Boulder to consider outdoor dining, street closure extensions; DBP pushing for permanent changes

BOULDER — Boulder shoppers and restaurant patrons may be able to continue to take advantage of outdoor dining and other nontraditional commerce opportunities adopted over the last year and half in an effort to combat the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Boulder staff has drafted a timeline for a pilot project that examines the effects of implementing outdoor dining and street closures permanently. Courtesy Boulder planning documents.

City Council members on Thursday will consider extending the Boulder Business Recovery Program, which is set to expire next month. 

Staff and the Downtown Boulder Partnership are recommending an extension through next April, when a more permanent version of the program could be piloted. 

Recovery program provisions included:

• Citywide waiver of parking minimums and continuation of the evening discounted parking in Central Area General Improvement District-owned downtown parking garages.

• Addition of curbside drop off/pick up locations.

• Temporary modification of alcohol licenses.

• Temporary outdoor dining service area expansions including repurposed use of adjacent public right of way and expansions on private property.

• Waiver of applicable city fees and expedited review of temporary modification applications.

• Rerouting of the HOP bus line through residential areas.

• City-facilitated street closures along the west end of Pearl Street and on the University Hill Event Street including signal changes.

Boulder business groups and government bodies including the Downtown Management Commission, University Hill Commercial Area Management Commission, Beverages Licensing Authority and Transportation Advisory Board are “generally expressing support for the program and continued exploration of a post-pandemic outdoor dining program in Boulder’s downtown core and, as might be appropriate, on the University Hill Event Street current closure area,” according to a city memo. 

A survey conducted last October indicated that 85% of the 88 businesses taking advantage of the Boulder Business Recovery Program felt a positive impact.

“We recognize that the downtown area has many licensing, regulatory and operational right-of-way implications and that any returning program will take time to stand up,” Downtown Boulder Partnership leaders wrote in a letter to city officials. “Nevertheless, we believe that this is an opportunity not to be missed that can reinforce the important role Boulder’s downtown plays in supporting the city’s revenue generation and hospitality/tourism brand, aid the recovery of downtown businesses, and contribute to the recognition of Pearl Street Mall’s significant milestone anniversary in 2027.”

City staffers are expected to recommend that the Boulder City Council puts in place plans for a three-year pilot program during which the impacts of permanent outdoor dining and street closures will be examined. 

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BOULDER — Boulder shoppers and restaurant patrons may be able to continue to take advantage of outdoor dining and other nontraditional commerce opportunities adopted over the last year and half in an effort to combat the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Boulder staff has drafted a timeline for a pilot project that examines the effects of implementing outdoor dining and street closures permanently. Courtesy Boulder planning documents.

City Council members on Thursday will consider extending the Boulder Business Recovery Program, which is set to expire next month. 

Staff and the Downtown Boulder Partnership are recommending an extension through next April, when a more permanent version of the program could be piloted. 

Recovery program provisions included:

• Citywide waiver of parking minimums and continuation of the evening discounted parking in Central Area General Improvement District-owned downtown parking garages.

• Addition of curbside drop off/pick up locations.

• Temporary modification of alcohol licenses.

• Temporary outdoor dining service area expansions including repurposed use of adjacent public right of way and expansions on private property.

• Waiver of applicable city fees and expedited review of temporary modification applications.

• Rerouting of the HOP bus line through residential areas.

• City-facilitated street closures along the west end of Pearl Street and on the University Hill Event Street including signal changes.

Boulder business groups and government bodies including the Downtown Management Commission, University Hill Commercial Area Management Commission, Beverages Licensing Authority and…