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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Unclear Definition Of "Smart" Growth

A reader asked me offline if I had seen the flyer in the mail from "The Committee For Smart Growth." I have not, so my comments come from a conceptual point of view:

I love the name (note: sarcasm) - it implies nothing as to the philosophy of the group. Pro or anti? Specific development or general? A predictably self-important labeling by an interest group. Without knowing who is behind it, my guess is an anti-specific-development group of folks.

"Smart" growth to some equals "no more growth now that I'm here and have what I want". I look forward out of general curiosity to see what this flyer portrays as "smart". I'll hold off on any more speculation...


Dan Eary said...

Smart growth = Erie:

The town of Erie is 968 acres bigger and set to add up to 2,880 homes over the next 15 years.

The Erie Board of Trustees this month unanimously approved the Bridge Water Annexation, formerly called Tallgrass, north of the Leon A. Wurl Parkway between Weld County roads 3 and 5.

The Bridge Water property, to be developed by Community Development Group, was zoned into 15 acres of estate residential, 142 acres of suburban residential, 219 acres of low-density residential, 465 acres of medium-density residential, 11 acres of community mixed use and 112 acres of agricultural open space.

The annexation agreement calls for $60 million in public offsite improvements over the life of the project, which will be completed in three phases over 15 years."

Times Call.

So, why are property values in Boulder continuing to skyrocket while the property values of surrounding communities continuing to plummet? Adding homes should affect Boulder too. Is it their professional government? Is it the well developed parks systems and their relationship to the community? Is it that Boulder is like a living Renoir painting?

I'd love to hear comments.

Isn't Erie served by the Mountain View Fire department?

Boulder Dan said...

Boulder is "elitist". The positive aspect of elitism is that they encourage and reward success. They insist on having the BEST possible education and so forth. Thus their "elitist" attitudes are self-fulfilling. People wish to live there and will pay a fortune for their kids education.

Boulder Betty said...

The nation and indeed the world knows of Boulder. It is one of the finest cities in the world to live in. The intense jealousy exhibited by neighboring towns is proof of their success, as is the high quality of education, the excess of high paying jobs and the increasing property values. Surrounding cities are falling apart, and they are generating revenue by building more homes, preferring to harbor thousands of vacant foreclosed homes - they don't get use fees for reselling old homes.


CU professors live in Lafayette. The coach of the CU football team lives here too. The editor of the Daily Camera lives in Louisville.

Gee, Boulder Betty, we must be doing something wrong here. OK, I admit I don't go to McGuckins anymore. I haven't used my two year gift card to the Full Moon Grill either. So I guess I'll have to give up my honorary Boulder citizenship.

Boulder Betty said...

They life in Lafayette simply because they can't afford Boulder. Huh - they WORK in Boulder - not Lafayette. Imagine that. What's in Lafayette anyway? Isn't is a bedroom community for Boulder?

Boulder Betty said...

I thought about the comment about other so-called desirable folks living in Lafayette, but WORKING in Boulder. The statement works in favor of Boulder - these folks CONTRIBUTE TO BOULDER as the football coach, the university professor and the newspaper editor. They make Boulder what it is today, and they spend more of their waking hours in Boulder doing so.

The don't choose to contribute to Lafayette - they sleep there. I wonder where their kids go to school. Isn't that why we have "school choice" programs - to help these folks segregate their kids and keep them at the good schools around Boulder?

It is ironic that such quality folks have done such a good job keeping Boulder great that they can't afford to live in the town they contribute to.

QED or word out as my Boulder-educated son says. He's in college at Harvard now. A good friend of ours lives in Longmont - their daughter graduated 6th in her class at Skyline. She got accepted to Nebraska. No one else would look at her. I think she's smarter than my son, but he's going to be a millionaire, and she'll move back to Longmont to teach Spanish.


A study released by the Community Foundations a couple of years ago showed that 50% of those who work commute outside of Boulder to do so. You can read their study on their website.

B-B, you ought to check out BVSD's new stratification program. It was initiated because of issues in Boulder, not BC.

As for the folks I mentioned, there jobs are to benefit all of Colorado or Boulder County. Think it through.

Off the top of my head, Nathan on "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?" is from Lafayette. And I think a Lafayette resident placed high in the national spelling bee. Cindy Domenico, the newest county commissioner lives here. We also have some world class distant runners here.

As for affording to live in Boulder, it's not the cost of living which is high. It's just that you can get more for your money living outside of the city. Every knows it's where one spends there money that is the important thing.

Congratulations on your son going to Harvard. I'm an MIT grad and my best high school friend went to Harvard.

Boulder Betty said...

Again, these folks CONTRIBUTE TO BOULDER. You don't find any articles about Lafayette runners - the magazines like Runner's World ALL say these guys are from Boulder. Of course, their training clubs are in Boulder, and NO ONE lives in Boulder. They run at Boulder Res, or in the foothills in Boulder though. By the way "world class distant runners" should be changed to "world-class distance runners".

