Boulder City Council schedules emergency vote to limit large houses

Boulder City Council scheduled a Tuesday emergency vote on a measure that will either temporarily outlaw large homes or make them more expensive to build. / Photo by Jeremy Papasso / Boulder News

 

Business, real estate communities criticize lack of transparency, engagement

By Shay Castle | Boulder News

Boulder’s move to limit the spread of McMansions is speeding up, as City Council scheduled an emergency vote on a measure that will either temporarily outlaw large homes or make them more expensive to build.

At a Monday-morning agenda meeting, council members added a public hearing to the next day’s meeting, at the request of councilwoman Lisa Morzel. Up for consideration is an ordinance that would temporarily stop the city’s processing of permits for homes larger than 3,500 square feet on lots 10,000 square feet or larger.

Those particular numbers were chosen because of a 2016 report from the Daily Camera that highlighted the proliferation of big, new houses in Boulder’s many low-density neighborhoods: Two-thirds of all houses built since 2010 were 3,500 square feet or more, the Camera found.

Council has expressed a concern that bigger houses are replacing smaller, more affordable homes. In a study session last month, members discussed ways to promote the building of humbler abodes, such as by allowing the subdivision of lots and waiving of some density requirements in exchange for affordability. Staff was directed to explore options and gather data before bringing recommendations back to council.

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