Group Forms To Express Concerns Over Proposed Development Plans on Downtown Boulder Civic Use Pad

Concerns include its monolithic nature, size, impact on traffic, floodplain encroachment, safety and original intent.

Boulder, Colo., April 05, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Downtown is for everyone. That is the rallying cry of a new citizens group called Protect Boulder Civic Space (PBCS) that has united around ensuring there is community input concerning the development of the last civic use space in downtown Boulder with a view of the Flatirons.

The City of Boulder Planning and Development Services is now considering a new St. Julien Hotel development, referred to by the City of Boulder as the “Civic Use Center.” The proposed plan will be adjacent to the hotel on the Civic Use Pad directly east of the St. Julien and over the existing underground parking garage and calls for an approximately 56,900-square-foot, 55-foot-tall five-story building. Current plans call for an 8,600-square-foot ballroom (described in the proposal as a “civic use event space”) on the main level and 39 extended-stay hotel rooms. Additionally, the submission shows the structure fully extending to the sidewalk on Canyon Boulevard with no set-back.

“Many in downtown and greater Boulder are concerned about this massive development for many reasons, including the height, mass, scale, traffic, safety, fire, parking, access and floodplain issues,” said group spokesperson Cindy Lindsay. “Since the City has already asked for modifications to the current submission, we believe this is the perfect time to begin a dialogue and find a consensus that works for the space, for the St. Julien, for Downtown Boulder and that is consistent with the original civic intent of the pad.”

On March 7, the City of Boulder Planning and Development Services raised concerns about many aspects of the project, including:

Staff is concerned about the building design and the relationship and proximity between the proposed building and adjacent buildings already in place.

The proposed Civic Use Center development encroaches into the High Hazard Zone of the floodplain on the south edge of the site with the extension of the wall for a planter and the roof awning.

The Civic Use Center shall also be required to demonstrate structural, mechanical, and utility independence from the underground parking garage, otherwise additional flood-proofing requirements may be required.

Staff also asked for clarification on the current conditions along 10th St. with regard to loading deliveries and trash pick-up for adjacent properties. Specifically, will the increased deliveries and trash pick-ups generated by the Civic Use Center significantly impact traffic along 10th Street?

Staff is unable to support the proposed recycling storage area to be located in 10th Street public right-of-way. Staff is concerned that the revised pedestrian access/pedestrian easement routes pedestrians through the loading zone for the existing St. Julien trash/recycling area. The proposed new recycling area cannot be located in the surface right-of-way for 10th Street. It appears additional space is necessary for trash/recycling.

In addition to the issues raised by Planning Staff, PBCS has numerous concerns with the current proposal, including,

1.    The proposed massive development will encroach upon the last parcel of land with Flatirons views, originally designated for civic use in downtown Boulder, with no setback provided.
2.    The proposed building is both out-of-character for the neighborhood and is not sensitive to either the commercial or residential neighbors. Its immense size and close clustering with neighboring buildings, spanning over two lengthy city blocks, degrades  Downtown Boulder’s character.
3.    Traffic and safety, including fire, access and parking issues. The traffic study submitted fails to adequately address the multitude of issues that are bound to arise for both surrounding businesses and residents, and there is a lack of adequate emergency access in the event of a fire. Furthermore, the proposed development fails to provide any additional parking for the substantial structure.
4.    The intent of this space was for "civic use." While the projects proposed — ranging from a children's museum to the Boulder History Museum and more — did not come to fruition, we believe fostering a dialog will allow the St. Julien to construct a commercially viable project while gaining community input to both maintain the civic intent and protect the character of the neighborhood.

The goal of PBCS is to facilitate a conversation about the last civic use space downtown with a Flatirons view. Stan Garnett, the former Boulder District Attorney, has been retained as counsel for PBCS.

There will be an informational meeting to discuss the project on April 30, 2024, from 5:30 to 7:00 at Industrious, 1919 14th St, 7th Floor.

For more information, please go to or send an email to


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