Posts tagged City Council
Enforcement of smoking ban on Pearl Street Mall begins April 1
The ordinance banning smoking on the Pearl Street Mall went into effect on Jan. 18, 2013. The ordinance bans all smoking between 11th and 15th streets on the Pearl Street Mall, and on the lawn of the Boulder County Courthouse. The maximum penalty for a first or second offense within two years is a fine of $500; a third and subsequent conviction within two years triggers the general penalty provision of a maximum $1,000 fine and/or maximum of 90 days in jail.
Boulder police officers who patrol on the Pearl Street Mall have been educating people about the smoking ban since it went into effect, and have not written any tickets while the signs were being manufactured. On Monday, April 1, the ordinance will be fully implemented, and enforcement will begin.
Signs were ordered after City Council approved the ordinance in December; however there was a delay in the sign manufacturing. The signs on the mall are custom enameled and take longer to fabricate. The enamel signs are more resistant to graffiti and other tampering.
The city is collaborating with several partners, including Boulder County Public Health and Downtown Boulder, Inc. (DBI), to create a coordinated educational campaign for downtown employees and visitors about the smoking ban on the mall. A celebration event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, April 12, on the 1300 block of the Pearl Street Mall, where county, city and DBI staff will be available to answer questions about the smoking ban and about free resources available for individuals who wish to quit smoking.
The City of Boulder today released a 38-page report detailing the results of extensive research into the possibility of creating a city-owned and operated electric utility. The evaluation looked at a total of six options for meeting the community’s Energy Future goals. One is a baseline evaluation of staying with Xcel Energy with no change to the way it operates. The other five are options predicated on the city creating its own utility, which would be free from regulations that can limit innovation and customization.
The results show that there are several forms a new utility could take that don’t require trade-offs among the community’s core values. The Boulder community has said it wants cleaner and greener energy with rates and reliability comparable to or better than those provided by Xcel Energy. The community is also seeking more local control and a voice in decision-making, as well as an opportunity to enhance economic vitality by providing a test bed for emerging technology and a low-cost, high-reliability environment in which businesses can thrive.
When Boulder voters approved the continued exploration of a municipal utility in November 2011, they set limiting requirements in the Charter that must be met before City Council could proceed. These included provisions related to rates, revenue sufficiency and reliability, as well as plans to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increase renewable sources of energy.
Under some of the options analyzed, a municipal electric utility would meet the Charter metrics and have a high likelihood of being able to:
· Offer all three major customer classes (residential, commercial and industrial) lower rates than what they would pay Xcel, not just on day one, as required by the Charter, but on average over 20 years;
· Maintain or exceed current levels of system reliability and emergency response, and, if the community chose to, use future investments to enhance dependability;
· Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 percent from current levels and exceed the Kyoto Protocol target in year one;
· Obtain 54 percent or more of its electricity from renewable resources; and
· Create a model public electric utility with leading-edge innovations in reliability, energy efficiency, renewable energy, related economic development and customer service.
The report also examines the impact that a variety of stranded cost and acquisition cost rulings could have on rates and revenue requirements over 20 years.
The full memo, with all attachments, is available at www.boulderenergyfuture.com.
Process and Participation
“We are excited to share the results of this detailed analysis with City Council and our community. We believe the findings demonstrate that a municipal utility could be good for consumers, good for Boulder businesses and good for our planet,” said Heather Bailey, executive director of Energy Strategy and Electric Utility Development. “We look forward to an informed conversation over the next couple of month about how best to proceed.”
Bailey said she is especially grateful for the participation of more than 50 community members, many of whom have industry expertise, who donated their time to serve on working groups. These groups helped to ensure that a variety of perspectives was included and that all modeling was based on reasonable assumptions and data.
“This has been a community-wide review process, and this has greatly enhanced the quality and integrity of our report,” Bailey said. “I wish to thank everyone who has played a role in this direct way, as well as the countless members of the public who have shared their thoughts and concerns with me over the past year.”
An Xcel Energy Partnership Alternative?
While the city is committed to exploring ways to achieve “the electric utility of the future,” it has acknowledged that there might be ways to do so short of creating its own utility – in the form of a new partnership with the existing electric provider, Xcel Energy.
In December, the city released a paper that outlined a variety of ideas that could achieve the community’s goals if Xcel Energy is interested. The city has since spoken with officials from the current utility several times, asking them to identify which of the suggestions they would be willing to consider, as well as any innovative approaches the company might like to propose. Xcel officials have said they are open to a dialogue but have not yet come forward with specifics about what ideas they would like to discuss.
The framework for considering how the city should proceed includes the possibility of modeling an Xcel partnership option, when and if additional details become available. There are, in the analysis released today, also at least two options that might be achievable with the participation of a collaborative and willing energy partner.
