St. Vrain County

It’s an idea that’s surely been kicked around for a long time by people disgusted with being associated with Boulder. Lately, after the election fiasco in Boulder, people have been writing in to the paper about the possibility of breaking off from Boulder County. Now the Times-Call has weighed in with an editorial about this new county, possibly called St. Vrain County.

The editorial suggests it would be made up of Longmont, Lyons, Hygeine, and Niwot. The idea for the name surely comes from the river and valley that run through this area, which also gives the St. Vrain Valley School District its name. But that district also includes the communities of Erie, Mead, Dacono, and Firestone which cut into Weld County. Not to mention that there is a town called St. Vrains just east of Erie, which by the way is not in the St. Vrain Valley School District, go figure. Theoretically, this county would reach west to the Grand County line, on the north side near and including Longs Peak, then to the south to around St. Vrain Mountain. It would include the reservoirs that feed Longmont, including Button Rock Reservoir.

It’s an interesting concept, but plenty of obstacles immediately jump out. First, as always, hesitance for change by people. But then after that, would it be a “city and county of”, probably not. I can’t see Longmont changing its name to St. Vrain. Nor can I see Niwot or Lyons changing to Longmont. Would the new county stop at the eastern edge of the existing Boulder County? Or would it move east towards I-25 to include the previously mentioned Firestone, Mead, and Dacono? Lots to consider, but not a bad idea to look into.

Below is an editorial from the Times-Call, originally ran 11/13/2004

A St. Vrain County?

It’s a crazy idea that seems to be bandied about every so often, especially after an election.

Some east Boulder County residents, tired of the way the city of Boulder seems to trump the rest of the county in all things political, dream of a new St. Vrain County.

The city of Boulder tilts to the left and seems to have little in common with the more moderate views of other Boulder County communities including Longmont, Lyons, Hygiene and Niwot.

However, city of Boulder views are entrenched in county officials and the policies that affect the entire area, leaving many county residents feeling disenfranchised.

A moderate Republican from Longmont has little chance at becoming county commissioner, simply because an R is by his or her name on an election ballot. At least one qualified high-ranking county official changed his party affiliation to Democrat before running for office to help solidify a victory.

While the county and city of Boulder gobble up all available land for open space, other county residents wish for affordable housing and good job opportunities.

The Boulder City Council sometimes spends its time passing resolutions against the war in Iraq and commenting on other global happenings, while other councils and town boards worry about local issues.

Yes, there are great differences between the city of Boulder and the rest of the county, but a new St. Vrain County is still a crazy idea. Or is it?

Broomfield is the best example of how a new county can become a reality. It was no easy task.  Broomfield had good reason for wanting to become its own county. The city cut across four counties and providing and obtaining services was a logistical nightmare.

What started as an idea fostered by some Broomfield City Council members first came before the public in 1996 when the city asked — in an advisory question on the city ballot — if Broomfield residents wanted to form their own city- county government.

The answer was yes.

City officials went to work getting the issue before state voters, who have to approve new governments by amending the state Constitution. In 1998, Colorado voters overwhelmingly approved the new county.

In addition to building new facilities and planning for the combining of government agencies, the new city- county also had to take care of one other large legal matter — a decision on whether to remain in Boulder County’s 20th Judicial District or to jump to the 17th Judicial District in Adams County. Broomfield chose Adams County.

The County of Broomfield opened for business in November 2001.

While some residents of the St. Vrain Valley may dream of one day separating themselves from their neighbors to the west, it will take more than just wishful thinking.

City and town leaders would need to jump on board and be fully supported by business owners, chambers of commerce, voters and others.


Here is the current Boulder County.

Option 1– The simplest of all possibilities. The southern boundary is defined by

(from east to west): Hwy 52, includes all of Niwot and NO Boulder addresses near

Boulder Reservoir, runs north along Hwy36, turns west and meets up and follows

St. Vrain Creek until the Grand County line.

Option 2 – Using existing Boulder Counties north, east, and west line, and adding

a boundary along Hwy52

Option 4 – Same as Option 3, but also taking the area West of Hwy72 (not to

include Ward, Nederland, or Brainard Lake) and the southwest corner of the existing

Boulder County. Why? It’s pretty well known Eldora Ski Area wants out of Boulder

County. Here’s its best chance.

Option 5 – Probably the simplest of them all. This would include addresses

(according to Microsoft Streets & Trips ’06) that have the following city names on

them: Longmont, Mead, Niwot, Firestone, Frederick, and Dacono. It borders against, but does not include addresses that have Boulder, Lyons, Berthoud, Erie,

Fort Lupton, and Platteville in them. At first glance it may seem small, but is in

reality larger than Denver, Broomfield, and Gilpin Counties, among others.

All maps ©2004-2007 Wrongmont.Com – All Rights Reserved – Do not copy without permission.

About Chris Rodriguez

Chris is the editor/publisher of LightningRod Blog - as well as founder/editor of Wrongmont, Longmont Advocate, Vote!Longmont, Longmont Politics, the LightningRod Radio Network, as well as being the original Longmont Examiner. Chris is a writer and talker - whether it be blogs, podcasts, music, or public speaking. When he's not heard on Air Traffic radio, he can be heard on his podcasts or seen in the local paper causing trouble.
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