Boulder: Council Approves Building Permit Moratorium for the Hill

The City Council held an emergency meeting to adopt a moratorium on new development on University Hill. The moratorium is in effect through 8 a.m. Aug. 20. The City Council plans to discuss a longer moratorium at its Aug. 19 meeting. The moratorium applies in the commercial district that runs roughly from University Avenue to College Avenue, from Broadway west to 13th Street.

Although student housing seems like a perfect fit for the Hill, given its proximity to the University of Colorado, the Council wants to encourage other land uses and wants time to consider an innovation district or some other means of attracting non student-related businesses to the area. The Council is also preparing to put a short-term 0.3 percent sales tax on the November ballot that includes $3 million for lighting, tree-planting, irrigation and an “event street” on University Hill.

Observers say that the Council may be trying to placate homeowners on the Hill, who have long complained about the impact of students in their neighborhood.
Councilman Macon Cowles said, “It (student housing) might be the most profitable use of the property, but it may not represent the highest and best use as far as the city of Boulder is concerned.”

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