If you go

What: Boulder City Council meeting

When: 6 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Boulder Municipal Building, 1777 Broadway

More info: To read the complete agenda, go to tinyurl.com/crqwbtk.

The preservation of the Colorado Chautauqua National Landmark as a shared resource is a top community priority, according to a set of guiding principles developed by Boulder officials and representatives of the nonprofit corporation that runs the landmark.

That may mean city taxpayers will put more money in the future toward infrastructure projects and capital improvements at Chautauqua.

The Boulder City Council plans to discuss and vote on the proposed guiding principles Tuesday night. The list of seven shared principles were developed by a subcommittee that included two City Council members -- Tim Plass, a former member of the Landmarks Board, and George Karakehian, a former Chautauqua board member.

City officials and Colorado Chautauqua Association administrators went back to basics after a proposal put forward earlier this year to build a 7,000-square-foot building where the picnic shelter now stands north of the auditorium met with public concern.

The new building would have allowed the association to offer bathrooms near the auditorium that are accessible to people with disabilities and to consolidate its offices, which would, in turn, allow the Primrose Building to be restored and returned to its historic use as a lodge.


Those changes also would have generated more revenue for additional improvements. The Colorado Chautauqua Association also wants underground utilities and to make other upgrades.

While the city pays for landscaping and other maintenance on the Chautauqua Green and plows streets in the park through its Parks and Recreation Department, the existing lease does not require the city to pay for larger infrastructure improvements.

City officials and Chautauqua executive director Susan Connelly said the guiding principles set the stage for more detailed discussions about what the relationship between the city and the landmark should be moving forward.

"This is an expression of shared values and a foundation for all our next steps, including things we're going to do in the next year and next five to 10 years," Connelly said.

One of the first ones likely will be the construction of accessible bathrooms.

Susan Richstone, deputy director of community planning and sustainability, said the principles also may form the basis for reconsidering the city's lease with Chautauqua, which expires in 2017. Those discussions could include alternatives to a traditional lease or landlord-tenant relationship, she said.

The guiding principles include that Chautauqua:

is a public place and a shared community resource;

is a historic landmark and that its preservation is of "utmost importance when making decisions about its future;"

has a historic mission that supports cultural, educational, social and recreational experiences;

requires a balanced approach that takes into account multiple ownerships and missions;

requires collaborative place management in which larger projects require higher levels of public involvement and cooperation between the city and Chautauqua;

needs a cautious approach to change that preserves Chautauqua's historic character and unique sense of place;

needs a shared financial responsibility to pay for improvements that provide a clear benefit.

Karakehian said it makes sense for the city to consider ways to help Chautauqua financially.

"If we can do (larger projects) in a partnership with the city, then perfect," he said. "Or use our bonding capacity. There are ways we can do this."

Plass said he also supports putting city money toward improvements at Chautauqua, provided the proper governance structures are in place.

"My feeling is that I'm willing to talk about the city putting more money into infrastructure and capital improvements there, but if we're putting more money in, we need more say," he said.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Erica Meltzer at 303-473-1355 or meltzere@dailycamera.com.