. This historic shift in the balance of power of the City Council represents a new path forward for the City. Now the difficult job of governing starts. While the election provided a strong mandate for the type of change our people want, the specifics of policy were not on the ballot.
I, Henry Koren, a private citizen of Boulder created this survey. My priorities are my family, my business and my community. I am a supporter of Boulder Progressives, and the Boulder Cooalition who I distributed literature for in October. I am affiliated with Bedrooms Are For People, but have not coordinate the creation or analysis of this survey with any local groups. While this survey’s policies are unabashadly partisian, I pledge to represent the opposition to these policies as best as I reasonably can.
Jump to: Criticism | Results | Priorities | Lean | Opposition | Comments | Policy
I created the Boulder Priorities Survey on SurveyMonkey to try to determine what our city cares about when it comes to policy. Based on my understanding of policy options I created a list of progressive policy priorities and took feedback from many people on Twitter to revise and improve the list. This increased my initial list of 19 priorities to 33 (you can view the revision history). This includes many items which I strongly support, and many that I personally did not consider to be priorities and some that I would end up opposing when I filled out the survey myself.
I chose to do a ranked-choice for a selection of policies. This was selected over an affinity-based poll (strongly oppose, oppose, indifferent, support, strongly support) because I wanted more resolution to discriminate how important different items were. I’ve done affinity polling in the past and found that it did not adequately differentiate between strong support.
As a progressive council was elected, and I am a progressive, I chose to focus on progressive policies. Otherwise, the list would have been much greater than 33 items. The goal is more to identify issues that could have bipartisan appeal than to be an exhaustive inventory of all policies across the political spectrum.
I chose to do a single group of policies rather than multiple groups which could then be ranked. I wanted specific policies which could identify contrasting beliefs, not vague items like “sustainability” that everyone would get behind with no real meaning.
When the survey was first posted the survey had a “Not Important” checkbox to remove an item from the ranking. After 6 responses, based on feedback, I decided to change this to an “Opposed” checkbox which I thought provided better contrast to a low-ranked priority.
The priority sorting feature that SurveyMonkey provides is not good at sorting large lists. It’s difficult on a computer and near impossible on a mobile device. Many critiques were received about the format of the survey. Much of this occurred on the Nextdoor Discussion Thread. Many points are valid. Some seemed very sour at having to filter a progressive-focused list. Here are most of the critiques:
“I feel the format is much too simplistic. I feel each item should have some sort of scale indicating how much a person agrees with it … something like “Very much agree, Somewhat agree, Indifferent/unsure, Somewhat opposed, Very opposed.” Then in ADDITION to that, rank each item in order of importance.”.
“I did not complete it because I found the formatting very user unfriendly.”.
“I completed the survey and commented about the survey design which I felt was awkward to use. I generally do not vote a progressive ticket and included that in my response so I wonder how it will actually be received since they have their own agenda which I mostly oppose. I also commented about the survey interface being awkward to use.”
“Can you please just mark me down as “opposed” to all of the survey questions? The survey design is unusable on a phone. Thanks.”.
“I found this survey impossible. Marked a half-dozen items I strongly oppose and a few I support. The survey told me I couldn’t escape without ranking every one of the 33 items. Some of these aren’t local issues at all–they’re national or global. Some demand discussion, not ranking. Some are ambiguous. Gave up. Quit. Please count me as uncounted. Interesting that you’ve chosen to label your majority sub-sample of the Bolder population “conservative.” And by defining your sub-samples on the basis of their political preferences for either of two slates in the recent election, haven’t you imposed an a priori framework on the analytical outcome? Where the two slates share overlapping positions, the results either skew higher (in the case of the slates’ affirmative positions) or lower (in the case of the slates’ negative positions or lack of affirmative positions); where the two slates disagree, the results tend to fall in between (for lack of agreement between both slates, either affirmatively or negatively). Doesn’t your analytical outcome lie in your imposed analytical framework? Does this survey have any statistical validity? Boulder has a city population of more than 100,000. The number of city residents participating in this off-year election was on the order of 30,000 (as indicated by vote totals cast on city ballot questions). It appears that the number of participants in this survey may be on the order of a few hundred. What are the demographics of that sample (i.e., survey participants)? How does that sample compare with city population demographics? (The survey does not ask about age, gender, home ownership, education, etc.) Is this a representative sample or is it skewed in some manner? If skewed, what are its biases?”
“You really need a better way to choose the options for priority. I’m not taking an hour to do it. Maybe just a simple “for, neutral and against”?”
“Why must it be so complicated and time consuming? Seems rigged to avoid getting anybody but the most hardcore to respond. This survey has no chance of influencing the future, at least as presently constructed.”
“Don’t attribute to malice what you can attribute to someone not knowing how to make a survey.”
“In my option having to rank 33 “options” is incredibly tedious and (as someone with past research survey experience, now retired) will skew the “results” significantly toward the Progressive Agenda (since they are the ones more likely to wade through it all). It probably would have been better to assign each option to a group and then ask responders to rank options within the groups and then rank the groups for importance.” Author’s response: I strongly considered the ranked group approach, so there would have been (development, housing, Sustainability, transportation, safety, services, other), then ranking within each of those 5/6 subgroups. I decided against that because it would not have made it very difficult to account for the non-sequential overlapping nature of different priority groups. Also, I did not want opposition of one dimension of policy to get caught up in contrasting dimensions of that policy. For some of us the lines between housing/development/sustainability are not so clear.
“Love how they say anonymous responses will be taken less seriously. Sounds pretty biased to me! Most surveys are anonymous. When you share results, please note that the methodology makes those results mere suggestions though. This does not represent Boulder residents’ priorities because it’s not a representative sample.” Presumably it was Liz who filled out the contact form: “[RedactedName] YouShouldTakeAllResponsesSeriously”. I take you seriously [RedactedName]!
