The Boulder Valley School District is seeking to annex its Education Center property into Boulder, as well as to add a modular home factory that would give students practical experience and provide homes for Habitat for Humanity.
The 41.7-acre property at 6500 Arapahoe Road includes the district’s administration building, a central kitchen, the Boulder Technical Education Center and Arapahoe Ridge High School, and the Sombrero Marsh Environmental Education Center.
Boulder Valley bought the property, which is adjacent to Sombrero Marsh open space, in 1962. A 1964 agreement with the city granted water and sewer services, as well as including a commitment from the district to annex once the property became eligible.
The Boulder Planning Board this week approved the annexation proposal. The approval included a request for building height limits and a request for a “good neighbor” agreement. The agreement will go to the Boulder City Council for a final decision.
If the Council agrees that building height limits should be included, the annexation agreement would need to be renegotiated with the school district. The school district, as its own governmental entity, goes through the state — not the city — for permits for new construction and renovations.
Construction of the district’s central kitchen in 2019, along with the proposed affordable housing modular factory, triggered the need for the annexation. The proposed affordable housing factory is a partnership among the school district, the city’s Housing and Human Services and Flatirons Habitat for Humanity.
“It would be a mutual benefit,” Boulder Valley Senior Planner Glen Segrue said.
The small factory would serve as teaching tool for the construction students at the Technical Education Center. The first homes would be used in the redevelopment of the Ponderosa Mobile Home Park. The building, which would be located on the southeast corner of the site, is designed with a steel frame and would be 36 feet tall at its peak.
The annexation agreement requires the property’s outside lighting to comply with the city’s “dark sky” rules to eliminate light pollution. Boulder Valley also is required to pay a $2.1 million city stormwater investment fee.
The Ridglea Hills neighborhood is located east of Boulder Valley’s property. Neighbor concerns include building height, traffic congestion on Arapahoe Road, noise and potential damage to Sombrero Marsh.
A meeting for the neighbors on the modular factory is planned for Sept. 29.
“It should really address most of those issues from the neighbors,” Segrue said.