Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify that the affordable housing fee is a one-time fee.
Boulder City Council members unanimously approved annexing 5.9 acres near Airport Boulevard, largely zoned for industrial use, into city boundaries during a regular meeting Tuesday.
The land will be used to expand the campus to build a new 112,000 square-foot, three-story research office and laboratory building, according to city records.
The parcels, which are south of 5600 Airport Blvd., are owned by LC Plaza LLC and PTREE LLC with W.W. Reynolds Cos. applying for the annexation.
Approving the annexation is estimated to add more than $3 million to the city’s affordable housing fund, city staff said Tuesday. The applicant is offering to pay one and a half times the city’s affordable housing commercial linkage fee as part of the proposal’s community benefit package.
The fee “addresses affordable housing needs generated both directly by lower-paying jobs created by potential employers and indirectly by the creation of service and other lower-paying jobs needed to support the population increase created by the development,” city staff wrote in the Council agenda packet.
The annexation proposal initially included giving 24 acres to Open Space and Mountain Parks, but the land is in a conservation easement and was damaged by the 2013 floods and would require significant funding to restore, said OSMP real estate supervisor Bethany Collins.
According to city documents, those 24 acres would require up to $500,000 of restoration work.
The annexation will add 1.6 acres to Open Space and Mountain Parks, including along a nearby ditch. Additional land designated to go to Open Space and Mountain Parks will likely be transferred over to a nearby agricultural lease used for cattle and hay, Collins said.
While the annexation had a public hearing Tuesday night, no community members spoke during the hearing.
There was also limited council discussion about the annexation. Mayor Sam Weaver spoke in support, citing the investment in public housing as “something we will find a very good use for.”
Council member Mirabai Nagle did not vote on the motion because she was absent from the meeting.
City Council members also had a public hearing and and vote on escooters and considered a motion to allow households to exceed occupancy limits until at least May 31 to allow for safe housing during the coronavirus pandemic. Council had not voted on either matter as of deadline Tuesday.