“That survey is not worth sharing with CC. It has little credibility because it was so flawed in many ways.”
Preliminary Results as of 2021-11-17
133 respondents filled out the entire survey. Partial responses were not accepted.
This is not a statistically significant sample of the population of 106,392. The responses are not randomly selected from the population. The survey is most likely to be responded to by a politically active individuals on Twitter and NextDoor.
My analysis only goes so deep. I looked at the priorities of different voting blocks. I would welcome anyone to do additional analysis and submit it to me by e-mail and I will add it to this post.
Download Anonymized Excel Results Data
Where do you live?
|City of Boulder Colorado||84.21%||112|
|Boulder County, Colorado||15.04%||20|
|Denver Metro Area||0.00%||0|
|Other (please specify)||0.00%||0|
How do you feel about the Sierra Club’s Urban Infill Policy?
I asked this question to better understand the schism that has split the Boulder’s democratic party.
|It’s a betrayal of slow-growth environmentalism I believe in||25.76%||34|
|It’s key to building sustainable communities||39.39%||52|
|I don’t know about the policy||15.91%||21|
|I don’t have an opinion||6.82%||9|
|Climate change is a hoax||1.52%||2|
How did you vote in the 2021 Election?
While I did not reproduce the ballot, I wanted to under where the respndents stood politically. Here you can see the diversity of the respondants, and the divisions between the partisan extremes, as well as the independent minded folks who are representeded.
|I did not vote||3.03%||4|
|I voted but I don’t live in the City of Boulder||8.33%||11|
|I voted for all the progressive candidates: Dan Williams, Lauren Folkerts, Matt Benjamin, Nicole Speer||29.55%||39|
|I voted for some progressive candidates, but not all of them appealed to me||13.64%||18|
|I voted primarily for PLAN-Boulder endorsed candidates: Steve Rosenblum, Michael Christy, Tara Winer, Mark Wallach, Jacques Decalo||19.70%||26|
|I’d rather not say||25.76%||34|
97.74% took the time to carefully sort the list of priorities and did not leave it in random order. Here is the priority ranking of all respondants:
|Transportation: Bicycle & Pedestrian Infrastructure||24.41|
|Transportation: Buses: subsidizing. Improved accessibility, visibility & shelter at stops||23.11|
|Sustainability: Incentivising green buildings & solar||23.09|
|Sustainability: Water conservation initiatives||22.56|
|Development of mixed-use infill walkable community spaces||22.4|
|Development of Diagonal Plaza mixed-use||22|
|Housing: Occupancy limits: relaxation for unrelated people||21.74|
|Open Space: Acquisition of land for open space||21.54|
|Housing: Inclusionary Zoning to allow 2/3/4/6-plexes, ADU‚Äôs, tiny homes||21.17|
|Sustainability: Electric Vehicle (EV) incentivization||20.98|
|Development of Alpine-Balsam area with increased density & mixed-use||20.93|
|Development of Basemar mixed-use||20.56|
|Housing: Acquisition of land for public housing||20.39|
|Transportation: Single-occupancy-vehicle (SOV) alternative incentivization||20.29|
|Police reform: Improved training||20.26|
|Gun violence reduction||20.24|
|Housing: Rent-control drafting in lieu of state legalization||19.42|
|Development of more community gardens||19.03|
|Police reform: Give the police oversight board firing capabilities||18.53|
|Housing: Student development||18.01|
|Police reform: Disarm the police||17.69|
|Vacancy fees: incentivize utilization||17.43|
|Public art: Funding and reducing regulatory and zoning barriers||17.19|
|Development of CU South||17.09|
|Height limits: relaxation||16.78|
|Parking reform: reducing off-street parking minimum requirements, citywide permits||16.55|
|Native Lands Reparations/Resettlement||16.24|
|Living wage compensation for City Council, board, and commission members||15.65|
|Camping ban: repealing||15|
|Police reform: Defund the police department||13.42|
Priorities by Political Bias
There was more responses from conservative/other groups (74) than those who identified as progressive or progressive leaning(57), I created segments and looked at the priorities of these different groups.
