Although the CU South annexation agreement was approved last month, the road is far from over for the project that’s been the source of discussion and debate for years in Boulder.

In addition to seeing a likely referendum in the 2022 election, Boulder voters on Nov. 2 will cast a vote on Ballot Measure 302, commonly known as Let the Voters Decide on Annexation of CU South.

The measure would require a vote on the annexation agreement that’s meant to outline a path forward for flood mitigation work and potential development at the 308-acre property — at least ahead of the provision of any city utilities, aside from flood control facilities.

It also would require a number of specific details to be included within the agreement. A site plan, a transportation plan and financial projections for publicly paid costs are among those details. The University of Colorado Boulder — owner of the property at U.S. 36 and Table Mesa Drive recently annexed into Boulder city limits — has said it’s years off from preparing a formal master plan for the site.

The annexation agreement proceeded well before the university was ready to begin planning because Boulder needs a portion of the land for the 100-year South Boulder Creek flood mitigation project, which is meant to protect 2,300 residents downstream from the property. The area was among the hardest hit in the 2013 flood. The university offered Boulder a portion of the land in exchange for the provision of city services such as water and sewer.

Campaign organizers are pushing for a vote for a variety of reasons. Many would prefer the land to remain open space, and ballot measure supporters argue the city-approved 100-year flood mitigation project isn’t sufficient in the midst of the climate crisis.

But perhaps more than anything, they say more specificity is needed in the annexation agreement.

“The only thing that is enforceable is what is in the annexation agreement,” Save South Boulder co-chair Marki LeCompte said.

The agreement stipulates that Boulder will be allowed to review the university’s plans for the site and provide suggestions. However, CU Boulder is under no obligation to accept those changes unless it specifically goes against a requirement contained within the agreement.

The annexation agreement passed last month via an emergency measure, primarily out of an expectation that a referendum was coming. City officials said during the hearing that doing so would allow initial permitting work for the South Boulder Creek flood mitigation project to continue.

Opponents of the ballot measure say the project’s importance is far simpler than some might have people think. Approval of the annexation agreement allows flood mitigation work to happen, and that matters above all, organizers with opposition group Protect Our Neighbors said.

“It’s been eight years (since the 2013 flood),” former Mayor Leslie Durgin said. “People remain at risk.”

Plus, CU Boulder intends to build academic facilities, a multimodal transportation hub and affordable housing, all of which ballot measure opponents view as a positive.

Durgin and fellow organizers with Protect Our Neighbors also argue the ballot measure is an attempt to delay the project.

“We don’t know what will happen if annexation is postponed, delayed or refused,” Durgin said.

The agreement that’s been approved dictates what can happen on the property, and it includes some stipulations around any future sale, including a right of first offer for Boulder.

Ultimately, the full impact of the ballot measure, which is supported by those involved with PLAN-Boulder County and Save South Boulder, some of whom are former city officials, isn’t fully clear, in part because the Boulder City Council has already approved the annexation agreement in a 6-1 vote on Sept. 21. Councilmember Mirabai Nagle was the dissenting vote.

While the City Attorney’s Office at one time expressed that approval of the annexation agreement would make the ballot measure irrelevant, this is not certain. And even if that is the city’s official determination, campaign organizers have said they’d fight it in court.

“We pulled out all the stops that are legally available to us except going to court, and we’ll do that if we have to, to make sure the community gets to vote on this thing,” LeCompte said.

And the referendum, if approved, could change the dynamic as well. Organizers on Thursday submitted signatures that are currently being reviewed for sufficiency.

“The key thing is that 302 is now absolutely relevant because of the referendum,” PLAN-Boulder co-chair Peter Mayer said. “Really, what it does is it sets up a future. To annex CU South, there would be a future vote and a set of conditions.”

Those opposed to the ballot measure have said decisions involving complex annexation agreements are ones in which representative democracy works best.

Organizers with Protect Our Neighbors argue the agreement is difficult for the layperson to comprehend. The process has been exhaustive, organizer Jon Carroll said, adding that it’s time to put trust in the City Council, the elected officials who represent Boulder residents.

“Letting folks decide on whether 2,300 people should be left in harm’s way doesn’t seem like the right thing to do,” Carroll said.

Carroll lives near the CU South site in one of the neighborhoods most impacted by the 2013 flood.

Protect Our Neighbors is endorsed by a number of community organizations, including the Boulder Chamber and the Sierra Club. It also has the support of a variety of community members, including current and former city officials such as Mayor Sam Weaver and Mayor Pro Tem Junie Joseph as well as current councilmembers Aaron Brockett, Rachel Friend, Adam Swetlik, Mark Wallach, Bob Yates and Mary Young.

Aside from Yates and Joseph, who recused themselves from the vote due to previous employment with the university, the remaining endorsements come from the six councilmembers who voted in favor of the agreement.

In terms of being affected by the 2013 flood, LeCompte said many ballot measure proponents are in circumstances similar to those in opposition.

“Most of the people who are working on the Save CU South project are people who experienced pretty serious flooding in 2013,” LeCompte said. “We’re about the last people in the world who want to slow down flood mitigation.”

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Although the CU South annexation agreement was approved last month, the road is far from over for the project that’s been the source of discussion and debate for years in Boulder.

In addition to seeing a likely referendum in the 2022 election, Boulder voters on Nov. 2 will cast a vote on Ballot Measure 302, commonly known as Let the Voters Decide on Annexation of CU South.

The measure would require a vote on the annexation agreement that’s meant to outline a path forward for flood mitigation work and potential development at the 308-acre property — at least ahead of the provision of any city utilities, aside from flood control facilities.

