Check out these open houses this weekend….

April 29, 2011 in Open Houses

309 E. Elm, Old Town Lafayette

Sunday May 1st 2-4pm

Your Host Ted Lupberger 720.320.7337

New meets old in this custom 2004 built home in secluded corner of Old Town w Open Space n Mountain Views. Enjoy open space living,kitchen, dining that opens out to a raised deck that rests above open space and bird sanctuary. Reverse two story with lower floor with three beds and two baths. 5 piece master w walkin closet. Energy audited home w a 5.6kw solar pv system covers majority of your energy needs. Quiet secluded street steps from REC, Elementary, Skate Park, Old Town Shops.

423 Juniper Ave, Boulder

Sunday May 1st, 11-1pm

Your Host Paul K. 303.885.9520

An elegant and well crafted home in one of boulders most sought after neighborhoods. Lot is huge and footsteps to sanitas trailhead. Just completed renovation features timeless design, gourmet eat in kitchen, breakfast nook, steam shower, porte cochere, and detatched 3 car garage with unfinished loft. Attention to detail and high end finishes throughout. Come see one of boulders best!

4587 Fountain St, Boulder

Sunday May 1st, 12-3pm

Your Host Dunbar Hardy 303.859.7922

Unique Home for the Neighborhood! Nicely Updated 4BD/3BA Ranch Home w/Finished Basement on Larger Lot. Lots of Light. South/East Exposure w/Double Pane Wood Frame Windows throughout. Gas Fireplace, Granite Countertops, Stainless Steel Appliances, Gas Range. Brand New Solar-Powered Hot Water Baseboard Heat. Oversized Heated 2-Car Garage. Beautiful Landscaping, Fruit Trees, Flagstone Patio, Hot Tub. Quiet Cul-de-Sac Location, Family-Friendly Neighborhood, Nearby Trails/Open Space/Shopping/Dining.

431 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder

Sunday May 1st, 1-3pm

Your Host Kathryn Whelan 303.810.2408

One of Boulders best creekside homes, this newly remodeled Victorian is a modern gem.  The main floor boasts an open floor plan w/exposed brick, gourmet kitchen & designer lights.  Radiant heat throughout house along w/zoned AC & solar panels give a smart energy footprint.  3BD on upper floor w/incredible views of the foothills & lots of sunshine.  Attached to garage- studio/guest rm overlooking backyard & foothills.  Enjoy hot tub overlooking Boulder Crk & newly built stone stairs. Truly the quintessential Boulder property!

New Listing!

April 27, 2011 in Featured Listings, New Listings

10080 Phillips Road
Granja Este

4BR/3+1BA Single Family House

Year Built 1982
Sq Footage 3,410
Bedrooms 4
Bathrooms 3 full, 1 partial
Floors Unspecified
Parking 2 Car garage
Lot Size 217,800 sqft
HOA/Maint $0 per month

Incredible opportunity to own a Boulder County Estate for under $1 million! This gated, 5 acre Manor offers a lifestyle rarely available in this price range. Enjoy the utter privacy of your own lush paradise while being just minutes to the areas finest amenities. The sprawling acreage offers breathtaking views, flowering gardens, lavender fields and over 500 trees! Perfectly situated custom home boasts birch floors, gourmet kitchen, open floor plan, and a luxury master suite. Horses welcome too!

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Contact Info
Walnut Realty
Walnut Realty
(303) 442-3180
For sale by agent/broker

Equal Opportunity Housing


April 22, 2011 in Boulder Housing Stats

Here we are going into the “busy season” of Spring & Summer with an anticipated increase in inventory and of successful transactions in the 2nd & 3rd quarters. Before the “busy-ness” of Spring/Summer overtakes us, I just received the 1st Quarter Sales Statistics of Boulder County and these are worth reviewing to see how exactly 2011 is shaping up in comparison to the 1st Quarter of 2010.

Quantity of Homes Sold (1st Q 2011 vs. 2011)

 Most areas of Boulder County saw less sales overall, with the most significant drop-off in Boulder itself in both single family homes & condos/townhomes. A few increased number of sales occurred in Louisville single family homes and all types of properties on the Plains.

