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Council candidates eager to serve city

Change is on the horizon for City Council as voters will have the opportunity to choose two members during the upcoming election.

James Howard Adams is the lone incumbent candidate. He is being challenged by Cokie Booth, Rose Marie Hess, Valerie McNay and Steve Walton. Councilwoman Claudia Bridges is not seeking re-election.

“I’m running because I think there is more work to be done,” said Adams, who was elected to City Council in 2019.

He said the accomplishment he is most proud of during his first term is the “increased transparency” he helped bring about with putting all the committee meetings online.

An important issue facing Adams and all the candidates is the current proposal for Tract 350 that includes smaller lot sizes for future homes near the golf course. If it goes through, the city could make $28.5 million over the course of the project.

Tract 350 is a 45-acre parcel of land adjacent to the northeast portion of Boulder Creek Golf Club and south of Adams Boulevard.

The accepted proposal from Toll Brothers, a luxury home developer, has 177 lots in two developments. They will be zoned for R1-5 and R1-7, meaning the lot size will be a minimum of 5,000 and 7,000 square feet, respectively. All the homes will be 1,750 to 1,850 square feet.

Adams said he thinks the proposal “comports” with the city’s controlled growth ordinance and would provide a variety of new homes.

“We need to be cognizant of the variety of the needs of the community as a whole,” he said. “For us to continue to build large homes on large lots that only fit a small segment of the community’s needs is not wise. … At the end of the day, I don’t think only millionaires should be able to live by the golf course.”

Adams also said he has “no problem” with the smaller lot size proposed for the project.

McNay is the only other candidate who isn’t worried about the smaller lot size proposed for Tract 350.

“I think that I’m not so concerned about the 5,000-square-foot lot size,” she said. “Toll Brothers are known for luxury homes. I have seen pictures of their home designs on 5,000-square-foot lots, and they looked great. … I think it would look OK and not damage property values.”

McNay said she is participating in the election process because she loves Boulder City and because she was urged to run so that the city would have to hold a primary election.

She has lived in Boulder City for 28 years.

Booth does not agree with the proposal for Tract 350.

“The high-density housing project, as proposed, does not conform to our standard zoning or make sense,” she said. “This current proposed project does not conform to the slow-growth ordinance or the historic charm of our community.”

Booth, a former planning commissioner, also said she is against “proposed duplexes without any amenities” like a park, pool or basketball court.

“(They) do not fulfill the requirement or city ordinances and undermine the zoning process including public hearings, zoning committee recommendations to the City Council and reduce the trust of citizens in local government through the lack of transparency,” she added.

Booth is a real estate broker and president of Boulder City Community Club. She has lived in town for 36 years and said she is running for City Council to give back to the community.

“Boulder City to me is like family,” she said. “If someone is down and out, we all rally to help. I want to give back because of the people in the community. They are my family.”

She ran in the 2021 election and was defeated by Councilman Matt Fox.

This election is Hess’ first, and she said she is honored with the possibility of representing the city that has given so much to her.

“I love Boulder City. … I feel I can help make a difference and keep the community wholesome, keep its small-town feel,” she said.

Like Booth, she does not agree with the proposal for Tract 350, but she does think it is following the city’s controlled growth ordinance. Specifically, she said the location is wrong.

“That’s not ideal for families,” she said. “We need to find another location for affordable homes for people who want to move to town and are not located near a golf course.”

Walton said he didn’t think the approved proposal follows the spirit of the original ballot question approved by the voters in 2010. He said that question asked if the land could be sold to put approximately 100 homes on the parcel. He also said Toll Brothers’ proposal does not fit the zoning that’s nearby.

“This proposal suits the developer, not the community,” he said. “I don’t begrudge the developer the price per acre. It comes down to the community and what it prioritizes. … I don’t think it follows the will of the voters and the public input.”

Walton is a longtime Boulder City resident and said he is running because he is a “public servant.”

“From volunteer work as a youth, through my firefighter career and community involvement my entire adult life,” he said. “With 24 years living and serving in Boulder City, I can bring my very relevant experiences, perspective and skills to help our community thrive while we maintain our unique identity and historic culture.”

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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