[Congressional Record Volume 149, Number 168 (Wednesday, November 19, 2003)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E2320-E2321]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




    ACKNOWLEDGING AN INNOVATIVE BOULDER COUNTY COOPERATIVE PLANNING 
                               AGREEMENT

                                 ______
                                 

                            HON. MARK UDALL

                              of colorado

                    in the house of representatives

                       Tuesday, November 18, 2003

  Mr. UDALL of Colorado. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to acknowledge an 
innovative and significant agreement between the various communities in 
Boulder County, Colorado. Working together in a spirit of cooperation, 
the nine municipal communities in the county came together with Boulder 
County to produce this agreement which will help promote wise planning 
and smart growth management and thereby preserve the quality of life in 
the county and these communities.
  Called the Boulder County Countywide Coordinated Comprehensive 
Development Plan Intergovernmental Agreement (or the Super IGA), this 
plan was signed on October 16, 2003 by Boulder County and the 
communities of Boulder, Erie, Jamestown, Lafayette, Longmont, 
Louisville, Lyons, Nederland and Superior.
  In Colorado, as in many States, intergovernmental agreements are 
typically created to address common management issues between 
neighboring communities. With this Super IGA, communities within the 
entire county have come together to address common concerns and issues 
and have established a roadmap for the benefit of all residents of the 
county.
  Over the past few years, county and city officials labored to come to 
terms on an accord that outlines growth boundaries for development, 
provides land use regulations that prevent growth into hazardous areas 
like flood plains, and designates buffer zones between communities. An 
IGA of this magnitude, across nearly 800 square miles, consisting of a 
dozen different municipalities, and encompassing over 300,000 people, 
is a remarkable achievement.
  This Super IGA is based on more than 10 underlying plans that 
inherently permit flexibility through an open amendment process. It is 
that basic flexibility that will likely drive this 20 year agreement, 
allowing the various governing bodies to strive for their individual 
success, yet within the framework of a larger consensual accord.
  This innovative and forward-looking approach to planning and growth 
management is indeed exciting. Clearly, as this is a new approach, we 
all are watching this carefully and hope that it is successful. But its 
very creation shows that communities can come together and work toward 
common goals. Boulder County and these communities have embarked on an 
approach which I hope will continue to foster positive 
intergovernmental relationships, and strengthen the sense of our 
collective community. It's an example of the things that local 
communities can do to make sure that growth and development complement 
the needs and desires of citizens and local communities.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in honoring the creators 
of this Boulder County Super IGA, and in wishing them continued 
success. For our colleagues' information, I am attaching an article 
from the Colorado Daily newspaper.

                [From the Colorado Daily, Oct. 16, 2003]

            ``Super IGA Now Rules Local Land Use in Boulder

                          (By Richard Valenty)

       Mayors from Boulder County municipalities joined Boulder 
     County Commissioners in signing the Boulder County Countywide 
     Coordinated Comprehensive Development Plan Intergovernmental 
     Agreement Thursday at A Spice of Life Event Center in 
     Boulder.
       Fortunately, the document has a short name, the ``Super 
     IGA.'' The Super IGA partially coordinates at least ten 
     smaller Intergovernmental Agreements (IGA), called Underlying 
     Plans.
       IGA's, in general, often involve land use regulations to 
     prevent situations like development in naturally hazardous 
     areas like flood plains, or to manage growth by creating 
     buffers of open space between communities. For example, the 
     Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan is a joint land use plan 
     between the city and county of Boulder, thus is an IGA 
     between the two entities.
       ``These IGA's are sort of a shared vision by the county and 
     by various cities and towns about where growth will happen, 
     and what parts of the county we want to see remain rural in 
     the future,'' said Ron Stewart, Boulder County Commissioner.
       Representatives of the city of Boulder, Boulder County, 
     Lafayette, Longmont, Louisville, Erie, Jamestown, Lyons, 
     Nederland and Superior signed the Super IGA. The town of Ward 
     is not participating, since federal

[[Page E2321]]

     lands and county open space surround it and therefore urban 
     sprawl is not a concern.
       According to Stewart, the Super IGA agreement is the 
     culmination of years of hard work.
       ``I've been working on this for about the last three 
     years,'' said Stewart. ``Also, the city managers and 
     administrators throughout the county have been very helpful 
     in putting this together. Every city council in the county 
     ultimately voted in favor of this. Our county attorney told 
     me that by the time we got it done, it was on its 30th 
     draft.''
       The City of Lafayette was the last county municipality to 
     agree to be part of the Super IGA. According to Stewart, it 
     was difficult to create a draft that would satisfy everybody.
       ``Lafayette simply had more concern about the agreement 
     than other cities, and it took us longer than others to work 
     those issues out,'' said Stewart. ``After the drought last 
     year, they wanted assurance that they could build new 
     reservoirs for water storage.''
       Not all of Boulder County was covered by an IGA before 
     Thursday, but the Super IGA contains a clause to ``cover 
     additional unincorporated areas not covered by any Underlying 
     Plan.''
       ``The Super IGA covers additional territory in the county 
     that would have been outside the area of those agreements,'' 
     said Stewart.
       The Super IGA document is also designed to limit annexation 
     plans of one entity from encroaching on another entity's 
     Influence Areas, according to the document.
       ``The Super IGA says that everyone will respect each 
     other's planning area, and that one town isn't going to be 
     providing utility services in somebody else's planning 
     area,'' said Stewart. ``It's the kind of commitment to 
     planning and to a shared vision that allows us to keep the 
     quality of life that we have in Boulder County.''
       Stewart added that Boulder residents should not fear 
     situations like the city of Jamestown trying to influence the 
     Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan, since Underlying Plans 
     would only be amended by members of the underlying IGA.
       ``No group or committee is created out of the formation of 
     the Super IGA,'' said Stewart. ``If anyone wants to change a 
     land use designation, the various underlying IGAs would have 
     to be amended. In our Comprehensive Plan, the city and county 
     of Boulder could change it without the approval of the rest 
     of the Super IGA.''
       Also, the Super IGA states that additional issues such as 
     sales tax revenue sharing, affordable housing and library 
     services could eventually become parts of regional 
     agreements.
       ``There isn't any serious talk of revenue sharing right 
     now,'' said Stewart. ``That paragraph is meant to state that 
     there is additional work that could be done in terms of 
     regionalism.''
       James Burrus, Boulder County media information officer, 
     called the signing of the Super IGA ``truly historic.'' 
     Burrus indicated that this is the only agreement of its kind 
     in Colorado, and Stewart believes it has some national 
     significance as well.
       ``There are places in America where they do this kind of 
     planning, setting urban growth boundaries, but these are 
     places where the law requires it to happen,'' said Stewart. 
     ``The historic thing here is that nobody required anybody to 
     do this. It was done voluntarily.
       ``This is really a statement that even in a state like 
     Colorado, where land use laws don't encourage a lot of 
     cooperation, we were all able to get on the same page on a 
     voluntary basis,'' said Stewart.

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