One City Was Skeptical Enough About Opportunity Zones to Declare a Development Moratorium

Oscar Perry Abello reports from Boulder, Colorado, the city pressed “pause” on development in a Census tract designated as an Opportunity Zone (a federal program that gives investors tax breaks for making certain investments in the area).

“Uncertain whether the federal program would benefit residents in or near Colorado census tract 122.03, let alone the rest of the city, Boulder City Council temporarily suspended the acceptance of building permits, site review applications and other development applications for many types of projects in the Opportunity Zone,” according to Abello.

Specially, the action declared a moratorium on “development that would result in adding non-residential floor area, any demolition that removes multifamily dwelling units or any non-residential floor area, and the creation of any new dwelling units “that do not meet the requirements of the ordinance,'” explains Abello.

Still, Boulder is allowing exemptions to the moratorium, claiming the exemptions reflect the vision established by the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan, approved in 2017. Abello explains in a lot more detail the politics surrounding the decision, the exemptions, and the prospects for the Opportunity Zone program in Boulder in the future.