CU-Boulder Proceeds With Lawsuit To Clarify County Authority Over CU-Boulder South Issues

first_imgShare Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Editors: Copies of the Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief are available upon request. The University of Colorado at Boulder announced today it is proceeding with its lawsuit, originally filed in December 2001, intended to clarify the authority of Boulder County on matters related to the CU-Boulder South property. In January 2002, the county and the university entered into a “standstill agreement” halting litigation while attempting to resolve the issues through discussion. Discussion failed to identify a solution to all the issues, according to Paul Tabolt, vice chancellor for administration, and the standstill agreement was terminated by mutual agreement. “These are very complex issues related to state jurisdiction and authority, and the university would like to have them resolved once and for all,” Tabolt said. “Unfortunately, that leads us to asking the court to make a determination so that we all know the ground rules.” While the lawsuit was on hold, the university obtained approval from the county to proceed with the construction of 12 tennis courts and associated parking spaces on the 308-acre site. Tabolt said the tennis court permit application process was “inordinately time-consuming, cumbersome and costly. Six public hearings were required before the county could agree to approve the tennis court application, including one hearing and two City Council meetings held by the City of Boulder.” Tabolt said the lawsuit asks the court to resolve questions about the applicability of the county’s land-use regulations to the university. “We do not believe the regulations can apply to a parcel of land that was zoned by the county for development long before the state delegated authority to the county to assist with regulations for areas and activities of state interest.” The university also asks the court to determine the county’s authority to expand the definition and designation of the floodplain within the property. In addition, the lawsuit questions the county’s delegation of authority to the City of Boulder, forcing any development permit to be reviewed not only by the county but by the city as well. Representatives of the university and the City of Boulder are scheduled to enter into negotiations on other issues concerning the property, including discussions about possible annexation.  The university’s purchase of the property was authorized in 1996 by the CU Board of Regents, the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) and the state of Colorado. Tabolt said the land was purchased as “a strategic acquisition designed to meet the long-term needs of the Boulder campus.” A 2001 master plan approved by the regents and CCHE outlined plans for use of the property for athletic and recreational purposes through 2008. Also in 2001, the regents approved a long-term Conceptual Land Use Assessment for the property that proposed designating 128 acres potentially developable for buildings; 82 acres preserved for natural wetlands and habitat areas; 45 acres for recreational fields and flood storage; an additional 32 acres for a combination of buildings, recreational fields and flood storage; and 10 acres for ponds. Published: Oct. 16, 2002 last_img