Says it all …

3 May

We apologize for not having posted anything in awhile but the county continues to life difficult for those living in the county! Check out this article in the Longmont Times Call: http://www.longmontweekly.com/longmont-opinion/ci_19562477?source=most_viewed.

Advertisements

Letter to the Editor, Boulder Daily Camera

14 Feb

I haven’t verified the validity of the information in this post, but thought it was interesting and maybe worth researching!

ClimateSmart

Program is a

waste of money

I borrowed money via the ClimateSmart loan program back in 2009 thinking that it was a great way to finance energy improvements to my house. In my case windows and insulation upgrades. I am now selling my house and need to pay off the loan.

Imagine my surprise when I saw that the program added about 16 percent in fees to the principle of the loan! If Boulder County were a credit card company, they would be hauled in front of Congress and rightly criticized for gouging and misleading their customers.

The ClimateSmart program was touted as a way to get inexpensive loans to help homeowners improve the carbon footprint of Boulder County. Instead it has become the most expensive homeowners’ loan I have ever had. I’ve owned four houses over the last 18 years and ClimateSmart’s effective interest rate is equal to the 9.4 percent loan on first home back in 1994. Even worse, the 16 percent in fees are effectively an early payoff penalty.

If there is any discussion of continuing this plan, please remember this awful management of the program and don’t renew it. Underwriting home loans written by private sector banks will likely result in far better deals for the people of Boulder County.

JV RUDD

Carports and Gazebos

1 Feb

The county has made a change in the rules regarding Gazebos and Carports. They have increased the amount of space these two items can occupy without it counting towards your total residential square footage. Or course, the numbers are still silly but at least it is a step in the right direction!

This docket is a proposed text amendment to Article 18-189D of the Boulder County Land Use Code, related to the definition of residential floor area (used for purposes of Site Plan Review and the Expanded Transfer of Development Rights program).  The subject docket proposes a slight change to the exception in the definition of residential floor area.  The current exception exempts gazebos and carports under 200 square feet each, up to a total of 400 square feet, from counting as residential floor area.  The proposed revision is to exempt 400 square feet total of gazebo or carport in any configuration from counting as residential floor area. 
 
Proposed Amendment to Article 18 – Definitions:
18-189D  Residential Floor Area 
For the purposes of Site Plan Review and the presumptive size thresholds associated with the
Expanded Transfer of Development Rights Program, Residential Floor Area includes all attached and detached floor area (as defined in 18-162) on a parcel including principal and accessory structures used or customarily used for residential purposes, such as garages, studios, pool houses, home offices, and workshops. (Exemptions: Gazebos and carports under 200 square feet up to a total combined size of 400 square feet.)

Some Hope …

20 Jan
The Boulder County planning department meeting last night went surprisingly well. An article in the Times – Call explained it fairly well (http://www.timescall.com/news/longmont-local-news/ci_19771134).

The Planning Department recognized, after months of public input, that there are legitimate concerns with over-intrusive building codes in the county AND that public input should be one of the guiding principles to be used to draft the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan. After hearing the public testimonies, one person on the Planning Commission suggested the words “personal freedom” be put into the introduction. During the session, there was some confusion though as to who had the authority to approve the plan…the Planning Commission
or the County Commissioners. A speaker from the public suggested, after reading state law, that the Planning Commission was in charge of making the final decision on the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan. After consulting a county attorney, this was “partially verified.” On the surface, this seems hopeful since the Planning Department seems to be a little more balanced than the commissioners with all but two calling for increased public participation.

Is the battle won? Not even close. There are too many people in Boulder that subscribe to UN Agenda 21 and believe people shouldn’t live in the county and should be hoarded into the cities, thus making life difficult for those who live in the unincorporated areas as a way to move them out. And the process for change will be long – pressure MUST be kept on and residents of unincorporated Boulder County MUST be heard. But at least we made it to the race course, the race has started, we are starting into the first curve, and the trip to the finish line is a possibility!

This blog will continue to give hints on dealing with these restrictive codes and how to achieve the dreams you have always had regarding YOUR property!

Important Meeting!

5 Jan

An important meeting:

Courthouse Building, 1325 Pearl Street, 3rd Floor, 4:30 PM

“Report on BCCP (Boulder County Comprehensive Plan). Update neighborhood meeting conversations and comments about the draft.
Guiding Principles and other matters related to the BCCP. Staff will be asking Planning Commission for direction on preparing revisions to the Guiding Principles.”

