2020 BVCP Mid-Term Update: 6500 Odell Place

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2020 Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan Mid-Term Update

Be sure to check out the Q&A at the bottom of the page!

What’s Proposed?

6500 Odell Place

City staff is working with Boulder Housing Partners, the city’s housing authority, to assess a potential land use change for the currently vacant parcel at 6500 Odell Place to support permanently affordable housing.

This evaluation will determine if a land use designation change to support housing in this location aligns with the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan, Gunbarrel Community Center Plan goals area and vision for the area. The proposed land use changes is from Mixed Use Industrial (MUI) to High Density Residential (HR). Rezoning to align with the land use would follow in a subsequent process.

Evaluation and Initial Findings

  • The site is adjacent to multi-family housing to the north and is close to retail services at Spine and Lookout Roads. Currently vacant, this change would not displace existing industrial businesses or uses.
  • The land use plan described in the Gunbarrel Community Center Plan calls for adding new residents in close proximity to the retail core and for a mix of residential and light industrial uses in this area. An objective of the plan is to provide an appropriate mix of housing densities and types that is compatible with the surrounding neighborhoods and provides affordable housing to workers in the area and to support the retail uses and bring day and evening activity into the commercial center.
  • The site is approximately one acre is size. The estimated range of potential new units is 20-35 and would be further defined through the rezoning process should the land use change be approved.
  • The site is within the city’s urban service area and is served with city utilities, public safety, and is within walking distance to retail services and transit service. Additional households would not negatively impact schools: Heatherwood Elementary, Platt Middle, Boulder or Fairview High School.
  • While residential uses are allowed under the current Industrial General zoning, the site does not meet the 2 acre in size threshold for site review – a requirement for consideration of residential in industrial areas.

Read more about the proposed change here.

Gunbarrel Community Center PlanExisting BVCP Land UsePhoto of vacant site facing north

What’s the BVCP Process?

The proposed change will be considered based on compatibility with the goals and policies of the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan, the Gunbarrel Community Center Plan, potential impacts or benefits to nearby areas, and community feedback.

City staff is assessing the proposed change and want to hear community feedback on the initial evaluation and findings described above. In order to keep community and staff members safe, we are not conducting in-person meetings or events. New information will be posted regularly on the Project Website. Please send comments or questions directly to staff to Jean Gatza at 303-441-4907 or gatzaj@bouldercolorado.gov.

Planning Board and City Council Public are anticipated to take action on the proposed changes by the end of 2020. Sign-up here to receive e-mail notification for meetings, engagement opportunities, or other information regarding the BVCP Mid-Term Update.

2020 Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan Mid-Term Update

Be sure to check out the Q&A at the bottom of the page!

What’s Proposed?

6500 Odell Place

City staff is working with Boulder Housing Partners, the city’s housing authority, to assess a potential land use change for the currently vacant parcel at 6500 Odell Place to support permanently affordable housing.

This evaluation will determine if a land use designation change to support housing in this location aligns with the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan, Gunbarrel Community Center Plan goals area and vision for the area. The proposed land use changes is from Mixed Use Industrial (MUI) to High Density Residential (HR). Rezoning to align with the land use would follow in a subsequent process.

Evaluation and Initial Findings

  • The site is adjacent to multi-family housing to the north and is close to retail services at Spine and Lookout Roads. Currently vacant, this change would not displace existing industrial businesses or uses.
  • The land use plan described in the Gunbarrel Community Center Plan calls for adding new residents in close proximity to the retail core and for a mix of residential and light industrial uses in this area. An objective of the plan is to provide an appropriate mix of housing densities and types that is compatible with the surrounding neighborhoods and provides affordable housing to workers in the area and to support the retail uses and bring day and evening activity into the commercial center.
  • The site is approximately one acre is size. The estimated range of potential new units is 20-35 and would be further defined through the rezoning process should the land use change be approved.
  • The site is within the city’s urban service area and is served with city utilities, public safety, and is within walking distance to retail services and transit service. Additional households would not negatively impact schools: Heatherwood Elementary, Platt Middle, Boulder or Fairview High School.
  • While residential uses are allowed under the current Industrial General zoning, the site does not meet the 2 acre in size threshold for site review – a requirement for consideration of residential in industrial areas.

Read more about the proposed change here.

Gunbarrel Community Center PlanExisting BVCP Land UsePhoto of vacant site facing north

What’s the BVCP Process?

