BoCo, briefly: March 20, 2024

Local news at a glance


County composting facility, take two

Boulder County is starting another process that may lead to a local composting facility after a first attempt was stymied by resident opposition over the originally proposed location. 

A news release last week said the county “is exploring the potential for a compost facility,” including identifying “suitable sites,” analyzing the market demand for compost, assessing potential climate benefits and evaluating “financial viability and operational aspects” of a composting facility. 

The “new chapter for Boulder County’s compost facility effort,” as commissioner Ashley Stolzmann said in the release, includes development of a community engagement plan.  Residents can sign up for email alerts on the project website; no public meetings have been scheduled.

Boulder County first tried to locate a composting facility near Highway 287 and Lookout Road at the former Rainbow Tree Nursery. That plan was abandoned amid significant pushback from the community, including a lawsuit from a group calling themselves Protect Rainbow Open Space.

The composting facility website notes that “Boulder County is not exploring” parks or open space property as possible locations.

Shelter hit capacity during storm

Four people were turned away from Boulder Shelter for the Homeless (BSH) during Thursday’s snow storm, according to a BSH spokesperson, and 18 were denied shelter due to capacity issues on Friday. Six more individuals were turned away Saturday and Sunday, Andy Schultheiss said.

BSH, the city’s largest and only general-population emergency shelter, reached its expanded capacity of 180 people during Thursday’s critical weather event. Shelter officials believe the organization served “a record number” of people through various channels: 180 in shelter, 16 in hotels and 181 in supportive housing.

It’s “an unfortunate record,” Schultheiss said. “The numbers just keep going up, so it’s time to take stock right now.” He added that Friday’s 18 turnaways did not seem to be part of this trend: “It right now looks like an anomalous occurrence” with “no obvious explanation,” he wrote in a followup email to Boulder Weekly.

The shelter turned away 11% more people last year than in 2022, according to a year-end report, on top of a 57% increase from the previous winter. The City of Boulder tracks shelter capacity online; the most recent data is for mid-November.

Some 20.5 inches of snow fell in parts of Boulder from Thursday to Friday, according to the National Weather Service. The City of Boulder and Boulder County did not open an emergency overflow shelter as it did during January’s cold snap, when temps dropped below zero.

No deaths or injuries among the homeless have been reported from the recent storm, and Schultheiss said the Shelter was not aware of any.

Day of Remembrance

This week marks three years since 10 people were killed in a mass shooting at King Soopers in South Boulder. The City of Boulder and local partners will host a Day of Remembrance event at 5 p.m. Friday, March 22 at eTown Hall, 1535 Spruce St. 

Register to attend in person: Watch the livestream:

Community members experiencing trauma related to the shooting can visit the Boulder Strong Resource Center at 2935 Baseline Road. The center is staffed with professionals from Mental Health Partners.

In other news…

  • Plans for a tennis complex near Gunbarrel have been paused amid neighborhood pushback, KGNU reports. Rocky Mountain Tennis Center pulled their application to better address unspecified “concerns” from Boulder County about their selected site near 79th Street. 
  • Erie is gathering input on proposed council districts for future elections. Once Erie becomes a home rule city, two councilors will be elected from three districts, while the mayor will be elected at large. View two options for district boundaries and provide feedback through March 29:

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with additional information from Boulder Shelter about individuals turned away on Friday night.


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