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The Blue Line and Commercial Real Estate in Boulder

As you have driven through town trying to find just the right location for your new office or industrial office space, you might have looked up at the iconic foothills west of Boulder and wondered why and/or how this view has been preserved for some many years.  The pristine condition of our foothills is the work of two college professors and a concept called the Blue Line.

The Blue Line started out in the 1960s when, Robert McKelvey and Albert Bartlett, two college professors, who feared that the foothills of Boulder would soon be overrun with expensive housing. They began a campaign to keep the area free from as much new construction as possible.These two dynamic men were able to campaign for the city to add the Blue Line amendment to its charter. The Blue Line was originally an amendment that banned anyone from pumping water uphill along the line that runs north from El Dorado Springs for more than 5,000 feet, which made it more difficult for developers to build in the area.  One example of its effectiveness was in the late 1950s a developer was working on building high end homes where NCAR is currently located. Due to the impacts of this amendment this project was no longer economically feasible.

The organization PLAN-Boulder County came to life in 1959 from the efforts to get the Blue Line passed. It was their goal to find additional ways to limit building in the foothills and keep plenty of open space free from construction in the city. Due in large part to this organization’s efforts, the city of Boulder owns more than 45,000 acres of open space.  This preservation of land has lead to the creation of a Green Belt in the late 1960’s as well as a political climate that is opposed to urban sprawl into Boulder County.

Todd Walsh, CCIM is dedicated to helping you find the perfect location for your business, if you have any questions about Boulder commercial real estate please do not hesitate to contact us today.