“What we are looking to do is move beyond a 19th century approach to providing energy and create a forward-looking, innovative and consumer-friendly utility model that reduces our reliance on fossil fuels,” Bailey said. “Xcel Energy has served us for decades, and in many ways, done an admirable job. It is possible they could help us meet our objectives. We would welcome their involvement in a meaningful, timely and transparent discussion.”
Boulder City Council is scheduled to hear a presentation based on this memo and ask questions at a Study Session on Tuesday, Feb. 26. The session will be broadcast live on Comcast Channel 8 for Boulder viewers and online at www.boulderchannel8.com. A recording will also be available at the above website for later viewing. There is no opportunity for public comment at study sessions, but they are an excellent way to learn more about a topic and the staff’s work.
City Council will discuss this issue again – and decide whether to move forward with the next steps related to the potential creation of a city electric utility – on April 16. This meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers at 1777 Broadway and will include a public hearing.
Opportunities for Public Feedback
Between now and council’s April 16 decision, the city is providing multiple ways for the community to provide input about the analysis and how council might move forward.
As always, council accepts correspondence on any issue of community interest. In addition, there is a comment form available for this specific initiative on the project website.
In addition, the city is offering the following unique opportunities:
· An online questionnaire that will be available at www.bouldercolorado.gov between Feb. 27 and March 27;
· A conference telephone call designed to focus on rates and reliability, two key concerns for the business community, from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12 (please register in advance at www.bouldercolorado.gov/energyfuture/businesscall);
· A community open house exploring the pros and cons of each of the modeled options from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13, at the West Senior Center, 909 W. Arapahoe Ave.;
· Focused questions and examination of the options on the city’s new digital town hall platform, Inspire Boulder; and
· Presentations, by invitation, from Bailey or other members of the staff team to interested organizations and associations.
All input collected during the next couple of months will be shared with council in advance of the April 16 meeting.
Starting today, the city is seeking public input on potential amendments to the land use code to help mitigate community impacts related to the overconsumption of alcohol; a short survey is available here. The survey will be available until Nov. 26, 2012. Community input will be used to inform potential land use code amendments to be presented to council in early 2013.
On Aug. 21, 2012, City Council directed staff to seek feedback from the community regarding alcohol overconsumption in the Boulder community, including the role that land use code amendments could play to encourage responsible drinking and minimize the negative impacts on the community related to alcohol use. Council recognizes planning and zoning is just one of the many factors that influence this complex problem.
In 2004, City Council adopted Resolution 960 – A Resolution Concerning Alcohol Abuse in our Community. Since then, planning staff has met with City Council and community stakeholders on a number of occasions to look at options for land use changes, including study sessions in 2009 and a discussion on Aug. 21, 2012.
Starting on Sept. 17, 2012 and going through the end of the month, officers from the Boulder Police Department will increase safety enforcement at city crosswalks as part of “September Crosswalk Safety Weeks.” At its Sept. 18 meeting, City Council will be designating Sept. 17 – 28 as September Crosswalk Safety Weeks as part of the ongoing “Heads Up: Mind the Crosswalk” public education campaign. Police at the University of Colorado will also be stepping up enforcement on and around the campus.
Earlier this year, several new ordinances went into effect. The three ordinances in the Boulder Revised Code are:
- “Stop at crosswalk required” [7-4-77] stipulates that when one vehicle stops to yield for a person in a crosswalk, another vehicle going the same direction in an adjacent lane cannot overtake and pass that vehicle.
- “8 mph speed limit for bicycles in a crosswalk” [7-5-5] establishes a speed limit of 8 mph for bicyclists during the immediate approach, entry and traversal of any crosswalk that spans a roadway.
- ”Pedestrian obedience to traffic signal required” [7-5-15(f)] targets the use of flashing crosswalks (those with flashing yellow crosswalk signs) by requiring a person crossing to enter the crosswalk with the warning device activated.
Boulder police, along with officers from the University of Colorado Police Department, will focus their safety efforts on high-incident crosswalks, many of which are on or near the university campus.
Police will also be keeping an eye on school zones. At the same time, the Boulder Valley School District is educating students about crosswalk safety with activities such as assemblies, art projects and events planned during the designated Crosswalk Safety Weeks.
Fines for breaking these ordinances range from $50 to $125. Drivers may also receive points against their license.
In October 2012, city staff will be recommending a number of revisions to City Council regarding Boulder’s Medical Marijuana Code (BRC 6-14). As part of the process, the city is soliciting public feedback on the proposed code changes prior to presenting them to council.
To collect public input, city staff have prepared a survey to get feedback on key code revisions. Take the public survey now! Feedback will be collected until 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21.
In addition to the survey, the city will host an informational meeting for medical marijuana businesses and representatives of the industry at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 7 in City Council Chambers, 1777 Broadway.
Written comments may also be submitted to email@example.com.