Average Sold Price (1st Q 2011 vs. 2010)

 Sales Prices overall were relatively stable with increases in single family homes in Boulder, Lafayette, Superior, and the Plains. There were very nominal increases in condo/townhomes sales only in Longmont and Louisville.

Median Sold Price (1st Q 2011 vs. 2010)
The median pricing of 1st quarter sales for single family homes stayed fairly consistent, with increases only in Superior and the Plains. Condos/townhomes saw increases in median pricing in Broomfield, Louisville and Superior.

Average Days to Contract (1st Q 2011 vs. 2010)

1st quarter is typically a slow time of year, however there was a decrease in the days on market-to-contract for single family homes in Boulder, Erie and Longmont. Condos/Townhomes saw a notable decrease in days-to-contract in Boulder, Louisville and Superior.

Master Plan for Chautauqua

April 13, 2011 in Community News, Our Outdoor Playground

Posted: 04/12/2011 10:22:19 PM MDT


Matt LeBeau kisses his daughter Emmy, 7 months old, as the family prepares for a hike at Chautauqua on Tuesday after navigating a full main parking lot and finding a spot on the road around the Chautauqua green. The City Council is split on how to approach the matters of congested parking and proposed new development at the historic 40-acre site. ( PAUL AIKEN )
Boulder should “step back” and develop a comprehensive master plan for the iconic Chautauqua Park before allowing the park’s management to move ahead with construction plans, city planners told leaders Tuesday.

But the City Council was split on how to approach the matters of congested parking and proposed new development at the historic 40-acre site.

The nonprofit Colorado Chautauqua Association recently completed work on the Chautauqua 2020 Plan, a document that charts changes the organization believes are necessary to ensure a “sustainable future” for the park. That plan includes better management of parking, constructing a 7,000-square-foot building for offices and meeting space, and moving the family picnic shelter from the east side of the park to the north side near the children’s playground.

While the association owns most of the historic buildings and has leased 26 acres of the 40-acre park since 1898, the city of Boulder remains the owner of the land and must sign off on any changes to the site.

To help guide those changes, four of the nine council members said they would support a wider planning process that addresses parking, access and use of the site — an idea endorsed by the city staff, the Landmarks Board and Planning Board.

A master plan for Chautauqua would encompass the entire historic district, including the Chautauqua facilities, park land and nearby open space. It would address public access, parking and programs at the park. The planning process would likely include a public outreach campaign and the formation of a steering committee.

“What is it we, the community, want Chautauqua to be?” said Councilwoman Lisa Morzel, who supported the planning process. “I see this as our first real attempt to look at all those uses.”

City staffers estimate it would take about 18 months to complete a master plan.

But other council members, including Suzy Ageton, said creating a master plan would be “overkill.”

“The parking and the traffic, to me, are the No. 1 problem,” she said.

Other options available to the council include allowing the Chautauqua Association to move ahead with specific projects through the standard review process, or supporting an “expedited process” to help make changes faster at the park.

Molly Winter, director of Boulder’s Downtown and University Hill Management Division, told the council that the city plans to conduct a survey of Chautauqua users later this year to find out more about why and how people use the park. The city also will study parking issues at the park this year, she said.

The council will talk again about how to move forward with Chautauqua’s future during a study session scheduled for June 16.

Part of the council’s discussion revolved around a letter sent to the City Council last week by the U.S. Department of the Interior, which is urging the city not to move the picnic shelter at Chautauqua.

“The National Park Service does not recommend moving historic buildings,” wrote Christine Whitacre, program manager for the Heritage Partnership Program. “In fact, moving a historic structure into or within a historic district may jeopardize its ability to contribute to the significance of the district and has a negative effect on the historic integrity of the district.”

The federal official also recommended against plans for any new construction on the property.

Because Chautauqua does not use any federal funding, plans to change the site don’t have to be approved by the Department of the Interior.

