As the owner of a small, green building consulting firm in Boulder, I strongly oppose ballot issue 301 for the disastrous, immediate implications it has for the construction industry in Boulder and our broader economy. If 301 passes, the city of Boulder has stated that there will be a six-month moratorium on permits for new construction while they determine what the vague language of the ballot issue means. A recent Camera article indicates that this moratorium will likely extend to all remodels and additions.
A construction freeze in Boulder would be disastrous not only for my small company, which does most of our work in Boulder, but also the whole Boulder construction industry. My company will be faced with laying off several of my employees as we won’t have any new projects for at least six months. The increase in development costs, even for small, single-family additions, make it likely that many of those jobs won’t come back. And we’re not alone.
The Boulder construction industry is composed of many small architecture, contracting, and skilled trade firms, all of whom will be significantly impacted by a six-month freeze. Make no mistake, this will negatively impact thousands of Boulder residents who make their living improving our fair city.
In addition to the immediate destruction of many jobs, city revenues will be decimated. Sean Maher stated in his Camera article on Oct. 10, last year 20 percent of city revenues came from construction taxes and fees. 301 would result in an instant loss of one-fifth of the city’s income, with considerably more dire consequences than the 2008 recession.
On ballot issue 300, a friend said it best, “It gives neighborhoods the rights of a municipality, without any of the responsibilities.” Please vote No on 300 and 301.