My comments on the Gunbarrel Green Bylaws and Articles changes

Here’s a post I made yesterday to Nextdoor.com:

Horrible proposed changes to the Gunbarrel Green HOA Articles and Bylaws

The Gunbarrel Green HOA Board has mailed out proposed changes to the Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation. They’re taking comments, and have scheduled a vote for July. There are two huge problems with these proposed changes:

1. Right now, dues can be increased only by a vote of 60% of the entire membership. They want to change it to a majority vote of members present at a meeting, or by proxy. Since a quorum is only 10 members, dues could be increased by a vote of as few of 6 members, with no upper limit on the amount.

2. The changes allow the Board, without a vote of members, to levy fees on members, to reimburse the Board for its services. The determination of what is reasonable is entirely up to the Board. They might, for example, decide to set a fee of $10 per month per member (higher than the current dues). While this might seem preposterous, a future Board could do this, and there would be no legal way to stop them. (Fees are supposed to be to cover the costs when a property changes ownership, but that’s not what the proposed changes say. That appears as only one of the purposes for which fees may be collected.)

There’s much more wrong with the way the proposed Bylaws and Articles are drafted, but these are the two most alarming provisions. I’ll have a more detailed list of the defects in a future posting here.

Please spend some time reviewing these documents!

And now here are my detailed comments, interspersed into the text of the documents, for easy reading:

Comments on the proposed Articles

Comments on the proposed Bylaws

Avery Brewing encountering tough times

I had read in the Daily Camera that Avery Brewing sold 30% of itself to a Spanish brewer, but an anonymous source just gave me some more inside info: They’ve had layoffs, have stopped standard annual raises and profit sharing, and cut back on overtime.

I don’t think this means that Avery is going away, just that they’ve done some belt-tightening and gotten a capital infusion. The positive way to look at it is that they’re tending to business. Which, as I said yesterday, is very competitive, because, while craft beer sales rose by 5% in 2017, the number of breweries rose by 16%.

Someone asked me why I don’t buy Avery beer to drink at home, and my answer pretty much sums up Avery’s problem: I said that I bought Left Hand’s variety pack, 12 cans for $15 or so, because I don’t like the beers in Avery’s variety pack. The problem this illustrates is that Avery has competition, even if you limit yourself to Boulder County.

Daily Camera fires its editorial page editor

I normally stick to Gunbarrel stuff, but I report this here as a public service, since the Daily Camera isn’t reporting it.

Dave Krieger, editorial page editor, has been fired. He wrote an editorial critical of the Camera’s owners, as did the Denver Post on April 8, which got national attention. The Camera’s publisher refused to publish it, Krieger put it on his own blog, and for that he got fired.

Of course, he’s a writer, so you can just read about the whole incident in his own words. Lots of very bad news for the Boulder area, which relies on the Daily Camera for its news.

Here’s his blog, well worth a read:

https://boulderfreepress.blog/

UPDATE: I see that the Camera published an article just a few minutes ago.

Vindication Brewing is now closed

They closed yesterday, on Saturday, 28-April-2018, so now we have five breweries in Gunbarrel, down from six.

The simple reason they closed: Six is a lot, Vindication was the weakest of the six, and the market is getting much more competitive.

Here’s an excerpt from my review:

Vindication has around half as many beers as Gunbarrel Brewing, fewer events, and no food trucks. But, if all you want is a beer and maybe some snacks, it’s top notch.

They had the plainest and smallest (or close to it) tap room, the worst location (not near any apartments, condos, or shopping), and for the last year have been in the shadow of the much larger and more aggressive Gunbarrel Brewing. What’s more, they had headwinds: Craft beer growth was down to 5% in 2017, and the number of breweries had risen by 16%, which makes less of the pie barrel for everyone. When the odds are against you, only the most competitive survive, and Vindication was certainly the least advantaged of Gunbarrel’s six breweries.

Here’s what four of the remaining five offer that’s special:

Avery: huge operation, excellent restaurant, established brand.
Asher: organic, comfy tap room, close to apartments and condos.
Finkel & Garf: close to commercial center of Gunbarrel, close to apartments and condos.
Gunbarrel: big and with lots of activities, including music.