Read more: Boulder considers developing master plan for Chautauqua – Boulder Daily Camera

Real Estate in our neighborhood

April 11, 2011 in Community News, Financial News

March 18, 2011 — BOULDER — Stephen Tebo, owner of Tebo Development Co. and one of Boulder County’s most-prominent commercial property owners, purchased the Valmont Building office building for $3.28 million The 36,492-squree foot building at 5480 Valmont Road in the Aspen Industrial Park was built in 2000. According to LoopNet, an online database of property listings, the building averages 97 percent occupancy and was classified as Class A space. The property was bought on a short sale. “It’s already an excellent building,” Tebo said. “We just want to get aggressive on the rents and get it leased.” R.C. Myles and Jeff Halsey of Cassidy Turley Fuller Real Estate represented the seller, Valmont Building LLC. The buyer used an in-house agent. VITAL RELOCATES: Information technology solutions provider Vital Network Solutions LLC is relocating to the Tierra Business Park in Boulder. Vital Network Solutions has leased about 2,100 square feet of office space at 4760 Walnut St., Suite 108, and will move in May 1, company president Nate Lovell said. The six-year old company employs five people and has outgrown its current location at 75 Manhattan Drive Suite No. 3, which also is in Boulder, Lovell said. Chad Henry of WW Reynolds Cos. was the listing agent. Todd Walsh of The Colorado Group Inc. was the selling agent. CONSTRUCTION ON CHURCH CONTINUES Flatirons Community Church converting abandoned Wal-Mart, Albertsons space Doug Storum Work on Flatirons Community Church’s plan to convert an abandoned Wal-Mart and Albertsons into a new home continues. The church is building a new 4,000-seat sanctuary and space for offices and ministry centers at 355 W. South Boulder Road. Its current home is 400 W. South Boulder Road in Lafayette. The church paid $4.3 million for the space. BROOMFIELD CLICKBANK EXPANDS: ClickBank, a software company that has developed an online marketplace for digital products such as e-books, has relocated its Broomfield offices to accommodate recent growth. ClickBank’s new location is 11001 W. 120th Ave., Suite 450, not far from its former space at 11101 W. 120th Ave. The new space expands the company’s office by 3,189 square feet, according to Broomfield Economic Development Corp. data. ClickBank employs 41 people in the Broomfield office, spokeswoman Heather Sharp said. The jobs are the company’s technology team along with some sales, marketing and business development specialists. ClickBank is a trade name of Click Sales Inc. The privately held company is based in Boise, Idaho, and employs 93 people total, Sharp said. The move was needed to accommodate the company’s steady growth, Sharp said. GEOTREE MOVES IN: A maker of a high-tech ceramic materials that can be used to repair water and sewer lines along with other types of concrete has taken space in Broomfield. GeoTree Technologies Inc. has leased 1,600 square feet at 7249 W. 116th Place. The building will be the company’s warehouse, said Amir Hoda, one of the company’s four founders and partners. The company makes geopolymers that bind to materials. One application is using the polymers to coat the inside of corroding and decaying pipes, Hoda said. “It’s substantially cheaper than digging it up, and substantially less disruptive,” he said. GeoTree Technologies currently employs four people who work from their homes. The company plans on expanding into a new office and to grow to 10 employees by the end of 2011, Hoda said. Chris Ball of Cassidy Turley Fuller Real Estate helped broker the deal. LONGMONT BLUE VISTA LOANS: The Blue Vista housing development, a planned 198-home subdivision in Longmont built by Thistle Community Housing, faces foreclosure. The project, which was planned to have included 100 affordable homes, was financed by Thistle using bonds issued by the Boulder County Housing Authority and loans from the state Division of Housing and the City of Longmont, according to a memo sent to Longmont City Council the week of March 8. Thistle is a nonprofit dedicated to providing affordable housing. According to the memo, it owes more than $4.5 million on the bonds, which were purchased by Guaranty Bank and Trust Company, and an additional $417,000 to Guaranty Bank as part of a construction loan. Longmont supported the project with a $1.42 million from the Affordable Housing Fund and a Community Development Block Grant. The outstanding principal on that loan is $988,000. Thistle has been working, and continues to work, with its creditors to resolve the problem, Thistle chief executive Mary Roosevelt said. Blue Vista has been hampered by bad timing and a difficult real estate market, she said. “It’s been a great project developed during the hardest part of the economic downturn,” Roosevelt said. According to Thistle, 63 homes have been built, with 29 being categorized as “market rate” and 34 as “affordable.” Thistle has paid about $2.5 million on the bonds and more than $2 million on the construction loan, according to the Longmont City Council memo. If Thistle cannot make its payments, Longmont is unlikely to recoup its funds, said Kathy Fedler, community development block grant and affordable housing programs coordinator. It would be the first default made on a loan from the Affordable Housing Fund. About $7.7 million has been pledged to the fund, Felder said. LOUISVILLE LIGHTING FIRM OPENS: A maker of high-quality lighting fixtures is opening a new manufacturing facility in Louisville. Stone Lighting LLC recently signed a lease for 9,700 square feet of industrial space at 1500 Cherry St., Suite W. The location will be the Chicago-based company’s manufacturing facility and will employ between five and 10 people in the first year, said Tavo Gutierrez, a manager of the company. The company’s clients are primarily architects and designers, and the company also does lighting systems for showrooms, Gutierrez said. The company is new to Colorado, Gutierrez said. Todd Walsh of The Colorado Group Inc. represented the listing company. BUYING IN DENVER: A local real estate investment firm that specializes in turning around distressed properties has acquired part of a luxury complex in Denver. Condo Capital Solutions LLC announced March 10 it closed on the purchase of 72 unsold units at the Pinnacle at City Park South, a two-tower, 284-unit luxury property located in Denver’s City Park. Condo Capital Solutions purchased the units for an undisclosed price from the Opus Group, a Minnetonka, Minnesota-based company that is leaving the Denver market. Condo Capital Solutions could not be reached. The Pinnacle, at 2990 East 17th Ave., Denver, was opened in 2008. “Of the initial 284 units, all but 72 are sold and some 13 contracts have sold in the first quarter of 2011. Sports marketing: Endurance Event Marketing LLC signed a lease for 1,020 square feet at 801 Main St. Suite 25. The sports promotion company has a staff of about 10. Dan Ferrick and Michael-Ryan McCarty of Gibbons-White Inc. were the listing brokers. Jim Ditzel was the selling broker. NEDERLAND Yoga time: Tadasana Mountain Yoga LLC has leased 1,323 square feet of retail space at 20 Lakeview Drive No. 110 Caribou Mercantile was the listing company. Patrick Weeks of Gibbons-White Inc. was the selling broker.