The goal of the code changes are to:
- Make the code more clear and concise so it is more user-friendly;
- Increase fees to cover the costs of licensing medical marijuana businesses;
- Consider limiting advertising similar to the limitations recently adopted in Denver; and
- Increase the distance from medical marijuana businesses to schools from 500 ft to 1,000 ft, consistent with federal law.
For more information, including a complete overview of the proposed code changes visit the Medical Marijuana Businesses website.
Boulder’s Energy Future news
Public input requested; help evaluate the work plan
The City of Boulder is asking for the public’s help in reviewing the draft work plan created to help guide the exploration of potentially forming a municipal electric utility. The city is strongly committed to ensuring a high level of community awareness and engagement throughout this important process, and is looking for effective ways to include community feedback.
The goal of the work plan is to guide the major tasks and activities that must be accomplished in order to deliver a recommended municipalization strategy to City Council.
The draft work plan is available on the Energy Future project website – www.BoulderEnergyFuture.com. Comments are due by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7. To provide input on the plan, use the project’s online comment form or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The draft work plan with community feedback incorporated will be presented to City Council at a Study Session on Tuesday, Aug. 28.
The city values our community’s perspectives and welcomes all feedback on the plan and project.
New edition of Energy Future newsletter available
The latest edition of Boulder’s Energy Future Today newsletter is now available online at www.BoulderEnergyFuture.com. Printed versions are available at various city buildings around town, including all libraries, recreation and senior centers, and the Municipal Building Lobby – 1777 Broadway. Articles in this edition include:
- A proposed strategy for enhanced Climate Action Plan (CAP) programs beginning in 2013
- Municipalization exploration update
- Your CAP tax dollars at work, specifically a finding by consultants about how the money has been spent to date
- An update on the Commercial Energy Efficiency Strategy
- Energy saving tips
Monthly newsletters will be created and distributed throughout the duration of the project. Sign up for the project e-mail list atwww.BoulderEnergyFuture.com to receive an electronic version of the newsletter and frequent project updates.
Second reading of the CAP tax renewal ballot language Aug. 7
City Council will hear the second reading of the proposed Climate Action Plan (CAP) tax renewal ballot language at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 7, in City Council Chambers, 1777 Broadway. Public feedback will be heard at this meeting.
The current CAP tax, set to expire in March 2013, has been used to fund energy efficiency and conservation programs and services for residential, commercial and industrial electrical customers in Boulder for the past five years. These programs include EnergySmart and 10 for Change.
The city, with the help of consultants and the community, recently recommended a set of packages and programs that could be funded if the tax were renewed. Information on the recommended package and a historical analysis of CAP tax funds is available in the May 22 and July 24 information packets presented to City Council. Both packets and all consultant reports are available at www.BoulderEnergyFuture.com.
Boulder Parks and Recreation launches recreation pass program for veterans and active duty military personnel
The Boulder Parks and Recreation Department will offer a special recreation facility pass program for veterans, active duty and reservist military personnel beginning Monday, May 21. Boulder City Councilmember Tim Plass proposed the program, which was approved by City Council on May 15.
The program includes a one-time, free, 90-day recreation facility pass for post-9/11 veterans who are City of Boulder residents. It also offers a 25 percent discount on annual passes for all military personnel and veterans who reside in the City of Boulder or Boulder County. The program is not retroactive for current pass holders. The passes provide entry to all three city recreation centers, two outdoor pools and the Boulder Reservoir.
“We are honored to offer this program and provide an opportunity for returning veterans and other service personnel to participate in health and fitness programs in our local community,” said Alice Guthrie, recreation superintendent for the Parks and Recreation Department.
To qualify, applicants must have served in one of the following branches of service, identified by the Department of Defense:
● Air Force
● Coast Guard
● National Guard
● Merchant Marines
To receive the free 90-day recreation pass, applicants must go to the Parks and Recreation administrative offices at 3198 Broadway Ave. and show a DD-214 form with separation date and a photo ID. To receive the 25 percent discount, applicants must bring either a DD-214 form, valid Veterans ID from the Veterans Affairs Office or valid Active Duty or Reservist ID to one of the three city recreation centers (North Boulder Recreation Center at 3170 Broadway Ave., East Boulder Community Center at 5660 Sioux Drive or South Boulder Recreation Center at 1360 Gillaspie Drive).
The Parks and Recreation Department also offers veterans a variety of therapeutic recreation programs through the EXPAND (EXciting Programs, Adventures and New Dimensions) program.
For more information on the veterans and active duty military personnel facility pass program, visit www.BoulderParks-Rec.org.
City to collect input/host public meeting on disposable bag use
The city’s Local Environmental Action Division (LEAD) is evaluating a variety of options for reducing disposable plastic and paper bag use in Boulder. Spurred by community concerns, City Council requested that staff develop potential options to reduce the use of disposable checkout bags in the city.
The potential options under development include bag bans; bag fees; or a combination of both.
The city is currently seeking public feedback. Residents can provide input in
- Take the Bag Use in Boulder Survey; and/or
- Attend the Bag Use in Boulder public meeting (details below).