Sadly, the recently-opened Beyond the Mountain doesn’t offer much that’s special, other than proximity to apartments/condos. They’re probably OK for now, as most startups have enough cash to run for a while, but they’ll have a tough time carving out space for themselves in an already-crowded Gunbarrel brewery scene, even without Vindication, which was on the opposite side of Gunbarrel, so probably didn’t affect them one way or another.

I’ve gotten this far in this little article and haven’t even mentioned the local beers. Vindication’s beer was terrific, especially their stout, which I’m going to miss. However, there are plenty of talented brewmasters, and I’ve found all the Gunbarrel breweries to be capable of brewing excellent beers. (As are those in Boulder, Niwot, Longmont, and Lafayette.) So great beer alone won’t be nearly enough to keep Beyond the Mountain or anyone else afloat.

Review: Proto’s Pizzeria

Proto’s is a local chain that you probably already know from its North Boulder or Lafayette locations. It was the first retail occupant of Gunbarrel Center, on Gunbarrel Center Court, that new street in the center of the new apartments.

Proto’s menu is limited to Napoletana style pizza and a few appetizers and salads. There’s a full bar, including draft beers.

What’s a “Napoletana style pizza” you may be wondering? I had no idea (other than that I liked it) until I checked Wikipedia:

According to the rules proposed by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana,[4] the genuine Neapolitan pizza dough consists of wheat flour (type 0 or 00, or a mixture of both), natural Neapolitan yeast or brewer’s yeast, salt and water. For proper results, strong flour with high protein content (as used for bread-making rather than cakes) must be used. The dough must be kneaded by hand or with a low-speed mixer. After the rising process, the dough must be formed by hand without the help of a rolling pin or other machine, and may be no more than 3 millimeters (0.12 in) thick. The pizza must be baked for 60–90 seconds in a 485 °C (905 °F) stone oven with an oak-wood fire.[5] When cooked, it should be soft, elastic, tender and fragrant.

I know there’s one part of this that Proto’s probably likes: These pizzas cook fast!

A medium pizza, for as little as $10 serves two. Add tax and tip, and two can eat very well for less than $7 each, which is in the Subway range, but Proto’s is way better.

Proto’s is one of my favorite places to eat in Gunbarrel. I’ve been to the location here maybe a half-dozen times, and about as many times to the other locations.

You generally can’t park on the street. I always park behind Proto’s, on the small lot just to the east of the Proto’s building. Or, there’s the huge and mostly empty parking garage just to the south.

Review: Tod’s Espresso Cafe

 

I’ve been past Tod’s a hundred times, but never went in, as I don’t generally buy coffee at coffee shops. But, I was there for a meeting, so I had the opportunity review the place.

It’s pretty impressive what they’ve done with this nondescript place, as you can see from the photo. Lots of coffee selections, as you’d expect. I only drink black coffee, and it was excellent. Happy hour is from 1PM to 2PM,  when there’s a dollar off, so that’s a great deal. Have your meeting then!

Of course, they have WiFi, with the password written on the wall, so you don’t even have to ask for it.

Tod’s is open early, even when everything else but King Soopers and the gas station is closed: 6AM weekdays, and 6:30AM in weekends. For breakfast they have Moe’s bagels with cream cheese and pastries. For lunch, they have sandwiches for $6.25 and salads for $6.50.

As I said, I’m not a coffee-shop person, but if I were, I’d think Tod’s would be a terrific place to hang out. I might go there myself if I need to use WiFi or get quick early breakfast. (And don’t want to drive all the way to Aunt Alice’s Kitchen in Longmont, which has the best breakfast anywhere, but is outside my review range.)

Review: Dannik’s Gunbarrel Corner Bar

 

20-March-2019 Update: Dannik’s is now closed.

Dannik’s has everything a casual bar needs to have: Open late (for Gunbarrel), until 10 PM. Sixteen draft beers, about half from Boulder County. Seven TVs. Dinner for $10. A lively atmosphere.

Think of it as a burger place, although they do have Philly cheese steaks and entrees, including a couple of unambitious seafood items. I had a steak, which was pretty good, if not great. My companion had the fish-of-the-day (don’t remember what it was), which was fine. I’ll bet the burgers are excellent, although I didn’t have one. And, you can get sweet potato fries.

There are a few Gunbarrel restaurants with bars, such as Element Bistro and Proto’s, but Dannik’s is our only true bar.

