CU Boulder South

The University of Colorado Boulder continues to seek an annexation agreement with the city of Boulder that would provide both community and university benefits, including a city flood mitigation project for which the university is donating land, as well as a significant boost to the city’s housing stock. Annexation would support the development of 129 acres at CU Boulder South for which the predominant use would be housing for upper-division undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and staff, along with limited academic uses. University and city officials are discussing various scenarios for a successful annexation agreement with the potential for City Council approval in the fall of 2021. Until then, CU Boulder remains committed to working collaboratively with the city to arrive at an equitable agreement that will support our academic and research missions as the state’s flagship public research university and meet the needs of the community.

Annexation Updates

CU Boulder owns a 308-acre parcel of land near U.S. 36 and Table Mesa Drive called CU Boulder South, and the university is asking the city to annex the land to enable CU Boulder to develop the property while donating land for a flood mitigation project that will protect downstream neighborhoods. 

The annexation process will conclude with a legally binding document that further defines restrictions on and requirements for development, giving assurance to the community on the type of development they can expect on the site in the future. The university and the city are currently negotiating the details of annexation, including the university’s offer to donate 80 acres for the city’s flood mitigation efforts and for open space.

The university is committed to working on this negotiation process with the city as a willing partner and seeks an annexation solution that helps both the city’s flood mitigation efforts while enabling CU Boulder to fulfill its mission as the state’s flagship higher education institution. An “Annexation Briefing Book” has been created by the city to document the annexation process. 

The city and the university are using the CU South Guiding Principles (included in the 2015 Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan update) as a starting point to “translate” key points to specific and legally binding annexation terms.

CU Boulder would develop clustered, village-style housing no higher than 55 feet for non-first year students, faculty and staff on 129 acres (“Public Tract”), along with some limited academic uses and an additional 30 acres reserved for recreation fields.

The university has committed to designing buildings that protect and complement the city’s mountain views and that model resiliency and sustainability. It would not build large sports venues, high-rise buildings or large research complexes on the property. CU Boulder would also create a multimodal hub and performance-based transportation standards to mitigate traffic impacts in the community.
The site would remain open to residents for recreation CU would also enhance existing or complete trail connections. In addition, CU Boulder would seek opportunities to protect the scenic and natural value of undeveloped areas.

The annexation process involves several community engagement and city board and council meetings. This process is managed by the City of Boulder and more information can be found on the city’s project webpage.