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An evaluation of Boulder's existing growth limitation ordinance

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Title:
An evaluation of Boulder's existing growth limitation ordinance 1977-1980
Creator:
Allen, Louise Hall
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Language:
English
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99, iv leaves : illustrations ; 28 cm

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Subjects / Keywords:
Cities and towns -- Growth -- Law and legislation -- Colorado -- Boulder ( lcsh )
Cities and towns -- Growth -- Law and legislation ( fast )
Colorado -- Boulder ( fast )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree, Master of Planning and Community Development, College of Environmental Design.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Louise Hall Allen.

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Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver Collections
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Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
28164170 ( OCLC )
ocm28164170
Classification:
LD1190.A78 1981 .A847 ( lcc )

Full Text
ALLBtJ
THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO
AN EVALUATION OF BOULDER'S EXISTING GROWTH LIMITATION ORDINANCE: 1977-1980.
IN FULFILLMENT OF THE THESIS REQUIREMENT FOR THE MASTERS OF PLANNING & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
COLLEGE OF ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN
BY
LOUISE HALL ALLEN
DENVER, COLORADO
MAY, 1981


PREFACE
Since growth management is relatively new and Boulder is one of the few communities at the forefront of this effort, it is very exciting to be conducting research on a prototype system. This effort would not be possible without Frank Gray's determined leadership to develop Boulder's Growth Management Study.
I would also like to acknowledge the following people who have helped, frustrated, and influenced me through this ordeal.
Frank Gray of the Boulder Planning Department who has had many ideas, some of which appear in this paper.
Ed Gawf of the Boulder Planning Department who has given much inspiration on the strengths and weaknesses of research.
Dave Hill who has been such a strong supporter of academic process, and has provided needed encouragement.
Herb Smith who has supported and kept plugging the planning attitude until it sank in.
Jim Westcott who planted some kernels of thought about the relationship of employment and population.
Paul Danish who is the best appreciator of good data.
Tom Miller, Sam Fitch, Bob Cornwell and Anne Guyerson of the Growth Management Study who have provided data as well as ideas.
i
Aaron and Alexa who have endured patiently.
v


INTRODUCTION
Growth management by a local community is an attempt to control the location, type, amount, phasing and even rate of growth. There is growing widespread use of a great variety of tools tailored to local needs to implement growth management depending on the goals of a community. However there have been few efforts to date at evaluating or monitoring the impact of these systems or combination of tools used to implement growth management. There are many charges leveled against growth management approaches which have not yet been analyzed sufficiently. And there is lack of a developing methodology that can be used by local governments to analyze the impacts of growth management. This paper presents a methodology developed to evaluate an existing growth limitation ordinance adopted in Boulder Colorado (1977) to control the rate of growth.
The purpose of this paper is to identify the goals or standards set forth in Boulder's growth limitation ordinance, determine whether they were met, and conclude how effective the ordinance was in meeting the standards. There were several potential unintended side effects which were said to result from the implementation of the ordinance. This paper will identify the side effects, and determine whether they did in fact occur as a result of the growth limitation ordinance.
There are three primary goals of the growth limitation ordinance. First was to limit the rate of growth in the Boulder Valley to a level
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substantially below that experienced in the 1960s, or specifically to
hold the rate of growth in the Boulder Valley to a level no greater than
two (2) percent.1 The second standard was to limit the total number of building permits to 450 dwelling units per year. And finally the
ordinance limited the number of units constructed outside a defined
central area of Boulder to 275 units per year or 61% of the total 450
units. (39% would be reserved for the central, or core area.)
There are three major unintended side effects that are most widely used in arguments against the growth limitation ordinance. First is that it would result in diverting growth to the unincorporated parts of Boulder County, and adjacent Boulder county communities. Second that housing prices would increase thus resulting in Boulder becoming a more exclusive community. And finally, that Boulder continues to attract employment growth while limiting residential growth thus creating an imbalance which would negatively impact on the rest of the county.
Boulder has been concerned with managing and controlling growth for several decades. Thus Boulder's experience provides a depth and quantity of attitudes, experiences and data about which this writer will draw some conclusions concerning growth and growth management. Similarly throughout history people have been concerned with the relationships
A
between the size of a city, rates of growth and the quality of civilization. Mumford has written considerably about the problems that accompany the overgrowth of a city (necropolis).2 Schumacher states that "the idea of unlimited economic growth, more and more until everybody is
^Revised Code of the City of Boulder (Jan. 1977) Article XII, Section 170 pp. 68 68 5.
^Mumford, Lewis The City in History. (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Work, Inc., 1961) pp. 238 242.
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saturated with wealth, needs to be seriously questioned on at least two
counts: The availability of basic resources and alternately or
additionally, the capacity of the environment to cope with the degree of interference required."3
"Non-growth" as referred to by Finkler, Toner and Popper is not meant to imply that communities want to stop any and all future growth.
It is meant rather, that the rate, amount, location and type of future growth have become items of open and legitimate public concern. They argue that the non-growth movement has developed spontaneously in a wide variety of communities and geographic areas of the U.S. mostly within the last five years. Further they claim that the concept of using non-growth to capture benefits for the community is the fourth, current phase of the non-growth movement, and can even be used to increase the supply of local housing, to make that supply less exclusionary, and to make the local economy stronger and more equitable. Non-growth encourages community control that is exercised for the benefit of all local residents.* 4
There have been concerns raised, however, about the constitutional defensibi1ity of growth management systems, and the court has set forth broadened-impact criteria to consider when testing the constitutionality of growth management systems. It is stated that "In 1975, in Southern Burlington County NAACP v. Township of Mount Laurel the New Jersey supreme court provided the first rigorous regional analysis by stating that a zoning ordinance that does not meet the fundamental need for adequate housing possessed by people of all income levels who reside
^Schumacher, E.F. Small is Beautiful. (New York: Harper & Row, 1975) p. 30.
4Earl Finkler, William J. Toner and Frank J. Popper. Urban Non-Growth City Planning for People. (New York: Praeger Publishers, 1976)
p. 1.
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within the region does not serve the general welfare and is invalid."5
The argument is being raised more frequently that communities which
regulate growth are accommodating only a selective portion of the region's housing demand which results in an unequal distribution of
housing throughout the region.
The following methodology will be used to determine whether the standards of Boulder's growth limitation ordinance were met and what impact the growth limitation ordinance had. Similarly, for the unintended side effects, the same methodology will be used. First the baseline trend up to 1977 will be determined. In some cases data is available for previous decades, whereas in other cases data is available only for the 1970s. This writer will then project what would have happened from 1977 to 1980 without the growth limitation ordinance based on earlier trends. Then, what actually happened from 1977 to 1980 will be determined. The difference between what would have happened and what actually happened will be analyzed to determine what part of that change is attributable to the growth limitation ordinance. And finally, a determination will be made about whether the standards were met and what impact the growth limitation ordinance had.
Similarly the same methodology will be used for the unintended side effects. However, for the side effects no standards were defined and this writer will use either standards found in the comprehensive plan or develop standards that seem reasonable.
For determining the growth rate, data sources to be used are U.S. Census counts, and estimates for Boulder and for the other communities in
^David R. Goldschalk, David J. Brower, Larry D. McBennett,
Barbara A. Vestal, Daniel C. Herr. Constitutional Issues of Growth Management. (Chicago: Planners Press, APA, 1977) p. 68.
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Boulder County since the scope of the analysis will be county-wide. Building
permit data and housing counts by the City Planning Department will be
used. For demographics, the following data will be used: U.S. Census data on incomes, a City-University Housing Study will be used to separate
students fron non-students by income category, a study based on a sample of Colorado State Income Tax returns, and finally a county-wide employee survey. And finally, for employment information the 1970 Census' Bureau Journey to Work volume, and the county-wide employee survey will both be used.
There are several limitations to this study. First and most important is the fact that the growth limitation ordinance adopted in 1977 for five years has only been in effect for three years which may be too short a period of time for impacts to adequately show up. The availability of data for specific years is often non-existent. Accurate population counts are only provided by the U.S. Census Bureau in their decennial counts, although some estimates are available for intervening years. And because of declining household size, which was undetected by most local and regional jurisdictions, many available population estimates are inaccurate.
This paper will evaluate only those two primary goals or standards proposed by the growth limitation ordinance. In addition the writer has addressed three major side effect issues for which data is available. A major issue, that of housing prices and housing availability will only be briefly discussed in this paper because The Housing Price Study has not been completed.6
housing sales price study is being researched by Tom Miller and Sam Fitch, for the Boulder Growth Management Study, but is not yet completed.
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Since Boulder's relationship to the region is of concern, the
delineation of a region had to be made. For the purposes of this paper
the region is defined as the Boulder County region and comparisons will be made between Boulder and other incorporated cities within Boulder
County.
The paper is organized by five chapters. The first chapter will address the question of population growth rate and whether the standard was met. The second chapter addresses building permits in the central or core area and whether the standard was met. Chapters four and five address the side effects issue. Chapter four considers diversion of growth, and income breakdowns county-wide. Chapter five examines employment growth and commuting patterns county-wide. The concluding chapter summarizes the findings and presents some issues for further consideration.
The purpose of Boulder's Growth Management Study is to enable the Citizen Growth Management Task Force to make recommendations to the City Council on whether to continue, modify, or abandon the growth limitation ordinance after the five year time limit is reached. The future of the growth limitation ordinance is beyond the scope of this paper, although important issues for consideration have been presented.
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CHAPTER I
GROWTH LIMITATION ORDINANCE Background
The ordinance to control the rate of growth in the City of Boulder,! (January 1977) addressed the city's continuing commitment to the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan and its desire to work with the county government to hold the rate of growth in the Boulder Valley to a level substantially below that experienced in the 1960s. In addition, the ordinance proposes the following steps in order to secure a rate of growth within the Boulder Valley which will insure the preservation of its unique environment and high quality of life: to limit major residential development projects to an average of 450 dwelling units per year for a period of five years, further limiting the number of units constructed outside the Boulder Central Area as defined to 275 units annually; exempting certain minor development projects as defined from the limitations established for major projects; and directing the City Council to adopt by ordinance a system for allocating building permits to builders on the basis of merit.
Second, the ordinance directs the Boulder City Council to develop amendments to the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan which provide for a growth rate of no greater than two (2) percent per year within the
Ifhe Revised Code of the City of Boulder (Jan. 4, 1977) Article
XII, Section 170, pp. 68 68 5.
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Boulder Valley Comprehensive Planning Area, and third, directs the City
Council to urge the Boulder County Commissioners to enact procedures for
the purpose of holding growth within the Planning Area to a level no greater than two (2) percent per year during the effective life of this ordinance.
Amendments to the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan providing for a maximum
growth rate of two (2) percent per year were not approved by all four
signatory bodies to the plan. Consequently there are no provisions
regarding growth rate included in the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan,
which is an intergovernmental agreement between the City and the County
of Boulder.
I would like to provide some information about the events in Boulder preceding the public vote on the Growth Limitation Ordinance in November 1976. An early awareness of land use planning and the unique physical appeal of Boulder dates back to a 1910 report entitled The Improvement of Boulder, Colorado, by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. which contained recommendations on physical improvements to maintain the high quality of Boulder. As the University of Colorado expanded and new industries moved to the area in the 1950's pressure for new housing increased. The first attempts at controlling growth were based primarily on controlling the expansion of water lines. In 1959 the voters approved the Blue Line Charter Amendment which established a line along the western edge of the city, adjacent to the foothills, prohibiting the extension of city water lines above the Blue Line. In 1965, the voters reaffirmed their commitment to limit sprawling residential development, and turned down a proposal to extend city water lines south of the existing city limits in order to provide for new residential development.
In 1967, the voters approved the existing Open Space Program which
authorized four tenths of one cent of sales tax to be used for public
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acquisition of high priority open space lands to be administered by an Open Space Board of Trustees. In 1970, the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan was adopted by the City and the County which designated land use for the Boulder Valley including those areas targeted for open space purchased by the city. The comprehensive plan, while providing an effective planning tool to guide future growth and development lacked any effective implementation for its policies. A 1976 Supreme Court decision Robinson v. City of Boulder held that since the City of Boulder had promoted its position of being the sole provider of water and sewer service within the Boulder Valley, it could not act as a monopoly and deny these services to the developer, who was requesting to locate residential development in the unincorporated portion of the Boulder Valley an area designated on the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan for development after 1990.
In 1970, the local chapter of Zero Population Growth (ZPG) proposed a 100,000 population limit for Boulder which was defeated by the voters. A city initiated ballot measure, however, to "take all steps necessary to hold the rate of growth. to a level substantially below that experienced in the 1960s, and to undertake a definitive analysis of the optimum population and growth rate for the Boulder Valley" was approved by the voters. In response to the 1971 vote, the City Council adopted a set of Interim Growth Policies which were to provide guidelines for growth and development until the Citizen Commission could complete their study to determine the optimum population and growth rate for the Boulder Valley. Following is a description of the Interim Growth Policies:
1. The Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan and its policies on land use shall continue to be the basis for making decisions in the Boulder Valley.
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2. Each proposal for development shall be examined in light of its effect and impact on the following objectives:
a. Compliance with the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan;
b. Availability of urban services to the development, i.e. water, sewer, schools, public safety, transportation, parks;
c. To extend city boundaries and services in a pattern contiguous to the existing city;
d. To preserve the essential character of neighborhood areas, if such preservation is determined to be in the best interests of the community;
e. The proposal shall pay its fair share of costs for public facilities and services.
3. There shall be established by the City Manager, a plan for evaluating the effects of development proposals on the rate of growth in light of the policy to hold growth to "a level substantially below that experienced in the 1960s".
4. The City shall discourage new primary employment centers from locating in the Boulder Valley. Further it shall also request other City, County, and Federal agencies, both public and private, to refrain from promoting the Boulder Valley for the location of such centers.
5. The City shall intensify its involvement with various regional and metropolitan agencies which may be in a position to adopt programs and/or policies having a potential adverse impact on the objectives of this policy.
6. No grandfather clauses should be granted for any change in development fees or charges.
7. Each development proposal shall include a statement