Progressive / Progressive Leaning
|Housing: Occupancy limits: relaxation for unrelated people||23.05|
|Development of mixed-use infill walkable community spaces||22.75|
|Transportation: Bicycle & Pedestrian Infrastructure||22.63|
|Housing: Inclusionary Zoning to allow 2/3/4/6-plexes, ADU’s, tiny homes||22.35|
|Development of Alpine-Balsam area with increased density & mixed-use||22.19|
|Development of Diagonal Plaza mixed-use||21.53|
|Housing: Acquisition of land for public housing||20.46|
|Sustainability: Incentivising green buildings & solar||20.07|
|Development of Basemar mixed-use||19.85|
|Housing: Rent-control drafting in lieu of state legalization||19.79|
|Transportation: Single-occupancy-vehicle (SOV) alternative incentivization||19.51|
|Transportation: Buses: subsidizing. Improved accessibility, visibility & shelter at stops||19.3|
|Sustainability: Water conservation initiatives||19.24|
|Sustainability: Electric Vehicle (EV) incentivization||18.16|
|Police reform: Give the police oversight board firing capabilities||18.13|
|Police reform: Improved training||17.76|
|Gun violence reduction||17.32|
|Vacancy fees: incentivize utilization||17.02|
|Police reform: Disarm the police||16.89|
|Open Space: Acquisition of land for open space||16.68|
|Housing: Student development||16.31|
|Living wage compensation for City Council, board, and commission members||15.82|
|Development of CU South||15.57|
|Height limits: relaxation||15.51|
|Camping ban: repealing||15.45|
|Parking reform: reducing off-street parking minimum requirements, citywide permits||15.27|
|Public art: Funding and reducing regulatory and zoning barriers||14.93|
|Native Lands Reparations/Resettlement||14.76|
|Development of more community gardens||14.71|
|Police reform: Defund the police department||14.03|
Conservative / Other
|Transportation: Buses: subsidizing. Improved accessibility, visibility & shelter at stops||25.85|
|Transportation: Bicycle & Pedestrian Infrastructure||25.8|
|Sustainability: Incentivising green buildings & solar||25.73|
|Sustainability: Water conservation initiatives||25.17|
|Open Space: Acquisition of land for open space||25.04|
|Gun violence reduction||23.36|
|Sustainability: Electric Vehicle (EV) incentivization||23.23|
|Development of Diagonal Plaza mixed-use||22.69|
|Development of more community gardens||22.64|
|Police reform: Improved training||22.52|
|Police reform: Disarm the police||22.13|
|Development of mixed-use infill walkable community spaces||22.05|
|Development of Basemar mixed-use||21.3|
|Transportation: Single-occupancy-vehicle (SOV) alternative incentivization||21.2|
|Housing: Acquisition of land for public housing||20.46|
|Housing: Student development||20|
|Development of Alpine-Balsam area with increased density & mixed-use||19.74|
|Housing: Inclusionary Zoning to allow 2/3/4/6-plexes, ADU‚Äôs, tiny homes||19.41|
|Police reform: Give the police oversight board firing capabilities||19.25|
|Public art: Funding and reducing regulatory and zoning barriers||19.16|
|Housing: Occupancy limits: relaxation for unrelated people||19.13|
|Development of CU South||18.7|
|Housing: Rent-control drafting in lieu of state legalization||18.59|
|Height limits: relaxation||18.5|
|Parking reform: reducing off-street parking minimum requirements, citywide permits||18.11|
|Vacancy fees: incentivize utilization||18.06|
|Native Lands Reparations/Resettlement||17.79|
|Living wage compensation for City Council, board, and commission members||15.76|
|Camping ban: repealing||13.46|
|Police reform: Defund the police department||11.71|
I wanted to see what policies were favored more or less by the different political segmants. Because of the different size of the segments I corrected the progressive scores by multiplying them by 1+(74 conservatives-57 progressives)/133 respondants. Then I subtracted the conservative score from the corrected progressive score to come up with a lean metric. The positive lean was more favored by progressives, negative lean more favored by conservatives.
I plotted the policy versus the lean.
|Camping ban: repealing||15||-12.33|
|Development of Alpine-Balsam area with increased density & mixed-use||20.93||5.29|
|Development of Basemar mixed-use||20.56||1.09|
|Development of CU South||17.09||-1.14|
|Development of Diagonal Plaza mixed-use||22||1.59|
|Development of mixed-use infill walkable community spaces||22.4||3.61|
|Development of more community gardens||19.03||-6.05|
|Gun violence reduction||20.24||-3.83|
|Height limits: relaxation||16.78||-1.01|
|Housing: Acquisition of land for public housing||20.39||2.62|
|Housing: Inclusionary Zoning to allow 2/3/4/6-plexes, ADU‚Äôs, tiny homes||21.17||5.80|
|Housing: Occupancy limits: relaxation for unrelated people||21.74||6.87|
|Housing: Rent-control drafting in lieu of state legalization||19.42||3.73|
|Housing: Student development||18.01||-1.61|
|Living wage compensation for City Council, board, and commission members||15.65||2.08|
|Native Lands Reparations/Resettlement||16.24||-1.14|
|Open Space: Acquisition of land for open space||21.54||-6.23|
|Parking reform: reducing off-street parking minimum requirements, citywide permits||16.55||-0.89|
|Police reform: Defund the police department||13.42||4.11|
|Police reform: Disarm the police||17.69||-3.08|
|Police reform: Give the police oversight board firing capabilities||18.53||1.20|
|Police reform: Improved training||20.26||-2.49|
|Public art: Funding and reducing regulatory and zoning barriers||17.19||-2.32|
|Sustainability: Electric Vehicle (EV) incentivization||20.98||-2.75|
|Sustainability: Incentivising green buildings & solar||23.09||-3.09|
|Sustainability: Water conservation initiatives||22.56||-3.47|
|Transportation: Bicycle & Pedestrian Infrastructure||24.41||-0.28|
|Transportation: Buses: subsidizing. Improved accessibility, visibility & shelter at stops||23.11||-4.08|
|Transportation: Single-occupancy-vehicle (SOV) alternative incentivization||20.29||0.80|
|Vacancy fees: incentivize utilization||17.43||1.14|
I plotted the lean versus the score (sorry this is difficult to read, click here to expand)
While opposition was factored into the above scores, I thought it would be interesting to show separtely. As there are more non-progressive respondants, this disproportionately represents their oppossing viewpoint.
