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Housing Boulder defined community priorities for creating and preserving diverse, affordable housing choices. The city drafted a housing policy framework and implementation toolkit focused on six goals adopted by City Council in 2014.

Addressing Boulder’s housing affordability challenges takes a creative mix of policies, tools and resources to make progress on multiple fronts. Since the spring of 2013, the city has worked with the community to gain a better understanding of Boulder's current and emerging housing challenges and to identify specific tools to address those challenges in a manner consistent with shared community values.

In addition to the key initiatives described below, several projects that advance city housing goals were completed in 2017 – such as the One to One Replacement Ordinance, updates to the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan housing policies, and progress toward creating and preserving affordable housing in our community.

Middle Income Housing

In 2016, a middle-income assessment report was completed by BBC Consulting and a working group was established by council that defined a new middle-income goal to build or preserve 3,500 middle income homes by 2030 (2,500 market-rate middle income homes and 1,000 deed restricted permanently affordable homes).


The strategy was finalized by Council in October 2016. The BVCP policy amendments were adopted in September 2017, and the middle-income inclusionary housing requirement and incentives will be effective July 1, 2018. Finally, annexation policies were updated to require a higher level of middle income community benefit.

Next Steps

  • Continue to preserve existing middle-income homes through deed restrictions.
  • Explore middle income housing opportunities through Neighborhood Pilot Innovation Programs.
  • Amend the ADU/OAU ordinance.
  • Conduct outreach between now and July 1, 2018 to ensure community understanding and compliance with the recently updated Inclusionary Housing Ordinance and the  middle income housing components.

Regional Affordable Housing Strategy

The Regional Housing Strategy recognizes that communities across Boulder County have made strong investments in affordable and attainable housing. However, it is widely recognized that the region is falling short of meeting the need for affordable and attainable workforce housing. The strategy identifies the following priorities that are essential to increasing our response to the affordable housing needs in the community:

  • Establishing regional housing goals.
  • Bolstering financial resources.
  • Securing land and redevelopment opportunities for future housing.
  • Preserving affordability of existing housing.


A consultant was hired in 2017, that worked with the regional partners to develop a draft Regional Housing Plan. This draft plan was shared throughout the community in the summer of 2017 with over 40 presentations to community groups and all the various city councils in Boulder County. In September, a Regional Housing Summit convened staff and elected officials from all communities to discuss, revise and commit to the adoption of the regional strategy. 

Next Steps

  • After final input from the Affordable Housing Summit, the Regional Housing Plan will be finalized in the fourth quarter of 2017.
  • Adoption of the Plan by all municipalities in 2018.
  • Create an on-going working group to advance the priorities of the plan.
  • Create a process and metric for measuring the progress of achieving the priorities.

Ponderosa Community Stabilization

The 2015-16 Resilience Planning Grant activities produced a set of goals and drivers for the Ponderosa Mobile Home Park and community including: anti-displacement, resilience, sustainability, and health and safety among others. In 2016, guided by those goals and drivers, staff analysis concluded that the ideal path forward, aided by federal funds from the 2013 flood event, would include city purchase, annexation, infrastructure replacement and other site improvements, exploration of affordable energy-efficient replacement housing options, and eventual transfer of the land to an entity, perhaps, a resident ownership entity that would maintain the community over time.


  • On Aug. 1, 2017, the city purchased the Ponderosa Mobile Home Park and contracted with a community engagement and site planning team.
  • On Sept. 1, 2017 residents elected their Resident Leadership Committee.
  • Working in partnership with the residents, consultant and national partner, Rebuild by Design, city staff is entering a five-month period of intensive engagement which will inform site planning and future housing options for the Ponderosa community.

Next Steps

  • Hold a series of community workshops in October through December to engage the community and explore residents’ desires for future housing types, different land ownership options, innovative infrastructure solutions and community
  • In early 2018, residents, city staff, experts and innovators will review various site planning scenarios and offer critique.
  • Staff anticipates the submittal of a Concept Plan for the site in February or March.

30th and Pearl

Boulder Junction (previously known as the Transit Village) is a 160-acre redevelopment area that is being transformed into a mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented neighborhood with regional transit connections and public spaces that will benefit the entire community. The vision for the future of the 160-acre Boulder Junction area is guided by the 2007  Transit Village Area Plan (TVAP) , and is being carried out by the city and private property owners.

In October 2004, the city, in partnership with the Regional Transportation District (RTD), acquired the 30th and Pearl site from Pollard Friendly Motor Company, which retained a lease to occupy the western 5.5-acre portion of the 11.2-acre site through October 2016. The goals for purchasing this site were to:

  • Advance Boulder’s long-range vision for a Transit Oriented Development that maximizes public investment in multimodal transportation, infrastructure improvements and affordable housing;
  • Create a mixed-use development with predominantly residential uses and some supporting commercial uses (as determined by a market study);
  • Create a range of housing types, including up to 50 percent permanently affordable housing, with the remaining 50 percent of the housing sold or rented at market rates; and
  • Create a mix of ownership and rental housing at a range of 220 to 300 units.


A Request For Proposal (RFP) for a development partner was issued March 10, 2017. Project requirements, the evaluation criteria and process can be found in the RFP, 31TRedevelopment of City-owned site 30PthP & Pearl. 31TThe committee unanimously recommended the Zocalo Community Development proposal on the basis that it consistently met and in many cases exceeded the review criteria established in the RFP and the desired development outcomes established for the city-owned site.

City Council unanimously approved a motion authorizing the city manager to negotiate a pre-development agreement with Zocalo Community Development as the master developer of the property.

Next Steps

The negotiation and drafting of the development agreement with Zocalo will occur in the first quarter of 2018. The pre-development agreement will govern the redevelopment process and outcomes. The agreement is anticipated to be brought to Council no later than the second quarter of 2018 for final approval.


Kurt Firnhaber, deputy director of Housing,  [email protected]  or 303-441-4424.

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