2017: The year in preview
By Bob Yates
Happy New Year. Now that the holidays are behind us, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get back to work.
Sometimes folks ask how much advance planning goes into the Boulder City Council’s meeting agendas. A lot, actually. Every January, Council spends a day and a half at a retreat with the City Manager and the heads of her departments to chart out our priorities for the coming year. Then we apply a reality filter and pare the list down to those things we will actually have time for. Based on that plan, the Council Agenda Committee meets every Monday morning throughout the year to schedule specific meeting agendas four to five weeks out.
Although City Council met something like 58 times last year, and the meetings tended to average about five hours in length (six or seven hours is not unusual), that still gives us only about 300 hours of meeting time during the year to get stuff done, about half of which is consumed by public commentary and testimony. And, of course, we have to give ourselves some cushion for events that we can’t fully anticipate in January but which will impose themselves on us urgently sometime during the course of the year, from known unknowns (we’ll get some development projects, but we don’t know which ones or when) to unknown unknowns (flood, fire, and famine). Accordingly, we try to plan about 80 percent of our time, leaving room for things that invariably pop up.
So, the following is a preview, as of New Year’s Day, of the city staff’s laundry list of things that Council could tackle in 2017. Monthly timing listed below is just a rough estimate and becomes less precise in the latter part of the year. But it’s probably directionally correct. And we will likely add or subtract a few items during Council’s retreat on January 20-21. With those caveats, here’s generally what 2017 might look like:
- Co-op housing ordinance
- Development of 3303 Broadway
- Sanctuary city determination
- Implementation of development-related impact fees
- Potential renewal of 2014 Ballot Measure 2A
- Review affordable housing program
- Progress Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan
- Review city investment policy
- Tax planning for 2017 and beyond
- 30th & Pearl (former Pollard site) RFP
- Alpine-Balsam (former BCH site) re-development
- Development of 90/96 Arapahoe
- Update height ordinance