It also would require a number of specific details to be included within the agreement. A site plan, a transportation plan and financial projections for publicly paid costs are among those details. The University of Colorado Boulder — owner of the property at U.S. 36 and Table Mesa Drive recently annexed into Boulder city limits — has said it’s years off from preparing a formal master plan for the site.

The annexation agreement proceeded well before the university was ready to begin planning because Boulder needs a portion of the land for the 100-year South Boulder Creek flood mitigation project, which is meant to protect 2,300 residents downstream from the property. The area was among the hardest hit in the 2013 flood. The university offered Boulder a portion of the land in exchange for the provision of city services such as water and sewer.

Campaign organizers are pushing for a vote for a variety of reasons. Many would prefer the land to remain open space, and ballot measure supporters argue the city-approved 100-year flood mitigation project isn’t sufficient in the midst of the climate crisis.

But perhaps more than anything, they say more specificity is needed in the annexation agreement.

“The only thing that is enforceable is what is in the annexation agreement,” Save South Boulder co-chair Marki LeCompte said.

The agreement stipulates that Boulder will be allowed to review the university’s plans for the site and provide suggestions. However, CU Boulder is under no obligation to accept those changes unless it specifically goes against a requirement contained within the agreement.

The annexation agreement passed last month via an emergency measure, primarily out of an expectation that a referendum was coming. City officials said during the hearing that doing so would allow initial permitting work for the South Boulder Creek flood mitigation project to continue.

Opponents of the ballot measure say the project’s importance is far simpler than some might have people think. Approval of the annexation agreement allows flood mitigation work to happen, and that matters above all, organizers with opposition group Protect Our Neighbors said.

“It’s been eight years (since the 2013 flood),” former Mayor Leslie Durgin said. “People remain at risk.”

Plus, CU Boulder intends to build academic facilities, a multimodal transportation hub and affordable housing, all of which ballot measure opponents view as a positive.

Durgin and fellow organizers with Protect Our Neighbors also argue the ballot measure is an attempt to delay the project.

“We don’t know what will happen if annexation is postponed, delayed or refused,” Durgin said.

The agreement that’s been approved dictates what can happen on the property, and it includes some stipulations around any future sale, including a right of first offer for Boulder.

Ultimately, the full impact of the ballot measure, which is supported by those involved with PLAN-Boulder County and Save South Boulder, some of whom are former city officials, isn’t fully clear, in part because the Boulder City Council has already approved the annexation agreement in a 6-1 vote on Sept. 21. Councilmember Mirabai Nagle was the dissenting vote.

While the City Attorney’s Office at one time expressed that approval of the annexation agreement would make the ballot measure irrelevant, this is not certain. And even if that is the city’s official determination, campaign organizers have said they’d fight it in court.

“We pulled out all the stops that are legally available to us except going to court, and we’ll do that if we have to, to make sure the community gets to vote on this thing,” LeCompte said.

And the referendum, if approved, could change the dynamic as well. Organizers on Thursday submitted signatures that are currently being reviewed for sufficiency.

“The key thing is that 302 is now absolutely relevant because of the referendum,” PLAN-Boulder co-chair Peter Mayer said. “Really, what it does is it sets up a future. To annex CU South, there would be a future vote and a set of conditions.”

Those opposed to the ballot measure have said decisions involving complex annexation agreements are ones in which representative democracy works best.

Organizers with Protect Our Neighbors argue the agreement is difficult for the layperson to comprehend. The process has been exhaustive, organizer Jon Carroll said, adding that it’s time to put trust in the City Council, the elected officials who represent Boulder residents.

“Letting folks decide on whether 2,300 people should be left in harm’s way doesn’t seem like the right thing to do,” Carroll said.

Carroll lives near the CU South site in one of the neighborhoods most impacted by the 2013 flood.

Protect Our Neighbors is endorsed by a number of community organizations, including the Boulder Chamber and the Sierra Club. It also has the support of a variety of community members, including current and former city officials such as Mayor Sam Weaver and Mayor Pro Tem Junie Joseph as well as current councilmembers Aaron Brockett, Rachel Friend, Adam Swetlik, Mark Wallach, Bob Yates and Mary Young.

Aside from Yates and Joseph, who recused themselves from the vote due to previous employment with the university, the remaining endorsements come from the six councilmembers who voted in favor of the agreement.

In terms of being affected by the 2013 flood, LeCompte said many ballot measure proponents are in circumstances similar to those in opposition.

“Most of the people who are working on the Save CU South project are people who experienced pretty serious flooding in 2013,” LeCompte said. “We’re about the last people in the world who want to slow down flood mitigation.”

, Although CU South annexation was approved, Boulder voters will see a… , Deborah Swearingen , 2021-10-24 18:00:14 , Boulder Daily Camera , https://www.dailycamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/DCC-L-CUSouthF9A9883.jpg.jpg?w=1400px&strip=all , https://www.dailycamera.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/DCC-L-CUSouthF9A9883.jpg.jpg?w=1024&h=683 , [rule_{ruleNumber}] , [rule_{ruleNumber}_plain] , , , https://www.dailycamera.com/2021/10/24/although-cu-south-annexation-was-approved-boulder-voters-will-see-a-cu-south-related-ballot-measure-nov-2/ , https://www.dailycamera.com/2021/10/24/although-cu-south-annexation-was-approved-boulder-voters-will-see-a-cu-south-related-ballot-measure-nov-2/ , www.dailycamera.com , https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailycamera.com%2F2021%2F10%2F24%2Falthough-cu-south-annexation-was-approved-boulder-voters-will-see-a-cu-south-related-ballot-measure-nov-2%2F , Colorado News,Latest Headlines,Local News,News,Politics,2021 election, #South #annexation #approved #Boulder #voters