The Bag Use in Boulder public meeting is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 23, in the Creekside Room of the West Boulder Senior Center, 909 Arapahoe Ave. At the meeting, residents will have the opportunity to review and provide feedback on the proposed options. Meeting materials will be posted to the project website for those unable to attend.
Potential options will be presented to the Environmental Advisory Board (EAB) on Thursday, April 26. The EAB will then make a recommendation to City Council.
The Boulder Chamber’s advocacy efforts never rest. We are constantly watching, analyzing and speaking up on your behalf to create a vibrant and supportive economic environment.
Stay up to date on city, county and regional policy discussions that impact your business. Bookmark this page for updates on top advocacy issues, follow us on Twitter @boulderadvocacy and subscribe to the monthly Boulder Business Insider e-Newsletter.
Questions? Contact Angelique Espinoza, Public Affairs Manger at (303) 938-2077.
Boulder Chamber Supports Extension of Wind Production Tax Credit
The Boulder Chamber is supporting the extention of the Wind Production Tax Credit. View our letters to Senators Bennet and Udall. Both Senators have delivered speeches on the floor in support of extending this important Colorado job driver.
Senator Bennet’s on the Wind PTC
Senator Udall’s on the Wind PTC
Boulder’s Energy Future
Chamber Engages on Behalf of Members on Next Steps in Boulder’s Energy Future As Xcel Energy files with the PUC regarding renewable energy and DSM Incentives, and the City convenes business energy users to craft an ongoing input process, the Chamber is engaging with both entities to ensure the needs of our members are represented at the table. If you have input on these, or other advocacy issues, please email email@example.com.
Jan. 23, 2012 – Law firm chosen to aid city in potential condemnation proceedings with Xcel Energy read more->
The Boulder Chamber will continue to be at the table as the City evaluates options for its energy supply. With the narrow passage of Ballot Items 2B and 2C, the City Council is empowered to pursue forming a municipal utility. The Chamber supports the City Manager’s committment to caution and meaningful stakeholder input in her Press Release following the election. On December 6th, the City held a rountable with the newly seated Council and staff outlined their near term plans for exploring the feasibility of acquiring the electrical power distribution system from Xcel and forming a municipal power utility. Plans include hiring an Executive Director of Energy Strategy and Electric Utility Development, as well as additional legal and technical support staff. Staff also outlined three possible tiers for Boulder’s Energy Future, from ramping up current conservation and small renewable generation to full scall municipalization. Materials from the meeting are available on the City’s website. The Daily Camera provided this report.
Boulder Channel 1 news thinks the city and the Chamber should have worked out a deal with Xcel which would have led to a clean energy policy with Xcel. They city and chamber will now spend millions if not billions to operate this coal burning fossil.
Pinnacol Assurance Restructuring Proposal Delayed
The Board of Directors for Pinnacol Assurance announced jointly with Governor Hickenlooper that they would not pursue a restructuring proposal to privatize the state’s largest carrier of workers’ compensation insurance during the 2012 Colorado legislative session as previously intended. The Chamber has been following this issue closely since the Colorado businesses insured by Pinnacol have much at stake. Although a specially appointed Task Force spent several months reviewing and receiving input before reporting back the the Governor, many questions remain, such as how restructuring would impact service levels and rates, how to ensure availability of an insurer of last resort, and what happens to the policy holders’ dividends. It is likely that a proposal will come forward for the 2013 session after additional work. For more coverage on this issue, see Ed Sealover’s article in the Denver Business Journal.
State Legislative Update
sponsored by Jensen Public Affairs, Inc.
The opening days of the Colorado legislative session have seen the introduction of several important bills. The Boulder Chamber is currently prioritizing those with the greatest potential to impact the Boulder business community and developing a state legislative agenda for the 2012 session. Check back for ongoing reports on bills of interest to Boulder’s economy.
For the full list of bills under consideration see the following reports:
Bills of Interest->
2012 State Legislative Session Updates from Statewide Chambers:
Colorado Competitive Council (C3)
Colorado Association of Commerce & Industry (CACI)
Boulder Chamber Against PIPA/SOPA
The Boulder Chamber has been following the growing debate over H.R. 3261 the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and S. 968 Protect IP Act (PIPA).While these bills seek to address a real problem of online piracy, the methods used in these bills would undermine freedom of expression, and stifle innovation. Our future prosperity lies in our nation’s ability to remain competitive in the digital age.
The Boulder Valley is the Silicon Valley of the mountain west and the Boulder Chamber will work to defend our innovative economy and its entrepreneurs. To that end, we have asked Senator Bennet to reconsider his cosponorship of the bill. We thank Senator Udall for his opposition to PIPA, and Congressman Polis for his opposition to the House companion bill SOPA. We will follow the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN) bill in the House as a way of better addressing the online piracy issue.
