It’s Friday, Nov. 17, 2023.
The Friday before Thanksgiving. If you’re traveling today or soon, I hope those travels are safe and smooth.
For today, John Herrick has a story about the latest election results. Boulder County released a fresh batch of results yesterday afternoon. And those results tell of a coming recount to determine who will sit on the final city council seat. Ryan Schuchard is ahead of Terri Brncic by just 47 votes, a small enough margin to force the county to recheck — though the outcome is expected to remain unchanged. Already elected to council are current Councilmember Tara Winer, Tina Marquis, a former president of the Boulder Valley School District Board of Education, and Taishya Adams, a former commissioner to Colorado Parks and Wildlife and inaugural member of the city’s Police Oversight Panel.
Also, the city council voted unanimously last night to rescind decade-old liquor regulations that applied to University Hill and nowhere else in the city. It was the last meeting of this council and their last major policy decision.
Finally, Boulder city staff apologized to Boulderites on Wednesday for a lack of communication around the Upper Goose Creek/Twomile Creek flood mitigation project. Held at Foothills Elementary School, the information session was perhaps an attempt to better interact with residents who voiced frustration to city council in May that they didn’t know a flood project was being considered in their backyards until their neighbors told them.
Enjoy your weekend.
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Ryan Schuchard is ahead of Terri Brncic by just 47 votes. The recount is likely to occur in early December, just days before the new council is sworn in. All election results are here and BRL’s ongoing coverage is here. Continue reading…
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In other news
A gorgeous day
Sunny and mid-60s will make your Friday terrific. Saturday will also be fantastic, even more so than Friday if you’re a fan of clouds, as there will be a few of those. And Sunday, if you prefer it a touch colder with some rain, will certainly fit the bill.
City council unanimously repeals liquor rules for University Hill
The previous rules, adopted in 2013, required that any new bar or restaurant with a liquor license must generate at least half its gross income from food sales and close by 11 p.m. The regulations sought to discourage drinking and partying in the student neighborhood. But many believed the rules have hurt bars and restaurants in an area grappling with economic stagnation. We reported on the ordinance earlier this week.
The changes were part of a broader land-use reform package that has been in the works for about five years. They aim to remove barriers and streamline rules for businesses located in neighborhood centers. This includes eliminating discretionary reviews for larger bars and restaurants. Another change seeks to make it easier to build duplexes and townhomes in zoning districts where commercial areas transition to residential.
City staff apologize for lack of flood mitigation outreach
On Nov. 15, City of Boulder staff held an information session at Foothills Elementary School about the Upper Goose Creek/Twomile Creek Flood mitigation project. An undertaking that has brought much public ire to city staff, it’s one of the more than 30 such projects the city hopes to finish in the next three decades to make Boulder more flood resilient.
In May, the Boulder City Council approved a conceptual plan for the roughly $40 million project that would take some 527 structures out of the 100-year floodplain of the two drainages. Yet some Boulderites living along a pivotal stretch of the project on Edgewood Drive spoke out at that council meeting, saying the only reason they found out about the upcoming vote was from their neighbors.
One resident of Edgewood Drive said the city’s community engagement efforts “were perfunctory at best and negligent at worst.”
Joe Taddeucci, director of utilities for the city, apologized at the Nov. 15 meeting for the city’s insufficient outreach. But he said that the community engagement thus far has “already shaped what we’re planning here,” and added that in the City of Boulder “the community has a lot of power.” Read more on BRL.
Boulder County to begin election audit Saturday
The Boulder County Election Division will begin conducting an audit of the 2023 election this Saturday. The public is welcome to watch the audit, which is a standard security procedure to ensure election results are accurate.
The “risk-limiting” audit is considered the “gold standard” test of election results and is conducted by all Colorado counties, the county says. In the audit, a sample of paper ballots is compared to the digital tallies. The software used in the audit is open source, which means anyone can examine the code. The audit is expected to be completed on Tuesday, Nov. 21. The county plans to certify election results by the end of Tuesday, Nov. 28. The recount for the fourth and final city council seat will happen after this process is done.
Applications open for 2024 Arts and Culture project grants
The City of Boulder is accepting applications for the Boulder Arts Commission’s 2024 cultural grants cycle, with over $1 million in funds available for community projects, arts education and professional development. Open to organizations, individuals and classrooms, the grants aim to enhance Boulder’s vibrancy, social infrastructure and local economy. Information sessions on Nov. 16 and Dec. 13 will provide details, including a conversation with an arts commissioner.
In 2023, the Arts Commission granted 156 awards also totaling about $1 million. Additional funding opportunities will be discussed at the Cultural Organizations Summit: 2024 Funding Info Session on Dec. 14.
Resources for hunger and homelessness
In recognition of Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, the City of Boulder is spotlighting resources to aid families and individuals facing food or housing insecurity. The Community Mediation and Resolution Center offers landlord-tenant support, while the Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance Services program assists with legal and financial challenges. The Emergency Family Assistance Association provides essential services for families, TGTHR supports youth, and Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence aids those impacted by domestic violence. For more details, visit the city’s website.
Lafayette’s Coal Creek Trail repair and realignment
Lafayette’s Open Space Department, in collaboration with Mile High Flood Control District, is addressing severe erosion along Coal Creek near the Public Road Trailhead. Starting Nov. 14, construction crews are stabilizing the creek bank and realigning a trail section affected by erosion. The trail will remain open during the project that is slated to finish by February 2024. Daily construction activity is expected, so be careful if you’re in the area.
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Boulder City Council to decide whether to repeal University Hill’s ‘discriminatory’ liquor laws. The rules were intended to curb drinking and partying in the student neighborhood. But they may also hurt businesses in an area that is ‘dying a slow death.’ The decision is likely the last major potential policy change of the current city council.
Ruzo Coffee steps in to fill void after beloved Logan’s Espresso Cafe’s expected closure in North Boulder. Jordan and Matthew McDaniel, 20-year-old twin brothers who grew up in North Boulder, will open Ruzo for business in January 2024, in the center anchored by Lucky’s Market. The space is two doors from Logan’s Espresso Cafe, which is expected to close at the end of the year.
City council gives go-ahead to a Boulder gas ban, but with community input. New construction would have to be all electric with a few exceptions under the city’s latest proposed energy code updates. But existing buildings remain a challenge.
Boulder’s first Hawaiian restaurant introduces locals to a new form of comfort food. The owners of L&L Hawaiian Barbecue strive to represent island culture and create a community in Boulder.
Boulder County’s elected coroner takes ‘time away’ after internal investigation substantiates workplace allegations. Emma Hall, who has served as county coroner since 2011 and was elected four times, proposed the ballot effort to extend term limits for the county coroner. Since 2020, eight employees have left the coroner’s office, which employs 15 people.