Alright, the meat and potatoes for tonight: CU South Annexation.…
We're gonna look at what the city/CU agrees on and what it doesn't, what the public engagement will look like over the next few months, and then get a brief update on flood mitigation that will occur here on land the uni is giving to the city.
Reminder: 308-are parcel. A very large parcel for annexation.
What is annexation? It's adding land into the city's official boundaries, and accessing city services (water, sewer)
I took notes but I'm probably going to tweet more of what I hear because it's such a complicated project that I want to get things 100% right. (Plus the ppl who watch this topic are hella mean, so I don't like to F stuff up.)
I mean, I never like messing up. But it's a lot easier to handle if you don't have people accusing you of being a shill or an incompetent fool.
You're going to hear many references to a "briefing book." What staff has done is taken a document developed in 2017, the CU South Guiding Principles, and broken it down in a more understandable format.
It really lays out, as Phil Kleisler says, "where we are in negotiations."

It's broken down by topic and includes what's been agreed upon and what hasn't.
Some of what's been agreed upon between CU and the city:
Using 80 acres (donated by the university) for open space and flood mitigation (dam, detention, floodwall)
36 will be used for flood work; 44 for open space
No buildings over 55 feet
No large sports stadiums, research facilities or high-rises

And some more stuff; see my story for more details.
What hasn't been hashed out yet:
Use of some Open Space - Other land for recreational fields
You might want to review my very excellent story on OSO.…
Basically it answers the question, When is open space not open space?
Anyway, the plan is to go to the public for engagement and ask “Is this going in the right direction?” for things that have been agreed upon (or mostly agreed upon) and “Under what conditions would you accept _____” for things that haven't.
A Be Heard Boulder survey is launching in December
Then the city will hold office hours (small group discussions with staff)
Dec. 1, 2–3p.m.
• Dec. 2, 10–11a.m.
• Dec. 7, 2–3p.m.
• Dec. 8, 2–3p.m.
• Dec. 15, 2–3p.m.
Council to give feedback on proposed annexation plan Jan/Feb 2021
Decision in June 2021 (Planning Board in April)
Some neighborhood meetings are planned as well. One scheduled in Martin Acres and others in the works.
Here's another staff presentation I forgot to link to:…
"There will be a part 2" to public engagement period, planner Jean Gatza says, specific to transportation.
More like Part 200. This has been going on for YEARS.

In fact, let's go over some history, shall we?
CU purchased site (former gravel mine) in 1999
Requested land use changes to Comp Plan in 2000, 2006 to prep for future annexation

City delayed until flood mitigation study could be completed for South Boulder Creek
SBC Master Plan accepted Aug. 4, 2015, which recommended detention near U.S. 36

CU South guiding principles developed in 2017

Flood design was OK'd this year.…
OH WAIT. That second presentation I shared was from CU, who is up now. Derek Silva.
The university submitted an updated application on Oct. 5
"We're currently working on developing a design guidelines supplement," to cover things like how height limit will be measured? How to define clustered village style of architecture? Silva says.
That's been a big sticking point for council (and critics) in the past: Boulder won't have as much say on what gets built there, bc normally annexations have detailed site design. But this one is so big, and CU is so far away from planning this campus out.
Plus the university is a state entity and doesn't have to adhere to Boulder's building laws for things like height, density, etc.

But Boulder needs the land for flood mitigation, sooner rather than later.
Even if everything stays on track and annexation is approved this year, completion of flood mitigation is 6 years away.
Anyway, Silva says that design guidelines submitted as part of the annexation will be "somewhat binding to us in the future" bc it will be part of the annexation agreement.
RE: Keeping public access, Silva says the uni would "love to" keep access. Has suggested a running track, some space for dogs (lots of ppl walk their dogs now) and possibly athletic fields that can also be used by the community.
"We'd love to have this site be integrated into the community in a way that would draw a really positive opinion," Silva says. "We know there's been a lot of contention out there" bc we can't commit to detailed designs.
RE: Integration, that makes sense. The main campus is pretty open and available to the public. I love going through there when there aren't any / as many students. Not a lot of amenities available to the public, aside from space and trails, but still.
Swetlik: What questions/concerns rise to the level of the Board of Regents? (CU's governing body, so to speak. Members are elected.)
Silva: "We think our offer is a good offer. We don't think there's going to be a need to go back" to the regents.
But we'll go back if this agreement substantively changes, Silva says. And they have to OK land conveyance, so we can donate acreage to Boulder.
Brockett: Are you asking us to weigh in on the items in the Briefing Booklet? Or just the approach as a whole for public process purposes?
The latter, Kleisler says.
Friend: Does the Transportation Advisory Board get to touch this at all?
No, Kleisler says. Council would have to officially ask for that.
A multi-modal transportation hub is slated for the site, FYI. Not under Boulder purview, but there will be transportation studies and such.

There was something in the book about a possible "diet" to ensure a maximum number of trips. But I'll need more info on that to explain.
Silva (in response to Young q I missed): We've agreed to build to the city's height limit and to measure height the way the city does. That's an example of what's in the Briefing Book that wasn't addressed in the guiding principles.
Wallach up now. His Sigh-O-Meter is currently at zero, but I predict rapid escalation.
He emailed in 12+ questions that indicate his serious skepticism.
"Seek out he various groups within neighborhood communities and affected communities, whether it's HOAs or neighborhood associations, so they can be well briefed," he encourages staff.
Guess I was wrong. Wallach Sigh-O-Meter: 0
But there's still time.
Friend: Have we considered renderings of potential future development?
Kleisler: "We were hesitant bc once you see a block there without windows" — staff loves using those — it causes alarm.
But CU does intend at some point to illustrate the planned "clustered village" type of buildings they are going for.
Brockett: It might be helpful on the website to do FAQ and then also use that to correct misinformation. "We might be able to address some of those misunderstandings out there."
Also wants to give TAB an opportunity to weigh in. Traffic studies should be completed in late January.
Friend says "marshmallow-looking building." Yum.
Swetlik: "Annexation is not a bell we can unring."
"The worst thing we can do is feel like somebody has been unheard," Swetlik says.
Weaver: "There's an extremely small possibility that nothing will happen on this property" but the much more likely possibility is that flood protection will happen. "We do want to put the reality out there that there's a high likelihood something will happen."
He's speaking to the point of neighbors who don't want anything to be built there. Or, rather, only flood mitigation. They want CU to develop somewhere else. (Or, possibly, not at all.)
Apparently access to 93 may be back on the table...? That's been a historic no-go, but circumstances have changed, Weaver said, since there won't be a Northwest Parkway connector through the area.
Weaver: If we're going to do myth-busting, we need to stick to facts. "Some things that people think are misinformation are really just differences of opinion."
He and Brockett agree that 3D modeling of buildings is a bad idea since we don't know what those will look like. "Based on experience," opponents of the project tend to take those and run with them.
Council votes unanimously to have TAB provide input on the transportation portion of the annexation.
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