|Police reform: Defund the police department||67.67%|
|Police reform: Disarm the police||66.17%|
|Camping ban: repealing||63.91%|
|Height limits: relaxation||56.39%|
|Housing: Occupancy limits: relaxation for unrelated people||48.87%|
|Housing: Rent-control drafting in lieu of state legalization||42.11%|
|Police reform: Give the police oversight board firing capabilities||35.34%|
|Development of CU South||34.59%|
|Parking reform: reducing off-street parking minimum requirements, citywide permits||34.59%|
|Vacancy fees: incentivize utilization||33.08%|
|Housing: Inclusionary Zoning to allow 2/3/4/6-plexes, ADU‚Äôs, tiny homes||30.08%|
|Living wage compensation for City Council, board, and commission members||29.32%|
|Housing: Acquisition of land for public housing||28.57%|
|Native Lands Reparations/Resettlement||24.81%|
|Development of Alpine-Balsam area with increased density & mixed-use||23.31%|
|Housing: Student development||18.80%|
|Gun violence reduction||18.05%|
|Sustainability: Electric Vehicle (EV) incentivization||17.29%|
|Transportation: Single-occupancy-vehicle (SOV) alternative incentivization||17.29%|
|Public art: Funding and reducing regulatory and zoning barriers||14.29%|
|Police reform: Improved training||12.78%|
|Development of mixed-use infill walkable community spaces||12.03%|
|Development of Basemar mixed-use||12.03%|
|Sustainability: Incentivising green buildings & solar||9.77%|
|Transportation: Buses: subsidizing. Improved accessibility, visibility & shelter at stops||8.27%|
|Development of Diagonal Plaza mixed-use||8.27%|
|Open Space: Acquisition of land for open space||8.27%|
|Development of more community gardens||7.52%|
|Transportation: Bicycle & Pedestrian Infrastructure||3.76%|
|Sustainability: Water conservation initiatives||3.76%|
Comments about the survey
In answer to the question: What was missed? Anything you would like to share. Hopes, dreams, fears, uncertainty. the following responses were given:
CU needs to loose its tax exempt status and start paying property taxes on all its land. It also needs to reduce the number of students it accepts. It is not a net plus for Boulder.
The list of initiatives is hard to evaluate and clunkily worded (yes, I read through the supporting materials). Some items are too broad and many are vague. Development of CU South, for example. Does that refer to flood mitigation by the City or to objecting to anything happening there (no longer and option anyway). Inclusionary Zoning could mean many things and lumping all those together means I’m voting for all or nothing?
Official Boulder City Council call on President Biden to cancel all student loan debt. Several cities have already done this and Boulder should join them!
Hey if you have an email list or online home for your community organizing, please add me! [REDACTED]
Build where there is already development. Encourage people of all ethnicities and income levels to live here. Provide biking and walking infrastructure that discourages driving. That will contribute to a more vibrant and safe city!!
Please look into the Boulder County Tax assessors over valuation of property values and how that impacts housing costs. It’s a big problem.
Be good to get away from the political blocks, and council candidates not being so strident towards the platforms, e.g., Progressive v Plan. I support parts of both. Just because “progressives” now have a majority, doesn’t mean it’s a mandate
Water, climate change, CU Boulder and the uncontrolled growth of this campus. We need to have the discussion of water in the west, the droughts and climate and how Boulder can sustain the influx of so many people/businesses. Do we have the water? No we do not and water really needs to go to the farmers for food, rather than to out of control growing cities. Can our Sewage plant handle so many people/businesses? How can our roads sustain the traffic? How about a real discussion about travel and cars. If you are a parent with kids, you cannot always rely on a bus to get to work, what happens if your child gets sick at school? How do you get your children to the after school activities? If you are older, with bad knees, hips, eyes, you cannot take a bus to do your shopping, you cannot walk to the store and home with groceries. You cannot take a bus to the Dr. It is a bit insane to think everyone will be able to take a bus or ride a bike. “Walkability” is a bit unreal in the West, we have long streets, we do not have mixed use areas and to force them into existing neighborhoods is just an unattainable goal. Why is progressive so associated with build, build build? How does this help with climate change? climate goals? Why is getting rid of land (like CU South) which is already a wetlands a viable solution?
Please keep Boulder County property taxes down!
This was not well organized and tedious. The issues were not framed well, they were biased, so the information will likely not be as useful as it could have been.
What was missed was the progressives taking any responsibility for the toxic, unethical, and dishonest tactics and disinformation they utilized in the election which served to divide, disgrace and harm our community and themselves. Shame on the progressives, and if you think I view any of The Coalition as a trustworthy local group you are sadly misinformed.
Force CU to build more student housing so that there will be more rental housing available to locals and people working in Boulder
I support in-fill but not in currently zoned single family dwelling areas. Too many cars, trash, noise, speeding, parties.
Let’s concentrate on housing policy for the next 2 years, since nothing has been done for 4 years. Let’s also concentrate on policies that we can control.
Like much discussion of policy, the survey presents the options as binary when the best solutions most likely are not. – eg off street parking requirements – there are some streets where more on street parking will make things less safe for bikers/walkers and possibly less viable for emergency vehicles to navigate; similarly – for/against unhoused services – that is such a broad category it’s difficult to blankly support (eg I don’t support some services, I support others. I support assessing why Boulder has so many previously unhoused people coming to Boulder vs other cities where that % is much smaller, I prefer a regional approach to resources; I support providing shelter but I’m pretty sure it’s not viable to claim that the city will provide permanent supportive housing to anyone – given all of that, it’s not really clear how to answer the question). The discussion of who the city offers housing for is so much more complex – resources are of course finite – e.g. how do you choose to allocate funds for unhoused housing vs workforce housing? For “relaxing occupancy limits” – that can mean one more person than currently allowed or a free for all – support represents a wide range of opinions, just that it’s more relaxed than the current rules For development, judging a project by # of units (with the assumption of more being better) is biased towards smaller units and away from families (eg why are 40 1BR units better than 28 2BR units?) Why does the city have so many volunteer boards? We have a large paid staff who are well qualified (and deserve more respect – and I say this as someone who has disagreed vehemently with some of their recs) and almost always far more qualified than people who are on boards. Board membership seems far more political than city staff and I think the boards should in general have far less weight, not more. With the possible exception of planning board, the boards in general appear so ideologically driven and their fact gathering appears to be more about validation of pre-determined opinions than anything else. Overall, it’s incredibly unfortunate and disheartening to see the level of vitriol in so many policy discussions and the divisiveness that it’s promoting. There seems to be the notion that if you don’t walk in total lock step on all issues you are the enemy. I know it has lead to my disengagement from city politics that I was once involved with. The demonizing of people who are on NextDoor or even those who are part of Safer Boulder (I’m not engaged in either, btw) is ridiculous – I’m sure there are extreme, hateful and inappropriate comments to be found on both but I suspect there has also been a similar share of vitriol to be found amongst people on twitter who are involved in the progressive agendas. The commentary of a few people within a group or forum really doesn’t speak for all members of the groups. Regardless of outcomes on specific policies, I believe the approaches currently being taken will lead to a less cohesive, less supportive and collaborative community. I respect differences of opinion and genuinely value intelligent discussions of multiple approaches to the challenges that we are all aware of (particularly when backed by unbiased research) but I think we will be a lesser community if groups continue down the path of demonizing everyone who holds a different opinion on virtually any issue.