Your statement about the cost of living in Boulder not being high is a crock - who goes to Lafayette to shop? Who goes there to eat? Who goes there to watch a band or comedian? And so forth. You simply cannot afford to live in Boulder. Oh "spends there money" should be changed to "spends THEIR money" in your letter.

People would MUCH PREFER to live near their jobs - who enjoys commuting 2 hours a day to work?

So if Lafayette would CREATE MEANINGFUL JOBS instead of looking for a Super Walmart for "tax revenues", or Erie would stop charging residents for sidewalk repairs and create jobs, we wouldn't be having these conversations.

Longmont has all those vacant strip malls owned by Pratt Properties, and they all are one story, monotone buildings. They can't compete with the 10 story office buildings near Flatirons. So, get some city employees who might have enough vision to create decent places for employers to CREATE or expand their businesses in.

There's a reason the property in Longmont is VACANT, and folks commute to Boulder to work.

Boulder is a better place to WORK, and a better place to live.

The price of housing reflects this - DEMAND FAR OUTSTRIPS SUPPLY.

You can buy a mansion in Frederick for $250,000 - yet folks are still losing homes to foreclosure.

Why? Their jobs cannot support the house payments for their puny homes.

Of course they should have been buying SMALLER, less expensive homes price appropriately for such worthless land - at $130,000.

Your towns are suckers bets, and STILL the closer you live to Boulder, the more expensive the home. You are ALL sucking off Mother Boulders teats.

Merriam-Webster said...

Wow Betty, You done got good grammar. Musta got that in Boulder. Ifin you was learned anywheres else you wouldn't sound so smart.

Boulder Betty said...

To be honest, I was educated on the East Coast, where property taxes are 3-5 times higher. This approach drives the hillbillies to the hills or to apartments, and educates the children of those able to afford "expensive" homes which became so because of the high quality jobs brought in by high quality education.

Alas, many of us are lured by the beauty of the west. Since Colorado is 48th in education, you need to import us for the better jobs. We do what we can to insure our children aren't trapped here as landscapers or so-called contractors.

Boulder has an East Coast system of government, which is why they are successful. The hillbillies move to Erie, Frederick, Firestone, Longmont, Mead and so-forth. You get suckered in to overpaying for homes sitting next to oil and natural gas wells, arid land, no water, and endless empty land. Your lack of education catches up with you, and you lose your low paying job. Then you lose your home. Or, you can't add, and find you can't make the mortgage payments you agreed to make. You blame it on lenders, Realtors, appraisers, and everyone else. You walk away from your overpriced homes and back to the apartments.

Being a Boulder Democrat, I've bought 25 homes in Greeley and I'm renting them out. So, I'm doing what your towns cannot seem to do - I'm providing affordable housing to the hillbillies and Colorado educated kids.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you sound like a real saint. I'm sure you donate all of the revenue and tax breaks to the poor, too. Must be nice to be able to buy that many places. I grew up on the East coast, also. It's strange to generlize that the education system is better there. I lived in rural Appalachia with real hillbillies, and had a fine education, anyway. No need for Harvard to make a buck in this world.

You (Betty) represent a recent trend toward condescension in Boulder that is unpalatable. What is wrong with living in a community and working in another. Since you like correcting others... maybe you could stop shouting in ALL CAPS.

Boulder Betty said...

Dear Anon,

Like most whiners on this blog, you babble about how bad or "liberal" Boulder is. Your towns are built on right wing "values". Those values are based on selfishness and greed. You won't pay taxes, because you can't see "your" money put to good use in educating other's kids, or building infrastructure, or maintaining it. The market responds - with no education, crumbling sidewalks, endless borrowing (rather than taxing an paying up front) - by lowered home values, endless foreclosures, and fewer companies offering good jobs.

Your governments counter by striking giveaway deals with the likes of Walmart. In turn, Walmart supplies new $4/hour jobs with no benefits for your locals.

Come on, rather than bitching about Boulder, strive to be just like Boulder. When you do this, good things will happen.

There's a reason you all commute to Boulder to work, and there's a reason you can't afford to live there.

So, analyze Boulder, and imitate it. When you do, good things will happen.

Boulder is about optimism and a can-do attitude. We strive to help others. Surrounding communities are about insulation, right wing greed-centered "values" and hate.

You might find Boulder "unpalatable", but most folks find your towns unpalatable - they are leaving.

Raise taxes, and spend your money wisely. If you do so, good things will happen.

Saint Betty said...


Actually Betty is a saint. Lifebridge gave her sainthood in 2005.

Long live Saint Betty

Shamus Amos said...

Lafayette should set up roadblocks for all City of Boulder citizens who patronize WalMart. They are getting in the way of Boulder's impeccable record of harboring absolutely no one of limited means or varied philosophy. Lafayette should impose some fines to punish this reprehensible behavior by faithless Boulder shoppers.

Yay for cowardly screen names!

Saint Betty said...

Next time you get an email or late night phone call from Chris Wrongmont Rodriquez, you'll refrain from sharing your name. Its one thing having guys like him devoting websites to character defamation, but quite another to be harassed in person. Nope, call me a coward, but this gal doesn't want you slobs drooling over her.

Anonymous said...

My balls are schweaty