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Curb Home Size Anyway


It looks like we spoke too soon. Just a few days ago, we predicted the Boulder Planning Board would recommend to city council to push forward with a temporary ordinance to limit the size of homes.

Guess they never say foresight is 20/20 for a reason.

City leaders want to work on permanently restricting home sizes to curb the building of houses that don’t fit in with the existing character of some of the city’s great neighborhoods. The temporary ordinance was proposed to stop developers from rushing to the permit office to beat any long-term restrictions.

But in a meeting that stretched into early this morning Friday, the board voted 5-2 against such a recommendation and urged city council to drop the idea altogether.

Figuring the city will snub their recommendation, the panel of experts sent a formula to council that can be used to set restrictions on home size based on the size of the lot. They figured if they were to be ignored, at least the city could have some way to figure a limit based on expert opinion.

Let’s hope the city does snub its board. Because regardless if you agree about curbing mini-mansions inside city limits, without an interim restriction, developers will flood the market, trying to build the biggest homes possible before any permanent deadline is imposes.

According to an article in the Daily Camera, the city already has seen a spike in the number of building permits in January, when 66 would-be developers — a huge increase from 29 applications received during the same period a year ago—rushed to get city approval.

That should be stopped while elected officials, developers, residents and many other NIMBY Boulderites fight this out in public meetings.

City council will take up the issue April 15.

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