Urban Areas See Jump in Young Buyers

April 5, 2011 in Financial News, National Real Estate

Living downtown is becoming increasingly appealing to college-educated 20- and 30-somethings.

In two-thirds of the country’s 51 largest cities, the college-educated population in the past decade has grown twice as fast within 3 miles of urban centers when compared to the rest of the metro area, the USA Today reports. That is a jump of 26 percent, on average, compared with 13 percent in other parts.

Young adults with higher education, in particular, seem to be showing a preference for urban living. Young adults with a four-year degree are about 94 percent more likely to live near urban neighborhoods than less-educated young professionals. (In 2000, that number was about 61 percent.)

Even floundering downtowns are attracting more young people. For example, Detroit, which has faced a 25 percent drop in its population since 2000, has added 59 percent (or 2,000) young and educated residents during that time, according to Impresa Inc., an economic consulting firm.

Looking to keep the young vibe going strong, Detroit even has recently launched a campaign ”15 by 15” to bring 15,000 young, educated professionals to live in the downtown by 2015. To do that, they are offering cash incentives: A $25,000 forgivable loan to buy a home in downtown and stay there for at least five years or $3,500 on a two-year lease.

In Cleveland another hard-hit metro area that has lost 17 percent of its population young professionals are also re-emerging. Cleveland has increased its number of college-educated professionals between ages 25 to 34 who live downtown by 49 percent (or 1,300).

“Clearly, the next generation of Americans is looking for different kinds of lifestyles walkable, art, culture, entertainment,” Carol Coletta, who heads CEOs for Cities, told USA Today.

Source: “Young and Educated Show Preference for Urban Living; Even Shrinking Cities See More Moving Downtown,” USA Today (April 1, 2011)

Article from Fast Company

April 1, 2011 in Community News, Financial News

Why You Should Start a Company in… Boulder

By: Laura RichJanuary 12, 2010

It used to be, if you were serious about starting a tech company, you went to Silicon Valley. But emerging entrepreneurial hubs around the country are giving startup aspirants options. In this series, we talk to leading figures in those communities about what makes them tick.