Progressives have turned San Francisco, Seattle and Portland into sewers and want to do the same to Boulder.
In order to address the jobs/housing issue and increase quality of life in the region, the completion of the Denver – Longmont commuter rail project running through Boulder should be prioritized, utilizing private financing if necessary.
The devil is in the details
I want to see more housing for low-income people like my own children and friends who work service jobs. As an aging resident who uses a cane I’m finding parking restrictions make it hard to shop in Boulder. I often drive farther, to Longmont, Louisville, or Lyons just so I can park close to stores. That defeats the purpose, right? It also reduced sales tax income. I am concerned about the increased crime which I believe is linked to homeless people addicted to meth. While I feel compassion for all addicts I don’t think we should roll out the welcome mat at the expense of services for permanent residents—especially the working poor.
Work with CU to convince them to cap enrollment. Please!
House the homeless! Many studies have shown paying rent for homeless folks is cheaper than the variety of services cities provide
CU needs to loose its tax exempt status and start paying property taxes on all its land. It also needs to reduce the number of students it accepts. It is not a net plus for Boulder.
A survey like this only gives partial insight and sometimes the answers may seem contradictory. I’m for police reform, but against defunding the police, I’m for aid and services for the unhoused but do not approve of turning over our parks and public spaces by allowing unregulated camping. This kind of survey wants black and white. The world is gray…
This new council needs to spend their political capital and get some stuff done.
Denver is a far better location for high density and height of buildings. The infrastructure is well suited. Boulder by its history is not and we should accept that there is a natural population max. Many would say we are beyond this point.
Do not develop CU south- Restore the wetland for real flood mitigation, wildlife habitat corridor, green belt around the City of Boulder will prevent sprawl. Boulder progressives are not progressive but the complete opposite.
Declining public safety and declining quality of life in Boulder
Smart growth. Not growth at any cost. Train to Denver.
This is an incredibly biased survey, in terms of both language and overall design. Hopes and dreams include addressing the income gap (Gini coefficient), making sure we aren’t leveraging progressive policies for harm (penalizing people in the name of the environment -rich can live in mansions and drive to Whole Foods in Teslas, but low-income folks have a time/means tax and need to take public transport to multiple locations from their small/shared space). Assuring that we can celebrate our differences without so much vitriol, and that we can learn from each other is a good start. I am concerned about public safety – a person experiencing homelessness uses my patio and steals my electricity. Walking home in the dark is not safe – I have had to call several times for welfare checks of people clearly in crisis from substances. I would like to see more intersections between treatment and policing.
I would like to see in Boulder: – A legal campsite – More bathrooms around the city and along the creek – A day shelter – Affordable drug treatment and counseling. – creative approaches to incorporate people into our society. EVERYBODY is important.
Get government out of our lives
Thank you for giving us an opportunity to express our concerns. We believe it is imperative for the city of Boulder to hire 30+ more police. Boulder needs to be safe for all people. Do you want Boulder to become another NYC, LA, Portland or worse? We don’t! Pls support: No tolerance for riots, looting, public waste, vandalism, or other crimes. And most importantly: please support: NO Vaccine Passports, NO vaccine mandates, NO mask mandates, NO lockdowns. The governments have no right to force any substance into our bodies, nor right to restrict our breathing, economies, or socialization. BTW the covid vaccines do not prevent transmission or infection they only reduce symptoms. So why require passports for public safety? so big pharma can get wealthier! And Americans will get dumber from vaccine side effects.
Help more people live here. Reduce pollution.
There are 35,000 boulder County residents who are hungry. Only 600 homeless. Priorities?
I would certainly like to see a much greater emphasis on education to change people’s minds, rather than force and coercion. A small example are the thickets of posts appearing in neighborhood streets. They are ugly, and I can’t see why they would reduce traffic speed. The posts that “protect” on-street bike lanes are unnecessary clutter. Often, speed bumps force drivers to slow below the posted limit. Let’s emphasize gentle education, e.g., radar signs telling you your speed and reminding you to slow down, rather than crude, ugly force.
Boulder as we knew it in the 60’s 70’s and 80’s is gone. Those who promote open camping, oppressing dissention to their opinion (Oppose discourse), not focused on improving our public school basics, are sour on capitalism, snd hate law enforcement, are hypocrites and need to find another place to live that meets their expectations.
People who work in Boulder can’t afford to live here.
Second home tax; some of the policies were a bit confusing– eg “defund the police” wasn’t defined: I’m not in favor of doing that just because but would be in favor of some budget reallocation for things that are done by the police today to be done by more specialized groups. Same for “relax height limit” — I support making it easier to build to 55ft but not above in most cases
I am in favor of income qualifying, deed restricted housing that actually serves Boulder employed people- for rent or for sale housing. I am not in favor of market rate housing solutions b/c they do not work in the long term as there is and has been for many years- too many real estate investors across all the housing types. CU needs to build more student and employee housing and mandate that CU people live in these units. CU should not be allowed to enroll or hire without housing responsibilities. We do not need to cram this city to its brink to serve every single person that wants to be here.