evaluating its environmental impact and its compliance with provisions of this policy.
8. Because of a need for more low and moderate income housing in the community, the City shall be willing to waive or amend the above
objectives in order to bring about such construction. Low and moderate income housing shall be that housing which meets the income and construction standards as established by the City of Boulder.
Part of the work of the Growth Study Commission which released its 10-volume report in November 1973 included emphasis on citizen participation, and numerous workshops were held in conjunction with the recommendations of the Growth Commission for a three (3) percent per annum growth rate for the Boulder Valley planning area. However, no specific action was taken by Council to replace the interim growth policies with permanent policies including a growth rate. The rate of growth for the years 1970-1973 was reduced from an annual average of a six percent rate during the 1960s to approximately 3.7 percent.2 GROWTH LIMITATION ORDINANCE
It is within this context that the growth limitation ordinance was passed by the voters in November 1976 and implemented in March 1977 for a five year period. The goal of the ordinance was to hold the population growth rate to two (2) percent a year by limiting the number of residential building permits to 450 a year. It was determined that 650 permits per year would result in a two (2) percent population growth rate, and the additional 200 permits per year would constitute the exemptions and prior commitments. Exemptions, as defined by the ordinance, are
^Cooper, Sandra. "Growth Control Evolves in Boulder" Urban Land
(March 1980) pp. 13-18.
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single unit dwellings and projects of four or fewer units constructed on lots platted prior to the adoption of the ordinance. Prior commitments are previously approved PUDs which by Council Action can receive an allocation of building permits provided the project has demonstrated a continued level of development activity and has adopted an approved phasing schedule for development. Prior commitments are to be subtracted from the annual allocation of 450 units unless council votes to add the additional number back into the 450 total. The criteria for adding or subtracting is whether the current growth rate of building permits is at two (2) percent or lower (two (2) percent is calculated based on 650 building permits per year equivalent to two (2) percent).
The ordinance provides for two allocation periods per year, and each allocation includes an allocation for the outer area (periphery) for 137 or 138 units and one for the inner area (core) for 87 and 88 units. When applications are received for more than the available number of units, a competition under the merit system is triggered, and all projects compete for points. If the number of applications is less than the available number of units, all projects can immediately receive building permits. A building permit must be applied for within eleven months of the approval, and construction begun within fifteen months of approval, or allocations will be terminated. Extensions to these deadlines may be granted by the Planning Board under certain circumstances. In addition, low income housing projects undertaken by the City Housing Authority are exempt from the ordinance.
MERIT SYSTEM
The merit system contains a total of 105 potential points under
the following categories. Projects can score between minus 25 points to
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plus 25 points^ under the Public Facilities section which includes consideration for water, sewer, fire, police, flood control, transportation, schools, parks, accessibility to public transportation, and distance from library and other facilities. Environmental Elements and Energy Conservation (25 points) considers sensitive natural areas such as flood plains, wildlife as well as a full range of options for energy conservation which has a potential maximum point score of 20.4 The energy section favors passive solar and active solar as well as any number of other energy saving options. The Design section (+25 points) considers open space, landscaping, circulation, livability and relationship to the surrounding area. A final section awards five (5) points for a previously approved PUD.
Out of the ten total allocations provided for in the growth limitation ordinance, nine have been completed. Table 1 (see page 14) summarizes each allocation for the core and the periphery in terms of number of units requesting allocations, number awarded, and number of units denied. It also indicates units terminated either voluntarily; or because the applicant did not meet either the eleventh month or the fifteenth month deadline.
As Table 1 shows, after the first allocation in the core, there was no competition for units until the 7th Allocation, and units available in the core accumulated during this time. There was more often competition in the periphery, although it was not until the 7th Allocation that competition significantly increased and more units were denied allocations.
^Revision to the merit system, May 1980 revised the total points for Public Facilities from -30 to +30 to -25 to +25.
^Energy Conservation was also increased from ten (10) points to (20) points in May 1980 and expanded to provide additional options.
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TABLE 1
SUMMARY OF RESIDENTIAL ALLOCATION SYSTEM
ALLOCA units muwm CORE PERIPHERY IProJ. fUnits IProJ. fUnits f ProJ. fUnits CORE # ProJ. fUnits. STATUS PERIPHERY fUnits fProJ. fUnits fUnits Termln. TOTAL Net ^ ALLOCATED
fUnits f ProJ.
TION TeEToc
Denied Denied Approv. Approv. Termln. Denied Denied' Approv. Approv.

1st 7 156 6 210 4 80 3 76 0 2 42 4 168 0 244
2nd 7 60 4 126 0 0 7 60 3 0 13 4 113 9 161
3rd 2 19 7 235 0 0 2 19 0 2 122 5 113 34 98
4th 4 35 5 159 0 0 4 35 10 0 0 5 159 82 102
5th 12 149 7 116 0 0 12 149 22 0 0 7 116 17 226
6th 9 178.6 7 140 0 0 9 178.6 34 0 0 7 140 32 252.6
7th 8 179 12 391 2 98 6 81 16 3 158 9 233 56 242
8th 12 179.3 8 263 6 62.3 6 117 30 3 110 5 153 N.A. 240
9th 13 212.6 16 450 7 81 6 131.6 8 235 8 215 346.6
10th
OTALS 74 1168.6 72 2090 19 3213 55 847.3 115 18 680 54 1410 230 1912.3


It is important to point out, however, that the cumulative number of units denied is not reflective of units never being built. Rather, in most cases, the projects, after making alterations to receive additional points, resubmit at the next allocation period, and in most cases receive allocations in future periods.
The City Council has approved prior commitment status for seven (7) previously approved PUDs. It has subtracted a total of one hundred forty-six (146) prior commitments from the 1980 total of 450 allowable permits and added back four hundred and six (406) prior commitments which have applied for building permits. There was a much greater potential for exceeding the two (2) percent growth rate if all of the approved prior commitments had actually built what had been proposed and approved. However, the build-out of the prior commitments has been much slower than anticipated and most projects have built less than anticipated. As previously explained, the criteria for adding or subtracting prior commitments is whether a growth rate of building permits of two (2) percent or less is achieved. Through 1980 Table 2 shows the status in the rate of building permits:
TABLE 2
Rate of Growth of Building Permits
Number of Building Permits Number of Permits Representing
Issued Since Adoption of the 2% per Year (650 per year).
Ordinance:
April - Dec. 1977: 322 488
Jan. - Dec. 1978: 754 650
Jan. - Dec. 1979: 640 650
Jan. - Dec. 1980: 613 650
2329 2438
Growth Rate: 1.9%
15-


Figure 1 (see page 17) shows the breakdown of all building permits issued since the adoption of the ordinance merit system, exemptions, and prior commitments and how many of each were located in the core and periphery.
As more projects apply for units (as happened in the last two allocation periods and would expect to happen in the final allocation), competition increases. The result is that more projects propose moderate income housing and energy conservation, since these are two categories which the applicant has significant control over, and which can result in a project scoring significantly higher than another project. The impacts of the increased competition affect the core where, because of a lack of competition in the earlier periods, there was a lack of proposals for moderate housing and energy conservation, a trend now changing in the latter allocation periods.
In addition, the point system clearly favors projects locating where a full range of urban services is available without additional city expenditure. Because the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan requires a full range of urban services available at least within a three year period of annexation to the city, most projects meet this criteria. However, as
time goes on, and the supply of land closest to the existing city is used,

this criteria will begin to have a greater impact on the total point scores of projects. Projects located the furthest from existing city services risk an increase in negative scores in the Public Facilities section, thus making them much less competitive and less able to secure building permits.
CONCLUSION
As Table 1 (see page 14) showed there was a lack of significant
competition for units until the seventh allocation period awarded in March
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NUMBER OF UNITS
FIGURE I
600
600
400 -
300
200 -
100
1100 -
- 718
.
1000 - s : ; _

