III.Land Use Map Descriptions
The Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan Land Use Map provides a sketch plan of the desired land use pattern in the Boulder Valley. Land use categories include residential, business, industrial, public/semi-public, open space, and park use. The map also shows the location and functional classiﬁcation of roads. The following descriptions are meant to be used in interpreting the map.
Residential Land Use and Densities
Residential land use areas on the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan reﬂect the existing land use pattern or current zoning for an area. The highest density areas are generally located close to the University of Colorado or in areas planned for transit oriented redevelopment.
Medium density areas are generally situated near community shopping areas or along some of the major arterials of the city. Mixed density areas surround the downtown and are located in some areas planned for new development. Lower density areas in the older section of the city consist predominantly of single-family detached structures.
Many of the areas developed in the city and the county over the last 30 years are characterized by a mixture of housing types ranging from single-family detached to cluster and patio homes, townhouses and apartments. A variety of housing types will continue to be encouraged in developing areas during the planning period of the Comprehensive Plan.
Residential densities under the Comprehensive Plan range from:
It is assumed that variations of the densities on a small area basis may occur within any particular classiﬁcation but an average density will be maintained for that classiﬁcation.
Additionally, in older downtown neighborhoods developed with single family homes but for a time were zoned for higher densities, a variety of housing types and densities are found within a single block. The city’s goal is to preserve current neighborhood character and mix of housing types, and not exacerbate traffic and parking problems. Some new housing units may be added. The average density in the downtown neighborhoods designated mixed density is in the medium density range (six to 14 units per acre). The mixed density designation is also applied in some areas planned for new development where the goal is to provide a substantial amount of affordable housing in mixed density neighborhoods that have a variety of housing types and densities. The density in the mixed density designation in newly developing areas is from six to 18 units per acre.
The manufactured housing designation is applied to existing mobile home parks. The intent of the designation is to preserve the affordable housing provided by the existing mobile home parks.
Within certain residential areas, there is also the potential for limited small neighborhood shopping facilities, offices or services through special review.
Mixed Use-Residential development may be deemed appropriate and will be encouraged in some residential areas. These areas may be designated Mixed Use-Residential. In these areas, residential character will predominate, although neighborhood scale retail and personal service uses will be allowed. Speciﬁc zoning and other regulations will be adopted which deﬁne the desired intensity, mix, location and design characteristics of these uses.
Within the Boulder Valley, there are ﬁve categories of business land use, based on the intensity of development and the particular needs of the residents living in each subcommunity.
The five categories are: Regional, Community, General, Transitional and Mixed Use-Business.
The two major Regional Business areas of the Boulder Valley are the Downtown and the Crossroads Area. Within these areas are located the major shopping facilities, ofﬁces, ﬁnancial institutions, and government and cultural facilities serving the entire Boulder Valley and neighboring communities. These areas will continue to be refurbished, upgraded and will remain the dominant focus for major business activities in the region.
A Community Business area is the focal point for commercial activity serving a subcommunity or a collection of neighborhoods. These are designated to serve the daily convenience shopping and service needs of the local populations and are generally less than 150,000 to 200,000 square feet in area. Ofﬁces within the community business areas should be ofﬁces designated speciﬁcally for residents of the subcommunity. Where feasible, multiple uses will be encouraged within these centers.
The General Business areas are located at junctions of major arterials of the city where intensive commercial uses exist. The plan proposes that these areas continue to be used without expanding the strip character already established.
The Transitional Business designation is shown along certain major streets. These are areas usually zoned for less intensive business uses than in the General Business areas, and they often provide a transition to residential areas.
Mixed Use-Business development may be deemed appropriate and will be encouraged in some business areas. These areas may be designated Mixed Use-Business where business or residential character will predominate. Housing and public uses supporting housing will be encouraged and may be required. Speciﬁc zoning and other regulations will be adopted which deﬁne the desired intensity, mix, location and design characteristics of these uses.
Service Commercial areas provide a wide range of community and regional retail and service uses generally not accommodated in core commercial areas and which generally require automotive access for customer convenience and the servicing of vehicles.
The Comprehensive Plan projects ﬁve classiﬁcations of industrial use within the Boulder Valley:
Public/Semi-Public land use designations encompass a wide range of public and private non-proﬁt uses that provide a community service. This category includes municipal and public utility services such as the municipal airport, water reservoirs, and water and wastewater treatment plants. Public/Semi-Public also includes:
An Agriculture land use designation identiﬁes land in the Service Area that is planned to remain in agricultural use. Uses that are auxiliary to agriculture such as a home, a barn and outbuildings and the incidental sales of farm or horticultural products are expected on land with this designation. Given the urban nature of Boulder, the designation will be used rarely.
The Environmental Preservation designation includes private lands in Areas I and II with environmental values that the city and county would like to preserve through a variety of preservation methods including but not limited to intergovernmental agreements, dedications, development restrictions, rezonings, acquisitions, and density transfers.
Natural Ecosystem Overlay
In order to encourage environmental preservation, a Natural Ecosystem overlay is applied over Comprehensive Plan Land Use Designations throughout the Boulder Valley Planning Area. Natural ecosystems are deﬁned as areas that support native plants and animals or possess important ecological, biological or geological values that represent the rich natural history of the Boulder Valley.
The Natural Ecosystems overlay also identiﬁes connections and buffers that are important for sustaining biological diversity and viable habitats for native species, for protecting the ecological health of certain natural systems, and to buffer potential impacts from adjacent land uses.
A Natural Ecosystems overlay will not necessarily preclude development or human use of a particular area or supersede any other land use designation but will serve to identify certain environmental issues in the area. The overlay will serve to guide the city and the county in decisions about:
Open Space designations on the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan Map include the following three categories of land:
Open Space designations are not intended to limit acquisition, but to be indicative of the broad goals of the program. Other property that meets Open Space purposes and functions should be considered and may be acquired. Open Space designations indicate that the long-term use of the land is planned to serve one or more open space functions. However, Open Space designations may not reﬂect the current use of the land while in private ownership.
Urban and Other Parks
Urban and Other Parks includes public lands used for a variety of active and passive recreational purposes. Urban parks provided by the city include pocket parks, neighborhood parks, community parks and city parks as deﬁned in the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.
The speciﬁc characteristics of each park depend on the type of park, size, topography and neighborhood preferences. Neighborhood parks typically provide a children’s playground, picnic facilities, benches, walkways, landscaped areas and multi-use open grass areas. Other park uses may include recreational facilities such as basketball or tennis courts, community gardens and natural areas.
There are three community park sites (Harlow Platts, East Boulder and Foothills) that are fully or partially developed. Large multi-use city parks are planned for two locations: 1) the Valmont Park site and 2) the Area III - Planning Reserve site, which will be held to meet future recreational needs.
The Boulder Reservoir is a regional park that provides opportunities for ﬁshing, swimming, boating, picnicking, etc. Other public recreational facilities, including city recreation centers, a golf course, swimming pools, ballﬁelds, and the Eldorado Canyon State Park are also included in this category.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 February 2013 13:18