Make Redtail Ridge conform to the city code
[Louisville’s] Planning Commission must act to ensure that Redtail Ridge fully complies with the City Code now and in the future. Brue Baukol, the developer, recently announced a pivot to biotechnology. The City Code requires developments to “promote the health, safety, convenience, order, prosperity and welfare of the present and future inhabitants of the city.” Questions need to be asked and answered.
Biotechnology can mean many things. An online dictionary defines biotech as “the exploitation of biological processes for industrial and other purposes, especially the genetic manipulation of microorganisms for the production of antibiotics, hormones, etc.” At the University of Colorado, biotech includes computational biology and the following types of engineering: aerospace; bioastronautics; chemical and biological; biomaterials, biopharmaceuticals and tissue; electrical, computer and energy; optics, nanostructures and bioengineering; and mechanical-biomedical. We need to know what Brue Baukol means by biotechnology.
The property is currently a Planned Community Zoned District with a commercial PUD-C overlay. Generally, industrial activity requires an industrial PUD-I overlay. Here, however, the permitted uses probably allow for some industrial activity. But in my opinion, the applicant cannot convert a PUD-C/Commercial Overlay to a PUD-I/Industrial Overlay through the backdoor (i.e., by using one of the 13 permitted uses to completely change the character of Redtail so that it is exclusively or primarily industrial). If this were permissible, no developer would ever apply for a PUD-I/Industrial Overlay. This section of the Code would become meaningless, leaving concerns about pollution, congestion, and public utilities unaddressed.
It is the job of the Planning Commission to ask enough questions to determine whether the planned biotechnology center is truly commercial. If it is not, the general development plan must be amended so that the current commercial PUD-C/Commercial overlay is replaced by an industrial PUD-I/Industrial overlay.
#COexist with carnivores
Colorado has a unique opportunity to get wolf restoration right. While our neighbors in the Northern Rockies have failed and are now engaged in a full-on war on wolves, Coloradans have the spirit and the leadership to #COexist with native carnivores. Colorado can be a place in which wolves can be safe and welcomed back in sufficient numbers so that their ecological benefits can preserve the state’s open spaces, magnificent forests, and wilderness areas. Colorado’s wolf plan needs to restore wolves throughout suitable habitat in western Colorado to bring about the desired ecological benefit, fulfill the spirit of Proposition 114, and track with the best available science. A half-hearted effort that sees only token wolf populations will fail Colorado and wolves. The Colorado wolf restoration plan should never include recreational wolf hunting. Wolves are shy, intelligent, social animals. Pack structures, prey, and territorialism combine to regulate wild wolf populations. Science indicates that there is no need to “cull” or keep a population “in check.” Hunting wolves is trophy hunting and only done for sport. This was not what the voters passed, and this should never happen as part of a reintroduction plan for a species that is struggling to survive. In fact, most Americans find trophy hunting abhorrent, according to the Humane Society of the United States.
Proposition 114 is the first step toward a Colorado that could set the standard for wolf restoration and management in the American West. This is our opportunity to be a leader in preserving our wildlife heritage for all Coloradoans and for future generations.