800 -
m 800 - .
700
Building Permits Issued
April 1977 December 1980
4181

fPptiip*
W00:r
fm
7 'iC r**" -':
alf&£3ti
i?
wp
ilBti
200
441
Wjes
EZ3 Core EZ] Periphery
467
-
---------'i.'-Vf ,
.
- -
65
MERIT SYSTEM
EXEMPTIONS
PRIOR COMMITMENTS
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1980. This could mean that the growth limitation ordinance has not affected supply at all, and thus would not have had an impact on Boulder's growth rate. However, although the number of units applied for was close to the number available from 1977 to 1980, it is still possible that this ordinance has had an impact on the growth rate. First there could have been potential builders who chose to build elsewhere rather than be subject to the merit system. Large projects in particular have a disadvantage under the system since no applicant may receive more than seventy-five (75) units during one construction year without Council action.
Second, there might have been a lack of competition because applicants were only requesting the number of units they knew they could begin construction on within the fifteenth month deadline. Thus the growth limitation ordinance from 1977-1980 may have resulted in decreased speculation, and an increase in phasing units more slowly. In at least one case it appeared that some applicants got together prior to an appli-
t
cation deadline and mutually decreased the number of units being applied for in order to avoid triggering a competition.
As competition increased, the growth limitation ordinance has resulted in increased energy conservation proposals as well as increased moderate income housing. And, as the competition increased, in the core, the result has been increased proposals for moderate income housing in the core which was not the case in earlier allocation periods.
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CHAPTER II
WAS THE TWO PERCENT STANDARD MET?
INTRODUCTION
The primary goal of the growth limitation ordinance was to hold the population growth rate for the Boulder Valley below the rate experienced in the 1960s. Specifically, the ordinance proposes a population growth rate in the Boulder Valley of no greater than two (2) percent for the five year duration of the ordinance until March 1982.
This chapter will examine the population rate in the Boulder Valley to determine whether the goal was met and what the impact of the growth limitation ordinance was on the population growth rate.
The primary concern is the population growth rate. The components of the populations growth rate are numbers of dwelling units, household size and vacancies. The U.S. Census Bureau has provided decennial population counts and estimates for some intermediary years. Other data to be examined in this chapter are decennial housing unit counts by the U.S. Census Bureau and intermediary estimates by the City of Boulder Planning Department based on building permits and annexations. Vacancies are taken into account by the Census Bureau in their counts and estimates, and no additional vacancy rate data will be presented.
This chapter will examine data to determine the growth rate for the City of Boulder, and most of the available data is aggregated by corporate city limits. From county land use maps and preliminary Census counts, the population growth rate for that portion of Boulder County
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within the Boulder Valley planning area boundary will be determined and combined with data from the city to determine the overall rate of growth for the Boulder Valley.
The purpose of this paper is to ascertain whether the goals of the growth limitation ordinance were met and how much of the change that occurred was a result of the growth limitation ordinance. In order to ascertain the impacts of the ordinance adopted in March 1977 it is necessary to identify trends up to 1977, project what would have continued without the ordinance, identify what actually happened from 1978 to 1980 and attempt to measure the difference that can be attributable to the ordinance itself.
POPULATION TRENDS TO 1977
Figure 2 (see page 21) shows the historic population growth rates for Boulder 1860-1980 and illustrates the rapid growth during the 1950s and 1960s compared to the more level rates in the other decades. Figure 3 (see page 22) presents the Census counts for Boulder 1960, 1970, and 1980 and the Census estimates for other years during the 1970s. This graph indicates that the historical rate of growth changed about 1975, and began to decline.
Figure 4 (see page 23) graphs annual percent population changes for Boulder, Boulder County, State of Colorado and the United States.
From 1975 to 1977 there was a dramatic decrease occurring in Boulder which is not occurring in the other jurisdictions. The City of Boulder is driving the same change in Boulder County because it constitutes the majority of the county population.
An examination of dwelling units in Boulder is important in order to get a better understanding of the causes of this decline. Figure 5 (see page 24) shows the historic growth rate for housing units in Boulder
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Number of Persons
FIGURE 2
POPULATION: CITY OF BOULDER1 1859 1980
Source: Decennial Census counts, Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce.
Cornwell, Robert. "Population and Demographics .Boulder, Colorado, (for the Growth Management Study, 1981) p.l.
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NUMBER OF PERSONS
FIGURE 3
POPULATION: CITY OF BOULDER1 1960 1980
80,000-
75.000-
70.000-
65.000-
60.000-
55.000 50,000
45.000
40.000-
35.000-
30,000 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 i i 1 r
1960 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 73 75 76 77
YFAR
I
80
Estimates and Counts, U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Commerce


FIGURE 4
POPULATION CHANGE3 1971 1980
7
6
l 3 m
j *
t
E
! 3
c
lb
4) 9 tc *
c

6
- 1 E
V
E
£ 0
7.1 5.3 5.0 2.9 2.8 1.7 2.2 2.5 2.5 3.8 Boulder County1
4.5 3.5 3.3 1.5 1.3 1.4 1.9 2.0 2.0 5.4 State of Colorado1
1.4 1.0 .8 .7 .8 .8 .8 .8 .9 2.9 United States2
1Calculated from Decennial Census counts and estimates of the Census Bureau,
U.S. Department of Commerce and population estimates of the Division of Planning, State of Colorado, o
Calculated from Census data of the Cenusu Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce.
Tornwell, Robert. "Population and Demographic Study, Boulder, Colorado" (for the Growth Management Study, 1980) p.3.
23


Number of Units
FIGURE 5
1
HOUSING UNITS: CITY OF BOULDER 1960 1980
30,000 1
25,000
20,000 1
15,000
10,000
w w M
1960 62 64 66 68 1970 72 74 76 78 1980
ro ro ro ro ro ro
LO Ln O' 00 o ro Ln on o vO
e w V w V
Ln ro hO vO oo Ln ro ON O' O'
u> ro OO o ro u> vO U> Ln ON On
*0 ro Ln ro o o U) ro o
** ro ro ro ro ro
fO Ln V4 vO Ln *0 00
* w w m w w w
u> Ln OD Ln ro oo o 00
ro Ln VO ro LO oo o o ON
U> U> vO O' Ln Ln 'O o
Source: Estimates based on the number of building permits, Planning Department, City of Boulder.
^Cornwell, Robert. "Population and Dempgraphics for Boulder, Colorado" (for the Growth Management Study, 1980) p.8.
-24-


and does not reflect the similar decline that occurred with the population growth rate. Figure 6 (see page 26) gives a more detailed picture of housing unit activity from 1970 to 1980 and illustrates a steady rate of increase from 1970 to 1977. Annexations of existing units have been indicated separately from 1975 to 1980. The annual percent change shown in Figure 7 (see page 27) does not correspond to the annual percent change in population (Figure 4, page 23) and does not reflect a negative annual percent change, although the annual percent change 1976-1977 reaches the lowest point of the decade, 1.3 percent.
Figure 8 (see page 28) shows all residential building permits 1970-1980 for Boulder and Longmont. The lowest number of permits issued in both communities occurred in 1975. Without other evidence, this writer suggests this low activity in 1975 was a result of low economic activity nation wide. Since the 1975 building permits are added to the housing stock existing in January 1975 to arrive at the number of dwelling units in January 1976, this low building permit activity may be impacting on the total number of housing units from 1976 to 1977. Part of the decrease in population growth from 1975 may be attributable to the slow down in housing starts occurring in 1975, but since the slope of new housing units remains fairly constant through the 1970s, there must be another reason for the drop-off in population growth.
Changing numbers of persons per housing unit; 1950-1980 is illustrated by the graph in Figure 9 (see page 29). There has been a sharp decrease in the number of persons per housing unit from 1970-1980 for all jurisdictions.^ Boulder appears to have the same number of
^Persons per housing unit is not the same as persons per household. Persons per housing unit is calculated by dividing the total number of housing units by the total population, thus ignoring vacancy rates.
-25-


NUMBER OF UNITS
FIGURE 6
HOUSING UNITS: CITY OF BOULDER
ro

i
21,
, 'ft,792
YEAR


FIGURE 7
ANNUAL % CHANGE IN UNITS JANUARY 1st FOR EACH YEAR
i
ro
*^j
i
i i i i i i i i i i i i i I I I I I I
I960 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78
YEAR


NUMBER OF PERMITS
FIGURE 8
COWINED RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMITS BOULDER & LONGMONT


Number of Persons per Housing Unit
FIGURE 9
PERSONS PER HOUSING UNIT 1950 1980

1950 1960 1970 1980
3.5 3.2 3.1 2.5 City of Boulder
2.9 2.9 3.0 2.5 Boulder County
3.0 3.0 2.9 2.A State of Colorado
3.5 3.A 3.0 2.5 United States
Source: Calaulated from Decennial Census counts, Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce.
Cornwell, Robert. "Population and Demographic Study, Boulder, Colorado, 1980" (for the Growth Management Study, 1980) p.9.
-29-


persons per housing unit as Boulder County and the United States, 2.5 with the State of Colorado slightly lower at 2.4. The graph does not detail how the number decreased from 3.1 in 1970 to 2.5 in 1980. The drop is significant and results in a difference of 17,796 people.
PROJECTION: 1977-1980
In order to project how these trends in population growth and housing units would continue to 1980 without the growth limitation ordinance a look at the other existing growth policies in Boulder is necessary. The interim growth policies, in effect since 1972, were summarized in Chapter 1. Two policies appear to have impacted on the growth rate in the 1970s. First was policy 2e, which states that new growth shall pay its fair share of the costs of new facilities and services, which resulted in Boulder being in the forefront of higher fee structures for new development. We would expect that increased fees would have an initial impact on reducing new development for a year or two, but its effects would probably not likely continue after two years. Policy 4 discourages major new employment centers from locating within the Boulder Valley. Although there was no specific implementation for this policy, the City Council effectively could discourage major new employers from moving into the area. The effect of having no new major employers locate in the Boulder Valley during the 1970s was most certainly a major one in terms of not creating a significant new demand for housing.
The Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan (1970) was in effect up to 1977 but as explained in Chapter 1 the Robinson case (1976) effectively prohibited the City of Boulder from controlling growth in the unincorporated portion of the county by limiting water and sewer services, which at the time was the only means of growth control it had. In 1977 the Boulder


Valley Comprehensive Plan was revised in order to provide more effective implementation of the land use policies supported by both the city and county. The Plan incorporated an intergovernmental agreement between the city and the county which required that all major changes to the Plan be
approved by the four signatory bodies the City Planning Board, the City Council, the County Planning Commission, and the County Commissioners. A major policy of the plan required that all new urban development occur only after annexation to the City of Boulder and with the provision of a full range of urban services as proposed by phasing schedule set forth in the Capital Improvements Program.
The Comprehensive Plan clearly had an impact on growth in the Boulder Valley from 1978 to 1980. Figure 10 (see page 32) illustrates the drop-off in building permits for the unincorporated portion of the Boulder Valley from 1978 to 1980. This does correspond to high interest rates and a drop-off of new housing starts nationwide but it is what we would expect after the adoption the Comprehensive Plan 1977 since new residential subdivisions are prohibited in the unincorporated portions of the Boulder Valley.
A final limitation to growth in the Boulder Valley is the Open Space Program which removes from the land supply large tracts within the Boulder Valley to be set aside for open space. Data is not available to analyze how the Open Space program has impacted on the residential land supply. It does appear that adequate development sites are available for increased residential growth.
The question to be answered is how population growth trends would have continued from 1977 to 1980 without the growth limitation ordinance. Figure 11 (see page 33) graphs population growth for the cities in
-31-


NUMBER OF BUILDING PERMITS
FIGURE 10
ALL RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMITS BOULDER & BOULDER VALLEY
1970 1980


Number of Persons
FIGURE 11
POPULATION: BOULDER AND OTHER BOULDER COUNTY CITIES 1 1950 1980
2,090
8,999
1,978
4,535
2,612
11,489
2,073
7,261
3,498
23,209
2,409
20,730
8,985
42,942
5,593
Broomfield
Layfayette
Longmont
Louisville
Source: Decennial Census counts, Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce.
Cornwell, Robert. "Population and Demographic Study
for Boulder, Colorado" (For Growth Management Study,
1981) p.6.
-33-


Boulder County from 1950 to 1980. It illustrates the levelling off of the population from 1970 to 1980 in Boulder compared to the increasing population growth for the other cities during the same time period.
Figure 12 (see page 35) graphically compares the difference in percent population change between Boulder and the other cities from 1950 to 1970 and from 1970 to 1980. Boulder's percent increase decreased from 77.3 percent during the 1960s to 14.7 percent during the 1970s. Longmont's rate of population growth went from 102 percent in the 1960s to 85 percent in the 1970s (still an annual rate of 8.5 percent).
Figure 13 (see page 36) shows similar comparisons between Boulder and other jurisdictions both located along the Front Range, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs and on the west coast, Eugene Oregon and Davis California. Similarly, Boulder's population is levelling off during the 1970s while all other jurisdictions are continuing to rise at their historic rates. Eugene and Davis both have contained urban service boundaries.
Declining household size, as previously mentioned, has impacted on the population growth rate. Declining household size is a national phenomenon, but despite this fact, the cities noted in Figure 11 (page 33) and Figure 13 (see page 36) have shown continued increased rates of population growth unlike Boulder which showed a declining rate of population growth.
Figure 14 (see page 37) shows that most of the cities exhibit changed rates of housing growth above their historic rates. From 1970 to 1980 Colorado Springs, Eugene and Fort Collins all show increased rates above their historic rates. Figure 15 (see page 38) graphs the percent change in housing units, 1960-1970 and 1970-1980 for the cities in


