City Councilman Sam Weaver’s argument that Boulder needs a new “Comprehensive Development Strategy” failed on a 5-4 vote. Weaver had initially argued the City needed a building moratorium but realized that would not have enough votes to pass before the Council meeting. Unfortunately for him, his back up plan didn’t work well either.
The majority of City Council members said instead of a new development strategy, they wanted to look at existing regulations. For example, they wonder if current site review criteria are producing enough “community benefit” for concessions made by the City regarding the height and density of new projects. Mary Young, Suzanne Jones and Lisa Morzel voted in favor of Weaver’s new development plan while Mayor Matt Appelbaum and Council members George Karakehian, Andrew Shoemaker, Tim Plass and Macon Cowles voted no.
The business community and advocates for denser development applauded the decision to withdraw the moratorium and said there was no reason to start a separate planning process since the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan update will begin next month. The Council directed staff to review the City’s policies and suggest revisions that would incorporate “community benefit” to approval of new development and generate better design. They said the strategy would help inform the 2015 update to the Comp Plan, a process that kicks off with a study session Oct. 14.