Tag Archives: Enviornment

Boulder News: Boulder Country Awards $126k in Local Grants

Boulder County has given a sum total of $126k for the cities and towns  for new projects.  Specifically, projects and services aimed toward environmental sustainability.  There are a great number of sustainability projects that can be pursued thanks to these grants.  For example, Longmont intends to develop new ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  And, Nederland plans to build a greenhouse to increase food production.

The sustainability coordinator for Boulder, Susie Strife, commented on the grants.  “We are grateful for the leadership of municipalities to advance sustainability in our region.  We value the partnerships we have built to meet our shared vision of more sustainable communities.”

In addition to the grant money, municipalities will also match at least 25% of the funds awarded.  However, Jamestown, Nederland, and Ward will provide local services equivalent to that amount in place of raw funds.

The city of Boulder’s grant of $15,000 will be used to create a strategy for increasing electric vehicle adoption rates.  The overall goal is to reach a level that meets the city’s climate commitment target.  Lafayette has a similar goal with their $15,000 involving solar power.  They intend to make the process of planning and permitting panels much easier.  Additionally, solar workshops and resources for the community will be made available.

Louisville, also receiving $15,000, will hire a sustainability consultant.  They will carry out the city’s short and long term objectives in their Sustainability Action Plan.  Superior will use their $15,000 to improve their waste drop off site.  This will increase waste diversion from the landfill, while also making the facility more user friendly and safer.  Superior’s goal is to reach 50% waste diversion with this grant.

Jamestown, receiving the smallest grant of $6,785, also looks to use the funds for waste diversion.  Their approach will be through community education on zero waste and recycling collection.  Ward intends to continue efforts in food security.  Also, they will be able to hire a consultant to look into septic system solutions.

All projects were reviewed and approved by the County.  They were detailed in full in the country news release.


Open Space Debate Continues


The opportunity presented by the 20 acres of vacant government land is a subject of great debate.  The issue was shelved in October to reconsider proposals.  On one hand, there are those who wish for the space to be used for new affordable housing.  While on the other, many also want it to remain an open space.  But, before any decision can be made, a plan must go through four separate government bodies.   They are the county Planning Commission, the Board of County Commissioners, the Boulder Planning Board and the Boulder City Council.

The head of Boulder County Housing and Human Services, Frank Alexander, “see[s] this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”  When speaking to the Boulder County Planning Commission members, he stated: “We are truly in an affordable housing crisis.”  Alexander and a member of the BVSD are the main forces behind turning the land into affordable housing.

However, on the other side of the issue is Dave Rechberger.  Rechberger’s organization is arguing to keep the 20 acres of land as open space.  He believes that the property should be viewed as two 10 acre spaces, and treated separately.  His group has legal objections to the plans put forth.  One of which claims the school system would violate state law by using the space for a school or public use.  Rechberger’s Twin Lakes Action Group is “ready, willing and able to fight this in a court of law.”

After a four and a half hour long meeting on January 18th, a vote was taken.   Over 75 people were registered to come in and speak about the issue, with 62 appearing.   These citizens are concerned members of the community taking the opportunity to speak up.  Both sides of the issue were given voice for the commissioners to hear before voting.  In a 4-3 split, with two members of the Planning Commission absent, the land was designated for medium density housing.

It won’t be until February 15th that the Commission votes on possible changes to the current plan.    Unlike January’s meeting, all 9 commissioners will be present. .   Whatever plan is agreed upon in February will then be taken to the county commissioners.  From there, the issue will presented to a public hearing held by the Boulder Planning Board and Boulder City Council.  Only after going through all four government bodies will any plan for this land be accepted.


Second Annual Boulder Green Home Tour


It’s no secret that Boulder Colorado is home to some of the most environmentally friendly people in the country.  It is because of this high level of awareness and concern for our planet that the Boulder Green Home Tour is able to host their second year of annual self-guided tours of the most innovative green housing currently available.  This tour, hosted on September 24th, gives any ticket holder an opportunity to see many of these new energy efficient homes, ranging from traditional styles to multi-family projects.  All of these homes are selected not only because of their low impact on the environment, but also to demonstrate how homes built with energy efficient materials that utilize renewable energy can still be beautiful places to live.

One of the many allures of the tour is its self guided nature, meaning that attendees are free to choose which order they see the homes in, and how much time they want to spend in each one between the hours of 10am and 4pm.  This is an event you will want to see in person, because no interior photographs are allowed out of respect for the home’s owners.  There are expected to be 10-15 homes available for touring on the 24th.  After which there will not be another opportunity to see them again until next year.

The inspiration for the Boulder Green Home Tour was to bring together members of the community, architects, contractors, and vendors in an open dialog of new ideas and possibilities for future green homes.  To further facilitate these discussions and learning possibilities, the Boulder Green Home Tour also offers an evening of presentations the day before the tour begins as a free bonus to those who purchased tickets for the tour.  This year includes presentations on Green Building 101, Net Zero, and Passive House.  This smaller, more intimate, evening gives the public a rare opportunity to have in depth discussions with architects and contractors.  To not exclude those who are unable to attend this pre-event, there is also an open after party for all ticket holders.  This gives the attendees another chance to speak with members of the industry, as well as vote on which home will receive the People’s Choice Award.

In 2015, the first year the tour was held, over 450 visitors came to tour the 11 environmentally friendly homes on display.  All the work and effort done by Boulder Green Home to create such a successful first event paid off by bringing them more attention from sponsors and the public for the second annual tour.  For 2016 they are expecting anywhere between 200 and 500 attendees.  10% of every $15 dollar ticket sold will be donated to Flatirons Habitat for Humanity to further their projects in the Boulder community.

If you have any questions about Boulder Green Homes or real estate, please contact Adam Kroll.