Seth over at Foundry Group just posted their first ever political endorsement against two seemingly harmless but super dangerous ballot initiatives.
In the coming days, Boulder residents will be asked to vote on the following:
#300 – Neighborhood Right to Vote on Land Use Regulation
#301 – New Development Shall Pay Its Own Way
These initiatives must be voted down.
While innocuous sounding, the names of these initiatives completely misrepresent their intent and the dire consequences that would result if they are enacted. The truth is thatneighborhoods already do have a say in projects that affect them, and developersalready do pay some of the highest fees and taxes in the country.
Effectively, these proposals will create 60+ neighborhoods in Boulder. Can you imagine what would happen if we had that many homeowner associations that had the power to hold special elections and veto land use changes approved by city council? The smallest of those neighborhoods would be comprised of just 19 houses. That’s not “local control” (which already exists), that’s a deliberate attempt to create gridlock.
These initiatives will immediately freeze important infill development, including affordable housing, transit-oriented development, neighborhood serving retail, social service centers, and day care centers.
Ask residents of virtually any urban or suburban neighborhood anywhere whether they want their neighborhood to get more crowded and a large majority will say no. Who wants more traffic, more people in line at the hot local restaurant, more crowded green spaces?
So, fine, you might be inclined to say. Shut the door.
Yes, these ballot issues have catchy names and they sound interesting and a little edgy. We pride ourselves in being innovative and creative in Boulder. But we have seen the disadvantages and the significant costs of adopting initiatives that we don’t really understand, that are not clear, and end up costing us a ton of money to figure out later. This is a bad way to develop public policy, and it is a bad way to run a city government!!!
The real danger is falling in love with the titles and not realizing the immense amount of harm they could create.
We live in a beautiful place, shutting the door is a horrible attitude to have to the future.