Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan Open House

People vulnerable to flooding when South Boulder Creek overtops U.S. 36 achieved a win in August 2015 when Boulder’s City Council voted unanimously to approve the South Boulder Creek Flood Mitigation Study/Option D.

Unfortunately, our work isn’t done.  In order to move forward with Option D, the city must negotiate with University of Colorado to use 80+ acres of property owned by CU known informally as CU South.  CU is expected to request annexation into the City of Boulder as part of the negotiation process. The city, having received pushback in the last year about how they solicit citizen input on every issue, is not only bracing for resistance from people who oppose annexation, they are actively seeking to make sure those voices get heard.

As the project becomes noisier it’s imperative that the point of view of people who support flood mitigation and see annexation as an opportunity to assert control over what happens at CU South, also has a place.

You are invited (and encouraged!) to join us at one or both of the following events coming up in the next two weeks.  This is emotional work for those of us who experienced some of the worst flooding in Boulder in 2013, but it is also rewarding.

City Council Meeting
Tuesday, September 20th, 6:00 pm
Council Chambers
1777 Broadway
Boulder, Colorado

Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan – Open House
Monday, September 26th, 2016, 5:00 to 7:00 pm
St Paul’s United Methodist Church
4215 Grinnell Ave.
Boulder, Colorado

Option D Approved!

Boulder’s City Council voted unanimously to approve the South Boulder Creek Flood Mitigation Planning Study/Option D last night! Read the full story in the Daily CameraSouth Boulder Creek flood mitigation moves forward. Here are a few excerpts

To the cheers of south Boulder residents, including several dozen people from the Frasier Meadows retirement community, the City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve “Option D” for South Boulder Creek mitigation.

The plan calls for the construction of a berm in Colorado Department of Transportation right-of-way and detention facilities on land owned by the university for a future south campus.

In addition to reducing the flood risk for a large portion of southeast Boulder, the berm and detention facilities should also keep U.S. 36 open in a major flood event, officials said.

The option was developed at the urging of area residents and avoids potential environmental impacts of an earlier proposal to build the berm on city-owned open space.

DOT has already done environmental mitigation in the area for a multi-use path along U.S. 36.

. . .

Residents of Frasier Meadows recounted harrowing stories of close calls in the flood of September 2013.

Dick Leupold said his wife, who was very ill at the time of the flood, was rescued from rising floodwaters but died two months later. He said he’ll always wonder if the flood hastened her death.

Ryan Eisenbraun said the residents of two apartment buildings he owns on Thunderbird Circle, including families with young children, had to escape powerful floodwaters and lost everything they owned.

“Residents were literally thrown across the room by the power of rushing water,” he said. “Some residents had to escape through broken windows because doors were mangled. Appliances were pushed through drywall.”

Rick Mahan of the South Boulder Creek Action Group said the flood’s impact is often characterized as water in basements, but in his neighborhood, it was “44 inches of rushing water.”

Councilwoman Lisa Morzel, who recalled working on flood mitigation plans years ago, said she understands residents of south Boulder live with trauma and fear from the 2013 floods.

“The city has to help stop that pain, and we have to do what we’re supposed to do, which is protect your lives and property,” Morzel said. “I hope we can move as fast as possible on this.”

Dear Neighbors

On Tuesday, August 4th, 2015 Boulder’s City Council will vote on a slate of proposals to prevent South Boulder Creek floodwaters from overtopping U.S. 36.

If flood mitigation is approved, it has the potential to remove many homes in Boulder, Colorado from the South Boulder Creek 100-year flood plain, and would mitigate the effects of a 500-year flood.

If City Council fails to proceed with plans to mitigate flooding at South Boulder Creek then it will fail to protect vulnerable residents in and near Boulder’s Frasier and Keewaydin Meadows neighborhoods – a diverse area containing single family homes, apartments, townhomes and Frasier Meadows Retirement Community –  from the overtopping of U.S. 36 that happened in the flood of September 2013.