UPDATE: Senator Bennet withdrew as a co-sponsor on January 23rd. The Senate bill was pulled from its scheduled floor vote on the 24 and the House bill’s judiciary committee hearing has been postponed indefinitely. It’s likely these bills are dead for the 112th Congress. Thank you Senator!
Boulder Channel 1 news questions The Chamber wisdom here. The Boulder Anti sopa and anti PIPa crowd are largely criminal hackers who are under investigation by the FBI. The Chamber also heralds the questionable business practices of those involved.
Boulder City Council
The Boulder City Council identified their 2012 priorities at their annual retreat on January 20-21st. The Boulder Chamber hopes to work with this new Council to promote a strong regional economy, and sent this letter for Council’s consideration in advance of their retreat. coverage of the retreat suggests some promising common ground, but also reinforces the importance of the Chamber as an advocate for a strong local economy.
In order to identify areas of common interest between the Boulder business community and City Council, and to identify policy-based opportunities for our organization to better educate and advocate on behalf of our members, we have instituted a Boulder City Council Scorecard to track votes of interest.
City of Boulder Considers Transportation Maintenance Fee
On Tuesday, Jan 24, the Boulder City Council will have a Study Session on a potential Transportation Maintenance Fee (TMF). The Transportation Advisory Board (TAB)has identified an ongoing funding shortfall for Maintenance and Operations, as well as Transportation Enhancements for the City. Although last year’s successful Capital Improvements Project tax will provide one-time funding to address significant deferred maintenance projects, it does not address long-term transportation funding challenges. The TAB has recommended a TMF which would be collected on utility bills and would cost the average household $24 and the average employer $327 per year. We will be following this issue and providing input to the City Council as it moves forward. ->Read More
Highway 36 Commuting Solutions News
Increased Pricetag for Northwest Rail
After preliminary evaluations by BNSF Railway Company, the cost to complete the Northwest Rail from South Westminster Station to Longmont has increased from RTD’s 2011 estimate of $894.4 million to $1.4 billion. This is based on a 2020 completion date, although RTD expects schedule delays due to the significant cost increase of this line. Read full story->
Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
Can you claim the Small Business health Care Tax Credit for 2011? If you are a small employer (business or tax-exempt) that provides health insurence coverage to your employees, follow these 3 simple steps to determine if you may qualify. view full website->
500 Year Floodplain Regulations: Critical Facilities and Mobile Populations Ordinance
How will the Critical Facilities Flooplain ordinance affect you? This ordinance impacts those who use, maintain, own or operate critical faciliites in the 100- or 500- year floodplain. To see if your facility is included, visit the The City of Boulder Flooplain map. If you are in the floodplain AND your business meets any of the facility types defined as essential service, hazardous materials, at-risk populations, or mobile populations, you may be required to meet new regulations. For definitions, the latest draft of the ordinance, information on scheduled meetings, and background information, visit the project website.
First reading of the ordinance WAS SCHEDULED FOR September 20 at 6 p.m.in the City Council Chambers, BUT HAS BEEN DELAYED. CHECK BACK FOR MORE INFORMATION.
Chamber Engages on Behalf of Members on Next Steps in Boulder’s Energy FutureAs Xcel Energy files with the PUC regarding renewable energy and DSM Incentives, and the City convenes business energy users to craft an ongoing input process, the Chamber is engaging with both entities. full story->
Clif Harald (Boulder Economic Council), Sean Maher (Downtown Boulder, Inc.), and Jud Valeski (Chamber Member-Gnip) testified before Council i
n support of a third story addition to the 1600 Pearl building, which will yield 18,309 square feet of much needed Class A Office Space. The building was approved by a 6 to 2 vote.
Boulder Channel 1 News feels this was a horrible mistake. This building is too tall as it is. It was protested when it was built for Borders Books in the 1990′s. It blocks the sun on Pearl ,obscures the view of the Mountains and it was rushed through council. Cliff Harold and Sean Maher should be drummed out of Boulder supporting this horrid decision.
Chamber Recieves Recognition at Annual 10 for Change Awards for being in the top ten for reducing overall GHG emissions in 2011.
Law firm chosen to aid city in potential condemnation proceedings with Xcel Energy
The City of Boulder has selected the law firm of Duncan, Ostrander & Dingess, PC to help the city as it begins potential condemnation proceedings for the electric utility system within city limits that is currently owned by Xcel Energy. The firm will advise the city in all matters related to the acquisition of electrical distribution facilities and will work to determine the fair value of those facilities.
The city has retained this counsel to provide expert assistance as it moves towards potential municipalization of the electrical distribution system in Boulder, which stems from the passage of ballot items 2B and 2C in November. The city has said it intends to hire outside legal counsel, as well as engineering consultants, to perform some of the work necessary to determine the final costs associated with acquiring Xcel’s system and starting a city-owned electrical utility. City Council will not make a decision about whether to issue bonds to pursue municipalization until those costs are known.
