Plan balances many factors and strikes a compromise on density and use to ensure the area remains a lively neighborhood center

On Oct. 1, City Council adopted the Alpine-Balsam Area Plan, which provides a framework for how redevelopment may occur over time in the neighborhoods along Broadway between Portland Place and Cedar Avenue, including the 8.8-acre former hospital site purchased by the city in 2015.

The purpose of an area plan is to bridge the gap between broad policies in the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan, site-specific project review and capital improvement planning. Area plans guide land use, zoning, local transportation connections and urban design as redevelopment occurs within the plan’s boundaries. Area plans have been adopted in the past for other parts of the city, including the University Hill (1996), Gunbarrel Community Center (2004) and the Transit Village (2007).

The Alpine-Balsam Area Plan creation and adoption process lasted eighteen months and involved community members sharing their ideas, hopes and concerns about the area’s future. The plan balances many factors and strikes a compromise on density and use to ensure the area remains a lively neighborhood center. We greatly appreciate the many community members who took the time to come to open houses, participate in working groups and provide feedback!

What’s in the Plan?

Alpine-Balsam offers an opportunity to further the city’s access, mobility, sustainability and climate goals to benefit the entire area. The plan is intended for use by the public, business and property owners, city officials and staff, and other community partners. It provides the community with a guide of what to expect in the future in the Alpine-Balsam area and will guide decisions about private development, public facilities and services in the area. 

Overall, the area is envisioned as a lively and inclusive neighborhood that will offer amenities for community members. The plan includes:

  • Land use changes for city-owned properties, including renovation of the medical pavilion at the corner of Alpine and Broadway for a new city service center to replace several buildings in the civic area and elsewhere.
  • A mix of permanently affordable and market rate multi-family housing to serve a range of new residents.
  • Improvements for all modes of transportation to make getting around the area safer, more pleasant and easier, especially for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • A flood mitigation approach along the northern side of the city’s site that will convey flood waters during storms. The approach will double as a landscaped greenway for pedestrian and bike access

What’s next?

Implementation on the city-owned site will begin immediately and proceed for several years. Next steps include:

  • Deconstruction of the former Boulder Community Hospital building,
  • Land use and zoning updates for city-owned properties,
  • Redevelopment of city-owned land for a mix of civic services and housing, and 
  • Evaluation of the viability for Boulder County to relocate services from their campus at Iris and Broadway to Alpine-Balsam.

The pace of redevelopment in the broader planning area will be determined by, if and when private property owners voluntarily choose to redevelop their properties. Area plans typically have a planning horizon of 15 years, and decisions guided by area plans may have a lasting impact well beyond 15 years.

Updated details will be posted on the project web page:

Published: Oct. 9, 2019

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