Boulder progressives talk a good game about climate change & environmentalism, but they’re totally silent about the commuter rail that was voted for and paid for by residents and is not in place. I seriously wish you would put more effort into fighting to get the commuter rail in place before being distracted by other issues. Here’s my imitation of Boulder progressives: “We need to do something to fight climate change, mitigate pollution, reduce carbon, reduce emissions, reduce traffic congestion. Oh, we already voted for funding a commuter rai…… squirrel!!”
I worry that this town is going to expand too rapidly and become large if we don’t slow things down. We don’t have to be big enough for everyone who wants to live here, but we need to keep this a great place to live for those fortunate enough to call this place home.
I don’t see safety anywhere on this list. This is my families number one issue. We now drive to Longmont instead of using the Boulder library due to the transient population verbally attacking my children. I rarely bike anywhere in Boulder for errands anymore due to bike theft and instead drive. My elderly parents do not feel safe downtown anymore and we will drive all the way to Loveland for certain activities. THIS IS NOT INCLUSIVE or environmentally friendly. How do we get courts to involuntarily hold the violent drug population instead of releasing them?
Boulder is in a unique position to encourage development of smaller and tiny dwelling spaces that will always be marketable in a university community and will allow young people to break into the local housing market.
The word progressive doesn’t mean anything. Stop with the manipulative behaviors. Speak for yourselves as individuals. Everyone has to row in this boat. The near desert environment of Boulder can only support so many people, get over the utopian view of cramming more people into this space. Manipulative language has been laid bare: racist, privilege, fear, justice, reperarations,etc. Humans, all 7 billion, are individual, judged by their actions. Mother Nature will dismiss us when she sees fit. More density equals environment destruction and Conflicts with the animal kingdom which has equal rights to humans . Science.
This was a disaster of a survey
I don’t think increasing density is the answer to any of Boulder’s problems.
Increased investment in k-12 education, programs, activities, and facilities.
I believe the format of this survey is highly flawed. It is NOT inclusive, the design favors people who agree with the proposed initiatives. In order for this survey to adequately represent the views of all Boulder residents, this survey should be scrapped and redesigned with a more INCLUSIVE format. Case in point, the initiatives on this list that I care MOST about, are initiatives to which I find myself very opposed – HOWEVER – it appears to be impossible to rank opposed initiatives in this survey. So I will summarize in this box the initiatives I personally care most about: (1) ENFORCE the camping ban (and the ban on tents/propane tanks) (2) DO NOT disarm the police (3) ADEQUATELY FUND the police, in pursuit of (1) above (4) MAINTAIN existing building height limits (5) DO NOT implement local rent controls (6) MAINTAIN OCCUPANCY LIMITS (7) DO NOT expend resources on electric vehicle incentives, Boulder citizens are on the EV bandwagon already, no need to incentivize further (8) DO NOT further incentivize solar/green building – Boulder residents are already very green (9) DO NOT expend resources on municipal broadband (10) DO NOT expend resources to to expand library services (11) DO NOT expend resources on native american reparations, etc
The city of Boulder needs to join in a clear resolution for improved Medicare for all. How we pay for health care is a main driver of racial and economic inequity and homelessness.
Water is the #1 issue to my mind. I see so much wasteful use of water everywhere. We can’t keep using it like it’s a never-ending resource. It’s not!
More attention to tenant’s rights, mandatory inclusionary housing, allow sleeping in vehicles, safe spaces for unhoused with facilities.
Extremely disappointed that anyone is in favor of defunding the police or not enforcing the camping ban. Enforcement of laws and funding of prisons should be priority 1,2, and 3. Everything else is fluff.
TIred of supply side focus. Tired of people moving here in last 15 years, complaining, and trying to change things. Focus on reducing demand-> CU enrollment cap, disincentivize business, ban airbnb, no more google/ apple growth, business must pay their way to set up here, Colorado Economic development council needs to stop giving tax breaks for business to move here, investors needs to pay 2x the taxes for non primary residence
Would love to see some alternative housing for people that have to work in boulder. expensive housing makes people drive farther to work and ups their carbon footprint simply because they can’t afford to live close to their jobs.
Manufactured Housing – Home Owner Protections. Small business protection- Commercial Rent increases pushing out small business.
The goal should sustainablity NOT growth.
Please crack down on methamphetamine use. In the streets, in multifamily housing, anywhere. thank you
Your voting question 5. needs to be more nuanced. The choices you offered were too few.Your question 2 would be easier to respond to if you separated “infill” development from “new” development. Ruining existing neighborhoods is not acceptable; changing development and zoning standards for new development sites makes sense.
Train to denver
As a cyclist dad biking kids to and from school daily, I see a lot of addicted P2P meth users and very unstable people in underpasses: we became very skilled in avoiding vomit, poop, needles, loose dogs and confrontation with addicts: help them, really help them instead of what is done right now: clearly the leftist approach isn’t working: I lived in San Francisco and couldn’t agree more with San Fransicko, book by Michael Schellenberger about how leftist thinking really distorted and destroyed SF for families and children. Boulder is going that direction when these leftist creeps get their way: lots of families will no longer feel safe & happy in Boulder, resulting in entrepreneurs, families with young kids, corporate tax dollars (who fund among others BVSD) leaving Boulder. Especially the person with the shaved head is creeping me out, so delusional: anti common sense, anti safety, anti family and children, it’s scary. Dystopian scenario for Boulder isn’t so far fetched..I lived it, it’s horrible
We cannot accommodate everyone who wants to live here, though I think affordable housing is important. We can’t create “communes” for everyone. I can’t live in Beverly Hills either. The reality is this is a highly desirable place with related costs. Would like to see some incentives (a tax on employers who don’t provide bus passes?) for the 60,000 people who commute in to Boulder each day. Other incentives for those people to use the bus?