If the city decides to proceed with asset acquisition, and a price cannot be negotiated with Xcel Energy, Duncan, Ostrander & Dingess, PC will file all legal actions that may be necessary to work through the condemnation process. The firm will work closely with city staff and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) counsel, engineers and appraisers as the city creates a separation plan and conducts negotiations.
Duncan, Ostrander & Dingess, PC was chosen from a field of 10 original submissions that was narrowed down to three finalists after a review of all credentials. In evaluating submitted proposals, the city looked at whether the firm had prior experience representing governments in condemnation proceedings, and the nature and extent of its practice in Colorado.
Duncan, Ostrander & Dingess, PC has more than 30 years (as individuals and then as a firm) of service helping governments, urban renewal authorities and utility companies to acquire property for public projects in a timely manner and at fair prices, and has previously represented the City of Boulder in condemnation proceedings. In 2011, U.S. News & World Report designated the law firm as “Best Lawyers Tier One – Eminent Domain and Condemnation, and Litigation – Eminent Domain and Condemnation.”
The firm and its individual members have served as lead counsel for a number of high-profile public projects that required acquisition of multiple parcels in numerous jurisdictions under time restraints imposed by bond financing or other public financing. These include E-470, T-REX, Prairie Waters, FasTracks, the White Cliffs Pipeline and the Rocky Mountain Express Pipeline.
2011 Community Survey results available
Results of the 2011 Community Survey that was conducted this fall are now available online and will be presented to City Council at its regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012. Copies of the report are also available in the Main Library, 1001 Arapahoe Ave.
In September and October, surveys were mailed to more than 3,000 households and more than 400 University of Colorado students living in on-campus dormitories. Surveys could also be completed online and were available in Spanish. A total of 971 surveys were returned, which resulted in a 33 percent response rate. That is considered a good rate of return.
The survey asked people about their priorities for the city, quality of life, and their overall satisfaction with government services. Survey responses indicated:
- Perceptions of the quality of life, quality of neighborhoods and the sense of community in Boulder remain high;
- Employment and business related ratings were also high, with 77 percent of respondents rating Boulder as “very good’ or “good” as a place to work, and 69 percent rating Boulder as “very good” or “good” as a place to do business; and,
- Respondents’ priorities for City Council included energy, housing and business development.
The survey results also provided information about public participation and how people would like to obtain information about meetings, issues and programs:
- Approximately 25 percent of respondents said that they had attended a public meeting about city matters in the last year, and about 25 percent had watched a City Council meeting on the city’s municipal Channel 8.
- The Camera (72%), direct mailings (65%), and the city’s website (55%) – www.bouldercolorado.gov – were the most common sources of public information from the city.
The 2011 survey included additional outreach to Spanish speakers through community organizations, and 43 completed surveys were received. Priorities and concerns for these respondents included safety, affordable shopping, housing, adult education opportunities and activities for youth.
A slightly revised survey was also distributed to Boulder youth to help the city determine their concerns and needs. A total of 234 returned surveys indicated that youth priorities include homelessness, improving activities for young people, jobs, discrimination, bike safety and facilities, and the environment.
Survey results will be used to inform the budget process, plan for future projects, develop community outreach and various other ways to help make Boulder a better place to live and work. A complete list of results, responses and methodologies is available at www.BoulderColorado.gov > Hot Topics > 2011 Community Survey Results.
The survey was conducted by Boulder-based National Research Center Inc. Results were weighted and the margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points from the information that would have been obtained if all Boulder adults were surveyed.
City to hold public hearing on proposed park closure rule Jan. 3
The City of Boulder will hold a public hearing on a proposed rule that would close parks, parkways, recreation areas and open spaces from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly. The hearing will occur during the already scheduled City Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012. The meeting is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. and will be held in Council Chambers, 1777 Broadway.
The public hearing will give community members an additional opportunity to express their views about the proposed rule. The hearing also will provide a forum for council members to ask questions of the city manager and city attorney and provide some direction in light of feedback they have received from their constituents.
The city manager proposed the nighttime closure rule on Dec. 16 because of increasing concerns about safety and health risks associated with encampments and other activities that occur in these locations after dark. The rule would not apply to individuals passing through the affected areas on foot or bicycle – or to events that have been approved through the city’s permitting process. Nor would it prohibit lawful activity, including constitutionally protected activity and political protests, during the remaining 18 hours of the day, between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.
Unlike most public hearings, council is not currently considering an ordinance related to park closures. The discussion that occurs, however, is likely to shape the city manager’s decision about how to proceed with the rule she has proposed under authority granted to her by Boulder Revised Code.
The decision to hold a public hearing was made today during a Council Agenda Committee meeting. The Council Agenda Committee includes city staff and three council members who look ahead to upcoming meeting agendas and determine how to make the sessions as efficient and productive as possible. Committee participants agreed that a public hearing would result in a more focused discussion, allowing for council questions to be informed by public comment and a staff presentation.
