We the undersigned urge City Council & Planning Commission to reconsider the proposed 30,000 square foot, $12 million homeless facility at 1440 Pine Street. The 3 key points of contention are as follows:
1. Eliminate the 2500 square feet of administrative office space. This would result in a uniform two story building.
2. Eliminate the proposed retail space currently imagined as a grab and go convenience store. This could well become yet another hangout place for the many transients already in the neighborhood for free meals from the local churches.
3. Onsite parking for all units and users rather than expect the neighborhood to absorb the overflow. We are at capacity.
We request the City convene a collaborative, creative process to design a smaller facility or develop an alternative that best meets the needs of Boulder's homeless young adults AND the needs of the neighborhood - and do so at less cost. Currently, the scale and scope of this project is very large and exceeds the Boulder building standards.
We urge City Council reconsider parts of the plans for 1440 Pine Street.
Right now, the entire discussion about mass, scale, density and use is driven by the out-of-state developer's finance package rather than by community concerns and needs. Any changes to the proposal would trigger a review by the funder, the Colorado Housing Finance Authority, a fate the out of state developer would like to avoid at all cost.
But the developer's concern about reviews shouldn't be the City's first priority. This project is too important and too risky to be driven by the profit motives of an out-of-state developer. Long after the developer is gone, the neighborhood will be dealing with the consequences. While the developer will walk away with millions of dollars, the neighborhood will be home to a facility that must serve the homeless for the next forty years.
The developer argues this building will serve a "community benefit" - a vague, subjective term as yet undefined by the City. As applied to this project, any "community benefit" completely ignores the needs of the vibrant, stable community already here.
This plot of land - one of the last undeveloped plots in downtown Boulder - is a precious resource. There are so many ways this plot could serve the entire spectrum of the community's housing needs. For example, building true transitional homes, on the scale of Mother House, that could guarantee a smaller number of young homeless adults receive the service and support they require rather than be warehoused in an apartment building.
Please consider our concerns as neighbors and tax paying residents of Boulder. We need to come up with a collaborative solution that works for all concerned.