Subcommunities in Boulder were first identified in the 1970 Comprehensive Plan as an approach to planning that translates large-scale planning ideas to the human scale. The original subcommunities were intended to focus community interests to a neighborhood level and provide residents with access to important community assets and services, such as schools and parks.
In 1989, the city identified a gap between the scale of the comprehensive plan and site-specific plans. Subcommunity planning was recommended as a method to better address issues at this “in-between” scale. The first subcommunity plan to be taken on by residents, council and staff was the North Boulder Subcommunity Plan. The area was identified by council as the first subcommunity for planning because of the presence of vacant, developable land that remained in the area and the need to determine the future of these lands. The planning process began in the fall of 1992 and the final plan was adopted in the summer of 1995 and then amended in both 1996 and 1997. The effort included a collaborative process between the public, city staff, other public agencies, a large steering committee and a team of consultants.