Now you know: April 27, 2023

This week’s news in Boulder County and beyond

Photo Credit: Courtesy Boulder Valley Velodrome/OnSight Public Affairs

Motion for partial judgment in lawsuit against Boulder’s blanket ban

The ACLU and other plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the City of Boulder over its camping ban have asked for a partial judgment in the case, which could stop the city from enforcing its camping ban. 

In a motion filed on April 21, the ACLU said the city had admitted to enough “key factual allegations” to support the lawsuit’s claim that the camping ban violates the state Constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. The so-called “Blanket Ban” forbids living or sleeping outside while using “any cover or protection from the elements other than clothing.” 

In an email to Boulder Weekly, ACLU staff attorney Annie Kurtz wrote that because the city admitted to not having adequate sheltering options and that the Boulder Police Department enforces the ordinance “without regard to whether [unhoused people] have any option for indoor shelter,” the ordinance violates the Colorado constitution. 

The city has denied that enforcement of the camping ban violates state law. 

Kurtz said other deadlines in the lawsuit will be pushed back until Boulder County District Court judge Robert R. Gunning rules on the motion for partial judgment. 

Plan made to restore Boulder Valley Velodrome 

After sitting dormant for nearly three years, a new investor plans to bring the Boulder Valley Velodrome back to life. 

BVV Holdings agreed to purchase the 250-meter wooden track on the outskirts of Erie (601 Bonnell Ave.), with nonprofit Team Colorado Cycling signing on to operate the facility. 

Todd Stevenson with Team Colorado Cycling says the envisioned track will host full-time racing, junior development camps, and national and international events. He also wants it to uplift the community. 

“The velodrome will become a community hub for people other than members and cyclists,” he wrote in an email, “and we are eager to engage with the town of Erie to host community events throughout the season.” 

Stevenson sees the velodrome hosting events like ride-in movies, concerts, food trucks and other family-friendly events starting early this summer. 

The change of ownership comes as the track has been closed for more than three years after a tumultuous beginning, including construction setbacks and a pandemic-related failed purchase agreement.    

Repairs and improvements to the velodrome, which is one of four international-standard 250-meter tracks in the U.S., include stripping paint from the track surface, raising sections of concrete, opening a new rider lounge and landscaping work. 

“By restoring the Boulder Valley Velodrome we can bring new people to the sport and develop the next generation of cycling legends from the United States,” Makala Jaramillo, a junior cyclist, said in a press release. 

Team Colorado Cycling is hosting a public open house at the track from 2-5 p.m. on May 6. 

Community Cycles distributes eBikes to low-income commuters

There will be 60 new eBike riders on some of Boulder’s multi-use paths thanks to Community Cycles and a grant from the Colorado Energy Office. 

The bikes are destined for commuters making 80% of area median income (AMI), about $67,000, or less and work for one of four specific organizations: Boulder Community Health, CU Boulder, Boulder Valley School District and Downtown Boulder Partnership. In addition to meeting income and employer requirements, applicants are ranked based on distance needed to travel to work, secure bike parking options and comfort on a bicycle. 

Successful applicants will get a bike for $0 to $250, depending on income, this summer. 

“Our mission is to get more people on bikes, teach them how to use and maintain their bikes and work for safe places to walk and ride,” Community Cycles executive director Sue Prant wrote in an email to Boulder Weekly. “This program does all that.” 

If you meet these qualifications, work with your employer to apply. If you don’t and are interested in an eBike, keep an eye out for a potential eBike voucher program being discussed between Community Cycles and the City of Boulder.  

Construction for affordable homes approved

The Lafayette City Council on April 18 gave the go-ahead for the first construction phase of one of the largest mixed-use and sustainable housing neighborhoods in Boulder County. 

Willoughby Corner, located southwest of 120th Street and East Emma Street in Lafayette, will include 400 new rentals and for-sale affordable homes when fully complete.  

The first construction phase, starting in May, includes 63 affordable, ADA-accessible apartments for adults age 55 and above, 129 affordable multi-family homes and a community center.  

Boulder County Housing Authority, which drafted the plans approved by the Council, predicts it could begin accepting applications for Willoughby Corner in spring 2024 for people at or below 60% of the area median income (AMI), or $52,680 for a household of one.  

According to Boulder County, Willoughby Corner will be the largest net-zero affordable housing development in the state by combining solar and geothermal technologies with energy efficient building design and materials. 

More than $20 million from city, county and federal funds are being used to finance the project. 

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