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SB23-213

Savior or Catastrophe?

Ward 4 Update

SB23-213. . . “Ess Bee 23 dash 2 1 3

Doesn’t sound very impressive. Yet Senate Bill 213 could become the single most disruptive bill in recent Colorado history.

Take time to get to know it.

It *WILL* affect your community, and your neighborhood… and probably the street you live on. If you live in a city.

Golden City Council has not taken an official position as of yet. As the Councilor for Ward 4, I urge you to understand the potential impacts of this bill. Perhaps start by reading a few articles which hit close to home… so close to home they use Golden’s “Howdy Folks” sign to illustrate it.

Howdy Folks!

https://www.cpr.org/2023/03/29/colorado-bill-eliminate-cities-growth-cap/


As written SB23-213 would

* Unilaterally remove Golden’s 1% growth ordinance

* Give power to Developers to put a 6-unit condo in any neighborhood, even ones currently with single family homes.   
– And Golden can’t require the builder to add any parking for all of these new tenants
   – Imagine the next-door neighbor’s house being scraped and suddenly becoming a 6-unit rental building owned by a corporate landlord, with the building pushed out to within 5 feet of the property line in all directions, 30-35 feet tall. 

* Live in an HOA or PUD zoned area? That won’t matter. The bill eliminates the power of homeowners’ associations to keep out certain types of housing. 

* Removes limits in state law on the number of unrelated people who can live together

* ADUs – Golden allows them in many areas, as long as there is an owner on site. That goes away, and ADUs can be built in by companies looking to expand rentals

* Oh, and this only applies to Cities … somehow Counties are exempted. Golden is included as a “Tier 1” city — the most dramatically affected.


Many of us are working diligently to make affordable housing options available. Golden has hired an affordable housing policy coordinator to improve our efforts both locally and regionally, and to be a part of the solution to the housing crisis we face in Colorado.

Learn more about Golden’s efforts to address affordable housing
https://www.guidinggolden.com/housing-in-golden

Being concerned about this bill isn’t a matter of NIMBYism – the bill represents a complete overhaul and functional dismantling of local zoning regulations. 

I grew up in Arizona, where developers have traditionally run the state to benefit themselves with explosive growth and unrestrained development at any cost. I’m saddened, and stunned, to imagine a future like that for Colorado.

I support affordable housing changes to our codes, and I support efforts to ensure equitable treatment across our zoning codes. This bill will not achieve that. For further reading, click below!

Read: Gov. Polis’ housing proposal would allow duplexes, townhomes, ADUs across many cities in Colorado: https://www.cpr.org/2023/03/22/gov-polis-housing-proposal-duplexes-townhomes-adus/

Here’s what CML has to say (the group that represents the interests of Cities such as Golden)

Ward 4 Update: Zoning Code Audit, Events, COVID-19, Street/traffic changes

Weekend Update

Thank you for supporting and trusting my candidacy during this Special Election. I am honored by the many folks who believe in my vision, values, and plan for Golden. During my tenure I will work to earn the trust of all residents

Interested in the election results? Visit this blog update
Note: The WilliamFisher.com Blog is updated regularly between email newsletters. 


Council Updates

Zoning Code Audit and Rewrite. As I committed to during the campaign, we are conducting a robust review and rewrite of Golden’s building codes to ensure we maintain our small-town historic character and natural environment.

  1. Phase 1 was the Audit with Community input. This produced the Diagnostic Report (large file, good read, download here).
  2. Phase 2 – The Rewrite. Based on the Audit, Council authorized a round of re-writing portions of the Code through the summer, combined with additional points of community input (which may look odd/virtual due to COVID-19). Speaking of Community Input: Check out the City’s new “Golden Building Blocks” initiative for us residents to help visually define Golden’s character for City Planners.

The Diagnostic Report is comprehensive, and clearly outlines the significant concerns expressed by residents across GoldenIt does not say whether these concerns can be appropriately managed. The rewrite hopefully will propose effective changes to address our concerns (pop-up’s and scrapes, high-density in the wrong areas, ADUs, parking and traffic flow issues, etc.)


COVID-19 & City Finances

Finances: Council’s June 11th meeting will provide a community update and discussion on the City’s financial outlook. This is not “business as usual.” I want the community to hear and hold that discussion before the City proposes any additional major expenditures.

This is why I voted against approving the non-essential $1 Million sidewalk repair bid, which came in over 10% above last year’s pricing (Note: Council awarded the contract anyway. We will have a chance later to decide whether to initiate any work). 

COVID-19: There are SO many updates that I’ll keep it brief.


Street & Parking Changes Support Public Health and Local Businesses

Street lane changes and parking reductions improve social distancing and support local businesses
City Council has acted quickly to continue progress protecting public health and supporting our local businesses. We have authorized the City Manager to make changes in real time to address safety needs. Changes are happening fast: Thank you for your patience and understanding of the need during COVID-19 to be responsive – I appreciate the frustrations this can cause, especially for our West Downtown neighbors and businesses. We have asked the City to communicate through all available channels any updates to road/parking closures.

As restaurants and other businesses re-open, the City will be working with residents to make adjustments based on changing conditions. Council has generally given guidance for Staff to consider Downtown road/parking lane changes and closures, which may look different Monday through Thursday vs Friday/Saturday/Sunday to accommodate safety with increased visitors.

See the detailed City of Golden map of expected closures.


Community Events

Quick update – Council was briefed on cancelations and updates (watch May 28th meeting video at GCO.TV), and has generally directed staff to avoid events wishing to use Washington Avenue downtown. I have suggested Staff considers not only State & County guidance, but also local Golden needs – for example not pushing more event pressure into our 8th-10th Street and West Downtown historic neighborhoods.

  • Staff is looking at options for a “drive-in” version of Movies in the Park in August
  • Most event holders through June, July & August have chosen to cancel (e.g. Buffalo Bill Days)
  • The Golden Farmer’s Market starts June 6 (with new guidelines and safety measures)
  • Not strictly an event… During the May 28th Council Meeting, City Manager Slowinski provided guidance on Clear Creek management for the summer
  • I’ve asked and Council and Staff have agreed to take a deeper dive late Summer or Fall into what we as a community want for Events. 
  • Masks & Face coverings – Lots of community responses on this issue! Council is protecting our businesses by allowing them to require use of face coverings. We’ll have additional discussion at our next Council meeting (June 4th)

Thanks for the great feedback and suggestions we’ve already received! If you have additional thoughts, suggestions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly. 

Cheers,

Bill Fisher, RN
Ward 4 Councilor
Golden, Colorado


Ward 4 Feedback

Email bill@williamfisher.com and visit www.WilliamFisher.com for regular updates and to communicate your thoughts, ideas and concerns.