CU South’s tangled web

It seems like everywhere I go in the last few weeks the topic of CU South comes up and most people are a little confused. Some are asking if they even need to vote on the issue of Ballot 302, also known as Let Voters Decide on CU South Annex, since City Council settled the matter last month by approving annexation.

Sean Maher For the camera

And then there’s the referendum that opponents of CU South handed down last week with many signatures to be on the ballot next year. How does this relate to 302 and will it affect the city council vote that has already taken place?

This is where things get a bit tricky. Several scenarios could arise, but the best place to start is to understand the relationship between the 302 initiative and the referendum that has just been handed over to the city clerk. Voting measure 302 creates a myriad of conditions the University of Colorado Boulder and the city must meet before annexation can take place. But the initiative only had teeth if it passed before the end of the annexation. Since city council approved the deal last month, 302 has had no impact on its own, as the Boulder city attorney’s office previously noted.

This is where the referendum comes in. This measure will likely be on the ballot next year and would allow voters to reverse the annexation. If he wins, CU South will return outside of city limits.

So how does this all fit together and what does this mean for the future of CU South? To understand this, let’s look at the scenarios. First, if both measures are rejected, the annexation is final and the future of CU Sud will unfold on the agreed terms. Deal concluded. The same is true if 302 passes but next year’s referendum fails.

If 302 fails this year but the referendum passes next year, then the annexation would be reversed but it could be re-approved quite quickly by the next city council without all the obstacles imposed by 302. It would be a bit awkward but CU Sud le probably would. proceed as planned with possible adjustments.

The only scenario that effectively kills annexation is if 302 passes this year and the referendum passes next year. This would reverse the deal and progress on CU South would be halted until the city and university met all the requirements set out in 302. These obstacles are designed to be insurmountable and would likely be the end of CU South in some form. close to what is currently expected.

So, for those of us who support annexation, the best case scenario is the first where both measures fail. The worst is by far the last where they both pass. It would effectively kill a deal that offers huge benefits to the city, including flood control for 2,300 residents, open space for all of us, and critically needed affordable housing.

I won’t go into all of these benefits in detail, as they have been covered extensively in this journal through countless letters to the editor and guest editorials. By now you probably already know whether you support CU South or oppose it.

Hope you have weighed the facts and agree with our City Council, Mayor Sam Weaver and former Mayors Will Toor, Leslie Durgin, Matt Applebaum and Suzanne Jones that this is a lot for Boulder as well as CU Boulder. .

If so, don’t assume that your vote on 302 doesn’t matter. It matters a lot, so fill out your ballot and vote no out of 302.

Sean Maher is the CEO of RRC Associates in Boulder. He can be reached at [email protected]

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