News Archive

October 28, 2016

Statement from the County Commissioners regarding Mayhoffer property (AKA Kerr Estates)


Commissioners respond to public concerns over potential development of 200-acre farmland parcel located at Colo. Hwy 42 and Empire Road in unincorporated Boulder County between Lafayette and Louisville.


Dear East Boulder County Residents,

We understand there is a great
deal of interest (and concern) about the potential for development at the
Mayhoffer property (also referred to as “Kerr Estates”), a 200-acre farmland parcel
located at the corner of Colo. Hwy 42 and Empire Road in unincorporated Boulder
County between the cities of Lafayette and Louisville.

In particular, the meeting at the Louisville Recreation
Center on Tuesday, Oct. 25, which was attended by Boulder County staff and
local residents, has brought up a lot of questions about the future of the
Mayhoffer property. We’d like to address some of those questions as well as
assure to you that Boulder County is actively engaged in the matter of how the property
might be preserved or developed in the future.

For many years, Boulder County Parks and Open Space has been partnering with
the cities of Louisville and Lafayette in an effort to acquire (e.g., purchase)
the Mayhoffer property for open space. Louisville is the lead partner. To date,
the partners have not reached agreement with the property owner on price.

From the discussion of the Oct. 25 meeting, it appears that
the property owner (working through a developer) is exploring development
options on the parcel. However, to date, the developer has not submitted any plans or
proposals to Boulder County Land Use (the governing planning
body for the parcel) for consideration, and the open space partners are still hoping to reach an
agreement to acquire the property as open space.

If the property is not purchased as open space, there are a couple
of possible options that the owner/developer could pursue under current land
use regulations. Under current zoning, the land could be divided up into five
35-acre parcels, each of which could have one home. Additional lots could be created
if approved through the county’s Non-Urban Planned Unit Development (NUPUD)
process, which requires that at least 75% of the land be preserved through a
conservation easement.

Any proposal for new homes on the parcel would be reviewed
by Boulder County Land Use using the county’s Site Plan Review Regulations. If the land is developed
under the NUPUD process, home sizes would be limited to 2,500 sq. ft. If the
land is subdivided into lots 35 acres in size or larger, home sizes would be
limited to approximately 4,300 sq. ft.

It’s important to note that this land is designated as Rural
Preservation Area under the Lafayette/Louisville
Buffer Intergovernmental Agreement
. This ensures the parcel cannot be
rezoned or annexed to allow additional development above what is permitted
under current county regulations. (This agreement is in effect until July 2036.)

With regard to potential oil and
gas development on the parcel, the landowner would need to abide by both state and local regulations.
The county is actively engaged in the process of updating our oil and gas
development regulations (see: Oil & Gas Development).

A temporary moratorium on accepting
new applications for oil and gas development in unincorporated Boulder County
is in place until Nov. 18, 2016. Recent efforts by northern Front Range cities
to limit oil and gas drilling in the form of hydraulic fracturing within their city
limits have been overturned by the Colorado Supreme Court. However, Boulder County is in
the process of adopting new regulations that will provide the strongest
possible protections for public health, safety, and the environment with
regards to fracking.

Further comments regarding the Mayhoffer property may be emailed to planner@bouldercounty.org where
they will be collected and stored in association with any future application
for development on that property.

Sincerely,

The Board of County Commissioners
Cindy Domenico, Deb Gardner, and Elise Jones