Percent Increase During Decade
FIGURE 12
POPULATION CHANGE: BOULDER AND OTHER BOULDER COUNTY CITIES 1
Calculated from Decennial Census counts, Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce.
^Cornwell, Robert. "Population and Demographic Study for Boulder,
Colorado" (For Growth Management Study, 1981) p.7.
-35-


Number of Persons
FIGURE 13
POPULATION:
BOULDER AND COMPARATIVE CITIES 1950 1980
1
200,
150,
100,
19,999
45,742
3,554
35,879
14,973
37,718
70,194
8,910
50,977
25,027
66,870
135,517
23,488
79,028
43,337
76,236
206,979
36,626
104,672
64,945
Boulder
Colorado Springs *
Davis, CA
*
Eugene, OR
Ft. Collins
Cities which have instituted formal growth control ordinances.
Source: Decennial Census Counts, Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce.
Cornwell, Robert. "Population and Demographic Study for Boulder, Colorado" (for Growth Management Study, 1981) p.5.
-36-


Number of Housing Units
FIGURE 14
NUMBER OF HOUSING UNITS: BOULDER AND COMPARATIVE1 CITIES 1950 1980
5,745
16,541
11,636
4,588
11,537
25,693

16,938
7,951
21,632
46,749
7,517
27,734
13,844
30,263
84,766
14,566
44,517
25,234
Boulder
Colorado Springs A
Davis, CA
ic
Eugene, OR Ft. Collons
Cities which have instituted formal growth control ordinances.
Source: Decennial Census counts, Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce.
Cornwell, Robert. "Population and Demographic Study for Boulder.
Colorado" (For Growth Management Study, 1981) p. 11.
-37-


FIGURE 15
HOUSING UNIT CHANGE: BOULDER AND OTHER BOULDER COUNTY CITIES1
300
250
200
0)
T5
i
u
£
ec
c
H
I-
3
Q
S 150
to
01
Ih
u
100
c
0)
1 50
Calculated from Decennial Census counts, Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce.
Cornwell, Robert. "Population and Demographic Study for Boulder,
Colorado" (For the Growth Management Study, 1981) p. 13.
-38-


Boulder County. Again, all cities except Boulder and Longmont experience rapid increases from 1970-1980 over what they had experienced from 1960-
1970. These increases are greater than the population increases illustrated in Figure 12 (page 35), except for Longmont which had a greater population
increase (85%) than housing unit increase (60.3) which suggests that household size has not declined as radically in Longmont. As noted in Figure 15 (page 38) all cities except Longmont and Boulder experienced significant increases in housing units from 1970-1980 over 1960-1970.
Although it is difficult to account for Boulder's slower growth rate which is so different from the other communities described above, it does not appear to be the result of the growth limitation ordinance, although even greater impacts might be seen in future years if it is continued. Figure 7 on page 27 shows the annual percent change for housing units from 1960-1980. Looking at the 1970s, the cumulative percent change from 1971 to 1977 is 26.5 percent for seven years, or an average of 3.8 percent increase per year. If this annual increase in housing units were continued through 1980, the total percent change would be 38 percent.
Thus if trends from 1970 to 1976 were continued to 1980 without the growth limitation ordinance, the cumulative percent change would be 38 percent or slightly less than half the percent change in housing units from 1960 to 1970. Longmont is the only other city which experienced such a decrease in housing units in the 1970s compared to the 1960s. If the trends had continued, a 38 percent increase in housing units would have resulted in an increase of 10,167 housing units for a 1980 total of 30,717 housing units. If this is multiplied by the average number of persons per housing unit or 2.5, the total population would represent approximately a 19 percent population growth rate over the decade. This respresents a less than two


(2) percent annual growth rate by merely projecting pre 1977 housing unit trends without taking into account the growth limitation ordinance.
Looking back at the pre 1977 trends in annual percent population trends, Figure 4 (page 23), there are two ways of looking at this. One approach would be to note the declining graph downward to 1977. This suggests that a radical departure in population growth rate had already occurred prior to the adoption of the growth limitation ordinance. The average annual population growth rate up to this point is approximately two (2) percent. The goal of the growth limitation ordinance had already been met prior to the implementation of the plan.
TRENDS 1977 to 1980
Boulder's increase in housing unit growth averaged 3.3 percent per year from 1977 to 1980 and the actual total increase from 1970 to 1980 was forty (40) percent. The increase in population from 1977 to 1980 averaged minus .26 percent per year and the total population change from 1970 to 1980 was 14.7 percent, or 1.5 percent per year.
CHANGE ATTRIBUTABLE TO GROWTH LIMITATION ORDINANCE
It has already been shown that based on pre 1977 trends had they continued, an annual average two (2) percent growth rate would have been maintained throughout the decade, without the growth limitation ordinance. The growth limitation ordinance resulted in an even lower growth rate from 1977 to 1980. One potential result of the growth limitation ordinance may have been to actually increase the number of building permits issued from 1978 to 1980. The economy was depressed, and the trends in other cities showed building permits dropping off much more radically that they did in Boulder.2
2Building Permits, Figure 8 (see page 28)
-40-


CONCLUSION
In conclusion it appears that the goal of a two (2) percent annual
population growth rate was achieved by 1977 before the adoption of the growth limitation ordinance. The primary reason for this reduced growth
rate was the declining household size. It is also apparent, however,
that the rate of growth for housing units averaged approximately 3.8 percent
per year from 1970 to 1977. The total increase in housing units during
the 1960s was 87.5 percent which is approximately 8.7 percent per year.
Therefore the annual growth rate for housing units was averaging less
than half of what it had been the previous decade before the adoption of
the growth limitation ordinance.
The growth limitation ordinance, however, did result in a slow down of building permit activity. From 1971 to 1977 the total number of building permits averaged 1012 permits per year. For the remaining three years of the decade, after the adoption of the growth limitation ordinance, the average number of permits dropped to 672 per year.
Because of declining household size, this drop in building permits resulted in an average negative population growth rate during this three year period of minus .26 percent. This writer concludes that the combination of all Boulder's growth policies coupled with a declining household size resulted in a sharp decrease from the historic population growth rate during the 1970s. The growth limitation ordinance resulted in a further decrease in population growth at the end of the decade.
However, a decrease in new building permits would have probably occurred without the ordinance because of the general economic conditions including very high interest rates.
-41-


BOULDER VALLEY
The trends for the unincorporated portion of the county within
the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Planning area excluding the City of Boulder shall be referred to as the Boulder Valley. The population growth rate
for the years 1970 to 1977 averaged 5.8 percent per year. The change in
housing from 1970-1977 averaged 6.99 percent per year. See Figures 16
and 17 (see pages 43 and 44).
This writer would expect these rates to decrease after the revised version of the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan in 1977 which prohibited new residential subdivisions within the Boulder Valley. Despite the Robinson case, the intergovernmental agreement as part of The Revised Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan effectively made it impossible for new urban development to occur in the valley, because the city now had veto power. Since the plan encourages new urban development to annex to the city in order to receive a full range of urban services, the expectation would have been for a decrease in new residential development in the Valley and an increase in residential development occurring in the city as a result of annexation.
Therefore in projecting these trends in the valley from 1978 to 1980, the expectation would be for a decrease over the historic rates of growth. However, this writer would expect to see some corresponding increase in activity in the city which does not appear to have happened.
Projects located in the Gunbarrel area, in particular, where the majority of the activity in the Boulder Valley has been taking place, have been almost non-existent. Projects located in Gunbarrel would have a difficult time competing against projects located closer to the City of Boulder primarily because of lack of adequate public facilities. The
-42-


FIGURE 16
i
-F*
CO
I
t
30.000
27.500
25.000
22.500
20.000
17.500
15.000
12.500
10.000
7.500
5,000
2.500
NUMBER OF HOUSING UNITS: BOULDER AND BOULDER VALLEY 1970 1980


U- r 1 FIGURE 17 t-- r -i* ; r-> ->-j i ? .. i.
i : \ . j
POPULATION: BOULDER VALLEY 1970 1980 , f 4 i
18,000
17.000
16.000
15.000
14.000
13.000
12.000
t . ?
.
11,000
1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980
1970 1971


only project located in Gunbarrel to apply through the Merit System applied in the 9th Allocation period, received the third lowest score (5) in the Public Facilities section out of a total of 90 projects, and even after receiving 20 points for moderate housing and 20 points for energy conservation was not allocated units because 10 projects received a higher total point score.
What actually happened in the valley from 1977 to 1980 was that the population growth rate averaged one (1) percent per year and the change in housing units averaged 2.4 percent per year during these three years. This decrease is due primarily to the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan as explained above.
CONCLUSION
The actual population growth for the total Boulder Valley including the city from 1977 to 1980 was less than one-half of a percent (.4%) for the total three year period. If the growth rate had been two (2) percent per year for these three years it would have resulted in an increase of approximately five thousand people (5000) or roughly two thousand (2000) additional housing units. Although without the growth limitation ordinance this writer, as explained above, would have expected an increased number of new building permits particularly in the Gunbarrel area through annexation to the city it is hard to imagine this number coming close to 2,000.
In conclusion, therefore it appears that the impact of the growth limitation ordinance resulted in a continuation of a decreased population growth rate which occurred throughout the 1970s and reached a low in 1975. The cause of this decreased growth rate resulted from a decreased household size as well as several growth policies which led to a decreased rate of housing unit change from what was experienced during the 1960s. Without
-45-


the growth limitation ordinance this writer concludes that there might have been some small increase in housing unit change from what was experienced, but this would have been only minimal because of the City's other growth policies as well as the economic impact of high interest rates on the housing market. It appears extremely doubtful that the growth rate could have surpassed two (2) percent per year even without the growth limitation ordinance.
-46-


CHAPTER III
WAS THE STANDARD FOR CENTRAL AREA DEVELOPMENT MET?
INTRODUCTION
The growth limitation ordinance limited the number of allocations available outside the central area as defined^ to 275 units annually.
This resulted in 175 units reserved for the central area, or 39% of the total yearly allocation. The reason for this quota was because it was assumed that new growth occurring in the central area results in sound land use planning by reducing somewhat the demand for land at the periphery of the city.2 This chapter will examine whether the goal was met and how much the growth limitation ordinance was attributable to meeting the goal. In order to ascertain the impacts of the ordinance on the central area (will be referred to as core area) it is necessary to identify the trends up to 1977, project what would have continued without the ordinance, identify what actually happened from 1977 to 1980, and attempt to measure the difference attributable to the growth limitation ordinance.
iThe central area is bounded by Iris on the north, 34th Street on the east, Baseline Road on the south and the city limits on the west. See Figure 26. (see page 61)
^Conversation with Ed Gawf, Assistant Planning Director, City of Boulder, January 1981.
-47-


CORE AREA DEVELOPMENT TRENDS TO 1977
Figure 18 (see page 49) shows that the number of housing units in
the core was 142 percent of the number located in the periphery in 1970. This percentage decreases during the decade. A levelling off occurred
from 1972 to 1973. The levelling could result from an increase in core area units, or a decrease in the periphery units. Figure 21 (see page 52) shows the activity of multi-family building permits for Boulder and Longmont from 1970 to 1980. Because of the high level of activity from 1970 to 1972 and again in 1973, this writer assumes that the levelling off of the percentage of units in the core to the units in the periphery is happening primarily because of the surge of multi-family building permits happening at the same time. The majority of the City's multifamily zoning districts are located in the core.
From 1973 to 1977 the percentage decreased on an average of 4 points per year. This implies that new building activity is occurring more rapidly and with increased magnitudes in the periphery than in the core. In addition, the vast majority of annexations of existing units occur in the periphery, and these increase the base number of units in the periphery even more.
Figure 19 (see page 50) presents the number of building permits issued in the core and in the periphery from 1975 to 1980. Looking at the years 1975 to 1977, it can be seen that new building permits in the periphery exceed new building permits in the core by approximately at least 200 permits. In 1977 there is an increase in building permits issued in the core (approximately 425) although there were at least 200 more permits issued in the periphery. Figure 20 (see page 51) graphs the number of building permits in the core as a percent of all building
-48-


