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)
March 22, 2013
Tussles between private land owners and government representatives fueled the revolution that formed the United States. Boulder County, the City of Boulder, and some Homeowner Associations stir similarly visceral passions when private dreams are thwarted by thoughtless application of burdensome and costly rules and regulations.
Continue reading Municipal Code Drafting and Interpretation
January 26, 2013
I’m having some difficulty believing that WalMart was not aware of Boulder’s interest in who was rehabilitating the PetSmart/Ross space in the Diagonal Plaza.The inquiries were pretty specific. Playing hide the pea for a while may have been fair game, but even “plausible deniability” has its limits.
Continue reading WalMart Comes to Boulder
December 29, 2012
It is the year 2100. Residents of Boulder County and their regional neighbors are 90 years into their pattern-changing experiment in sustainable community development. Guided by practical wisdom, sound science and an entrepreneurial spirit, they have evolved new land use and development patterns that reconnect them to thriving ecosystems and agricultural zones, support a variety of dense, walkable village centers and nurture a diverse population of young and old, low-income and affluent, and people of all races and creeds.
Continue reading Boulder County 2100 (ca. 2012)
June 30, 2012
In 1905, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., graced Boulder with a city master plan that included parks and open spaces for the first time. He suggested further that the Boulder Creek flood plain be preserved as parkland. Now it is the heart of our civic center. The civic area plan will determine the appropriate mix and location of uses downtown near our Creek.
Continue reading Boulder’s Civic Area Plan
April 21, 2012
The beatings will continue until morale improves — or should I say, parking tickets will be issued until we leave our cars at home. Motor vehicles are considered a suspect class in Boulder, so driving disincentives abound. However, our land use patterns require most people to drive almost everywhere to do almost anything.
Continue reading Chautauqua Parking Test Program
February 18, 2012
Boulder’s great, but it could be better. Drive through most older neighborhoods in Boulder and one can’t help but wonder why we don’t have “affordable” housing. More than 50% of Boulder’s dwelling units are for rent. Many owners have little incentive to upgrade while their tenants slowly buy their properties for them. Selling the lot as a scrape-off yields a reliable return.
Continue reading State of the City of Boulder
January 14, 2012
It’s time to dramatically extend our planning horizon to anticipate a future where carbon-based energy resources become so expensive that market-based assumptions are irrevocably altered and to protect ourselves and our beloved community from the negative consequences resulting therefrom. This means more renewable energy sources, better energy storage technologies, more robust year-round agricultural productivity, and strategic primary resource planning.
Continue reading Need for a Longer Planning Horizon (2012 City Council Retreat)
2011 Boulder Election Results
November 5, 2011
More than 26,000 people voted, 48% of those receiving ballots. During our last off-year election (2009), only 18,353 (29%) city residents voted. Direct mail worked this time. Give PLAN-Boulder, the Sierra Club, New Era, and Renewables: Yes credit for turning out their supporters, winning a close fight over 2B and 2C, while also electing their preferred city council candidates: Suzanne Jones (ran a near-perfect race for a newcomer), Lisa Morzel (best showing by an incumbent) and Tim Plass.
Continue reading 2011 Boulder Election Results
March 26, 2011
“Economic resiliency” is a term we’re hearing more often of late. Auto manufacturers in the midwest are shutting down and laying off workers because the earthquake in Japan disrupted the supply of engine parts. Semiconductor chip prices are jumping for the same reason. The Middle East’s “Jasmine Revolution” is increasing oil prices and driving ethanol production, which competes for fields of corn — raising food prices.
Some of the challenges Boulder must address to achieve economic resiliency include a shortage of workforce housing, the need for more year round local agricultural production, and the ability to withstand temporary manufacturing supply disruptions, which may become permanent. When the price of oil rises high enough, “outsourcing” goes away, because the price of transport exceeds the savings realized from less expensive labor and less restrictive environmental regulations overseas.
Boulder would be well-advised to examine our local economy for vulnerability to supply disruptions. “Just-in-time” inventories work great until the flow stops. What raw materials, parts or products do we depend upon now that may become unavailable or unaffordable when predictable, probable disruptions occur? What is Boulder’s back-up plan? It is unwise to ignore the warnings current events are firing across our bow.
The essence of effective long range planning is anticipation of probabilities and preservation of options. If we assume we will always be able to afford what we need to survive after it has traveled half-way around the world to return to us, we may find that our “resiliency” was an illusion.