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  • Writer's pictureBedrooms Are For People

Boulder Weekly Vote Guide 2021

By Boulder Weekly Staff. Originally published in the Boulder Weekly on October 7, 2021.


Boulder currently limits home occupancy to three or four unrelated individuals per home, no matter the number of bedrooms in the dwelling. This ballot measure would alter the law to make the occupancy limit equal to the number of bedrooms plus one individual (five unrelated people in a four-bedroom house, for example).

In a city with a housing crisis like Boulder’s, we feel this is an appropriate step to ease the pressure slightly.

We also believe the members of the new council should, as allowed by law, amend the law with a two-thirds majority to enact affordability requirements for dwellings with more than a certain number of unrelated occupants.

Opponents of the Bedrooms are for People measure point to the possibility of unintended consequences should this be enacted as law: predatory developers enlarging houses so they have 12 rooms and become 'stealth dorms' and lawsuits from developers to stop the council from amending the law to include affordability measures.

The group opposing this measure argues that Section 54 of the city charter would handcuff the council from making smart changes to the law. That law says the council can amend an initiative passed by voters 'provided that the amendments do not alter or modify the basic intent of such ordinance . . . '

We understand how that would prevent the council from, say, limiting the number of bedrooms, but in a case where the council amended the law to require that rents in a residence with eight or more people must be 25 percent under market rate, we don’t see how increased affordability is in conflict with the measure’s stated intent to increase occupancy.

We’re a Yes on Bedrooms are for People."

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