FIGURE 18
150%
140
i !
130
-P*
VO
I
LU
O
oc
LU
CL
120
100%
City of Boulder Housing Trends
total stock in core shown as % of total stock in periphery
110
1969 70 71 72 73 74 75 76
77
78 79 80
YEAR


NUMBER OF UNITS
FIGURE 19
BUILDING PERMITS ISSUED JANUARY. 1975 DECEMBER, 1980


NUMBER OF CORE UNITS AS PERCENT OF TOTAL UNITS
FIGURE 20
BUILDING PERMITS ISSUED IN THE CORE AS A PERCENT OF ALL BUILDING PERMITS 1975 1980


FIGURE 21
MULTI-FAMILY (INC. DUPLEX) BUILDING PERMITS FOR BOULDER AND LONGMONT
1970 1980
1926


permits annually from 1975 to 1980. Looking at 1975 and 1976 it can be seen that the percent of the permits is low (16 and 23 percent respectively) and the percent increased in 1977 to 62% as a result of the increased permits issued in the core. Part of the increase in 1977 may be attributable to the rush of building permits requested in the three months prior to the adoption of the growth limitation ordinance.
From 1975 to 1977 the number of building permits in the core area is increasing. Building permits in the periphery appear to be increasing faster and the trend from 1970 to 1977 appears to be a decrease in the total number of housing units in the core as a percent of the total number of housing units in the periphery.
PROJECTION: 1977 TO 1980
Without the growth limitation ordinance this writer concludes that the trend of increased housing units in the periphery would continue and the housing stock in the core would thus continue to represent a decreased percentage of the housing stock in periphery. Because of the economy, particularly the lack of financing available for rental projects and the trends nationwide of decreasing numbers of new rental units, this writer would not expect to see increased numbers of multi-family building permits during this period. In fact due to the economy, it would be expected that building permits would decrease for both the core and the periphery.
The policies of the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan might reduce somewhat the availability of land which would be developable based on having a full range of urban services. However there is plenty of development potential in previously approved PUDs to anticipate increased development in the periphery.
-53-


Without the growth limitation ordinance this writer would expect to see the continuation of strong fluctuations in the number of new housing units in the core, and a steadier increase in new housing units in the periphery.
TRENDS 1977 TO 1980
Figure 19 (page 50) depicts the total number of building permits decreasing from 1977 to 1980. Permits in the core are decreasing at a moderate rate. Building permits in the periphery decrease more rapidly from 1977 to 1978, resulting in an average difference of approximately 100 units as compared with an average difference of 200 units prior to 1977. The percentage of all building permits in the core ranges from 34.8% to 45.3% and averages 41 percent for this three year period.
The goal or standard proposed by the growth limitation ordinance was met for the first three years of the ordinance, and based on the pre 1977 trends would not have been anticipated without the growth limitation ordinance. Looking again at Figure 18 (page 49) a levelling off of the stock in the core as a percentage of the stock in the periphery occurred from 1978 to 1979 and dropped only two percentage points from 1979 to 1980.
CHANGE ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE GROWTH LIMITATION ORDINANCE
Figures 22 through 25 (see pages 55 58) show the yearly breakdown of all building permits by merit system, exemptions, and prior commitments. In 1977 (see Figure 22, page 55) the majority of building permits issued were for exemptions to the merit system and the majority of those were located in the core. The numbers of permits in the core as a result of the merit system was very small in 1977. In 1978, (see Figure 23, page 56) the numbers of permits in the merit system increased, and the numbers
-54-


NUMBER OF UNITS
FIGURE 22
Building Permits Issued
April 1977 December 1977
l i Periphery
MERIT SYSTEM EXEMPTIONS
PRIOR COMMITMENTS
-55-


NUMBER OF UNITS
FIGURE 23
Building Permits Issued
1978
280 -
260 -240 -
220 m
200 -
160 -m
160 -
140
m
120 -m
100 -m
80 -
60.
40 -
20-
HI Core EZ1 Periphery
MERIT system exemptions
PRIOR COMMITMENTS
i
-56-


NUMBER OF UNITS
FIGURE 24
Building Permits Issued
1979
300
MERIT SYSTEM
EXEMPTIONS
PRIOR COMMITMENTS


NUMBER OF UNITS
FIGURE 25
460
440
420
400
380
360
340
320
300
280
260
240
220
200
180
160
140
120
100
80
60
40
20
Building Permits Issued
January 1980- December 1980
IS Core {__l Periphery
MERIT SYSTEM EXEMPTIONS PRIOR COMMITMENTS
58


in the core increased, but the greater number of units in the core were exemptions again. In 1979 (see Figure 24, page 57) the greatest number of core area permits were in the merit system, although the majority of exemptions again were located in the core. The total number of exemptions is decreasing from previous years. In the final year, completed 1980, (see Figure 25, page 58) exemptions and prior commitments have decreased significantly, and the number of permits in the periphery for the merit system exceeds the permits in the core.
In summary, Figure 1, page 17 shows that the majority of core permits were exemptions, although the number of core permits in the merit system was close. Therefore, although the quota for core area units was provided for in the ordinance, in the first few years of operation of the growth limitation ordinance, the provision for exemptions had a greater impact on core area development. This conclusion confirms what we saw about the operation of the system in Chapter 1. It was not until the 7th Allocation, awarded in March 1980, that there was any significant competition in the core. That is, surplus units accumulated in the system for the core area and the quota was not reached. In addition, a large percentage of the surplus core area units were subtracted by Council to alleviate the impact of the 1980 prior commitments.
The provision in the growth limitation ordinance for allowing exemptions to the merit system for projects of four or fewer units located on lots subdivided prior to the adoption of the ordinance has created additional incentives for core area development. This writer would expect that in the few remaining years of the growth limitation ordinance, as the potential number of exemptions decreases, the competition in the core will increase and the goal of 39% for permits in the core will be achieved through the quota provided for in the merit system.


POPULATION GROWTH IN THE CORE
Figure 26 (see page 61) shows the population change from 1970 to 1980 for all census tracts. Four tracts located in the core area experienced population decreases from 1970 to 1980. Tract 124.02 had the greatest decrease of 14.4 percent, tract 121.02 experienced a 5.2 percent decrease, tract 124.01 had a 3.6 percent population decrease, and tract 121.01 had a minus 2.4 percent population change. Since these tracts are composed primarily of low density residential zoning and have thus experienced very little new development, and since household size has declined significantly, it is not too surprising that they experienced population decreases.
Three tracts located in the core area which are composed primarily of medium or high density residential development experienced moderate population increases. Tract 122.02 had the greatest increase of 13.4 percent for the ten year period. The other two tracts showed increases of 3.4 percent and 3.2 percent.
Based on pre 1977 building permit trends as well as national trends for central cities we might have expected all core area tracts to experience population losses. However, as a result of steadier building permit activity in the core after the adoption of the growth limitation ordinance, moderate population increases resulted in the tracts where multi-family development is possible.
CONCLUSIONS
The quota provided for the growth limitation ordinance has resulted in a decrease of building permits in the periphery, although at least through 1980 it has not resulted in an increase of building permits in the core. However, the provision for exemptions has resulted in an


FIGURE 26
Population Change in Boulder 1970 1980*
CORE
*12703)

#U.S. Census Bureau Statistics
^ -11% or Mlw v\\ o- -10%
A i io%
M 11-80%
81- 100%
Ovtr 100%
-61-


increase in core area permits. Since exemptions only apply to projects of four or fewer units, this provision may have encouraged more smaller projects. The advantages of not having to apply through the merit system for building permits may have out weighed any potential disadvantages to either building in core area or being limited to a project of four or fewer units. Smaller projects can better be assimilated with existing neighborhood fabric and potentially impact less on changing existing neighborhood patterns than larger projects.
Although the policies of the comprehensive plan address the priority of increasing development in the core area in order to have more efficient land use patterns, until the growth limitation ordinance, there was no implementation for this to occur. The number of new units fluctuated greatly from 1970 to 1977.
With the adoption of the growth limitation ordinance two things resulted in the maintenance of a steady balance between new units in the core and new units in the periphery (39% of all units being located in the core). The quota system reduced somewhat the number of new units in the periphery and the provision for exemptions created incentives for additional small projects being located in the core. The result was a higher percentage of all units located in the core.
-62-


CHAPTER IV
HOW BAD WERE THE SIDE EFFECTS?
INTRODUCTION
During the period of the growth limitation ordinance, charges regarding potential negative side effects have been raised against the ordinance. One major concern was that Boulder's excess growth would be diverted to the unincorporated part of Boulder Valley as well as to adjacent communities within the county. A second concern is that is would cause housing prices to increase substantially thus resulting in Boulder becoming a more exclusive community and prohibiting lower income people from living there.
This chapter will assess the diversion of growth issue. Lacking any standards on how to evaluate diversion of growth this writer will look for major impacts as well as investigate growth policies in these communities. By analyzing the income levels of the populations within the county this writer will draw some conclusions on whether the population distribution appears equitable in terms of providing for people of all incomes.
The second charge levelled against the growth limitation ordinance is that housing prices are increasing is beyond the scope of this paper although some preliminary data findings will be presented. However, after analyzing the income distribution of population some conclusions can be
-63-


formulated as to where low income people live, where middle income people live, and where high income people live.
One problem with analyzing regional population and demographic growth is the difficulty in obtaining detailed data in order to examine carefully what is going on in each community. In Chapter 2, we examined carefully what appears to be going on in Boulder. The primary data to be used in comparing Boulder to other communities will be decennial census data. For more detail, yearly building permit activity is available. DIVERSION OF GROWTH
In Chapter 2 the data showed that from 1977 to 1980 there was a decrease in the number of building permits issued for the unincorporated part of the Valley, a decrease in the percent housing unit change, and a decrease in the population growth rate for the Boulder Valley.
Looking back at Figure 12 (page 35) we can see the change in population growth rate for Boulder County cities. Longmont experienced the highest growth rate during the 1960s (102%). In the 1970s this rate decreased to 85%. The fact that the rate of growth decreased from the 1960s to 1970s seems to indicate that growth rate in Longmont has not been impacted significantly by Boulder's growth limitation ordinance. Figure 8 (page 28) shows building permits for Boulder and Longmont. Longmont had significantly fewer permits than Boulder up to 1975 when permits dropped off in each community significantly, probably as a result of economic recession. From 1975 to 1980 Longmont had 581 more building permits than Boulder. The increase in Longmont starts prior to the adoption of ordinance and stays high for one year (1978) after the adoption of the ordinance when permit activity drops off very sharply as a result of the economy, and possibly the result of overbuilding in Longmont
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during 1977-1980. There does not appear to be any significant changes occurring in Longmont after the adoption of the ordinance that are not apparent at prior periods.
Louisville, Lafayette and Broomfield all experienced increased population growth rates in the 1970s from what they experienced in the 1960s. The rate in Louisville increased from 16.2 percent during the 1960s to 132.2 percent during the 1970s. Similarly the rate in Lafayette increased from 33.9 percent (higher than Louisville) in the 1960s to 156.9 percent (higher than Louisville) in the 1970s. And finally, Broomfield increased from 60.1 percent (higher than both Louisville and Lafayette) in the 1960s to 185.5 percent in the 1970s (still higher than Louisville and Lafayette).
Looking back at Figure 15 (page 38) which gives the percent change in housing units for the same communities, we can see similar trends. In Longmont, the percent change decreased from 146.1 percent in the 1960s to 60.3 percent in the 1970s. As concluded above, the growth limitation ordinance does not appear to be resulting in increased growth in Longmont. The rate of housing unit change in Louisville increased from 20.3 percent in the 1960s to 157.9 percent in the 1970s. Similarly, the change in the Lafayette increased from 34.7 percent in the 1960s to 210.4 percent in the 1970s. And finally, Broomfield increased from 66.7 percent in the 1960s (higher than Louisville and Lafayette) to 260.6 percent in the 1970s. Broomfield had the highest percent change in the housing units of all Boulder County cities.
Figure 27 (see page 66) examines all residential building permits for Louisville and Lafayette. From 1977 to 1980 building permit activity in Louisville does not appear to increase significantly above the trends for 1975 to 1977, and drops way off in 1980 suggesting that the economy
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200______400______600______800______1000_____1200
FIGURE 27
ALL RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMITS: LOUISVILLE, LAFAYETTE
1970 1980


