Tell Boulder City Council "NO" on the proposed Co-op Ordinance
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The Boulder City Council is in the process of crafting a new “Cooperative Housing” (or “Co-op”) ordinance. The essence of this proposed ordinance is to grant a special exemption from Boulder’s current occupancy limits (no more than 3 or 4 unrelated persons per dwelling unit), to any group of people who can claim to “live cooperatively,” thus constituting a “co-op”. The proposal currently before the council would provide for both equity and “rental co-ops” with a density as high as one person per 150 square feet of living space, and would be allowed in every zoning category, including Low- and Medium-Density Residential neighborhoods.
The members of the Boulder Neighborhood Alliance (BNA) believe that this proposed ordinance as it is currently drafted is wrong for Boulder. We take issue with many of the provisions in the proposal. We propose that the following points be taken into account:
- Before allowing this co-op ordinance to move forward, the City must budget for and hire sufficient occupancy enforcement staff, and specify requirements for enforcement.
- Co-ops of any type should be allowed only in existing high-density, mixed-use, and converted commercial/industrial/office zones. Co-ops, which are by nature high density, should not be permitted in low-density or medium-density residential zones.
- Co-ops as defined by the currently proposed ordinance provide very little benefit to the community in terms of affordable housing or workforce housing. The city should instead look to other solutions such as a co-housing model based on equity ownership.
- Co-ops based on any form of rental model are not acceptable. There is no verifiable or meaningful way to distinguish a “rental co-op” from any other high-occupancy rental or boarding house.
- We do support the idea of an “Equity Co-op”, in which the members of the co-op would have a long-term stake in the property and the surrounding neighborhood. An “Equity Co-op” should be defined as a property in which 100% of the adult/non-dependent residents own a meaningful share of the property, and 100% of the owners have the property as their primary residence.
By signing this petition, you are indicating that you oppose Boulder's proposed Co-op Ordinance as it is currently drafted, and that you support BNA's positions on co-ops outlined above.
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