I wouldn’t go there for the food, but I would go if I were with friends looking to meet in a bar, or if I wanted to watch a game on cable (which I don’t have at home).

There were a couple of previous restaurants in the Dannik’s space, something like a southwestern grill, and a place called, I think, Bogey’s. Dannik’s is a clear improvement on them both. Dannik’s has four stars on Yelp, and some very favorable reviews.

UPDATE: I’ve gotten a complaint that my review was luke-warm, and a couple of notes from people raving about Dannik’s, so there’s some evidence that it’s better than I think. Also, a few people liked the music, which I forgot to mention.

 

 

Gunbarrel Center has adequate parking

NOTE: I posted the following on nextdoor.com a year-and-a-half ago, but just added an update today, which you can see at the end.

It seems that from posts I’ve read here and from talking to friends that it is widely believed that there is inadequate parking for Gunbarrel Center residents, so much so that I’ve heard a few friends say that it won’t be possible to shop at the Gunbarrel King Soopers. I think the people who say this are just assuming it’s true, because they have a negative view of this apartment development. While there may be several reasons to be negative, inadequate parking shouldn’t be one of them.

The bedroom breakdown for the 251 units in Gunbarrel Center is:

Jr 1br/1ba, ~540 ft2 = 9 total
1br/1ba, ~785 ft2 = 118 total
2br/2ba, ~1,150 ft2 = 113 total
3br, 2ba, ~1,320 ft2 = 11 total

Onsite car parking is:

Required Commercial Stalls – 187
Required Residential Stalls – 318
TOTAL REQUIRED – 505
TOTAL TO BE DELIVERED = 511

This includes internal on-street parking.

It looks like there are 1.27 spaces per unit.

Let’s say that 75% of 2+ bedroom units have two cars. Say 30% of 1 bedroom units have two cars. The rest of the 2+ and 1 bedroom units have 1 car. Total would be:

124*2*.75 + 124*.25 + 118*2*.3 + 118*.7 + 9 = 380 cars

This leaves 62 cars without spaces to be parked on surrounding streets, the most obvious one of which is Gunpark Dr.

Of course, my figures of 75% and 30% are just guesses. You can plug in your own guesses, and get anything from more than enough onsite parking to not nearly enough. For example, if only 50% of the 2+ bedroom units have 2 cars and only 20% of the 1 bedroom units, there are only 19 extra cars. If all of the 251 units have 2 cars, there’s a need for 502 spaces, which leaves 184 extra cars to be parked offsite.

From a Google map, I measured Gunpark Dr. between Spine and Lookout as 2000 feet, with parking on both sides, for a total of 4000 feet. There are 10 driveways and one street. Assuming a loss of 40 feet each, that leaves 3600 feet for parking. Assuming 18 feet per car, there’s room for 200 cars. So, even if one assumes 2 cars for each of Gunbarrel Center’s 251 units, all of them can be parked onsite or on Gunpark Dr. Absent Gunbarrel Center, there is essentially no overnight parking on Gunpark Dr. now, as the adjoining buildings are all commercial.

While I suppose one might object to the use of Gunpark Dr. for parking by Gunbarrel Center residents, this doesn’t seem fair to me. It’s a public street, and even residents of single-family homes with driveways and garages often use the public streets for parking. Most public streets in Gunbarrel are designed for that, especially Gunpark Dr., which, for some reason, is unusually wide.

UPDATE: Yesterday I left the house about 6:45AM to go to Longmont, but took a few minutes to swing by Gunpark Dr. and the King Soopers parking lot. I had heard from a developer friend who knows Gunbarrel better than anyone that the apartments were almost fully rented, so this was a good time to see what the parking situation was. I think the offices are mostly vacant, and I know the retail is, but neither of those need any parking at 7AM on a Sunday.

I would say Gunpark Dr. had about 30 or 40 cars, mostly clustered next to the Gunbarrel Center apartments, as you would expect. There was still room for another 150 or so cars. The King Soopers lot was nearly empty; it had maybe 25 cars. Since the store was open, those were mostly customers and employees.

So, I can say with some certainty that between my theoretical analysis and my actual observation early on a Sunday, Gunbarrel Center created no parking problem and no problem finding a parking space to shop at King Soopers.