has a greater impact on building permit activity than demand created by Boulder's growth limitation ordinance. Lafayette, on the other hand does display increased building permit activity beginning in 1976 and continuing through 1980 despite the economic conditions of 1980. Figure 28 (see page 68) graphs residential building permit activity for Broomfield and for the unincorporated part of Boulder County.*
Building permit activity in Broomfield has remained constant through the 1970s. No increase in the number of permits is apparent from 1977 to 1979 which could be attributed to impacts from the growth limitation ordinance. The demand for housing in Broomfield, appears to be independent from Boulder and may be driven primarily by employment in Denver. Building permits within the unincorporated portion of Boulder County display characteristics similar to permits issued in the Boulder Valley, which is high activity in the early 1970s, dropping off throughout the rest of the decade. This may be partially the result of policies in the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan and partially the result of policies of the Boulder County Comprehensive Plan (1978) both of which encourage new urban residential development to occur in conjunction with annexation to an incorporated city and with a full range of urban services.
CONCLUSION
Despite the high growth rates for all cities within the County, some conclusions can be made. Longmont and Broomfield do not appear to be experiencing increased growth rates as a result of Boulder's growth limitation ordinance. Longmont actually experienced a decrease from
iThis includes all of Boulder County, not just the Boulder
Valley.
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200______400______600______800______1000_____1200
FIGURE 28
ALL RESIDENTIAL BUILDING PERMITS: BROOMFIELD, BOULDER COUNTY
1970 1980


growth rates during the 1960s, and building permit activity in Broomfield has not changed from 1977 to 1980 in response to the building permit limitation ordinance.
In addition Louisville, does not appear to have experienced any changes in building permit activity from 1977 to 1980 which would indicate direct impacts from the ordinance, although the growth rate in Louisville is high. The increased growth rate in Louisville may be the result of increased employment growth and the location in particular of STC in Louisville, which is currently the largest employer in Boulder County.
Trends in Lafayette, however, do suggest that some of the increase in the rate of growth may be spillover from Boulder. Permit activity appears to be increasing significantly from 1977 to 1980. Lafayette, at least up through 1980 has had a policy of encouraging growth.2 Lafayette is very convenient for employees working at the eastern edge of Boulder, who in fact may be able to commute to Lafayette more quickly than to west Boulder. It does appear as if some of Lafayette's increased growth may be the result of Boulder's growth policies which have resulted in lower growth rates in Boulder during the 1970s than what was experienced during the 1960s. Before conclusions can be reached on whether this diversion of growth to Lafayette is equitable the following section will examine the income levels of the relative populations.
2Discussion with Leslie Freeman, Planning Director in Lafayette suggests that although Lafayette has been encouraging growth in the past, it may begin to encourage employment growth over residential growth in order to provide a more balanced community. A temporary building permit limitation is in effect for the remainder of 1981.
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DEMOGRAPHICS
Figure 29 (see page 71) presents change data from 1960 to 1970
(Census) on the percentage of Boulder's population falling below 75 percent of the median, between 75% and 150% of the median, and over 150%
of the median. There is a slight increase in the low income population
(below 75% of median) from 1960 to 1970 and an increase in the higher
income population (over 150% of the median). The largest change, however
occurs in the middle range where there is a decrease of approximately
nine percentage points. From 1960 to 1970 at a time of rapid population
increase, the lower and higher income ranges were increasing slightly,
and the percentage of those in the middle income range decreased.
It is difficult to project these trends to 1980 as if there were no growth limitation ordinance, because of the many unique characteristics of Boulder the University, rental housing, and the amenities of Boulder. Since growth control has been traditionally equated with including higher income people at the expense or exclusion of lower income groups, this writer would expect to see increased percentages of high income groups and decreased percentages of low income groups and a stabilization of the middle income groups.
In order to determine how much of the low income group represents student population, Figure 30 (see page 72) presents income data from a study which classified each income category by students and non-students. Students account for only 10 percent of the population with incomes of less than $12,000. There appears to be a significant percentage of the non-student population with incomes under $12,000 in 1978 (36.6 percent). The percentage of the total population (including students) with incomes below $12,000 is 48.3 percent. This confirms conclusions from census data


PERCENTAGE
FIGURE 29
BOULDER INCOME DISTRIBUTION
1960 & 1970
1960 1970 1960 1970
BELOW 75% MEDIAN INCOME 75% TO 150% MEDIAN INCOME
1960 Median Income - $6,726.
1970 Median Income $11,437.
= 26.95
1960 1970
OVER 150% MEDIAN INCOME
Decennial Census, Census Bureau, U.S. Dept, of Commerce


PERCENTAGE
FIGURE 30
V0
S BOULDER INCOME DISTRIBUTION: STUDENTS AND NON-STUDENTS1
Under $4,000- $8,000- $12,000- $16,000- $20,000- $25,000- $30,000 $35,000- $40,000- $50,000- $60,000- $80,000
$3,999 $7,999 $11,999 $15,999 $19,999 $24,999 $29,999 $34,999 $39,999 $49,999 $59,999 $79,999 $99,999
1 Taylor, Robert, Margit Johansson Boulder Housing Study, 1978.
and Dan Rouse,
Total
Non-student3


that from 1960 to 1978 there continues to be a substantial percentage of low income people in Boulder of which students appear to constitute only approximately 10%.
Figure 31 (see page 74) presents income data for 1976 based on Colorado Income Tax returns for Boulder. We cannot compare this directly to Figures 29 and 30 (pages 71 and 72) because of the different methodologies used. However we can determine that in 1976, fifty-four (54) percent of the population had incomes of $10,000 or less,2 which is a substantial low income population. Fourteen (14) percent had incomes between $10,000 and $15,000, and fifteen (15) percent had incomes between $15,000 and $25,000, or the middle income range. At the higer end, 16.3 percent had incomes over $25,000. We can compare this 1976 data with similar data for 1979 to determine change within this three year period. In comparing incomes for 1976 and 1979, inflation must be taken into consideration, as no adjustments for it have been made. Figure 32 (see page 75) shows that in 1979 there has been no change in the percentage of the population with incomes under $5,000. This is significant and suggests that even with the growth limitation ordinance, there has not been a decrease in the percent of the low income population. The percentage of the population in the income category between $5,000 and $10,000 has decreased from 29.2 to 20.4 which is probably a result of increased inflation.
The percentage of the population in the mid-range, from $15,000 to $25,000 had decreased slightly from 15.4 percent to 14 percent. The percentage of the population with incomes from $25,000 $50,000 has
^These data do not include transfer payments or subsidy payments,
thus may be skewed downward in the lower categories.


Percentage of Returns (Households)
FIGURE 31
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
Income
Categories
e
9 Ln -* ro Ln K*
CL o Cn cn O O
O w * * O
O o o O O <*
o o o o o o
1 o o o o o
<-n 1 1 1 1 o
H*
O O *- K> Ln H* (U
O U1 Cn O O 9
O O " O (X
o o O O *
o o o o o o
o o o o <
o n>
ADJUSTED CROSS INCOME:
1976 COLORADO INCOME TAX RETURNS
BOULDER
^Cornwell, Robert. "Population and Demographic Study for Boulder, Colorado" (For Growth Management Study, 1981) p. 19.
74-


Percentage of Return* (Households)
FIGURE 32
30
23
20
15
10
ADJUSTED CROSS INCOME:
1979 COLORADO INCOME TAX RETURNS
BOULDER
25.1
20.A
11.8
IA .0
23.* A.8
0.5
Incone
c
p
a.
ID
Categories
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
0
1
o
o
o
o
o
0
1

I-*
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
0>
p
1
Cornwell, Robert. "Population and Demographic Study for Boulder, Colorado". (For Growth Management Study, 1981) p. 20.
-75


increased from 14.4 percent to 23.4 percent wh-ich may be a combination of inflation as well as increased numbers of people with higher incomes coming to Boulder.
Data from the CETA employee survey3 confirms these trends on income classification. The majority of new residents to Boulder are those with incomes less than $10,000, and the second biggest category of new residents to Boulder is in the income range of between $25,000 -$40,000, or the upper middle groups.
In conclusion, the trends from 1960 to 1980 have remained very consistent there continues to be a substantial low income population in Boulder. In addition the trends indicate that the lower income and higher income population groups are increasing and the middle income population group is decreasing. These trends are apparent from 1960 to 1970 and have not changed much during the 1970s.
Figure 33 (see page 77) shows the same income data for Longmont for 1979. Longmont has a lower percentage of the population with incomes below $10,000, or 37.2 percent as compared to Boulder with 45.5 percent. Longmont has a larger middle income group, 26.6 percent with incomes between $15,000 and $25,000, as compared with 14 percent in Boulder. In Longmont 22.8 percent of the population have incomes over $25,000 as compared with 28.7 percent in Boulder. This data shows that Longmont has a greater proportion of the middle income population while Boulder has a greater proportion of low and high income groups.
Figure 34 (see page 78) shows the income breakdown for Broomfield. Only 27.2 percent of the population have incomes below
^CETA employee telephone survey of 1400 Boulder County residents. (Conducted by the Denver consulting group, 1981)
-76-


Percentage of Returns (Households)
FIGURE 33
30
25
ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME; 1979 RETURNS
LONGMONT
20
15
10
21.
15.3
13.A
16.5
10.1 14.0 6.0
0.3
Income
Categories
§ -to -to -to -to -to -to -to
CO * K> K> CO Cn *
Q. o Cn O Cn cn O o
ft o <* w w V < o
M o o O o O o o
o o o o o o o o
-to 1 o o ? o o o o
Cn -to 1 1 1 1 1 o
< * -to O o to K> CO CO 6)
o Cn O Cn CO o o 9
o o >* o o.
o O o O o o
o o o o o o o o
o o o o o o <
o ft
*1
^Cornwell, Robert. "Population and Demographic Study for Boulder, Colorado" (For the Growth Management Study, 1981) p. 16.
77-


Percentage of Returns (Households)
FIGURE 34
30
25
20
15
10
ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME; 1979 RETURNS
BROOMFIELD
12.7
14.5
1L1
iLLJi

10. fc
7.7 lial
0.2
Income
Categories
£ ro ro u> Cn ¥
o- o V/1 o *-n cn O o
o o o o o O o <
? o o o o o o o
o o o o o o o
Cn 1 1 1 1 1 1 o

O o H- ro ro u Cn * (D
o Cn o Ln In O o 9
o o * * o a
o o o O o O
o o o O o o o o
o o o o o o <
o
1
1
Cornwell, Robert. "Population and Demographic Study for Boulder, Colorado" (For Growth Management Study, 1981) p. 15.
78-


