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East Boulder Subcommunity Plan


The city is working with the community to create the East Boulder Subcommunity Plan. The plan will describe a future vision for East Boulder that is based on community goals and values. Creating the East Boulder Subcommunity Plan is a two-year process. Once complete, the plan will inform decisions in the area for decades. Learn more about subcommunity plans .

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, May 26 - East Boulder Working Group meeting from 2:30 to 5 p.m.

News & Updates

STAMP Engagement -  The purpose of this 55th & Arapahoe Station Area Master Plan (STAMP) engagement window was to gain feedback on alternative land use and transportation concepts to answer the question “Who Do We Want to Be?” in this area of the East Boulder Subcommunity. Staff collected input from community members across the city and targeted specific audiences for participation, including property owners, businesses and residents within the STAMP study area, East Boulder workforce and commuters, and East Boulder residents living in neighborhoods surrounding the study area. View a summary summary report of the recent engagment here pdf.

View a summary of the Be Heard Boulder STAMP questionnaire here pdf.

Community-wide Questionnaire - This community questionnaire was hosted on BeHeardBoulder.org for five weeks in English and Spanish. The questionnaire responses provide quantitative and qualitative data about community choices impacting decisions about change in land use. Over 300 people provided feedback. View the summary report  here .

An overview of the Jan.-Feb. 2021 meetings and online engagement opportunities can be found in the summary report .

On February 23, city staff and working group members hosted a Spanish-language community meeting via zoom to update community members about the project, discuss land use choices and answer questions about area trade-offs. Approximately 30 participants attended. Watch a recording of this event out land use concepts and area trade-offs with aboutcommunity members.

  • View a summary of this event here .
  • Watch a recording of this event here .

On February 11, city staff and working group members attended a Policy Roundtable hosted by the Boulder Chamber. Working group members facilitated discussions about land use concepts and area trade-offs with about 50 community members. 

  • View a summary of this event here .

On  February 1, the East Boulder Working Group and city staff hosted a community meeting via zoom to update community members about the project progress and discuss land use choices and area trade-offs. Over 100 people registered for the event and about 80 participants attended. Participants engaged in small group discussions to evaluate three land use concepts and discuss area building heights.

  • View a summary of this event here .
  • Watch a recording of this event here .

55th and Arapahoe Station Area Master Plan (STAMP)

Background

In late 2019, the City of Boulder received federal funding for detailed planning and design at the 55th Street and Arapahoe Station Area. This area is part of the East Boulder Subcommunity Plan and has been identified by adopted city plans for a future mobility hub and transit-oriented development.

While the area is currently served by a handful of local and regional transit routes, in the future, it will be the location of a State Highway 7 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station – connecting Boulder to I-25 and beyond with high-quality, high frequency service. This plan will guide long term transformation of the station area into a transit-oriented, connected and livable place that ideally provides a mix of housing types and land uses in proximity to transit.

This plan will be integrated into the larger East Boulder Subcommunity Plan process, but will require a greater level of detailed planning, analysis and design. The city and the consultant working on this project will engage with the working group and the community to evaluate land use and redevelopment scenarios based on community preference, alignment with the East Boulder Subcommunity vision statements and potential benefits and impacts, with the aim of developing a preferred land use and phasing plan. For more information, read the 55th and Arapahoe Existing Conditions Report pdf.

East Boulder: 55th and Arapahoe STAMP Alternative Concepts

  

East Boulder Working Group

The East Boulder Working Group supports the subcommunity planning process. The group is made up of area stakeholders and holds monthly meetings that are open to the public. Learn more about the  East Boulder Working Group . To send a question to the working group use  this form  to send a question to the East Boulder Working Group to address at their meetings. 


More Information

The East Boulder subcommunity is bounded approximately by Foothills Parkway to the west, Boulder Municipal Airport to the north, 63rd Street to the east and Arapahoe Avenue to the south. The subcommunity boundaries were approved by City Council in 2018.

In subcommunity planning, boundaries serve to provide a defined area for study and analysis but have no regulatory function. Boundary lines will not preclude surrounding properties or land uses from study, planning or engagement during a subcommunity planning process. While boundaries provide a defined area for study, the planning process takes into account an area of influence outside the boundary that may be affected by a subcommunity plan. The boundaries approved by City Council take land use, zoning, natural features, planned capital improvements, recent property sales and existing neighborhood commercial centers into consideration.

  • View the September 2018   Council Study session   discussion on Subcommunity Planning. Click on “Subcommunity Planning” for the memo, or on “VIDEO” for the footage.
  • View the January 2019   City Council meeting   discussion on Subcommunity Planning. Click on “Item 6A” for the memo, or on “VIDEO” for the footage.

     

The East Boulder Subcommunity Plan will feature criteria for future change in the area, serving as a framework for achieving citywide goals in the area. As part of this process, the plan will look at these focus areas of the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan:

  • Small Local Business 
  • Arts & Culture 
  • Design Quality & Placemaking 
  • Housing Affordability & Diversity 
  • Resilience & Climate Commitment
  • Balance of Future Jobs & Housing 

East Boulder Vision Statements

City staff, with input from the community and the   East Boulder Subcommunity Plan Working Group , have drafted vision statements that apply  Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan   goals to East Boulder in six areas, including housing, resilience and climate, small local business, access and mobility, design and placemaking and arts and culture.

Earlier this year, community input on the six Vision Statements was gathered via a questionnaire  With 113 responses, there was a wide range of competing viewpoints. Learn more in this  report  .

Thank you to those that provided feedback on these vision statements. Your input will be used to help inform decision-making and strategies for the East Boulder Subcommunity Plan 

In early 2019, City Council had staff begin future planning for East Boulder, one of the city's 10 subcommunities. They prioritized East Boulder because of the high rate of change taking place in the area. 