When Brad Feld moved to Boulder, Colorado, in 1995, he found a college town that was best known for its rock-climbing and meditation centers. Using a pile of cash from two acquisitions, Feld pioneered a thriving startup scene that now includes 171 fledgling companies (and a city campaign that proclaims “Boulder is for startups”). The Foundry Group, the venture firm that Feld founded, reigns as Boulder’s biggest software and Internet venture capital firm, having fostered entrepreneurial growth through organizations like the incubator TechStars, and investments in local companies including Social Thing and Lijit.

Boulder’s current entrepreneurial ecosystem boasts relocated second- and third-generation entrepreneurs like Kimbal Musk, who with his brother Elon (now of Tesla), started and sold Zip2 and PayPal, and now runs real-time search engine OneRiot. And a few startup junkies like the 25-year-old Andrew Hyde, who has launched four companies, including workshop outfit Startup Weekend, which has toured 52 cities around the world. One of Boulder’s most recent entrepreneur transplants, Joe Stump, left a prestigious position at Digg to launch software firm SimpleGeo in Boulder. Colorado-born tech firm MX Logic, which helped build an Internet-era talent base with its email services business, sold this year to McAfee for $140 million. And one of Feld’s investments, Service Metrix, sold for $280 million in 1999, giving Boulder one of its biggest exits.

Feld spoke recently with about what makes Boulder’s startup scene unique. What did we unearth? Boulder, CO is a small, highly networked city inhabited by active life-styled, serial entrepreneurs. Brad Felds lays out, in great detail, an entrepreneurial ecosystem that may have the right mix ingredients to be a startup capital.

How would you describe Boulder’s startup scene?

I moved here 15 years ago from Boston, and when I moved here I didn’t know anybody, which is a useful reference point, which is that Boulder is a reasonably small town. It’s 100,000 people, not including the college kids. It’s another 25,000 college kids. It’s a pretty small number of people, but it’s an extremely high concentration of computer science people and PhDs. I think the stat that gets thrown around is that on a per capita basis we’re no. 1 in both of those. That’s important because what happens is you get a very significant concentration of smart people who use technology in their day-to-day work and combined with a very independent personality. It’s a hippy town. My joke about Boulder is that the hippies ran out of gas on their way to the Bay Area and just said, “Eh, I’ll stay here, it’s pretty.” So you sort of have this very independent, high concentration of smart people, combined with sort of a sense that the integration of what you do in work and life is important.

What’s happening in Boulder’s entrepreneurial ecosystem that makes it sustainable?

I think one of the things that makes Boulder special is that you have this larger percentage of people willing to engage in the entrepreneurial community, and that integrate into their life very effectively, versus it becomes this thing that they do for a period of time and then need to go have a life, but still want to be in the same place. Those two things sort of work together.

So, that’s thing one.

Thing two that I think is special is that there’s very little friction here. There’s no commutes; we’re living in a world where it doesn’t matter whether you’re sitting at your desk in your office, you’re sitting in your home, you’re sitting in a coffee shop, you can get work done. Especially with software and Internet-related things, you’re always connected, and as a result, the integration and probably the ability to sustain a level of intensity that’s required is higher.

There used to be a rap on Boulder that people didn’t work very hard. Five o’clock and you’re out on your mountain bike. The problem with that is, and it’s true in other cities that are really high quality of life cities. Yeah, you’re on your mountain bike from five to seven then you’re back at your desk and you’re back in front of your computer at eight and then you work until one in the morning. And you see it within the entrepreneurial strata. I mean, it is not bad to go out for a run in the middle of the day, or a bike ride–because everybody that’s in the entrepreneurial community is working their 12- to 15-hour day day in and day out. And they’re just not working between nine and five. They’re not organizing their day around the morning and evening commute, or whatever those bookends of the natural twelve-hour entrepreneurial day are.

So that’s a big part of it.

The last sort of Boulder differentiator, which I think is really important, is that because of the size of Boulder, it’s big enough to be interesting, but not so big to be overwhelming. It ends up being extremely collaborative place. We’re probably in our third or fourth generation of entrepreneurs here.
The most interesting thing about this most recent wave is that first of all there are a lot of people who made a lot of money in the pre-bubble time frame. So you had a lot of successful entrepreneurs who made meaningful amounts of money. That’s important.

