The Boulder City Council gave initial approval to an ordinance that will restrict residential development on the Hill by making housing a conditional use in the commercial district. If the ordinance passes second reading, which it undoubtedly will, then residential development will only be allowed if it is deed-restricted affordable housing for people who work in Boulder or senior housing.
The ordinance is a reaction the popularity of high-end student housing developments on the Hill. The City wants office uses and other businesses that attract adults to University Hill. In current market conditions, high-end student housing is the most profitable land use and a study found that office space would not be profitable. The City hopes that zoning changes help change those market conditions. Note: This strategy flies in the face of common sense. Will it work? Time will tell.