The proposed change will be considered based on compatibility with the goals and policies of the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan, the Gunbarrel Community Center Plan, potential impacts or benefits to nearby areas, and community feedback.

City staff is assessing the proposed change and want to hear community feedback on the initial evaluation and findings described above. In order to keep community and staff members safe, we are not conducting in-person meetings or events. New information will be posted regularly on the Project Website. Please send comments or questions directly to staff to Jean Gatza at 303-441-4907 or gatzaj@bouldercolorado.gov.

Planning Board and City Council Public are anticipated to take action on the proposed changes by the end of 2020. Sign-up here to receive e-mail notification for meetings, engagement opportunities, or other information regarding the BVCP Mid-Term Update.

What are your questions about this proposed change?

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    Are there other improvements to transit being considered in the project area boundary? Improvements to the bicycle lane and pedestrian experience along Spine and Lookout would greatly improve the area's walkability.

    asked about 1 month ago

    Planned improvements for Spine Road include a buffered bike lane south of Lookout and a neighborhood green street (which would include enhanced signing and striping) north of Lookout. There are also planned sidewalk connections through the Gunbarrel Center and planned multiuse path connections to the Cottontail path. These improvements are identified but not yet scheduled in the capital budget. In regard to transit, the SH119 BRT project has a planned station at 119 and 63rd Street, which is within walking distance of the site.

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    I am a resident of Gunbarrel North and I wholeheartedly support the proposed land use change from industrial to residential, especially for affordable housing. I am curious if there is a timeline on a the proposed multi-use path connecting the Odell residential area to the trails and underpass? It would improve the connection between the two neighborhoods as well as access to green space.

    Rebecca Morse asked 18 days ago

    These improvements are not yet scheduled in the capital budget. If redevelopment occurs in the area, the city may have greater ability to prioritize these and/or partner on improvements that can be made in conjunction with a development project. 

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    While I think adding affordable housing in Boulder is needed, the area is already pretty congested with 3 apartment complexes. I currently live in Apex and am aware that people in my complex park their cars along Odell Place. If a new development were to be built on the vacant lot, parking availability would be further decreased, which is a problem. I would prefer that vacant lot be rezoned into a green space. This side of Spine is dedicated to a lot of parking lots and having a green space there would be good for the environment and people living in the area. Research has shown that having the availability of green space on a community is beneficial to resident's mental health and physical health and provide social benefits as well. Read more about the research: https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/16/3/452/htm Thank you for taking the time to read my comment.

    elevi1022 asked about 1 month ago

    Great question and interesting article. We agree that green space in the community is essential to quality of life and useable open space is required on-site for residential developments. Also, there is nearby access to multi-use paths that connect with city and county-owned Open Space. This site is privately-owned and changing the future use for a park or other open space would require the city to identify funding and purchase the site.

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    Please specifically address what the Land Use Code demands for off-street parking. Is the apartment developer required to provide parking for just 1 car per unit as Apex 5510 does? If so, that will create even more of a street parking shortage in this very concentrated area, which is detrimental for both residents and businesses.

    ww6224 asked about 1 month ago

    Parking requirements vary by zone district. Typically, there is a minimum requirement of 1 space per unit and some zones require more depending on number of bedrooms. On-street parking is a way for those with more vehicles to park in the public right-of-way. Neighborhood Parking Permit programs is a tool that can be evaluated for use should there be an increased need to address on-street parking.  

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    Will this building offer parking for its residents? Currently, there is not enough parking for residents or Apex, especially when Finkel and Garf is busy.

    megancosta34 asked about 2 months ago

    Off-Street Parking is required by the Land Use Code for any future use on the site – whether it remains under the current Mixed-Use Industrial Land Use and Industrial General zoning or is changed to a residential zoning.

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    How is parking being considered? I live at 5510 Apex and there is only room for 1 parking pass per unit in the complex, which means I park on the streets around 6500 Odell Place every day. When the brewery Finkel & Garf (right across from the lot) is even slightly busy my parking options are already severely diminished. I worry that if this lot has 20-35 units there will be no street parking left for me and I don't know where else to go.

    marie315 asked about 2 months ago

    Off-Street Parking is required by the Land Use Code for any future use on the site – whether it remains under the current Mixed-Use Industrial Land Use and Industrial General zoning or is changed to a residential zoning.