Boulder announced that it will begin land surveying next week at CU South, the floodplain location on which the University of Colorado hopes 1,125 housing units, athletic fields and academic buildings may one day be built.

The land is owned by the university and sits in the county, but the city's Public Works Department will cover the $300,000 cost of the upcoming study, a spokeswoman said.

Over the summer, the Boulder City Council voted 8-1 to approve a new land-use designation for CU South, paving the way for potential new development at University of Colorado's 308-acre property.

But CU South sits in the southeast Boulder floodplain, and the council, plus scores of concerned neighbors, stressed at the time of that vote a desire to study flood risk and mitigation opportunities before any annexation and construction proceed on the site.

According to the release Boulder issued Friday, contractors will aim to gather "topographic data points, information on bridges and culverts and to understand site features."

Then, in January, pending an access agreement being reached between the city and CU, contractors will start drilling small wells around the site so that they can monitor groundwater levels, Boulder said. The installation of those wells may take up to three months, officials expect.


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The fact that the council has agreed to a new land-use designation for the site before the upcoming studies are complete is a reflection of a deliberate attempt by council members to signal some assurance to CU that it will at some point be able to annex CU South into the city and then develop there.

"We all agree we need to move forward with flood mitigation," Mayor Suzanne Jones said earlier this year, "and before we do expensive studies, there was a need for some indication (to CU) that we were going to proceed down this path."

Alex Burness: 303-473-1389, burnessa@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/alex_burness