You have a lot of those entrepreneurs that had a success. Wasn’t necessarily their first company, but they had a success. And then, they had a failure between the 1998 and 2003 timeframe. So they started another thing or made some investments that got caught up in the bubble. So they had both a success and a failure in that time. So some set of those people started companies from 2004 forward. They were very mature entrepreneurs. They’re entrepreneurs that had success AND failure and understand what was required to both win and also were humble enough to recognize that you could lose. So you had that against a backdrop of, everybody here is at most two degrees of separation away from any other entrepreneur, because there’s only 100,000 of us, right? And that then is great because what you have is this easy access to everybody. And even though there’s competitive dynamics and occasionally friction, and there’s plenty of personalities. More generally, you tend to see that people try to help each other here, especially around the thing that I think is the generator of new entrepreneurial activity, which is young, first-time entrepreneurs.

Does Boulder breed or attract entrepreneurs?

I think it’s some of both.

I think the core personality in Boulder is an entrepreneurial personality. It’s an independent, hippyish, smart, counterculture place. And those are more entrepreneurial than less entrepreneurial attributes. So I think you start with that.

I think you have an acceptance in this community of both independent thought, as well as a very high comfort level with ambiguity and failure. So if it’s not clear what you’re doing, you’re still very welcome here. And if you’ve had failure, you’re still very welcome here. So the environment is one that’s very comfortable with that.

The other thing which is really useful is smart people attract smart people. Independent people attract other independent people. Progressive people tend to attractive other progressive people. So the entrepreneurial lifestyle tends to attract other entrepreneurs. And I’ve seen that over 15 years in a very reinforced way.

You said recently that good cities for entrepreneurial incubators have “good bones and a chip on its shoulder.” What did you mean by that?

They’re separable but both important. So the good bones concept is: You have to have smart people. You have to have an independent streak, or a culture of independence. You have to have a steady supply of new young people into the community. Because if you don’t, what happens is everybody gets older, has families, changes their priorities. And you have this stagnation until the younger people get sick of the older people not doing anything. So you need to sort of have this steady stream.

You have to have some relevant wealth. So, you know, whether it’s angel or VC investors, having people that have made money from things that are currently being started is important. If you have a bunch of people who made money in real estate, it’s gonna be really hard to build a tech community.

The chip on the shoulder is interesting. I mean, there’s only– The whole Silicon Valley phenomenon is so telling because many major and many minor cities in the country became “Silicon Something”–Silicon Prairie, silicon this, silicon that, Silicon Mountain, Silicon Rabbit, Silicon Elephant. Which is so ironic because silicon is a proxy now for software because Silicon Valley was started because of the chip companies, so it’s even a moniker that doesn’t quite work. The cities that have a little bit of a complex, like, “We can be better,” is a motive because that galvanizes people to action. And my comment consistently to people is not to be like Silicon Valley because you’re not gonna succeed at that. The goal is to be the best you can be of yourself. Learn as much as you can from Silicon Valley and other cultures, but if you’re Boulder, be the best Boulder you can be. If you’re Boston, be the best Boston you can be. So going back to the first comment , use your bones and build something meaningful on that. And then you have more opportunities. Versus so many companies that say here are the three things we’re gonna do: A, B, and C, and here’s our game plan. And that happens for a year or two and then everybody gets bored or they don’t work.

Is Boulder the right context for entrepreneurs with an eye on the kind of billion-dollar exits you see in Silicon Valley?

I think that’s a population dynamic. I’m not a believer that you’re not gonna see billion-dollar exits here. I’ve had one. A company called Service Metrics, was bought for $280 million and by the time we got our hands on the stock after the deal closed it was worth well over a billion dollars. So, that was 1999. So you could say that’s a bubble exit so take it out of the equation. But Verio was a $5 billion sale, and that was a company that was created here. Not in Boulder, but in Denver, so in this region. The argument that there are none doesn’t work for me. On a percentage basis, I don’t know if it’s the same or not. But on an absolute basis, we have way less companies. Almost by definition it’s gonna be less. Oh, by the way, the vast majority of exits aren’t billion-dollar exits anyway. So it kind of comes back to, most software-Internet companies get acquired. We will have that play out here. That will continue to play out.

