Gov’t watch: June 19, 2024

What your local officials are up to this week

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A cyclist uses the on-street bike lane along Iris Avenue in Boulder. Credit: Richard Kiefer

Boulder City Council

At its June 27 study session council will: 

  • Hear an update and discuss an ongoing study on a 500-acre area on the north side of Boulder known as the  Area III Planning Reserve, where the city has the option to expand urban services such as public water, sewer, multimodal transit and police. 
  • Hear an update and discuss the Iris Avenue improvement project, where half the city’s fatal and serious injury crashes occur “despite comprising only a small portion — just 7% — of city streets,” according to a city memo. The project began in 2023, soliciting community feedback and developing four design proposals. The designs include changes like widened roadways, protected bike lanes and centered turn lanes. After an in-depth evaluation of each design, the recommended plan will be shared with the community in July for feedback. 

Council’s summer recess is June 28 through July 18. There will not be a meeting on July 11. 

Boulder County commissioners

During the week of June 24, the commissioners will: 

  • Hold a regular business meeting, hear an update from Boulder County Housing Authority (BCHA) and hold a public hearing with BCHA on June 25 at 9:30 a.m. BCHA builds, maintains and manages affordable housing in the county outside of Boulder and Longmont city limits, including Louisville, Lafayette, Superior, Nederland and Erie. BCHA has 61 properties with a total of more than 900 units and provides services to more than 3,000 residents, according to its 2023 annual report. 
  • Hold a June 25 public hearing and make a decision on improvements to the South Mesa Trailhead, located in unincorporated Boulder County south of the City of Boulder. The renovations aim to increase access for multimodal transit, improve visitor safety and experience, and fix erosion issues, according to the use review application. Changes include adding 17 new parking spaces, a new double-vault toilet and pedestrian paths south and west of the access road. The hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m.
  • Hold a public hearing and make a decision June 27 at 9 a.m. on changes to the land use code that would eliminate occupancy limits based on familial status. Until now, the code has prohibited more than three unrelated people living together. 

    The change, which has already been recommended by the planning commission, comes after Gov. Jared Polis signed the HOME Act in April, which prohibits local governments from having family status-based occupancy limits and goes into effect July 1. 

    The HOME Act still allows health- and safety-related limits, and the proposed changes for the code cap the number of people in a dwelling unit at 16. Each bedroom must be at least 70 square feet for one person, with an additional 50 square feet for every additional occupant of that room. 

Longmont City Council 

City council will host a Coffee with Council event 9-10 a.m. on June 29 at Hearthstone at Hover Crossing, 1762 Cook Court. The monthly event is a chance to talk informally with at least two council members about “any topic of your choice.” Mayor Joan Peck and Council Member Aren Rodriguez will be onsite at June’s event. 

Lafayette City Council

On June 18, council:

  • Gave preliminary approval to an ordinance exempting menstruation products, incontinence products and diapers from the city’s sales and use tax beginning in January 2025. City staff estimate an annual sales tax loss of $40,000 but say it’s possible that product sales could increase due to the lack of a Dignity Tax exemption in neighboring jurisdictions. A state-level exemption took effect in January 2023; Boulder, Denver and Aurora passed their own exemptions later that same year. A formal outreach to local businesses is planned.
  • Responded to a signed petition from Lafayette police officers requesting that the city engage in collective bargaining. Collective bargaining determines conditions of employment such as wages, hours and fringe benefits. In 2015, voters approved collective bargaining with Lafayette firefighters. Council instructed staff to draft ballot language asking the voters to approve collective bargaining for the city’s police officers.

All agendas are subject to change.

Karen Norback contributed to this reporting.

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