$10,000 as compared with Boulder's 45.5 percent. Broomfield's largest category is the middle, which is 37.2 percent as compared to Boulder's 14%. 19.8 percent of Broomfield's population have incomes over $25,000
which is lower than both Longmont (22.8) and Boulder (28.7).
The only data available on incomes for Louisvi1le/Lafayette/Erie/-Superior aggregated is from the CETA survey 4 Louisville/Lafayette/-Erie/Superior have a higher percentage of the population with incomes under $15,000 (21.5) than Longmont or Broomfield, but less than Boulder (35.6). The percentage in the middle group, from $15,000 to $25,000 is 37.3 in Louisville/Erie/Superior compared to Boulder (26.7), Longmont (41.4) and Broomfield (39.5). Longmont has the largest percentage of those in the middle income range. From $25,000 to $40,000 the percentage for Boulder is 25.3, for Broomfield 44 percent, Louisville/Lafayette/-Superior is 32.2 and for Longmont is 34 percent. In this upper middle range Boulder has the lowest percentage and Broomfield the highest.
Louisville/Lafayette/Erie/Superior appear to exhibit more income characterics more similar to Boulder than Longmont or Broomfield. However, the people living in Louisvi1le/Lafayette/Erie/Superior for less than three years, fall predominantly in the income category of $25,000-$40,000 range (27.8 percent) while in Boulder they fall predominantly in the income category of under $10,000 (27 percent).
The majority of the new residents in Boulder are in the low income category, while the majority of new residents in all other communities are in the income category $25,000 to $40,000. The other communities are absorbing middle and upper middle income population growth while Boulder is absorbing lower and higher income growth. Based on the decreasing
4Ibid.
-79-


percentage of middle income population from 1960 to 1970 this writer concludes that the middle income population was increasing in these other Boulder County cities prior to the 1970s when growth policies were strengthened in Boulder.
CONCLUSION
In conclusion, any diversion of growth occurring within Boulder County as a direct result of Boulder's growth limitation ordinance is occurring in Lafayette, since trends in the other communities do not correspond to the growth limitation ordinance. Income data for Lafayette is aggregated for Louisville, Lafayette, Erie and Superior. However, this writer concludes that although some growth may be diverting, there does not appear to be an inequality in the income levels of the population growth. Boulder is not receiving high income groups to the exclusion of low income groups. To the contrary, Boulder is clearly absorbing the majority of the low income growth of the county. The population growth occurring in the other communities is in the middle or upper middle income levels.
And finally, although no housing sales price data is available, exclusion of low income groups is not occurring as a result of the growth limitation ordinance. Boulder provides a subtantial amount of rental housing, and is providing housing for the lower income population. The middle income group is decreasing because of a decrease in the middle income priced single family housing stock.* 5 The price of detached single family houses has increased in Boulder, so it is now only affordable to the upper middle and upper income levels.5 However, what is being
5Conversation with Tom Miller, Ph.D. and Sam Fitch Ph.D. coinvestigators in the Housing Price Study. (4/17/81)
5Ibid.
-80-


provided instead is the for sale condominium affordable to middle income groups. And Boulder continues to provide rental housing and subsidized housing for the low income groups.

L
-81-


CHAPTER V
EMPLOYMENT IN BOULDER COUNTY
Distribution of Jobs in Boulder County
In 1970 there were approximately 45,816 jobs in Boulder County.1 Approximately 72% of these jobs were located in the Boulder Valley, and the remaining 28% were distributed in the following communities^: Location of Jobs in Boulder County 1970
Location Number of Jobs Percent of Total
Boulder 33,300 73.0%
Broomfield 2,416 5.0%
Lafayette 200 .4%
Louisville 400 .9%
Longmont 8,100 17.7%
NonUrban 1,400 3.0%
Total 45,816
The best available estimate for the distribution of jobs in 1980
from DRCOG^ and is as follows:
Location of Jobs in Boulder County - 1980
Location Number of Jobs Percent of Total
Boulder 50,700 61.0%
Broomfield 6,300 8.0%
Lafayette 1,500 2.0%
Louisville 4,800 6.0%
Longmont 15,400 18.5%
NonUrban 2,900 3.5%
Total 837000 100.0%
lu.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Census, 1970 Census of Population, Journey to Work, (1973), p. 70.
^Denver Regional Council of Governments, Regional Growth and Development Plan (1978), pp. E-l E-3.
^DRCOG, Annual Report on Reqional Growth & Development (1980) p. 30. ..........' ~ ...~~ ""....
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Based on these 1970 and 1980 figures from DRCOG, the percent increase in jobs for each community over the ten year period is as follows: Percent Increase in Numbers of Jobs: 1970 to 1980
Boulder 52%
Broomfield 148%
Lafayette 650%
Louisville 1100%
Longmont 90%
Non-Urban 107%
These percentages show that Louisville in particular, has experienced tremendous growth in new jobs during the ten-year period. It had a small number of jobs in 1970, thus were starting with a very small base, whereas Boulder had a significantly larger base in 1970, added 17,400 new jobs and increased at the smallest rate, 52% over the ten-year period which is 5.2% increase per year. The 1980 figures from DRCOG are only estimates; however, although Boulder is continuing to attract a steady rate of employment growth, other cities within the county are experiencing much larger rates of employment growth.
The telephone survey of approximately 1400 Boulder County residents sponsored by the Boulder County CETA and conducted by the Denver Consulting Group reinforces the conclusions formed above.4 Of all the jobs held by the sample, 71% are located in Boulder Valley, 4% in Broomfield, 6% in Lafayette/Louisville/Erie/Superior, 17% in Longmont and 2% in the non-urban portion of the county. Again, this survey may not provide the best source of data to determine distribution of jobs and it does not include jobs held by non-county residents in-commuting to work, but it reinforces the hypothesis that Boulder's share of jobs is slightly
4The sample includes only those 18 and older employed more than
15 hours per week.
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less than it was in 1970, and Louisville/Lafayette's share has increased significantly, from a combined total of 1.5% in 1970 to 6% in 1980. Jobs in Longmont have remained constant and the number of jobs in Broomfield as a percent of the total has decreased.
Table 3 shows the relationship of jobs to population in 1970 and 1980 for each community.
City Ratio of Jobs Jobs Table 3 to Population: 1970-19805 1970 Population Jobs/Population
Boulder Valley 33,600 78,401 .43
Longmont 8,100 23,209 .34
Broomfield 2,416 7,216 .33
Lafayette 200 3,498 .06
Louisville 400 2,409 .16
1980
City Jobs Population Jobs/Population
Boulder Valley 50,700 94,113 .54
Longmont 15,400 42,942 .36
Broomfield 6,300 20,730 .30
Lafayette 1,500 8,985 .16
Louisvilie 5,593 4,800 .86
TOTAL 78,700 171,570 .46
5DRC0G, Annual Report on Regional Growth & Development (1980)
p. 30.
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In 1970 Boulder had the highest ratio of jobs to population, .43, or one job per 2.3 people and Louisville and Lafayette had the lowest.
In 1980, Louisville had a large increase in jobs and the ratio jumps to .86, or 1 job per 1.2 people, which is a higher ratio than in Boulder.
In 1980 Boulder provides 1 job for every 1.8 people. If we assume the standard is one job for every two people^, Boulder is very close to the appropriate balance. From 1970-1980, Boulder added 17,100 jobs and 16,521 people, which results in adding jobs to population at approximatley a one to one ratio, which is more jobs or fewer people than the standard calls for.
However, the overall ratio of total jobs and total population is
very close to the standard. Looking at the commuting data from the CETA
survey,? however, reinforces the hypothesis that despite the disproportionate number of jobs added from 1970 to 1980, Boulder's in-commuting and out-commuting patterns are very closely balanced, certainly more so than in other cities within the county.
COMMUTING PATTERNS
Of the Boulder Valley labor force, 78% work in the Boulder Valley, 12.7% work in Denver, and 7.5% work in the rest of the county.
(see Table 4, page 86) What the trend data available from the survey
shows, it that this percentage has not changed from 1978, and in fact has not changed much since 1970. In 1970, 80% of the labor force worked in the Boulder Valley.8 This data reinforces what we know about numbers of jobs, that Boulder is increasing jobs to keep up with the population, the
6will iam Goodman and Eric Freund, Principles and Practices of Urban Planning. Washington D.C.: International City Manager's Assoc., 1968, p. 97.
^Denver Consulting Group, Counting Employee Survey (1981).
^Interpolation for Boulder Valley from 1970 Census.
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/
TABLE 4
BOULDER COUNTY RESIDENCE BY PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT, JANUARY 19811
RESIDENCE PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT; PERCENT OF WORKFORCE LIVING IN EACH COMMUNITY
BOULDER VALLEY BROOM- FIELD LAFAYETTE/ LOUISVILLE LONGMONT DENVER MTNS/ PLAINS TOTAL
BOULDER VALLEY 576 (725:) 12 (27.3%) 23 (31.9%) 13 (7.3%) 93 (44.3%; 7 (36.8%) 724 (54.8%)
BROOMFLD 16 (2%) 21 (47.8%) 8 01%) 1 (.6%) 52 (24.8%) 0 (0%) 98 (7.4%)
L/L/S 50 (6.3%) 2 (4.5%) 30 (41.7%) 1 (.6%) 36 (17.1%) 0 (0%) 119 (9%)
LONGMNT 99 (12.4%) 7 (15.9%) 8 (11.1%) 156 (88.1%) 22 (10.5%) 9 (47.4%) 301 (22.8%)
MTNS/ PLAINS 59 (7.4%) 2 (4.5%) 3 (4.2%) 6 (3.4%) 7 (3.3%) 3 (15.8%) 80 (6.1%)
TOTAL 800 44 72 177 210 19 1322
*CETA Employment Study, 1981. Conducted by Denver Consulting Group.
-86-


majority of which is not commuting out of Boulder to work, but is working within Boulder Valley. The city with the second highest percentage of labor force working in the same town is Longmont, which employs 48.3% of its labor force. This means that approximately half of the Longmont labor force commutes elsewhere to work. (31% work in Boulder, 7% work in Denver, and approximatley 5% work in the rest of the county). In 1978, the percentage of the labor force working in Longmont was 51% which suggests a decrease from 1978 to 1980 which appears to be a lack of new jobs in Longmont to keep up with the population increases.
Looking at this another way, of the Boulder Vally workforce (those working in the Boulder Valley) 71.3% live in the Boulder Valley, 12.3% live in Longmont and 6.2% live in Lafayette/Louisville/Erie/Superior.9 This does not take into account the percent of the Boulder Valley workforce which commutes in from outside the county, which would result in a lower percentage of the workforce living in Boulder. Again, very little change has occurred since 1978. In 1978, 28.6% of the Boulder Valley workforce lived elsewhere and commuted in to Boulder. In 1980, this percentage is 28.7%, which shows insignificant change. The change that does occur is in the percentage of the Boulder Valley workforce living in Lafayette/Louisville/Erie/Superior which was 4.6 in 1978 and increased to 6.2% in 1980. These percentages suggest that few changes are occuring so far in the balances between in-commuting and out-commuting in Boulder.
The small change that is occurring seems to suggest that a small percentage of the Boulder Valley workforce is living in Lafayette/Louisville/Erie/-Superior. This appears to be the result of Boulder adding jobs at a
^These communities are aggregated in the survey.
-87-


disproportionately higher rate than it is adding population, which could be a result of the growth limitation ordinance.
As was noted above, however, the overall rate of jobs to population is very close to the national standard of one job per two people.
The current ratio of jobs per population for the total of all cities listed in Table 3, on page 84 is .46, or one job for every 2.2 people which is below the standard of one job for every 2 people, and it increased from the 1970 ratio of .39. It appears, therefore, that in order to maintain a balance as specified in the standard, the county as a whole needs to increase jobs at a higher proportion than population, which is what has been happening in every community except Broomfield.
CONCLUSION
Although this writer is using the standard of one job per two people, it has not been concluded at what level this standard should be met the city level, the county-wide region, or the Denver metro region. It seems that it would be appropriate for the standard to be met countywide for Boulder County. The cities within the county could begin a dialogue with this information on jobs and housing and decide how the standards should be met by each city in order to meet the standard countywide.
Again, in conclusion, although in Boulder jobs increased disproportionately higher than the population from 1970 to 1980, the overall ratio is very close to the standard. This does raise questions, however, on the next five to ten years. If employment growth continues at 5.2% per year for the next five years, in the Boulder Valley, 13,182 new jobs would be created. If population were to increase at 3% per year,
-88-


14,238 new people would be added in the Boulder Valley. The total jobs would be 63,882 and the total population would be 109,160. The new ratio of jobs to population would be .59 or one job for every 1.7 people. This results in higher proportion of jobs than the standards calls for, although it is still close. Given the trends for reduced household size, and increased number of workers per household, one job per 1.7 people might be an appropriate ratio for the next 5 years. However it could resute in more people having to live elsewhere and commute in to Boulder to work, becuase adequate housing would not be available in Boulder.
Setting standards for balancing employment and population growth appears to be an appropriate action for cities or counties to take. This does not imply that controls are necessary. However, it does suggest some more aggressive planning policies in order to maintain whatever standards for balance are agreed upon.


