Open Space & Mountain Parks Real Estate Acquisition Program
The City of Boulder owns and manages more than 45,000 acres of Open Space and Mountain Parks land in and around Boulder, Colorado. The very first piece of land, 80 acres at the base of Flagstaff Mountain, was purchased by the city in 1898 to be used as one in a series of Chautauqua cultural centers around the country. Since then, the Open Space program (established in 1967) has acquired over 395 separate properties. We have an animated map series above showing these purchases over time. You'll note that current acquisitions are not as large as in the early days of the program; however, each piece of property serves as a critical connection to the existing systems and fulfills the purposes of the City of Boulder Charter section on Open Space.
How Are Decisions Made Regarding Acquisitions?
The Open Space and Mountain Parks division acquires properties based on the Open Space Acquisitions and Management Plan 2006 - 2011, adopted by the Boulder City Council in 2005. Recommendations for acquisitions are approved by the Open Space Board of Trustees and Boulder City Council pursuant to the City of Boulder Charter, Article XII, Open Space.
There are a number of methods used to acquire properties that become part of the Open Space and Mountain Parks program. Property purchases are the most often used method to acquire property. These fee interest acquisitions are based on fair market value. Other methods of acquisition used include bargain and sale agreements involving a donation of land as one of the components; the purchase of conservation easements whereby the fee interest is retained by the property owner and the owner has agreed to permanently limit their use of the land to protect its conservation values; and sometimes the city will purchase an interest in property that is less than the total interest. The city also considers and accepts donations of land, as well as conservation easements, based on the location and proximity to existing city owned lands as well as open space resource values.
The city has also partnered with other agencies, most notably Boulder County, on joint acquisitions.
The Open Space and Mountain Parks program is 92 percent funded by sales tax dollars. 8/10ths of every cent spent on retail products and services in the City of Boulder helps support the continued acquisition of Open Space and Mountain Parks lands; protecting the land from development and preserving it for future generations.
Interested in selling or donating property?
If you, or someone you know, are interested in selling or donating a property or Conservation Easement to the Open Space and Mountain Parks program, or if you would like more information on the acquisition program, please call the OSMP office at 303-441-3440, or use the OSMP Comment Form.
The Open Space and Mountain Parks Department preserves and protects the natural environment and land resources that characterize Boulder. We foster appreciation and use that sustain the natural values of the land for current and future generations.
Last Updated on Thursday, 15 November 2012 13:28