What does Boulder still need for the entrepreneurial ecosystem’s success?

I think there’s been a ton of energy by entrepreneurs in energizing Boulder in the last four or five years. And that has to continue. There’s no such thing as resting on your laurels. There’s no such thing as being complacent. The entrepreneurial beast is hungry. And if you want to have a great entrepreneurial ecosystem you have to keep feeding the entrepreneurial beast. And it has to be fed all up and down the chain, from some entrepreneurs who are young to experienced entrepreneurs, and they have to keep caring about the place they live in, their community, and the dynamics amongst them, the people in the community.

There’s not a thing we need, but that’s a thing I’d be fearful of. Not about Boulder specifically, but about in general. It’s easy to say, “Look how good we’re doing.” So what. That’s a good way to get to a place where you’re not doing so good.

recommendations for trails west of Boulder

April 1, 2011 in Community News

Mt. Sanitas

Boulder’s Open Space Board of Trustees agreed Wednesday night with a community group’s recommendations to close some trails to dogs, designate some for horses and make some social paths official in the city’s mountain backdrop.

The board voted unanimously to accept a package of recommendations from the Community Collaborative Group — made up of 15 people representing a variety of user groups, from conservationists to dog owners to rock climbers — about how to manage the trail system west of Boulder stretching from Linden Avenue south to Eldorado Springs Drive.

The recommendations for the West Trail Study Area took 16 months to create, and each proposal was arrived at through an often-painstaking consensus process.

“This package of recommendations is a delicate package — there were a lot of trades and gives and gets,” Michael Katz, who represented dog owners in the community group, told the Board of Trustees on Wednesday. “We did this as a package, and we want it to be accepted as a package because if it starts to be unraveled, then, frankly, what you have is the waste of 16 months of hard work by very talented people.”

Katz and his colleagues got their wish despite some public concern over certain compromises in the package, including dog owners upset about a couple of trail closures and conservationists concerned about more recreation use.

“When this began, I was not on the board, but I argued a number of times and I argued strenuously that the board not meddle with the outcome of the Community Collaborative Group,” said current Board Member Tom Isaacson. “Probably, like everybody, there are things I would have done differently, but that’s not an issue as I see it. This is a well-balanced document.”

Tracking the West TSALast we knew: After 16 months of work, the Community Collaborative Group held its last meeting during the first week of January, when it finalized its recommendations.

Latest: The group presented its recommendations to the Open Space Board of Trustees on Wednesday night, and the board voted unanimously to accept them.

Next: The staff will release its own recommendations for the West Trail Study Area on Feb. 1. These proposals will cover issues that could not be agreed on by the community advisory group, including whether to allow mountain bikes. The Board of Trustees will host an open house on the staff’s recommendations on Feb. 9 before holding a study session Feb. 10.

The board’s acceptance of the Community Collaborative Group’s recommendations without modifying anything was frustrating for some members of the public, who yelled out from the audience of about 50 people as the board members made the final vote.

“Basically, the public comment was worthless,” one said. “You didn’t listen.”

This is the first time Open Space and Mountain Parks has used such a community consensus model to make policy. In the past, open space staffers have created the recommendations for trail systems themselves and then gathered feedback from the public.

“This kind of a process is based on trust,” said Dean Paschall, manager of public process and communication for Open Space and Mountain Parks. “And it means that the community trusts the department to honor recommendations they’re going to have, and also that the department is going to trust that the community is going to make reasoned recommendations.”

The acceptance of the Community Collaborative Group’s recommendations is not the end of the process for the Board of Trustees, which must still review a set of proposals made by the staff on issues not agreed upon by the community group — such as whether to allow mountain bikes on trails in the area.

The department will release those recommendations on Feb. 1, and public comment on the plan will be taken by the Board of Trustees on Feb. 9. Ultimately, the Boulder City Council will make the final decision on all parts of the West Trail Study Area in mid-March.

Read more: Open space board accepts recommendations for trails west of Boulder – Boulder Daily Camera