Public comment will be taken!

Never Again “get a permit from the county”

31 Dec

I was recently in Niwot Market chatting with a friend I hadn’t seen in quite some time. When asked what I was doing, I told her about this blog. Her face immediately changed and she told me a story about how a few years ago, they remodeled their kitchen. Working with the county on a simple remodel was so difficult that subsequent remodels have been done with no permits at all – and that they would rather move out of the county than deal with the county again (which is probably the goal of the county – see previous post).

Oops .. did Boulder County Really Just Admit That????

17 Dec

A resident of unincorporated Boulder County comments on the December 14th meeting” 

On Dec. 14th at the Boulder County Courthouse, anxious citizens gathered to share their thoughts with the three County Commissioners and select members of the Planning Commission Board. In a meeting lasting 3 hours, about 26 people stood up to give impressive public testimony to the commissioners on where they think the regulations are broken and where they think the County should leave well enough alone.

The Main Issue:
There is a renaissance of agriculture in Boulder County. People have a renewed interest in eating local and visiting the places where their food is grown. This movement, accompanied by farm dinners and hands-on events, are sweeping the country. Citizens of Boulder County believe that a place such as Boulder, with the County’s deep seeded agricultural history, should be a forerunner for this movement. Even the County’s called upon expert confirmed that there is a surge in small farming interest and beginning farmers are aspiring for a 10 acre or less agricultural opportunity.

At this public hearing, small farmers are asking for the County’s support in allowing them multiple streams of revenue…events, tours, farm stands. Currently, the Land Use Code is so confusing and so overly restrictive, it confuses and limits small farmers who are trying to make it financially on just their crop production, and are turning away interested people that are craving the farm experience.

Did The County Just Admit to That?
Toward the end of the session, Abby Shannon, the Land Use Planner, stated her concerns to the panel about how the County will support an infrastructure of taking people from the city centers back into the county when the County has worked very hard over the last decade to move everyone out of the rural areas and into the city center.  This speaks directly to the perceived plot of the County to drive out its Unincorporated Boulder County (rural) residents by restricting their freedoms and making life difficult and unreasonable for them.  I guess it takes the charge out of a conspiracy theory when they openly admit to their plan.

An Explanation as to WHY we aren’t heard in unincorporated Boulder County

11 Dec

A recent article in the Boulder Daily Camera offers a pretty decent explanation as to why we aren’t listened as a group in unincorporated Boulder County. One of the last paragraphs in the article says it well: ” I think of my neighbors, one a die-hard libertarian and the other a young couple, who have, like so many people, run afoul of the county’s byzantine, unfair, unnecessarily intrusive land-use rules. And so long as you have not just one party, but a cadre of party insiders, running the show, it’s hard for citizens like these to be heard.” Check out the full article at http://www.dailycamera.com/opinion-columnists/ci_19511126.

7 Dec

There is a very important meeting December 14th on the 3rd floor of the Boulder County Courthouse at 1:30 pm.

The meeting is regarding the “Potential Land Use Code Text Amendments Related to Agricultural Uses”.

Even though this meeting isn’t directly related to residental building codes, there are a lot of very important things the county wants to change/address that will have a huge impact on residents of unincorporated Boulder County. Here are just a few:

  • If you have a horse in Boulder County, pay attention: many of the proposed recommendations will limit the rights of people to keep horses throughout Boulder County. For additional information, go to http://www.boulderhorse.org or contact them at info@boulderhorse.org.
  • Community Gardens are now limited in size: when Niwot applied for a park across from Whistle Stop park (park with the caboose), Niwot could only include a very small community garden because if it were too large, it would be a “2nd principal use and you can’t have two principal uses” – park and ag.
  • Limiting Christmas tree sales or other farm stands to 90% grown on the site – silly.

There are many other issues such as these – the meeting is worth attending!

Meet the Candidates

7 Dec

For those of you interested in hearing the views of democratic candidates for two Boulder County commissioner seats up for election next year, there is a forum at 1:30 pm this Saturday (December 10th) at the democratic party’s headquarters, 1725B Walnut Street, Boulder, Colorado. If you attend, PLEASE report to us any candidates that might be interested in supporting our freedom! Check out: http://www.timescall.com/news/ci_19479881?IADID=Search-www.timescall.com-www.timescall.com for more details.