Having attended the first YIMBY conference in Boulder, I’m here to tell you that we were NOT volunteering “everyone’s yard” for development. We were, instead, intent on embracing positive change somewhere, in the right place, for the right reasons, to begin reconfiguring the dysfunctional land use patterns created post-WWII almost everywhere in the U.S. Our auto-dependent experiment has run its course. It is an environmental and societal failure.
If demand persists, personal wealth as a residency requirement is unwise, and sprawl is no longer an option, then building near someone who already lives here is inevitable.
I must concede that public land use hearings are generally not good theater, lacking in the sort of entertainment value attractive to neutral listeners interested in learning more, or even the supporters of projects with potential to make the quality of our lives better, not worse. An organized and vocal few opposed to change will nevertheless be willing to attend. Fear and loathing are strong motivators.
Elected council members and appointed board members are left in the unenviable position of having to account for missing segments of our community’s DNA (families with children, young professionals, non-resident employees, etc.). Accused of “not listening” by the disappointed people in the room, representing stakeholders deserving to be “heard,” but not there, is no defense.
The YIMBY movement is an attempt to organize and energize urban optimists to engage in the public process. I hope it has legs.
January 25, 2014
When asked how to find out what in-commuters would buy or rent in order to live in Boulder and avoid their daily commute, I suggested that we should ASK them. Radical notion, but I’m glad the City has finally decided to do it. Continue reading Land Assembly Improves Neighborhoods, May Serve In-Commuters
Correction of 8/11/2013 City Council Candidate Article
August 11, 2013
In Sunday’s story on the city council race, Erica Metzger wrote, “(Byrne) said he strongly supports the city’s pursuit of a municipal utility.” Well, not exactly. If forced to choose between the City’s proposed charter amendment and the one from muni opponents, I support the City’s because it allows the staff’s analysis to be completed. When all the facts are in, I want Boulder’s citizens to have one last chance to vote on whether to proceed. That day is years and a few off ramps away. Both of these competing ballot issues are premature, but we may have to vote on them anyway. More’s the pity.
Continue reading Correction of Daily Camera article, 8/11/2013
Hello. My name is Ed Byrne. In 1981, my wife, Anne, and I moved to Boulder because we thought it would be the best place in the world to raise a family. It was. Conor, Erin and Kathleen thrived at Foothill Elementary, Centennial Middle School and Boulder High, and we’re very grateful. Continue reading Why You Should Support Ed Byrne For City Council (from the candidate)
July 13, 2013
My heart aches for both families. My brain can not fathom how a parent survives either circumstance. Wisdom is hard to come by when faced by such a tragedy.
Young adults are fearless when it comes to risky behaviors. They seem drawn to them like moths towards a flame. Although our educational system tries to help with life skills programs ranging from “Just Say No” to recommendations for responsible use, clearly, neither parents nor schools can meet this perennial challenge alone. Society, generally, and our community, specifically, have roles to play, too (it truly “takes a village”), but ultimately our children, when temptation knocks, will be alone and under great pressure to go along.
Continue reading Nederland Drug Abuse Tragedy
June 15, 2013
With a slim majority, Democrats pass some modest gun registration and rural electric energy mix laws and it’s time to form a new state? Seriously? An absence of moderates has few from either party problem-solving together in our current state capitol; how does forming a new one meaningfully bridge this divide?
Continue reading Secession Proposed by Weld County
May 17, 2013
Because you can, does not mean that you should. Today, Xcel fessed up: they’re behind the “vote to vote” initiative. No surprise there. My question: how many electors are willing to sign it? DON’T! After carefully poll-testing the ballot language, we’ll be voting, again, about issues that will still not be fully vetted – the City’s efforts to complete its approved homework assignments are ongoing. The vote comes before the results will all be in.
Continue reading Municipalization Vote-to-Vote Initiative
May 11, 2013
Will there ever come a time when the City will finally declare victory concerning the open space acquisition program? If we are able to complete the right-of-way acquisitions, if any, needed to complete a bicycle trail circumnavigation of Boulder, may we conclude that success has been achieved?
Continue reading Open Space Tax Extension 2013
May 4, 2013
There may have been times when big events caused more of a drain on Boulder’s service providers than could be offset by sales tax revenues attributable to visitors attracted by them, but event sponsors and the City have learned from the mistakes and successes in our past. We have also learned how to more effectively protect our natural resources while deriving greater economic benefit from the visitors and residents who enjoy such events.
Continue reading Boulder’s Big Events
April 6, 2013
Shortly after the first settlers arrived in Colorado, water started flowing towards money. In many ways, it was a brilliant scheme for a region west of the 100th meridian, where long periods of drought are to be expected. The people who contributed their sweat and toil to divert water that would otherwise rush unimpeded to the Arkansas, Colorado and Missouri rivers, derived profit from their labor. 150 years later, we struggle with the monetization of this critical human resource, but the concept of “highest and best use,” coupled with capital markets that flex enough to reward efficiency, may yet save the day.
Continue reading Water Shortages in 2013