CHAPTER VI
SUMMARY
STANDARDS
Boulder used various means and methods for reducing the population growth rate in the 1970s below what was experienced during the 1960s. In Chapter 1 the most significant ones were described. The Interim Growth Policies, the Open Space Program and the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan were the primary means used to manage growth. In 1977, the Growth Limitation Ordinance was adopted to regulate the number of building permits during the five year period of the ordinance.
The standard of a 2% population growth rate was met for the first three years of the growth limitation ordinance. However, results of the research show that this standard would have been met without the growth limitation ordinance. The population growth rate dropped to under 2% between 1973 and 1974 (1.7 percent) prior to the adoption of the growth limitation ordinance, and remained at under two (2) percent through 1980.
A negative annual percent population change occurred between 1975 and 1976 and continued for four years from 1975 to 1979.
Three general reasons appear to be responsible for this reduction in the historic growth rate in Boulder. First, growth policies adopted prior to the adoption of the growth limitation ordinance appear to have impacted on the growth rate. The interim growth policies discouraged new primary employment centers from locating in the Boulder Valley. No new major employment centers did locate in the Boulder Valley during the 1970s
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which had the effect of reducing demand for new housing. The Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan and the Open Space Program discourage new major residential subdivisions from locating in the Boulder Valley unless there is a full range of urban services available.
Second, the economy underwent periods of recession in 1975 and again in 1979-1980 which resulted in a decrease of new housing starts nationwide. New building permits reached a low level in 1975 in Boulder, which accounts for part of the reduced population growth at this point during the 1970s.
And finally, the decrease in household size which occurred from 1970 to 1980 had a major impact on population growth. The growth in housing units in Boulder during the 1970s was less than it was during the 1960s. However, it was still increasing at a steady rate, and would have potentially resulted in Boulder exceeding the two (2) percent population growth rate without the growth limitation ordinance had household size not decreased.
The net result of the growth limitation ordinance was to reduce the growth rate below two (2) percent for the first three years of the ordinance. Because building permit activity in Boulder did not drop as sharply as it did in other communities during the economic slowdown of 1979 and 1980, there are some indications that the growth limitation ordinance resulted in the annual population growth rate showing a positive percent change from 1979 to 1980 whereas it showed an annual negative percent change from 1975 to 1979. However, further discussion of this possible conclusion is beyond the scope of this paper.
Policies in the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan encourage new residential development in the core area as one way of reducing urban sprawl. However, no real implementation of this policy was undertaken
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prior to the adoption of the growth limitation ordinance other than some selected upzonings in the core area.
The growth limitation ordinance set the standard for building permits in the core area to be thirty-nine (39) percent of all building permits issued through the merit system. The standard of 39% was met for all building permits issued from 1977 to 1980 including exemptions and prior commitments.
After examining data for core area development prior to 1977 this writer concludes that the growth limitation ordinance had a major impact on this standard being met. The standard was met in part because of the incentives provided by exemptions to the system. This resulted in an increased number of projects of four or fewer units built in the core area that might not have been built without this incentive to by-pass the merit system. The standard was met in part by the quota system which set a maximum number of units allowable in the periphery. The ceiling on allowable units in the core was not reached until 1980, thus the effects of the quota system on core area development will not be visible until after 1980, or beyond the scope of this paper.
SIDE EFFECTS
There have been alleged negative side effects to result from the implementation of the growth limitation ordinance. The first of these is that it would cause unwanted diversion of growth to the unincorporated part of the county and to adjacent Boulder County communities. The data presented in Chapter 1 clearly shows that growth was not diverted to the unincorporated parts of the county. The reason it was not, however, is probably because of the Boulder Valley and Boulder County Comprehensive Plans which prohibit new urban development (residential) from occurring
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without annexation to an incorporated community, and with a full range of urban services. Without the Comprehensive Plans this writer suggests that the growth limitation ordinance would have possibly resulted in growth being diverted to unincorporated parts of Boulder County.
The data on growth for the other communities in Boulder County seem to indicate to this writer that growth in all the other communities except Lafayette is occurring independently from the growth limitation ordinance. Lafayette has had pro-growth policies up through 1980 and thus seems to have encouraged growth. There may be some spill-over of people working in Boulder living in Lafayette.
A second charge against the growth limitation ordinance was that it would result in Boulder becoming a more exclusive community. Available income data reflects that pre-1977 trends for Boulder showed increases in the percentage of people in lower and higher income categories, and decreases in the percentage of people in the middle income ranges. There is no data available which shows any change in this trend occurring after 1977 when the growth limitation ordinance was adopted. The middle income population has probably been locating in Longmont, Broomfield, Lafayette and Louisville since 1960, but the percentage of middle income population moving to Lafayette may have increased more rapidly in the last few years, but low income groups and high income groups continue to move to Boulder.
A final charge levelled against the growth limitation ordinance was that Boulder continued to encourage employment growth while it limited population growth. As stated above, Boulder has encouraged new small employers and expansion of existing employers, but has a clear policy of discouraging major new employment centers. Boulder has apparently experienced a total rate of employment growth during the decade of fifty-


two (52) percent, or an average of 5.2% per year. Although this represents approximately 17,000 jobs, it is the lowest percent increase of all Boulder County communities. If we assume the standard of one job for every two people is an appropriate one, some conclusions on the impact of the growth limitation ordinance on the employment/population balance can be made.
The ratio at which new jobs and new population were increased during the decade is approximately one job to one person, or twice as many jobs as the standard calls for. Growth policies in general, and not only the growth limitation ordinance appear to be causing this imbalance, although the policy of discouraging major new employers may have kept the balance closer to the standard that it could have been without the policy on employment. However, the overall ratio of total jobs in the Boulder Valley to total population in the Boulder Valley is at one job for every 1.8 people, or looking at it another way, 1.08 jobs for every 2 people.
This ratio appears to be very close to the standard of one job for every two people.
This discussion raises two significant issues to be addressed in any future growth management recommendations. First is the issue of whether Boulder wants to maintain a balance if it continues to choose to limit population growth. Employment growth and its relationship to population growth should be addressed. And second is an indication that other cities in the county may need to add jobs if they are seeking a balance between employment and house.
There is some additional data on housing sales price that should be presented.! Combining all houses, new and resale, single family and
^-Preliminary findings from "Housing Sales Price Study" by Sam Fitch and Tom Miller, for the Growth Management Task Force, 1981.
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condominium, there does not appear to be any significant increase in housing prices in Boulder which are different from the price of houses in the other Boulder County communities. Following a standard house, with less than two full baths, and five or six rooms two things happened.
First, there was a significant increase in price around April, 1977, or the time of the adoption of the growth limitation ordinance, but since that time, the slope of the increase in price for this standard house has levelled and is rising at approximately the same rate as a similar house in the adjacent communities. There do not appear to be continuing increasing prices of the standard house from 1977 to 1980. And finally, the price of new single family housing (excluding condominiums) has increased significantly in Boulder compared to the price of new houses in adjacent communities. It is not possible at this point to attribute this increase in price to the growth limitation ordinance. It could be a result of increased land prices, the reduced supply of developable land, the result of the merit system competition creating incentives for more amenities, or other reasons. The answer to why new houses have increased in price is beyond the scope of this paper.
However, the data seems to indicate that the overall cost of housing is not increasing more rapidly in Boulder than elsewhere in the county. This may be due in part because up to 1980, the growth limitation ordinance had not yet reduced significantly the supply of housing. It may be due in part to the large number of condominium conversions and new condominiums being built, all of which are selling for relatively lower prices compared to single family houses thus reducing the overall price of housing in Boulder.
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CONCLUSION
In summary then, although the growth limitation ordinance has had
a significant impact on the location of growth in the core area, its overall impact, as of 1980, has not been major. As explained in Chapter
1, the competition in the merit system is increasing and if the ordinance were to continue for another five years, this writer would expect to see increased impacts. That is, the growth limitation ordinance has not appreciably affected the growth rate and as a result of not yet significantly reducing the supply of housing, it has not appreciably affected housing prices. It appears that the growth limitation ordinance may be resulting in some diversion of growth to Louisville, or Lafayette in particular, but according to the CETA commuting data, the magnitude at this time is not great. Boulder has not increased jobs at any significant rate which would then spill over to Louisville and Lafayette. It may be that these communities are providing a housing alternative by choice that Boulder has begun to replace with alternatives such as condominiums and townhouses.
FURTHER CONSIDERATIONS
The immediate issue for futher consideration is whether to continue the growth limitation ordinance modify it, or abandon it. This issue is beyond the scope of this paper and will require additional analysis. The first step for future action may be the setting of a standard for a rate of population growth which will maintain a reasonable perception of quality of life in Boulder without restricting the housing supply to the point at which housing prices rise significantly.
The second consideration will be to consider the relationship between population and employment growth. Boulder has maintained an appropriate balance between the two up to now. However, if present
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policies continue into the future, the balance may be disrupted, and if jobs continue to grow faster than housing, the percentage of the work force commuting in to Boulder from adjacent communities will increase.
A third important consideration is the development of an on-going monitoring system which would keep track on an annual basis of change in housing units, household size, population growth rate, and employment growth rate. This would enable the community to have a better understanding of exactly what is occurring on an annual basis.
The analysis of the existing growth limitation is a good first step in gaining a better understanding of the relationship between planning, community growth, and regional impacts. Despite the many perceived impacts of the growth limitation ordinance, the data shows relatively few impacts during the first three years of implementation.
It does provide a psychological edge for those who feel it is important to exert some amount of control over how their city grows.
I
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BIBLIOGRAPHY
Allen, Susan. "Land Supply and Demand Monitoring, King County Washington." Urban Land (April 1980) 5-6.
Applebaum, Richard P. Size, Growth and U.S. Cities New York: Praeger Press, 1975.
Boulder County CETA Employee Telephone Survey. Conducted by the Denver Consulting Group, 1981.
Cooper, Sandra. "Growth Control Evolves in Boulder." Urban Land (March, 1980) 13-18.
Cornwell, Robert. "Population and Demographic Study for Boulder Colorado: 1960-1980." (prepared for the Boulder Growth Management Task Force, 1981.)
Denver Regional Council of Governments. Annual Report on Regional Growth and Development, 1980.
Denver Reqional Council of Governments. Regional Growth and Development Plan, 1978.
Einsweiler, Robert C., Freilich, Robert and Gleeson, Michael. Design of State, Regional and Local Development Management Systems. Minnesota: Hubert Humphrey. Institute of Public Affairs 2 Volumes, 1978. National Science Foundation.
Exline, Christopher Hollis. "The Impacts of Growth Control Legislation on Two Suburban Communities; Marin and Sonoma Counties, California." (Dissertation, University of California, 1978)
Finkler, Earl, Toner, William J., Popper, Frank J. Urban Non-Growth City Planning for People. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1976.
Goldschalk, David R., Brower, David J., McBennet, Larry D., Vestal, Barbara, Herr, Daniel C. Constitutional Issues of Growth Management. Chicago, Illinois: Planners Press, 1979.
Guyerson, Anne. "Building Permit Data, Boulder: 1975-1980" (Prepared for the Boulder Growth Mangement Task Force, 1981.)
Kelly, Eric Damian. Land Use Control. Federal Publications, 1979.
Kolis, Annette. "Courts Continue to Questions Growth Management Strategies." Urban Land (October 1979) 18-20.
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