Tag Archives: sustainability

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.


Boulder News: Redevelopment at Eastpointe Apartments


Early in November, Boulder City Council encouraged developers to offer diverse housing at Eastpointe.  The aging apartment complex in East Boulder was owned by an ambivalent landlord who kept rental rates reasonable.  In December 2014, the property was purchased by Aimco, a Denver based company that is one of the largest owners and operators of apartment communities in the US.  Aimco wishes to redevelop the site, but must abide by the City Council’s goals for affordable housing.

In early September the City Council called for the plans to be reviewed during concept phase even though they could not deny the project during this phase.  They are only able to offer suggestions consistent with their goals.  “We can’t prevent property owners from redeveloping,” Mayor Suzanne Jones said, “but I do think we can try to have it done as sensitively as possible.”

The Eastpointe proposal seems to meet City Council’s affordable housing and increased dwelling density goals.  Cash in lieu for affordable housing and an increase in dwelling count from 140 units to 233 help further the Council’s goals.  The current parking would be moved underground to leave room for additional green space in the complex.

All these changes will have an impact on those living in Eastpointe as rents are expected to dramatically increase.  Residents have spoken out about this increase, concerned about their ability to afford continuing to live there.  Another concern is the focus on smaller units which will exclude many families.

“I’m very concerned about the loss of two-bedroom units and the lack of much idea of where those people who right now are occupying those two-bedroom units are supposed to go,” Councilwoman Lisa Morzel said to Aimco representatives. “I would ask that you consider the current residents and really look for what we’re looking for, which is housing that meets more than one person’s needs.”

Aimco Senior Vice President Patti Shwayder stated that it was not likely they would be able to provide low-income housing on the new site.  Aimco claims to offer help relocating any residents to the best of their ability.  “We’re not a fix-and-flipper,” she said. “We like to be a part of the community.   This is great housing where it should be.  We’re replacing aging and really inefficient buildings that will come down at some point … with a brand new community that will be sustainable and last for a long time.”



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.