A few weeks ago we talked about the Compatible Zoning regulations that are being adopted in Boulder on January 4, 2010. To briefly explain them, they are rules that drastically reduce the (FAR) Floor Area Ratio that you can build on your Boulder lot, thus reducing the development potential and potentially the value of property.The rules that are adopted limit you to a .5 FAR based on a 7,000 sf lot with more FAR on smaller lots and less on bigger lots.
The rules also create virtual floors for spaces over 16′ high and these floors count against the FAR as do basements more than 36″ out of grade. They’ve also doubled plan check fees. The Daily Camera has a good list of the rules.
There are better ways to address the problems with form based codes, but there is a strong lobby against many types of development in Boulder.
There is now a facebook group called Boulder Council Watch that is addressing this issue along with many other peeves. There is a great deal of frustration with councilman Macon Cowles in the group, but he has joined the group and posted replies. If you are interested in Boulder politics there is a lot to find here.
It is also interesting that the Denver Zoning Code Update is eliminating the FAR while Boulder is ratcheting it up. More than ever you need an experienced architect to interpret these complex zoning documents.