The Sierra Club endorsements for Boulder City 2021 Ballot Issues: Bedrooms Are for People - Yes
By Tom Volkhausen. Originally published as a press release by the Sierra Club Indian Peaks Group on September 11, 2021.
"Sierra Club judges ballot measures based on environmental and social equity impacts.
The Sierra Club has announced its position on three 2021 Boulder City ballot measures, including: Yes on Bedrooms Are For People.
Boulder ballot measures impact local air quality, water quality, parks and open space, social equity, wildlife protection, and energy generation and consumption, among other issues. Sierra Club endorsements support ballot measures that will have a positive environmental impact.
YES on Bedrooms Are for People In the majority of the City of Boulder, no more than 3 unrelated people are permitted to live together in a home, even if the home has seven bedrooms. This rule has resulted in thousands of vacant bedrooms in the city and has forced would-be occupants to find housing elsewhere. The Bedrooms are for People Initiative amends Boulder’s antiquated occupancy limits by allowing all housing units to be occupied by a number of people equal to the number of legal bedrooms, plus one additional person per home, provided that relevant health and safety codes are met.
Boulder already has nearly 60,000 in-commuters a day and the city’s strict occupancy limits add more cars to the road as people are forced to live out of town. Vehicle miles traveled goes up, carbon in the atmosphere increases, and our mental health becomes worse with the smog. Even more troubling is the fact that often the most vulnerable among us who are forced out of town. Renting a bedroom is often the least expensive and most accessible form of housing in any city. To limit the number of bedrooms available to rent causes housing stock to go down, resulting in higher priced homes. It is also an inefficient and wasteful use of space.
The carbon footprint of a home is significant. Whether 3 people or 5 people live in a space, the space itself uses a tremendous amount of energy, embodied and operational. The simple truth is this: the more people who live in a space, the more efficient that space is per person. Climate change and our affordable housing crisis are arguably two of the most important issues we must deal with now. The Sierra Club supports Bedrooms are for People because it furthers Sierra Club’s stated goals on both climate change and affordable housing."