A rendering of the proposed mixed-income residential development Waterview at 5801 and 5847 Arapahoe Ave. Courtesy Shutkin Sustainable Living.

Boulder Planning Board approves Waterview residential project

BOULDER — The Boulder Planning Board voted 7-0 Thursday night to approve Waterview, a mixed-use development with more than 300 residential units and 15,000 square feet of commercial space at 5801 and 5847 Arapahoe Ave. in east Boulder.

More than 100 Boulder residents attended the Planning Board hearing virtually either to voice support for the affordable housing that the project would add or raise concerns about traffic dangers and potential flood risks associated with the development.

Waterview would add 317 residential units across 10 buildings, split between 182 studios, 91 one-bedrooms, 22 two-bedrooms, and 22 three-bedroom townhomes. Eighty units would be deed-restricted affordable housing for people earning 50 percent to 60 percent of area median income.

In a first for Boulder, the affordable units would be integrated in the same buildings and same floors as market-rate units.

The 15,000 square feet of commercial space would be divided between ground-floor retail and a potential restaurant or brewpub. The development would also feature 421 parking spaces and 618 bicycle parking spaces.

Residents who spoke in favor of Waterview called the project a vital injection of affordable housing — and housing, period — in an area of east Boulder that has very little residential development.

“Finding affordable housing within a reasonable distance of my workplace has been a constant challenge,” said Anna Kramer, a south Boulder resident who works at the University of Colorado Boulder. “I’ve frequently had to spend more than 30 percent of my income on substandard housing.”

Charles Brock, a Boulder resident and research physicist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said he hires entry-level scientists who make more than $60,000 per year but still cannot find reasonably priced housing in the city.

“This provides options for early-career employees,” he said.

Linda Spillman, owner of the boutique shop Fabricate at 2017 17th St., agreed. She estimated that about half of her employees can’t afford to live in Boulder.

Other residents voiced concerns over certain aspects of the project, particularly potential traffic dangers and the flood risk to the site.

Waterview has only one proposed entrance, off of Arapahoe Avenue directly across from Old Tale Road. To preserve the ability to turn left onto Arapahoe off of Old Tale Road, it will be illegal to turn left from Waterview onto Arapahoe Avenue. Anyone leaving Waterview who wants to go east on Arapahoe would have to make a right turn to head west, then make a U-turn.

“It will be a free-for-all of U-turns and crossing over lanes,” said Joanne Simenson, a southeast Boulder resident. “It is insane and dangerous.”

Residents also commented on potential flood risk for the site. The property, which is vacant, was used as a fill site by its previous owner. During the 2013 floods, the site was heavily flooded, and the built-up fill forced water onto nearby properties. The site was in Boulder’s 100-year floodplain and put the city at risk of violating federal flood regulations.

Since concept plans for Waterview were first submitted in 2017, developers worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the city to remove the fill and bring the site into compliance with federal regulations. FEMA issued a Letter of Map Revision for the property certifying that it is out of the 100-year floodplain.

Waterview is being developed by Boulder-based Shutkin Sustainable Living LLC and Denver-based Zocalo Community Development. Other contractors listed for the project are Boulder companies Coburn Partners and JVA Consulting Engineers.

Now that it has been approved by the Planning Board, Waterview will be subject to call-up by the city council for the next 30 days. After that, developers can begin technical document review before applying for building permits. William Shutkin, owner of Shutkin Sustainable Living, told BizWest he hopes to apply for permits by the end of the year and break ground in early 2022.

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BOULDER — The Boulder Planning Board voted 7-0 Thursday night to approve Waterview, a mixed-use development with more than 300 residential units and 15,000 square feet of commercial space at 5801 and 5847 Arapahoe Ave. in east Boulder.

More than 100 Boulder residents attended the Planning Board hearing virtually either to voice support for the affordable housing that the project would add or raise concerns about traffic dangers and potential flood risks associated with the development.

Waterview would add 317 residential units across 10 buildings, split between 182 studios, 91 one-bedrooms, 22 two-bedrooms, and 22 three-bedroom townhomes. Eighty units would be deed-restricted affordable housing for people earning 50 percent to 60 percent of area median income.

In a first for Boulder, the affordable units would be integrated in the same buildings and same floors as market-rate units.

The 15,000 square feet of commercial space would be divided between ground-floor retail and a potential restaurant or brewpub. The development would also feature 421 parking spaces and 618 bicycle parking spaces.

Residents who spoke in favor of Waterview called the project a vital injection of affordable housing — and housing, period — in an area of east Boulder that has very little residential development.

“Finding affordable housing within a reasonable distance of my workplace has been a constant challenge,” said Anna Kramer, a south Boulder resident who works at the University of Colorado Boulder. “I’ve frequently had to spend more than 30 percent of my income on substandard housing.”

Charles Brock, a Boulder resident and research physicist at…