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City to Consider JeffCo Offer


By

photo courtesy COB

At its December 21, 2010 meeting, the Boulder City Council will consider the Jefferson County Commissioners’ offer of $5M toward the purchase of a key open space parcel (“Section 16”) in exchange for Boulder’s neutrality on the proposed Jefferson Parkway.  In preparation for Tuesday’s discussion staff has drafted a resolution supporting the deal, with some conditions.  The text of the draft resolution is reprinted at the bottom of this article.

The item is on the council’s agenda under “Matters from Mayor and Members of Council” and is not listed as a public hearing, though members of the public may offer their thoughts during public participation at the beginning of the City Council meeting or toward the end, after the Matters discussion.  The council meeting starts at 5:00 p.m.  Citizens planning to speak should check the city’s website for late updates to the schedule.

A copy of the JeffCo offer (also in the form of a resolution) and additional background may be found in Alan Bole’s Blue Line article, as well as in Blue Line articles by the League of Women Voters of Jefferson CountyDick Sugg, Liz Payton, and Leroy Moore.


Draft resolution:

RESOLUTION NO. _______

A RESOLUTION COMMITTING TO WORK

TOWARDS A REGIONAL VISION OF THE

NORTHWEST QUADRANT OF JEFFERSON COUNTY.

THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BOULDER, COLORADO, FINDS AND

RECITES THAT:

The Boulder City Council has consistently opposed the construction of the Jefferson Parkway (the “Parkway”), a proposed toll road that would connect the Northwest Parkway and Highway 93 through Broomfield and Jefferson Counties, because of environmental concerns and because of the potential impacts of increased traffic and development pressure that the Parkway would have upon the City of Boulder and its citizens; and

Substantial progress has been made towards a longstanding vision for the Highway 93 corridor that centers on open space preservation in southern Boulder County, preservation of the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, the preservation of open space in northern Jefferson County west of the Refuge, and connectivity between the Refuge and nearby open space; and

In an attempt to mitigate the potential adverse impacts of the Parkway, the City of Boulder has sought to convert additional undeveloped land into open space within the Highway 93 corridor in northern Jefferson County; and

The City of Boulder, Jefferson County, Boulder County and the City of Golden (the “Local Governments”) have agreed to work together in an effort to achieve a regional vision for the northwest quadrant of Jefferson County that would enable construction of the Parkway in a manner that balances interests of communities that support construction of the Parkway with preservation of open space, wildlife corridors and habitat, and construction of local transportation infrastructure improvements; and

The City of Boulder appreciates the willingness of the other Local Governments to work towards a collaborative regional vision that meets the interests of all entities; and

Enacting the regional vision will take, at a minimum, the cooperation of the Local Governments, private entities with leasehold rights, the Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners, and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service; and

The shared regional vision cannot be achieved without binding commitments on behalf of the Local Governments in the form of one or more intergovernmental agreements.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF

BOULDER, COLORADO:

The Boulder City Council hereby pledges that it will work in good faith with the Local Governments to enter into one or more intergovernmental agreements that include the following elements:

1. An agreement by Jefferson County to commit $5,000,000, along with an amount equating to the appraised value of Woman Creek Gulch, towards the acquisition of real property interests to be dedicated to publicly-owned open space along the Highway 93 corridor in northern Jefferson County. It is the Local Governments’ intent that this contribution will be placed in escrow to go towards the acquisition of the surface and mineral interests, with priority given to surface interests, in Section 16, located south of the Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge and owned by the State of Colorado Board of Land Commissioners, with the shared goal that Section 16 will eventually be transferred to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service for inclusion in the Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge or other permanent wildlife conservation status.

2. A pledge by Jefferson County, in addition to contributing funds and supporting the acquisition of property interests, to also support the efforts of the other Local Governments and/or their agents to raise additional funds necessary to acquire all property interests in Section 16, including but not limited to, supporting applications for Natural Resource Damages funding.

3. Assurances that if it is not possible, for any reason, for the Local Governments to acquire all or part of the property interests in Section 16, Jefferson County’s contribution may, upon the City of Boulder’s consent, be used to acquire other property interests in Jefferson County along the Highway 93 corridor that will assist in mitigating the impacts of the Parkway and associated development.

4. An agreement by the City of Boulder to contribute acquisition funds and administrative and political support towards the acquisition of Section 16, or other substitute lands, for open space and wildlife conservation so long as other Local Governments reciprocate. The City of Boulder also agrees to work with the other Local Governments to seek contributions from other interested governmental entities; and

5. Pending receipt of the above commitments, communication by the City of Boulder of withdrawal of its opposition to the acquisition of right-of-way for the Parkway by the Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority along the eastern edge of the Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge and adoption of a neutral position on construction of the Parkway as a toll-funded road, without state or federal transportation funds, in the configuration proposed in the Denver Regional Council of Governments Fiscally Constrained Regional Transportation Plan.

If any of these elements are not met and the Local Governments are not able to enter into one or more intergovernmental agreements upon these terms, the Local Governments shall not be bound by any of the terms of this Resolution or the shared regional vision the Local Governments are trying to forge.

APPROVED this 21st day of December 2010.

___________________________________

Mayor

ATTEST:

_________________________________

City Clerk on behalf of the

Director of Finance and Record

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