Boulder's Blue Line and Vote
Many parcels of land were available in Boulder for the NCAR headquarters, but the Table Mesa site was always the favorite. Walt Roberts could see the mesa top from his home and felt that its dramatic presence suggested “the dignity and importance of the center as a national scientific laboratory.”
In 1959, the City of Boulder was already concerned about foothill development and had amended its charter to include a line above which city water would not be supplied. Roberts pledged that the area would remain a nature preserve and that the building would be environmentally sensitive. After much debate, voters passed the NCAR amendment to the Boulder Blue Line by a margin of 3.5 to 1.