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A Boulder Community Project: Alpine-Balsam

ALPINE-BALSAM

From Hospital to Hub

Draft Purpose statement: 

Create and adopt an area plan for the Alpine-Balsam site and nearby areas in an efficient timeframe of three main phases over 18 to 20 months. The planning process will identify stakeholders and build relationships through a community engagement process to create a common understanding of the desired changes in the area. The plan will guide redevelopment of the city-owned properties and ensure any potential changes in the “Area of Focus” are consistent with the clear community vision for “a vibrant multi-generational hub for community life and local government services” and identify improvements, such as streets, plazas and other critical infrastructure, to support the changes to the area. 

 

What's Happening Now

There was a Study Session with council on Tuesday, January 9, 2018. The purpose of the study session was for staff to provide information and receive feedback about: area planning for the Alpine-Balsam site (and nearby surrounding areas), the potential reuse of the existing Medical Pavilion on the Alpine-Balsam site, and the financing and partnership analysis and strategy that will be developed in coordination with the planning efforts. Council memo pdf, Council Presentation pdfHandout pdf, Advanced Study Session Summary pdf.

In early December 2017, the City of Boulder and Boulder Community Hospital (BCH) agreed to extend the hospital’s lease for the properties located at Alpine and Balsam streets. The lease, which now extends to May 31, 2019, will enable BCH to continue providing services to the community as construction at its Foothills campus is completed. BCH currently occupies the main hospital building, medical pavilion, surface parking lots and a portion of the parking garage. The building space is used for inpatient mental health, physical rehabilitation and hospice; adult and pediatric outpatient rehabilitation; outpatient mental health; neurology; internal medicine; pulmonology; and support services.

On June 6, 2017, Boulder City Council accepted the Alpine-Balsam Vision Plan , which established the foundation for further site planning, design and redevelopment in alignment with the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan update and Central Broadway Corridor Framework. Throughout 2018 and into 2019, the city will engage the community through the Alpine-Balsam Area Planning effort to prepare that more detailed plan and implementation strategies to achieve the community’s vision. A City Council Study Session on the Alpine-Balsam Area Plan scope of work is currently scheduled for Jan. 9, 2018.     

Community Engagement

 

Currently, prior to project kickoff, the project team is learning how community members would like to be involved in the area planning process. Over 200 members of the community responded to a questionnaire on how they would like to be engaged in this project. This information helped inform a draft community engagement plan for this project (see Planning Board memo directly below for the draft engagement plan).  See the results of the Alpine-Balsam Engagement Questionnaire pdf

Upcoming Events

The first opportunities to roll your sleeves up and engage with this project will be in the spring of 2018 as the planning team starts to explore conceptual options for the site and nearby areas. Details on these opportunities will be posted on this webpage and announced in the bi-weekly Planning Emails sign up here, so please stay tuned!

Opportunities for Phase 1 might include:

  • Kickoff event: to provide information on the timeline and process for area planning and gather input to help shape conceptual options
  • Discussion Forums
  • Online “questions of the month:”
  • Intensive and fun hands-on community workshop(s)
  • Meetings with groups and targeted outreach
  • Meetings with Planning Board, other advisory boards and City Council

 

Email us: [email protected] or contact Jean Gatza, Alpine-Balsam Project Manager:  303-441-14907

 

Project Timeline

Council will offer input on this at a study session on January 9, 2018, which will kick off the project. From here, the Alpine-Balsam area planning process will have three phases:

Phase 1 (Q1 - Q2 2018): Explore conceptual options for Alpine-Balsam site and planning area and clarify priorities, tradeoffs and constraints.  

  • Facilitate a community discussion of priorities and trade-offs for future redevelopment and financing
  • Perform analysis/studies, e.g. financial modeling, market studies, and other studies, including design, parking and access and flood, among others
  • Define the specific types and mix of uses for the site and planning area:
    • Begin site scenario modeling for the Alpine-Balsam site based on vision plan: create draft 3-D models illustrating specific uses, massing, scale and intensity
    • Explore a range land use, transportation and urban design conceptual options in the planning area, e.g. through bubble diagrams, that align with the vision plan and purpose of the area plan and respond to the site scenario models
  • Define the area of the Alpine-Balsam site where city facilities will be located for further site planning
  • Evaluate opportunities for achieving community benefits through various financing and partnership options
  • Conclude this phase with direction about options to refine further 

Phase 2 (Q3 - Q4 2018):Refine options for Alpine-Balsam site and planning area and decide on preferred option.

