September 14, 2022
Boulder Explores Possibility Of Opening More Streets For Pedestrians
The Boulder City Council will discuss the possibility of revamping part of the downtown area for pedestrian use while reopening West Pearl Street for car traffic.
City officials allowed restaurants to temporarily expand the pedestrian mall Pearl Street westward during the coronavirus shutdown in order to accommodate safer outdoor dining. The city of Boulder intends to reopen the western end of Pearl Street to car traffic while creating other pedestrian areas.
The Daily Camera says there is heavy pushback from community members who want to continue to take advantage of the outdoor pedestrian-friendly downtown.
However, some businesses located on the western end of Pearl say the street closure is no longer lucrative.
While some argue that street closures benefit climate goals and encourage community members to be more active, others argue less vehicular traffic negatively impacts their businesses. Boulder City Council will meet on Thursday to discuss the varying opinions on street closures and the next steps.
Colorado Renters Participate In Corporate Landlord Conference In Washington DC
Renters from Colorado interrupted a national landlord conference in Washington DC Tuesday to call for stronger renter protections.
More than 100 tenant activists – including some from Colorado – disrupted the National Multifamily Housing Council’s (NMHC) annual fall conference to ask for fair tenant rights and protections against rising post-pandemic rent prices.
The corporations on NMHC’s annual list of the nation’s largest landlords own over 2 hundred million housing units collectively. Corporate landowners have increased their share of real property acquisitions since the 2008 housing market collapse and again during the pandemic. Tenants are now facing the largest rent increases in 20 years.
Renters are asking elected officials to reject all campaign contributions from corporate landlords and landlord PACs, support pro-tenant legislation, and hold a hearing investigating the dramatic increase in rents across the country.
Tenants also asked that the landlord council set standards for tenant protections all NMHC member landlords must follow. These protections include just cause eviction protections, caps on rent increases, habitability standards, and grievance procedures.
Suncor Sues Colorado Environmental Regulators Over Impractical New Air Pollution Monitoring Plan
State environmental officials announced new, stricter requirements for monitoring air quality around the Commerce City refinery’s borders. Suncor Energy says the new requirements are out of line and will sue Colorado environmental regulators.
The state Air Pollution Control Division’s last-minute changes to the company’s fenceline monitoring plan set impractical deadlines and new mandates for Suncor. A 2021 state air monitoring law requires four companies in Colorado to create fenceline monitoring programs to sample air for compounds that are a byproduct of refining oil and gas which could cause illnesses like cancer.
Suncor’s vice president of the Commerce City refinery told The Denver Post, “Our hope is to work with the Air Pollution Control Division to reach agreement on the plan, which will provide us the certainty to complete the work we began in 2021. Our goal is to launch the program as quickly as possible, although January 1 is not feasible.”
Denver Commission Revokes Its 2020 Decision And Decides Now To Protect Urban Waterways
In water news, Colorado’s Water Quality Control Commission voted to increase protections for urban waterways through measures known as antidegradation protections. Rossana Longo Better reports.
The decision comes after years of advocacy by Conservation Colorado and a coalition of partners including Green Latinos, Western Resource Advocates, Trout Unlimited, and residents in affected communities.
Yesterday’s move reverses a 2020 decision to not take extra steps to ensure the quality of the water in the South Platte River in North Denver, Commerce City, and Clear Creek, east of Golden.
Earlier this year, the federal government allocated $350 million [dollars] to protect the South Platte River and water quality in North Denver in the same way as it protects other streams in our state.
Colorado Parks And Wildfire Officials Rescued A Trapped Elk
Drivers reported sighting an elk with mesh tangled in its antlers near Highway 36 and Baseline yesterday. Staff from Colorado Parks and Wildlife and local police tranquilized and removed almost 30 feet of mesh from its antlers.
The Denver Post reports authorities then transported the animal to Estes Park. The elk was reportedly in healthy condition. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is currently conducting a five-year study to understand Colorado elk and their habits. They have attached GPS trackers to over 40 elk in order to study their behavior to be able to keep them as safe as possible.