Originally, the meadow at 6655 Twin Lakes Road was owned by the Archdiocese of Denver. When they decided not to build on the property they offered it for purchase to Boulder County Open Space .
The Boulder County Open Space department declined the purchase offer even though the property satisfied at least four of the five criteria for acquiring land for Open Space.
The five criteria for Open Space acquisitions are:
- Land threatened by development that is near or adjacent to existing open space
- Prime agricultural land
- Wildlife habitat
- Riparian and scenic corridors
- Land that could provide trail connections
(More information can be obtained at http://www.bouldercounty.org/
There was no outreach to residents in the Gunbarrel sub-community concerning this property even though the land had been used as open space by the local citizens for decades. In May of 2013, Boulder County quietly purchased the land from the Archdiocese using general funds. Then in October of 2015 Boulder County Commissioners transferred the land to the Boulder County Housing Authority before fully investigating other possible uses of the land, including preserving the land as Open Space for the benefit of people, wildlife and the community. This land transfer was done at a public meeting where pubic comment was not permitted.
The meadow at 6655 Twin Lakes Road has a wetland and/or wetland buffer tag assigned to it and also an Open Space land use designation in the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan. This open space, which is the resident Great Horned Owls’ prime hunting meadow, is now being threatened by a dense apartment development.