If you go

What: Boulder Planning Board meeting

When: 6 p.m. Thursday

Where: 1777 Broadway, City Council Chambers

More info: bouldercolorado.gov

A proposal to redevelop the historic Silver Saddle Motel that's marked the western entrance to Boulder since the 1940s is going before the Boulder Planning Board on Thursday.

The owners of the 6-acre property and a development partner want the site at 90 Arapahoe Ave. annexed into the city as medium-density residential zoning so they can build mainly duplexes and triplexes.

At the same time, Boulder's September School is asking the city to annex the neighboring Nuzum Gardens property, where the small, 44-year-old private high school plans to move in the fall.

Both also are asking for review and comment on the concept plan design for the two properties.

City staff members are recommending approval of the annexations. If approved, the annexations then would go to City Council for a vote.

Boulder architect Adrian Sopher, who's working in cooperation on the project with the motel's owners, the Remington family, said the Silver Saddle Motel redevelopment has been in the works for three years.


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"The property has been around a long time and gone through many changes," Sopher said of the property at the mouth of Boulder Canyon. "The owners are not able to keep it up. They need to make a change."

The proposal is for a total of 52 units, compared to the current 17 units, with almost half of the units designated as permanently affordable.

A quarter of the permanently affordable units would be priced to be affordable to low- or moderate-income households, while the rest would be priced for middle-income households.

Thirty units are planned as duplexes, 18 as triplexes and one as a fourplex.

Plans call for the iconic Silver Saddle sign, the home office and the first row of bungalows that are visible from the street to remain on the site and be landmarked.

The proposal also includes donating 2.67 acres at the top of the property, where there are steep slopes, to the city as open space.

Sopher also is working with September School on its plan to develop a campus on the Nuzum property, at 96 Arapahoe Ave.

The property currently includes a duplex, historic barn and shed.

In 2015, the previous property owner proposed nine new homes on the 1.37 acres, but was turned down because of what was deemed "an unsupportable community benefits proposal." The owner then sold the property in 2016 to September School for $1.68 million.

Kelly Molinet, September School's executive director, said the search for a new location started last year because the school's aging building in downtown Boulder at Walnut and 19th streets would be too expensive to modernize.

The Nuzum property allows the school to stay in the city, is a site the school can afford to renovate and gives students a connection to nature, she said.

"Our school's identity is really as a community school," she said. "We're excited to get this all going."

Along with annexation, September School needs approval of a special use review to operate a private school on the property.

Molinet said the school is planning to renovate the duplex and barn for use by up to 50 students next school year. In future years, she said, the plan is to add another building on the site, with enrollment capped at 80 students.

To address traffic concerns, the school is proposing shuttle sites around Boulder to pick up students and limited on-site parking. Students and teachers also would receive an RTD EcoPass.

Amy Bounds: 303-473-1341, boundsa@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/boundsa