East Boulder is one of the city's top employment centers, home to large employers including Foothills Community Hospital and Ball Aerospace. Many businesses located there specialize in the scientific, research, technology and manufacturing sectors. The area is also home to urban parks, recycling centers and arts and cultural organizations, including Boulder Dinner Theater and KGNU radio.

Project timeline 

Creating the East Boulder Subcommunity Plan is a two-year process and includes multiple phases:

  1. Project kick-off
  2. Inventory & analysis
  3. Concept development (current phase)
  4. Scenario testing & alternative futures 
  5. Implementation planning 
  6. Plan adoption

The final plan will guide change in East Boulder for the next several decades. 

Timeline graphic for phases of East Boulder Subcommunity Plan process

East Boulder Inventory and Analysis Report 

The East Boulder Inventory and Analysis Report pdf examines existing conditions in the East Boulder subcommunity and measures how well the area is meeting the goals of the   Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan  . The report includes feedback and contributions from the East Boulder Working Group, community engagement events, Be Heard Boulder, City Council and Planning Board. The report lays the groundwork for the preservation and future evolution of East Boulder. 

The information included in the report will help answer the question, "Who Does East Boulder Want to Be?" 

Report Summary 

The East Boulder Subcommunity Plan provides an opportunity to meet   Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan   goals. Future plans should take advantage of the area’s existing resources, including local businesses, artists, parks and greenways. Improvements to pedestrian, bike and public transportation facilities are needed to support “15-minute neighborhoods” and regional commuters. Public engagement has found strong support for adding housing and more retail and food options. Integrating these elements will support the creation of 15-minute neighborhoods within East Boulder and reduce transportation emissions and environmental impact. For more details on the report, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the East Boulder Inventory and Analysis tab.

The working group has been working with city staff to create a concept land use plan for the East Boulder subcommunity. Once finalized and adopted, this plan will update the BVCP Land Use map.  East Boulder Concept Development pdf

As part of the planning process, the city is collecting Subcommunity Stories to showcase the diversity of experiences and perspectives of community members who live, work or play in this area of town. These stories offer a glimpse into the ways in which East Boulder is already a community – and seek to shape a meaningful conversation about its future.

Subcommunity Stories: East Boulder Community, Marti Hirsch  from  City of Boulder  on  Vimeo .

 

Subcommunity Stories: East Boulder Community, Valmont Bike Park   from   City of Boulder   on   Vimeo    

Subcommunity Stories: East Boulder Community, Blackbelly Market   from   City of Boulder   on   Vimeo    

Subcommunity Stories: East Boulder Community, Studio 5.5  from  City of Boulder   on   Vimeo .

To learn more about subcommunity planning and each concept scenario, please watch these videos!

Subcommunity Planning 101 - Learn More!

East Boulder: No Change

  

East Boulder: Concept 1

East Boulder: Concept 2

  

East Boulder: Concept 3

  

You can view the    Scenario Testing Methodology Report that describes the process and assumptions used in our scenario testing model    here   .    

View the  Engagement Plan  for this project and the project's  Engagement Scrapbook , which details all engagement events to date.  

Focus Group Summary

The city is utilizing many engagement techniques to inform the East Boulder Subcommunity Plan. Recently, focus groups were held to gather collaborative feedback from community members. Focus groups covered topics from the arts to climate commitment to local businesses to housing affordability. Participants contributed many hours of ideas, needs and interests to the subcommunity planning process. There were several areas of general agreement among participants, as well as areas identified for future inquiry and analysis.

Key areas of general consensus reflects broad conclusions drawn from focus group discussions. These topics can serve as a springboard for future alternatives evaluation, scenario planning, community engagement and improvements. Areas of general consensus include: 

  • Increasing the walkability of and multi-modal transit options within East Boulder
  • Providing options for a commuting workforce
  • Holistic approach to support equity, access and affordability
  • Supporting small local businesses and nonprofits.
  • Promoting development that compliments the industrial character of East Boulder
  • Protecting natural spaces and views
  • Infill and addition of small homes, tiny houses, mixed zoning and multifamily buildings
  • Creating spaces for arts and culture
  • Mitigating impacts to preexisting communities in East Boulder
  • Improving access to and amenities near Arapahoe Ridge High School

The next phase of the subcommunity planning process will include evaluation and testing of different scenarios. In this phase the city will begin to explore tradeoffs, primary and secondary impacts and feasibility. Topics identified in the focus groups as areas for further inquiry include:

  • City and subcommunity transit options beyond RTD
  • Potential private-public partnerships
  • Zoning changes to promote mixed-use and expanded housing opportunities

Read the  full report

 

Growing Up Boulder East Boulder Subcommunity Planning Report 

In the fall of 2019, Growing Up Boulder conducted engagements with three groups in the area: second grade students who attend Eisenhower Elementary School, child, teen and parent residents in the San Lazaro Manufactured Home Community, and adolescent members of a bird-banding club at Thorne Nature Experience. These engagements provided stakeholders the opportunity and freedom to be visionary about the future of East Boulder. All engagement groups completed the same worksheet, then held verbal discussions, to answer the question, “what should we keep, improve, and add in East Boulder?” Below is a summary of answers across all groups. 

Read the full Growing Up Boulder report Report on East Boulder Subcommunity Planning pdf.

 

Have questions for city staff?  Email us  at [email protected] 

Sign up  for the city's Planning & Development Services Department Newsletter to receive project updates.


Interactive Subcommmunity Boundaries Map

The East Boulder subcommunity is bounded approximately by Foothills Parkway to the west, Boulder Municipal Airport to the north, 63rd Street to the east and Arapahoe Avenue to the south. The subcommunity boundaries were approved by City Council in 2018.