“We recognize that this is an important decision for our community, and the committee felt that this additional opportunity for public input would be valuable,” City Manager Jane S. Brautigam said. “I am looking forward to hearing the perspectives of community members and City Council as we work together to address important health and safety issues.”
In addition to the public hearing, the city has been collecting written comments as part of a 15-day public comment period. Written comments are being accepted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by US mail at Parks Closure Rule, City of Boulder Box 791, Boulder, CO, 80306, until 5 p.m. on Jan. 2, 2012.
I wanted to add one additional question, though, it has nothing to do with my Open records request.
Why did the Boulder Police Department stop at two witnesses being interviewed when I gave them three additional witnesses that also had a recollection of events similar to mine?
Chief Beckner? is it because you might be getting too close to the truth, that your officer actions were uncalled for and she lied about the incident after the fact to cover her own wrongdoing.
On Oct 15, 2011, at 10:01 AM, SETH BRIGHAM wrote:
It seems my written request to The Boulder Police Department changed their mind, when I received a call to pick up some materials, no thanks to Tom Carr, who denied my request.
Still, they claimed to have no documents in the property/evidence department. There are no documents, notes, e-mails, communications other than the Police Report 11-6851?
I would expect there must still be a file of documents, something, that pertains to the case, like detective notes, e-mails, for example, between myself and Chief Beckner and Yamaguchi?
I have those e-mails.*
But, there is no record of that?
As well, I made an official complaint of the actions of the arresting officer to Sgt. Kerry Yamaguchi who was supposed to investigate such complaints. I never got a response from Yamaguchi.
So, no investigation was pursued or Beckner took it upon himself to have two witnesses I identified to be contacted and interviewed? He e-mailed a response to me but that’s not part of the record?
Isn’t any action by The Police department or public officials in regard to my charges, arrest, saved as evidence? And, I expect, suspect, that there was some communication between public officials about my arrest.
Surely, there is more that the Boulder police department has than this “evidence” on CD of two interviews* of two witnesses and photographs* of the “scene” that came about due to my advocacy, my complaint.
So, my request is down to any documents or e-mails, communications between the parties; The City of Boulder, any public officials, City Manager, even Carr… The Boulder Police department? in regard to my arrest on June 3rd, 2011.
Strange, I thought they saved any and all, as required in case there is a defense ? I suspect some “meddling” by Boulder Public officials ( that includes member or members of City Council, City Manager and/or City Attorney as evidenced by the reckless and defamatory Press release ), so I ask, request, that you fish for all “documents” other than that I have described as getting *.
3383 Madison Avenue #W225
On Oct 14, 2011, at 12:07 PM, North, Sandy wrote:
C I T Y O F B O U L D E R, C O L O R A D O
Office of the City Manager
Post Office Box 791
Boulder, Colorado 80306
Telephone (303) 441-3059
Facsimile (303) 441-4925
Recipient: Seth Brigham
E-mail reply only: Sethbrigham@gmail.com
Re: Open Records Request: duplication of all the documents, photographs, interview of witnesses, everything and anything related to my arrest on June 3rd, 2011, case/ report 11-6851
Dear Mr. Brigham,
The City of Boulder has received your open records request, pursuant to C.R.S. 24-72-201. This request was received in the office of Central Records on October 13, 2011 at 12:14 PM.
The City’s policy on open records requests is to assess a reasonable charge for research, retrieval and copying of records to allow recovery of the value of a portion of staff time required to respond to open records requests. An estimate of the cost of this request will follow and compiling of the requested information will begin as soon as we receive payment. Because this request is considered voluminous in the amount of time required, you have the opportunity to review your request and determine if you would like to revise, redefine, and narrow the scope of your request.
The city can provide only public records that are not privileged and documents that already exist. The city does not have the resources to compile information in all forms requested, but will provide the records only in the form maintained by the city. Common privileges for documents include and are not limited to attorney/client work-product. Work product and drafts which are advisory or deliberative in nature and which are created for the benefit of elected officials are not public records. Furthermore, documents where release is contrary to the public interest may be withheld in accordance with the Colorado Open Records Act, C.R.S. 24-72-201, et seq.
An additional per page fee for copying may be assessed at .25 for a letter size black and white copy, and payment for the copies is required prior to pick up.
To: North, Sandy
Cc: Council; Brautigam, Jane; Urie, Heath; Erica Meltzer; Pamela White; Jefferson Dodge; Christopher Dodd; David Lane; email@example.com golden; Philip M Bienvenu; Smoke, Rob; Jann Scott; OpenForum; Erika Stutzman; Michael Roberts
Subject: Open records request for all documents, duplication of materials related to Police report/ case 11-6851
Dear City of Boulder Records,
I am requesting a duplication of all the documents, photographs,
interview of witnesses, everything and anything related to my arrest
on June 3rd, 2011, case/ report 11-6851 …
I am requesting anything pertaining to the case, other than the police
report itself, from the Boulder Police Department, The City of Boulder
and any public officials who may have become involved in any way,
shape or manner.