Frustrations around how the city prioritizes projects and spending / Ongoing lack of plowing in my neighborhood /
Be careful about taking from people who may seem to have a lot because they have a modest size house but who really don’t because those houses are mortgaged. Also, don’t destroy the city because much of what is proposed here demonstrates you don’t actually like Boulder, you just like the open spaces and bike trails. Maybe ask out Seattle
We need to figure out how to balance the cost of items with the burden on those with fixed incomes.
This is not a well-designed survey. The issues are pertinent but the user interface is awkward and difficult.
I’m located in the County, just barely, so unfortunately didn’t have the opportunity to vote on the many issues that effect myself, my family, and my children. I think that many of these issues are painted in black and white, either/or scenarios that further divisiveness and surveys like this don’t get to the details of what people really mean or want. For instance, I would not have voted for BAFP, however that doesn’t mean I wasn’t for what it’s principal stood for. It was just loosely written and poorly conceived. Similarly, I am for smart infill and development and relaxing the building height, but on a limited bases in areas it makes sense. Otherwise we end up with nothing but a lot of 4 story block buildings that all look similar and detract from the beauty of the city and don’t integrate well into the overall design of the city as a whole (see East Pearl st.). Real thought out legislation and comprehensive cohesive planning is needed, not pass it and fix it later changes, or build everything or nothing attitudes. I also think the issues of our building regulations (costs, fees, and bottlenecks), incentivizing of smaller low cost housing vs mega homes, as well as safety and environmental stewardship need to be addressed. It’s difficult and expensive to build in Boulder and that needs to change in order to address lower cost and smaller housing options. And putting more and more money into parks, libraries, open space, etc. is futile if were going to let people destroy them and the environment instead of guiding them to and helping them take advantage of the many services Boulder provides.
You seem to divide the world into progressives and plan-boulders. I was looking for candidates who were not representing either, as I disagree with both. Thus my answer to 5 is the closest I could find but does not represent what I did. To me Mark Wallach is public enemy #1, but so is Sierra Club at this point.
I am very excited to see all the possible changes that new leadership could bring. I picked the mixed-use infill as my top priority because I believe that the utilization of the spaces that are close to transportation and workplaces will be the most beneficial in creating equity for folks who are currently driving long distances to serve us. Eliminating exclusionary zoning is my next priority. Let’s start fighting climate change by battling the urban sprawl that our leaders have fostered over the last 40 years.
Yes, a very important policy option for myself should have been: Mandate CU create more housing for their students. Every student should have a guaranteed bed through their efforts, which will dictate the rate of attendance. Whether they be CU built/owned dormitories and/or a mix of subsidized private rentals (with a percentage cap of CU owned versus Subsidized). Several of the Priority policies focus on housing, and how to free up bedrooms for people. If just the sophomore class was moved to CU housing then it would: A) Decrease the environmental impact of surrounding neighborhoods, B) decrease the cost/need of Public Resources in surrounding neighborhoods, C) free up THOUSANDS of bedrooms for non students, D) it would require CU to balance their enrollment and housing. Also, they have the funding to do so with over a Billion dollars in investment assets, and a near endless supply of donors. This would free up money for Boulder to spend on other services, unhoused, Open Space, Transportation, ETC.
Just what will happen to Boulder when in the near future law abiding Boulder residents paying a large portion of taxes which fund many of these programs do a mass exit?
Development of the southwest corner of Table Mesa & Broadway. The building that housed the gas station, vet office, Subway has been vacant for years and is an eyesore.
Programs for seniors and family. As a senior native Boulderite, this wishlist seems very one sided towards the younger population.
There wasn’t a way to say I may be in favor of this, but don’t believe this will work or won’t work specifically at the city wide level – adding an option for that would help.
Try to be nicer.
I’m not looking forward to the raft of criticism of the council that’s coming when they fail to Green Lantern everyone’s pet priority into existence.
Reducing lot-size minimums Streamlined approvals for affordable housing Make it easy to add housing in industrial zone districts Identify city-owned properties suitable for housing Expedite updates to the Design and Construction Standards and Signal Operation Policies and on and on…
It was hard to sort the list exactly to my satisfaction because it contains so many important proposals. In short, though, I’m in favour of stronger measures to curtail the police (disarm and defund; training isn’t sufficient) and for real changes to infrastructure (including who can live in existing infrastructure; we need to repeal occupancy limits) rather than individualised incentives to change behaviour.
Each item will require significant work to refine acceptable policies that are effective in creating positives change.
- Development of mixed-use infill walkable community spaces
- Development of Alpine-Balsam area with increased density & mixed-use
- Development of Diagonal Plaza mixed-use
- Development of Basemar mixed-use
- Development of CU South
- Development of more community gardens
- Vacancy fees: incentivize utilization
- Height limits: relaxation
- Housing: Occupancy limits: relaxation for unrelated people
- Housing: Inclusionary Zoning to allow 2/3/4/6-plexes, ADU’s, tiny homes
- Housing: Student development
- Housing: Acquisition of land for public housing
- Housing: Rent-control drafting in lieu of state legalization
- Native Lands Reparations/Resettlement
- Transportation: Bicycle & Pedestrian Infrastructure
- Transportation: Buses: subsidizing. Improved accessibility, visibility & shelter at stops
- Transportation: Single-occupancy-vehicle (SOV) alternative incentivization
- Parking reform: reducing off-street parking minimum requirements, citywide permits
- Police reform: Improved training
- Police reform: Defund the police department
- Police reform: Give the police oversight board firing capabilities
- Police reform: Disarm the police
- Gun violence reduction
- Unhoused services
- Library services
- Camping ban: repealing
- Municipal broadband
- Sustainability: Electric Vehicle (EV) incentivization
- Sustainability: Incentivising green buildings & solar
- Sustainability: Water conservation initiatives
- Open Space: Acquisition of land for open space
- Living wage compensation for City Council, board, and commission members
- Public art: Funding and reducing regulatory and zoning barriers
Walkable community spaces. Creating policies the evolution of these spaces across the city, not limited to the specific areas mentioned below.
