The objective of this council priority is to consider an ordinance to increase affordable housing by revising density calculations, reducing parking, restrictions and looking at other zoning amendments that could better, incentive smaller, more affordable housing

  1. Plan

  2. Community Engagement

  3. Design

  4. Complete

Project Overview

The goal of this council priority is to amend the land use code in higher density zoning districts to provide flexibility for a wider range of affordable and attainable housing types through changes to how density is calculated by converting lot area or open space per dwelling unit to floor area ratios and reduced parking requirements.


One of the core values of the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan is a commitment to “a diversity of housing types and price ranges.” There are many standards in Boulder’s land use code that determine the type, size, and number of housing units that can be built, particularly the code’s “intensity standards” (minimum lot area, minimum open space, maximum floor area ratio) as well as the parking requirements for housing. This project will consider updates to those standards that may create barriers to the development of smaller, more easily attainable housing.

Next Council Action

Council will hold a Study Session or Matters item to check in on the scope and potential options for code changes of the work in March, 2023.

Projected Timeline

  • Nov. 2022 – Update City Council on project status at Study Session
  • Dec. 2022 – Feb. 2023– Develop scope of project, community engagement plan and potential code change options
  • Mar. 2023 – City Council study session to discuss scope of work, community engagement and potential options
  • Mar. – July 2023 – Options refinement, community engagement and code change drafting
  • July – Sept. 2023 – Ordinance review by Planning Board and City Council. Potential adoption of ordinance and completion of project.