  • Work with the community to evaluate how to refine options and identify additional analysis needed
  • Refine the site scenario models for the Alpine-Balsam site and conceptual land use, transportation and urban design options for the planning area per input from the community, direction from council and advisory boards, and any additional analysis
  • Develop and refine a more detailed site plan for the portion of the Alpine-Balsam site city facilities will occupy
  • Determine type of design guidance (e.g. urban design guidelines) and create an initial draft
  • Conclude this phase with a decision-point on preferred option any additional analysis and direction for draft plan

Phase 3 (Q1 - Q2 2019): Create draft area plan and adopt final area plan.

  • Draft the area plan document that includes the following:
  • The vision statement and guiding principles from the vision plan
  • Preferred option for land use, transportation and urban design from Phase 2
  • Design guidance (e.g. design guidelines)
  • A more detailed site study for the portion of the site occupied by city facilities
  • Capital and operational impacts
  • An implementation plan with phasing, financing, parcels and zoning.
  • Gather feedback and recommendations on draft plan to inform the final plan
  • Project concludes with adoption of area plan by Planning Board and City Council

 

Email us:   [email protected]

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What is an area plan?

Area plans allow for developing a common understanding of the expected changes, defining desired characteristics that should be preserved or enhanced and identifying achievable implementation methods. Area plans provide a link between the broad policies of the comprehensive plan and more detailed zoning, development review and capital improvement programming decisions.The Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan provides further information on area plans.

The Alpine-Balsam area plan will outline desired character and scaleland uses, and the location of streets , paths , parking , public spaces and public facilities .

An area plan will answer questions like:

  • What kinds of activities and land uses will be allowed or encouraged on the Alpine-Balsam site?
  • How might uses change in the vicinity of the 8.8 acre Alpine-Balsam site?
  • What will buildings look like?
  • What massing, scale, and intensity will be permitted?
  • How will transportation work around, in and close to the site?
  • How will parking function?
  • Who will pay for development of the site and how will this funding be secured?

 

Click to read the Alpine Balsam Vision Plan.

Alpine-Balsam Vision Plan

After purchasing the Boulder Community Health (BCH) properties on Broadway between Alpine and Balsam Avenues in December 2015, the city kicked off a multi-year planning process to guide the redevelopment of the site. In the first part of the project, the project team set out to understand the community’s hopes, concerns, and vision for the future of the site.

 

About the Alpine-Balsam Site

In December 2015, the City of Boulder purchased 8.8-acres of property from Boulder Community Health. The properties include the entire hospital campus site at 1100 Balsam Ave. (the corner of Balsam Avenue and Broadway), as well as two properties on Alpine Avenue and two small properties on North Street.

Learn more about the history of the site, information on specific properties included in the purchase, and about why this is an important opportunity for the community.

Past Alpine-Balsam Materials

City Council

January 9, 2018 - City Council Study Session
6- 8 p.m. in Council Chambers

Update on scope and timeline; discussion on issues and opportunities to address in the area plan, in addition to draft planning area boundary and draft engagement plan.

Boards and Commissions

Planning Board -  December 7, 2017

Update on scope and timeline; discussion on issues and opportunities to address in the area plan in addition to draft planning area boundary and draft engagement plan. 

Community Engagement

December 2017- Staff Chat at Vic's Coffee and North Boulder Rec

The AlpineBalsam team met with community members to discuss what will be happening in the next phase of Alpine-Balsam's redevelopment and to hear thoughts, feedback and questions from the community. 

November 2017 - Neightborhood Postcard

While more engagement opportunities will kick off in the spring of 2018, staff is leveraging the preparation time in advance of that by sharing a draft purpose statement and draft planning boundary of the site and adjacent areas with community members.

Oct. 11, 2017 “What’s Up Boulder”Citywide Open House

The project team for Alpine-Balsam had a booth at the recent Citywide Open House event and had the chance to chat with various community members about the vision plan and upcoming area planning process. See the Alpine-Balsam Handout pdf and Alpine-Balsam Poster, pdf which were available at the event.

Oct. – Nov., 2017 Alpine- Balsam Engagement Questionnaire

Over 200 members of the community responded to a questionnaire on how they would like to be engaged in this project. Results are available here and will inform a draft community engagement plan for this project.

Aug./Sept. 2017 Boulder Community Newsletter

Check out the article on page 19 of the August/September issue pdf of the City of Boulder Community Newsletter about Alpine-Balsam!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

We will continue to add information as the area plan process continues.

Is the site vacant?

No, Boulder Community Health occupies the main hospital building, medical pavilion, surface parking lots and a portion of the parking garage. The building space is used for inpatient mental health, physical rehabilitation and hospice; adult and pediatric outpatient rehabilitation; outpatient mental health; neurology; internal medicine; pulmonology; and support services

 

Email us:   [email protected]

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