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2 - Minutes, May 24, 2007CITY OF BOULDER PLANNING BOARD ACTION MINUTES May 24, 2007 1777 Broadway, Council Chambers A permanent set of these minutes and a tape recording (maintained for a period of seven yeazs) are retained in Central Records (telephone: 303-441-3043). Minutes and streaming audio are also available on the web at: http://www.ci.boulder.co.us/planning/planningboazd/agendas PLANNING BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT: Elise Jones, Chair Phil Shull Adrian Sopher Richard Sosa Willa Johnson Bill Holicky Andrew Shoemaker STAFF PRESENT: Michelle Allen, Administrative Specialist Jeff Arthur, Engineering Review Manager David Gehr, Assistant City Attomey Bev Johnson, Planner Cristina Martinez, Civil Engineer Susan Richstone, Acting Long Range Manager 1. CALL TO ORDER Chair, E. Jones, declared a quorum at 6:10 p.m. and the following business was conducted. 2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES On a motion by P. Shull, seconded by W. Johnson, the Planning Boazd approved (5-0, B. Holicky and A. Shoemaker abstained) the Apri126, 2007 Planning Board minutes as amended. On a motion by A. Sopher, seconded by R. Sosa, the Planning Board approved (6-0, B. Holicky recused) the May, 2007 Planning Board minutes as amended. 3. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION None 4. DISCUSSION OF DISPOSITIONS, PLANNING BOARD CALL-UPS The board did not call up the Village Shopping Center Site Review Amendment, but had the following comments: . The board requested that the Transportation Department look at the T intersection of 26~h Street and the new hotel. . Several members of the board stated that the building face along Canyon could better address the conidor. 5. ACTION ITEMS A. Public hearing and consideration of a recommendation to the City Council on amending the regulatory wetlands maps, and 2) proposed options for proceeding with changes to the Wetlands Protection Ordinance. Case Manager: Bev Johnson Public Participation Katheryn Mutz, 2990 Regis Dr., Boulder CO Alan Olson, 497 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder CO Dorthea El-Mallackh, 850 Willowbrook Rd., Boulder, CO Helen El-Mallakh, 850 Willowbrook Rd., Boulder, CO Phoebe Greyson, 1727 6'h St., Boulder CO Craig Bundy, 745 Jonquil Pl., Boulder CO Sharon Bundy, 745 Jonquil Pl., Boulder CO Dick Blumenheim, P.O. Box 2077, Boulder CO Marybeth Bissell, 755 Pleasant, Boulder, CO Alan Weber, 550 Aurora Ave., Boulder, CO Art Mecklenburg, 1727 6`h St., Boulder CO Board Discussion: E. Jones clarified that the board is being asked to respond to the objectives and provide feedback on what a new ordinance should look like and whether or not we want to move the new wetland maps forward. The board discussed whether or not it would be feasible to define appropriate buffer widths on a property by property basis. Alan Carpenter of Biohabitats, Inc. stated that it would be a huge undertaking and also difficult to get permission from most of the property owners. He also said that there may be a more feasible middle ground of defining buffer widths by stream reach. Board members asked questions about how intermittent and ephemeral channels are mapped. Alan Carpenter explained that they first decided whether or not a channel was natural or a man-made ditch. Ditches were excluded from the mapping. The consultants then defined the wetland channel by the bank-full width or area that carries an average flow every two years. The board discussed the fact that most of our streams aze defined as "significanY' with a fifty Foot buffer width and whether or not the wetland maps can be decoupled from the flood mapping. Staff responded that although wetlands provide some flood management function, flood mapping is determined in a completely different manner than wetland mapping. Staff also pointed out that there are a lot of other wetland values that make them "significant" and that removing the flood control aspect of the definition will not remove many ar any of the creeks from the wetlands maps. Board members questioned what resources it would take to refine the buffer width based on importance of creeks and wetlands. The consultants stated that the more refinement, the better the product but also the more time and resources would be involved. Board members discussed whether or not a 50 foot buffer makes sense in all cases. Claudia Browne from Biohabitats, Inc. explained that the appropriate size of a buffer depends on the proposed use and the functions you are trying to protect. She also stated that one of the most important actions in the buffer to protect functions would be to minimize impermeable surfaces. The board asked about the maximum amount of impervious surface area that could be allowed before causing extreme wetland and stream degradation. Browne said although it would be difficult to define that point scientifically, she feels that we are at the point where we're losing significant amount of wetland functions in the watershed from development impacts. Board members asked Biohabitats for their opinion on the most important aspects of the buffers to protect. Browne said that although all the aspects of the buffers are tied together as an ecosystem, connectivity is one of the most important to protect species in ow environment. Alan Cazpenter felt that protection of woody vegetation along the streambanks is most important. The consultants responded to a question from the boazd asking whether they felt that Boulder is mapping the wrrect type of wetlands. The consultants stated that they agreed with Boulder's approach to defining and mapping wetlands. Board members agreed with the staff recommended objectives for an effective wetlands ordinance with the following comments: • Objective #5 should include creating incentives for landowners to enhance their wetlands. • There needs to be a clear and reasonable appeals process to make up for the problem with the fixed-buffer width approach. • We need a generic, common sense, flexible approach to how we regulate. • We need to provide the ability to mitigate impacts so that some development may occur in the buffer. The board felt that Options 1 and 2 would not fully address the objectives. They also agreed with staff that Option #5 would require too much time and resources. They recommended an approach to changing the ordinance that includes the following elements: • Clearly define uses that are allowed "by-righY' and prohibited in the buffer area. • Define a buffer width but with more refined levels of stream or wetland value (e.g. three levels of stream importance) that defines different levels of by-right uses in the buffer. • Develop an appeals process for property owners who disagree with the wetland mapping. • Define a set of hardship criteria. • Develop a discretionary process (with a review and hearing) with better review criteria for proposed uses that are not by-right. • Provide for the ability to mitigate impacts of uses that are not by-right. • Develop better education and incentive programs. The board stated that the maps should go forward ahead of changes to the ordinance and that staff should bring that item forward to the board again prior to going to Council for adoption. 6. MATTERS FROM THE PLANNING BOARD, PLANNING DIRECTOR, AND CITY ATTORNEY Selected Elise and Adrian as Planning Board's representatives to a new subcommittee on Pops and Scrapes/ FARs Discussed "key themes" to provide input to the Council Community Dialogue and Survey process: 1. How should Boulder nurture a sustainable, affordable, and pedestrian-oriented community including: • Compact, walkable, mixed use neighborhoods • Vibrant streets • Preserving lower and moderately priced housing and businesses in the community 2. Pops and scrapes/ community character 3. Name three places in the city besides the Peazl Street Mall and Boulder Creek that make you happy with your city. Why? 4. The University has a lazge economic impact on community as well as impacts of student rentals, cars, behavior, etc. How can we better integrate the University of Colorado into the community? 5. Evolution of city's edge: • Should the city be dense to the edge? • Should the city expand into the Area III - Rural Preservation Area? If so, for what uses? The board discussed the option of asking council for additional staff FTE to work on high priority issues to the Planning Board such as amending the HZ-E zone. 7. DEBRIEF/AGENDA CHECK 8. ADJOURNMENT The Planning Board adjoumed the meeting at 11:03 p.m. APPROVED BY Board Chair DATE 4