I have previously agreed to a deferred prosecution, which means that
the case is not pending, and I am considered innocent until proven
There is no trial set. And, if there were, I would have the right to
these materials, evidence. If the charges were dropped, I would still
have that right.
Under law, the person, I, Seth Brigham, to whom the records pertain
has the right to obtain the records.
A criminal justice record means any writing made, any materials,
evidence, maintained, or kept by a criminal justice agency.
I believe this also goes for Boulder City Government.
It is my suspicion that public officials may have intervened in my
case and their may be communications between the parties; Boulder
Police department, City Attorney, City manager, City Council member(s)
that may have “prejudiced” my case,
as a Press release was released by the City attorney with consent from
The City manager and /or other public officials immediately after I
agreed to a deferred prosecution.
I had no idea there was a vendetta against me, retribution for finding
the City of Boulder at fault in another arrest of myself, Seth Brigham.
I believe charges would have been dropped had I not been Seth Brigham.
Review the Police report and you will see what a weak case the
Records of official actions must be disclosed by the criminal justice
agencies when requested. I believe the same goes for The City of
Boulder and Boulder public officials.
It is a basic right. And, one would wonder why our fair city would
deny me this right except that they are covering up their own
So, what is the City of Boulder and the Boulder Police department
afraid of. They have already convicted me in the press.
Do I not have the right to the information needed to clear my name and
show that wrongdoing by the Boulder police department; false arrest
and infringement on my right to free speech.
Does the city have a right to cover their “tracks” in fear that they
will be sued??? The City Attorney refused to back off his statement
which was filled with lies and slander and now he is afraid that the
evidence will show otherwise.
Is this open government in action in Boulder? I think not.
3383 Madison Avenue #W225
Residents encouraged to secure trash and food sources to protect bears
The City of Boulder reminds residents that this is the time of year when bears are foraging for food, in preparation for their winter hibernation. It is important that residents take measures to deter bears by securing any potential food sources on their properties.
Bear-proofing food items and trash is the best way for residents to minimize the chances that bears will show interest in their property. Common bear attractants include garbage, compost, bird feeders, food from outdoor grills, pet food left outside and fruit from trees. The city recommends that residents store garbage and compost bins in a garage or shed until the morning of collection, or keep their waste in a bear-resistant trash container. Residents within the city limits of Boulder can contact Western Disposal at 303-444-2037 to purchase bear-resistant trash containers.
Bears that learn that people are a source of food are sometimes killed to keep the public safe. Over the past six years, five bears have been killed in the city because of nuisance behavior or a threat to public safety. Please do your part to ensure that bears are not unnecessarily attracted to your property.
If there is a bear in your backyard, the following tips are recommended:
Keep your distance. Back away slowly from the bear, ensuring it has a clear escape path;
Never run. Running may cause a bear to chase you;
Never approach a bear, or get in between a cub and its mother;
Never provide food to a bear. This teaches it to approach people for food;
Do not let the bear become comfortable around your home; and
Once you are safely inside, do your best to scare the bear away. Yell, clap your hands and make other loud noises to encourgage the bear to leave.
If the bear is threatening human safety, pets or destroying property, call the police at 911. Report past bear sightings and encounters at 303-441-3004.
The city is in the final stages of developing the Black Bear and Mountain Lion component of the Urban Wildlife Management Plan (UWMP) and has prepared a draft version for public input. To view the draft plan and submit feedback, visit www.boulderwildlifeplan.net. Feedback provided prior to Sept. 28 will be incorporated into the Oct. 18 memo for City Council’s consideration.
The City of Boulder is in the final stages of developing the Black Bear and Mountain Lion component of the Urban Wildlife Management Plan (UWMP) and would like your feedback! A public open house will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at the West Boulder Senior Center, 909 Arapahoe Ave. The open house is being held to provide draft plan information, answer questions and solicit feedback. The draft plan is available for review at www.boulderwildlifeplan.net.
The plan aims to address the following key issues:
Public communication enhancements about bear and lion activity in the urban area;
Ongoing public education on how to minimize potential human/wildlife conflicts;
Management of trash and other urban environment attractants; and
Policies and laws pertaining to intentionally/unintentionally feeding wildlife and how that affects human/wildlife conflicts.
To view the draft plan and submit feedback, visit www.boulderwildlifeplan.net. Feedback provided prior to Sept. 28 will be incorporated into the Oct. 18 City Council memo.
Accepted by City Council in 2006, the first component of the UWMP covered the management of the black-tailed prairie dog. This is the second component of the plan to be presented to council for consideration on Tuesday, Oct. 18.
For more information, contact Valerie Matheson at 303-441- 3004 or via e-mail at Mathesonv@bouldercolorado.gov.