What Save South Boulder Supports
We want flood mitigation for the South Boulder Creek floodplain, but we must get this right. The current process has been entirely driven by CU’s desire for developable land and political expediency, rather than sensible flood mitigation.
We support comprehensive floodplain management with 500-year flood mitigation that uses structural and non-structural solutions and takes as much of the CU South property as necessary to provide adequate protection.
We believe that priority should be placed on developing a sensible and cost-effective flood mitigation project for South Boulder Creek that maximizes protection of open space and endangered habitat prior to the CU-South property being put to any other use.
We support a win-win solution that exchanges the South Boulder Creek floodplain for a higher, drier, less sensitive site for CU's new campus.
We oppose moving forward with the Variant 1 flood mitigation design
We oppose moving forward with the Variant, 100-year flood mitigation design for South Boulder Creek:
- It limits mitigation to a 100-year flood event, in the face of climate change induced events of much greater severity. Boulder’s greatest flood expert, Gilbert White, repeatedly exhorted the City to plan for a higher level of flood protection than 100-year. The County mandates that CU’s land must be raised above the 500-year flood level, largely because of Gilbert White’s work, but the Variant 100-year provides citizens of Boulder far less protection than it does CU’s property.
- We believe that the Boulder City staff and its consultants have inadequately studied the complexities of flood mitigation in South Boulder and City Council is unwisely rushing decisions on both flood mitigation and annexation in ways that are damaging to our community.
- Serious consideration was not given to alternatives more congruent with current federal recommendations that flood avoidance and mitigation be pursued, rather than flood control dams. We believe an upstream detention strategy should be considered and vetted as thoroughly as other options considered. Analysis the City has conducted to date is inadequate to evaluate both upstream detention opportunities and the full range of structural and non-structural flood mitigation solutions possible.
- Despite being tasked to do so by City Council in 2018, none of the critical studies of ground water, surface water flows, topography, soil characteristics, geotechnical issues, wildlife and habitat inventories have been completed, or their results reported to the public, the City’s advisory boards, and City Council. A good and sustainable decision cannot be made without this critical information.
- The City Council’s impending decision is not backed up by comprehensive analysis of its impact on nearby residential areas upstream from the proposed dam, as well as adjacent to and downstream from it.
- The proposed Variant I would take 5-7 years to complete, once preliminary engineering designs drawn up.
- Enormous costs, currently estimated between $30 to $45 million, are associated with Variant 1 as proposed, despite its limitations and no guarantees that regulatory agencies would grant permits for it.
- These costs will be paid for by Boulder residents, through large increases in the flood protection assessment fees in their utility bills. These could more than double.
- We Oppose CU’s ill-advised plans to construct 1250 residential units, 8 academic buildings, parking lots, playing fields, athletic facilities and other infrastructure on its mined-out quarry pit. This site, with its high-water table, and its location in the middle of a floodplain, on unstable and slumping soil, and in an already overly-congested part of Boulder, is completely inappropriate for any such development.
We believe that Boulder residents and taxpayers should have a say in how much and what kind of development should be undertaken at CU-South.