Mayhoffer Property Update
On October 25, 2015, representatives from Empire Road, LLC held a “community meeting” in which they outlined their plans for developing the 200-acre Mayhoffer property, located at the corner of State Highway 42 and Empire Road. Empire Road LLC’s representatives made various statements during the meeting. These facts are known about the issue:
- The Mayhoffer property is located in unincorporated Boulder County, outside of Louisville’s City limits. The Lafayette/Louisville Buffer Comprehensive Development Plan Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) designates this property as a Rural Preservation Area. Among other things, this IGA specifies, “No density increase beyond the limits currently permissible under the Boulder County Land Use Code shall be approved for any such parcel, nor shall any such parcel be annexed to any municipal Party, unless the same is approved through the [specified] Plan amendment procedure”.
- Under the County’s current land use regulations, the owner/developer could pursue two options: (1) the land could be divided into five 35-acre parcels, each of which could have one home, or (2) a total of 11 lots in a clustered configuration could be created if approved through the County’s Non-Urban Planned Unit Development (NUPUD) process. The NUPUD process requires at least 75% of the total land area be preserved for continued agricultural use through a conservation easement.
- Any proposal for new homes on the parcel would be reviewed by Boulder County using the County’s Site Plan Review Regulations. If the land is developed under the NUPUD process, home sizes would be limited to 2,500 square feet above grade. If the land is subdivided into lots 35 acres in size or larger, home sizes would be limited to approximately 4,300 square feet.
- A development application has not been submitted to the County at this time. Visit this link for more information about the County’s land use process and zoning regulations.
- Empire LLC representatives suggested they might install a hydraulic fracturing (fracking) well on the property. However, there is a moratorium in Boulder County on new applications for oil and gas development. This moratorium is set to expire on May 1, 2017. Visit this link for more information about Boulder County’s oil and gas regulations. At this link you will find an interactive map of oil and gas facilities in Boulder County.
- The IGA also states, “In the event the Parties [Boulder County, Louisville and Lafayette] agree that any such parcel should be acquired, Boulder County shall pay one-half of the cost of such acquisition, with Lafayette and Louisville paying equal shares of the remainder of the acquisition cost.” A purchase agreement must be reached with the property owner before this can happen.
- Louisville, Lafayette and Boulder County commissioned an appraisal for the property, and based on that appraisal have offered full market value plus a premium for the property. To date, the owner/developer has not accepted that offer. Paying more for the property than the market value plus a reasonable premium could adversely affect the ability to acquire other properties for open space purposes in the County.
For questions regarding land use, please contact Boulder County’s Planning Division at 303.441.3930