Increased density & mixed-use. Creation of an area plan.
- Apline Balsam Implementation
- DP 2019-08-31 B oulder bails on Alpine-Balsam area land use, focuses on city-owned hospital site
- BizWest 2021-10-13 Boulder officials approve agreement with BHP for Alpine-Balsam residential development
- DC 2021-10-04 Diagonal Plaza special ordinance for redevelopment to be introduced
- After decade of decline, (partial) plans for Boulder’s Diagonal Plaza
Oversight of the annexation process.
Vacancy fees: incentivize utilization
- CPR News 2020-01-13 Many Colorado Resort Homes Sit Empty. So Why Not Tax ‘Em For Affordable Housing?
- Australian Government Vacancy fee for foreign owners
Height limits: relaxation
Boulder’s charter restricts building height to 55 feet, except for buildings in the Twenty Ninth Street area. The city’s zoning ordinance further restricts building height to 35 feet in most of Boulder, to 38 feet downtown, and to 40 feet in industrial areas.
- DC 2019-10-16 oulder council sets higher affordable housing requirements for building height exemptions
- DC 2020-04-17 Boulder leaders theorize coronavirus could influence trading extra building height for affordability
- PLAN-Boulder Height Limit in Boulder Colorado
Relaxation for unrelated people
Updating zoning land use to allow duplexes, tripex, 4/6-plexes under certain circumstances. Decreasing saturation limits for ADU’s.Allowing tiny homes and cottage clusters. Reduce floor-area ratio limits, setbacks, open space requirements
- NYT 2016-07-04 How Anti-Growth Sentiment, Reflected in Zoning Laws, Thwarts Equality
- Dom Nozzi 2020-03-10 Priorities for the Boulder Colorado City Council in 2020
- This would include relaxation of “Neighborhood compatibility” rules established in 2009 which limit building form with a 45 degree limit starting at a 12 lot line height. Otherwise plexes may not be possible. The :”bulk plane” prevents re-creating Boulder’s most historic and beloved neighborhoods. Seattle has seen that “legalizing” plexes without fixing the tangled mess of on-site restrictions does not accomplish nearly as much.
- Municipal code 9-8-2 Floor Area Ratio Requirements
- SightLine 2020-08-11 Portland Just Passed the Best Low-density Zoning Reform in Us History
Expanding student housing would take the pressure off neighborhoods that currently accommodate large numbers of students.
- DC 2021-02-01 New student housing project proposed near CU Boulder campus (Best Western)
- Suggestions that Williams Village could be expanded
Acquisition of land for public housing
- BB 2019-12-07 With baseline study, Boulder leaves door open to service, boundary expansion in 2025 (some would rather see housing here)
Drafting measures in lieu of state legalization. Work towards addressing the concerns of those who were opposed to increasing occupancy limits, without seriously harming motivation to increase affordable housing development.
- Henry Koren 2021-11-02 Boulder’s Forty Year Quest Towards Rent Control
- CU Law 2021-02-01 Let Cities Decide: End Colorado’s Prohibition on Rent Regulation
- 5280 2021-04-16 What Would Rent Control Mean for Colorado?
Native Lands Reparations/Resettlement
Begin a return of lands and diversion of revenue to native people, organizations and governments. Investment in the preservation of native culture and languages and in repairing the tragic heritage of settler colonization of the Boulder Valley.
Bicycle & Pedestrian Infrastructure
Subsidizing fares. Improved accessibility, visibility, shelter and safety at bus stops
Single-occupancy-vehicle (SOV) alternative incentivization
Removing barriers to alternatives.
- CBS Denver 2021-04-29 Future Denver Developers Must Promote Alternatives To Driving
- DC 2021-07-21 Colorado to taper back rules meant to reduce vehicle travel
- 2014-05-12 Housing Choice Survey and Analysis
Citywide permits. Conversion of off-street minimum parking requirements to maximum allowable parking
Police reform: Improved training
Police reform: Defund the police department
- 2021-04-29 Boulder City Council gives initial OK for $2.7M to clear homeless encampments and hire more ‘eyes on the ground’
Police reform: Give the police oversight board firing capabilities
Police reform: Disarm the police
Gun violence reduction
- TheDenverChannel 2021-11-04 Rep. Neguse announces gun violence prevention legislation in wake of Boulder mass shooting
Request for proposal: What can be done on the local level besides the already blocked assault weapons ban?
Sustainability: Electric Vehicle (EV) incentivization
Sustainability: Incentivising green buildings & solar
Sustainability: Water conservation initiatives
- Reducing Water Usage in Boulder
- Stopping overwatering
Open Space: Acquisition of land for open space
- Open Space Land Acquisition Program
- DC 2018-02-02 As land acquisition era slows, what’s the future of Boulder’s open space program?
Camping ban: repealing
- BB 2021-07-22 Boulder bans tents on all city land, allowing immediate removal
- Boulder camping ban ordinance
If Longmont can do it, why can’t we? Should include subsidies with income qualification.
- City of Boulder Community Broadband Connectivity
- GigaOm 2014-06-13 Boulder lost out on Google Fiber because of Colorado’s anti-municipal broadband laws