Community protests plans to demolish Boulder’s iconic Dark Horse bar

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    01_19_24_PM Kennedy Pickering

Boulder homeless campground

Boulder City council have postponed the decision on designating unused, city-owned land for unhoused people to legally camp.

Instead, Council said last night that they will discuss the proposal in more detail at a meeting on February 8th.

The proposal, referred to informally as a “safe outdoor space” plan, would establish a place where unhoused people could rest and have access to basic shelters.

The Boulder Reporting Lab says one idea, proposed by city staffers, would provide shelter to as many as thirty people.

A point-in-time survey conducted last summer found that 171 people were living outdoors in Boulder.

A city memo noted that other cities have implemented sanctioned campgrounds, and have also introduced other resources and programs, including case management.

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No more cap on residential growth

Also last night, the Boulder City Council voted down a residential growth law that limited the number of new housing units to 1 percent. 

According to The Daily Camera, this growth management system had been created in the 70s and no longer represents the city’s needs. The new law is aimed to increase housing in cities and make it more affordable.

Last night’s vote brings Boulder in line with state law that has been in place since August of 2023.

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Polis urges cooperation

In a State of the State speech Wednesday at Boulder Chamber of Commerce, Gov. Jared Polis said state leaders, local government and business need to work together. 

Polis said he plans to expand the number of apprenticeships in the state, so more people have the resources to get a job.

He also talked about making housing more affordable through a tax credit program that incentivizes turning commercial into residential units. 

As housing and homelessness go hand in hand, Polis is also hoping to see more substance-abuse and mental health support provided by the state.

According to the Daily Camera Polis said in addition to a regional transit system, cities need to plan their infrastructure in a way that can easily connect to it.

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Save the Dark Horse effort gains momentum in Williams Village Hearing

Boulder residents are pushing back against a proposal to redevelop the Williams village shopping center. The plan includes the removal of The Dark Horse bar — a Boulder Icon – located just off of Baseline and 30th. 

At Tuesday’s Boulder Planning Board meeting, members acknowledged the importance of the nearly 50 year old bar but said the community needs more housing. 

The Board supported the William’s Family’s plan to redesign the whole block in favor of building six new buildings with more than 600 new residential units, commercial spaces, a hotel and 2 large parking structures.  

Critics questioned whether the new housing would survive the first critical phase of development in such a location or meaningfully improve Boulder’s housing situation overall.

Developers said they would look for another location to build the Dark Horse 2.0.

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Johnston asks for federal help with migrant crisis

 Denver mayor Mike Johnston called for more support from the federal government on Thursday.

He said the city would need $180 million to meet the needs of all the people expected to arrive in Denver this year, and called the influx a “humanitarian crisis”. Without federal support, this would mean a 10% cut from Denver’s overall budget.

According to Fox31, Johnston also called for more accessible ways to citizenship which includes faster work authorizations, more resources and proper guidance for cities

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Proposed Twenty Year Ban on New Oil and Gas Development

A coalition of conservationists, ranchers, and recreationists is on the verge of securing temporary protections for the Thompson Divide on Colorado’s Western Slope. 

After years of lobbying, the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management seek to block any new mining and energy development on over 350 square miles, stretching from Glenwood Springs to Crested Butte, for the next 20 years. 

The proposed protection, if approved, won’t impact existing energy leases but aims to preserve the area’s economic shift toward agriculture, tourism, and recreation. 

While oil and gas trade organizations express concerns, local leaders support the move. 

The final public comment period for the proposal is scheduled to end Monday.

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Boulder gets $1.1M grant to buy second electric fire engine

Boulder has purchased its second electric fire engine, making it one of the first cities in the United states to buy 2 electric fire engines. 

The Daily Camera is reporting that the city bought its second Rosenbauer RTX fire engine, paid for with a 1.1 million dollar grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Boulder bought its first electric fire engine back in MAY of 2023.

Most of Boulder Fire Department funding comes from the city’s general fund which is sales and tax revenue. The electric fire engines are expected to arrive either late this summer or early in fall.

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CU’s Triceratops Exhibit

The University of Colorado Boulder’s Museum of Natural History unveiled their first-ever full-scale dinosaur skeleton this week. 

The 22-foot-long , 9-foot-wide triceratops skeleton comes as a gift from the Smithsonian Museum. 

The Triceratops exhibit is now open to the public weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the lobby of the Sustainability, Energy and Environment Complex building at 4001 Discovery Drive.

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