The Fort Collins City Council approved a joint agreement Tuesday to work with Colorado State University to address the impacts of a new stadium and other campus development projects on the local community.
The voluntary Intergovernmental Agreement, or IGA, between CSU and the city provides detailed plans related to how the two entities will handle stadium events, neighborhood issues, street and infrastructure improvements, noise, trash and more. Council voted 4-3 to approve the agreement. CSU also expects to approve the IGA no later than the first week of May when the CSU Board of Governors meets next.
“This agreement is a symbol of the positive working relationship that CSU and the city have enjoyed for decades,” CSU President Tony Frank said. “While CSU’s mission is to serve the entire state of Colorado, the fortunes of the university and the city have been linked for more than 140 years. The university has always been committed being a good neighbor, and this agreement provides a framework for ensuring that our development efforts in the coming years – whether it’s the new medical center or the on-campus stadium – are respectful of and add value to the local community.”
CSU and city staff have been working on the IGA since the beginning of the year, with extensive input from the public and the city’s Planning and Zoning Board. A copy of the draft IGA is available here.
South side development
CSU will break ground on the multi-purpose stadium – with capacity for 40,000 spectators – this summer, with plans to open the venue in the fall of 2017. It will be centered on Meridian Avenue between Lake and Pitkin streets.
“I’d like to thank the city staff for their professionalism, hard work and collaboration,” said Amy Parsons, CSU vice president for University Operations. “Our staffs have worked well together and the result is a comprehensive agreement that truly outlines how CSU and the city will work together to proactively manage the impacts of growth on and around campus.”
Over the next two or three years, the south side of campus will also see the $111 million redevelopment of the Aggie Village student housing community and construction of a medical center at the intersection of College Avenue and Prospect Road; a five-story biology building with nearly 150,000 square feet of academic and research space; a 60,000-square-foot chemistry building; a parking structure that will add 400 new spaces to an existing lot; a 900-space parking lot on South Campus; and relocation of the Plant Environmental Research Center to a 2.8-acre site near Center Avenue and Bay Drive.
“The whole south side of CSU campus will be transformed over the next few years by a variety of university projects that will really serve as a new and improved gateway to campus,” Parsons said. “While the IGA is tied to and focused on the stadium project, the infrastructure improvements and collaborative planning efforts included in the agreement will go a long way toward addressing the impacts of all CSU’s major projects on the south side of campus.”
As construction and eventual operation of the stadium moves forward, the city and university will continue to meet regularly to evaluate the IGA. Some key elements of the agreement include:
- Security — A continued commitment by CSU to engage and pay for appropriate city and county services related to law enforcement and security during game day and for any other major events.
- Major events — With the exception of football games, an agreement not to have any major events – defined as a ticketed event that’s anticipated to draw more than 12,000 people – for two years after the stadium is built and to limit the number of major events to one in year three, two in year four and three in year five.
- Transit — CSU will work with the city to encourage the use of alternative transportation – walking, bicycles and mass transit – to all major events. CSU will coordinate with and purchase expanded services from Transfort to assist in managing the flow of people to and from campus for major events at the stadium.
- Neighborhoods — Within the next six months, CSU will create a nine-member Stadium Advisory Group to review and assess stadium impacts on local residents and businesses. In addition, CSU will establish a litter abatement and removal plan for all events held at the stadium.
- Good Neighbor Fund — CSU will put $37,000 per year toward a Good Neighbor Fund to mitigate the impact of the stadium and construction on adjacent neighborhoods. The university will conduct fundraising to build that fund into a $750,000 endowment, the proceeds of which will be disbursed by the university with input from the Stadium Advisory Group.
- Transportation infrastructure — CSU will construct or fund improvements to local roads, improved access for pedestrians and cyclists, parking enhancements, signage and more.
- Noise and lighting — During construction and during stadium operations once the project is complete, CSU agrees to employ best practices and available technology to limit the impact of light and noise on adjacent neighborhoods.