P&Z Delays Vote on Subarea

On Tuesday night at the end of a 4.5 hour meeting, P&Z delayed its vote on an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan that would create the Orchard Station Subarea until October 18. 

Alberta Development Partners worked hard to turn out support, including mailing packets to residents and publishing a full page ad in the Villager. Despite those efforts, opposition dwarfed support by a count of 129-39. 

Opposition to the new Subarea and Alberta’s proposed 2.8 million sqft development (Equal to Park Meadows and Cherry Creek Shopping Center combined) is based on concerns that Alberta’s massive development will create large increases in traffic, overcrowding in schools, blocked views and will substantially alter the character of Greenwood Village. 

Don’t be Fooled by P&Z on Tuesday Night

I just want to provide a heads up for Tuesday’s P&Z meeting (Sept. 20 at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall) (click here for agenda and documents). I am guessing that the meeting will begin by stating that the meeting is about “changing the language to the Comprehensive Plan and not about a specific development”.  I have seen this line pop-up several times in the last few days from city council members, P&Z commissioners and even the communications from the city notifying people of the meeting.  As I explain in the remainder of the post by looking at the land parcels within the proposed Subarea, there is no need to change the Comprehensive Plan, except for the imminent Alberta application.

However, this is not the case.  The map below shows the Orchard Station Subarea (surrounded by the red lines).  The total subarea, excluding The Landmark is zoned for 2.2 million square feet.  Passing the amendment on Tuesday night will be the first step to redefine the vision and guidelines for what can be developed inside the red lines of this Subarea. Continue reading

Six former City Council Members Oppose Orchard Station Subarea prior to September 20 vote.

In a letter being distributed around Greenwood Village, six former Greenwood Village City Council Members publicly oppose the proposed Orchard Station Subarea Comprehensive Plan Amendment that will be re-voted at the Planning & Zoning meeting next Tuesday, September 20 at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall.

The six former council members opposing Orchard Station are:

  • Anne Ingebretsen
  • Dave Kerber
  • Mike DeChadenedes
  • Bette Todd
  • Charlie Hazelhurst
  • Jerry Presley

Click here to read their letter.

Click here to read Jerry Presley’s letter.

Essentially the same amendment was voted down unanimously by Planning & Zoning by an 8-0 vote only two months ago on July 19,2016.  Public comment at that meeting was almost unanimously against the Orchard Station amendment, the proposed subarea rezoning and Alberta Development Partner’s original 3.3 million sqft development proposal.  Alberta withdrew its original application that was expected to cost 1.5 billion, but Alberta is expected to file a new and only slightly smaller plan in the near future.

Part 3 – Orchard Station Subarea isn’t worth a Small Financial Benefit

Click here to read Part 2.

This is my third post responding to the guest column in the Villager titled, “Orchard Subarea Plan makes good sense”.

The article talks about the financial benefits that this development will create for the city.  This might be a significant benefit to some communities burdened with debt and budgets beyond their tax base, but this is not the case for Greenwood Village.  The Village currently maintains a balanced budget, has no debt, offers unparalleled services and collects a minimal amount of property taxes from its homeowners. Continue reading

Listen to P&Z Dismiss its 7/19/16 Vote and Citizen Input

I have never seen Greenwood Village completely dismiss the citizens like they are in this process.

Chairman Brian Anderson basically wants to ignore P&Z’s 8-0 rejection of the proposed Orchard Station Subarea amendment that occurred on July 19, 2016.  The nearly unanimous opposition of people who testified at the July 19 hearing means nothing.  Consequently, they made very minor changes to the Subarea amendment and are going to take the vote again on September 20 — with a predetermined outcome of passing it and moving it forward to City Council.

At 5 minutes and 25 seconds, I believe Commissioner Glenn Malloy, says, “not having the experience that we probably should have, nobody realized that we were probably killing the project… and people didn’t realize what the impact of that vote was going to be”. He then goes on to say at the 6 minute and 25 second mark, “the time for input will be after a proposal like this is passed”.

Libby Barnacle makes a strong common sense request to seek more community input through meetings like town halls or a citizen survey.  Brian Strandes defends her, but unfortunately, they were ignored for this very reasonable position.

I would recommend listening to the first 13 minutes of the audio to get the full context of the discussion. Please get the word out that our voices need to be heard.  Write letters, send emails and attend the September 20 meeting at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall.


Part 2 – An Open Letter to The Landmark Residents

Click here to read Part 1.

This post continues my multi-part response to the guest column in last week’s Villager titled, “Orchard Subarea Plan makes good sense”. The article was written by John Herbers, President of The Landmark HOA and CEO of the DTC|Greenwood Village Chamber of Commerce.

I have read through several letters from residents of The Landmark who support the creation of the Orchard Station Subarea, rezoning from B-1 to Town Center and Alberta’s proposed 2.8 million square foot mixed-use development. Each resident is entitled to his or her opinion and I don’t begrudge those who support the Subarea.

However, I would like to present a few thoughts for those of you still considering whether or not the Subarea and proposed mixed-use development will be good for The Landmark.

  • Do you want to live next to a construction site for 5 to 6-years?
    • Six years was the estimated construction time for Alberta to complete its initial development proposal
  • If you decide to sell your condo, do you want to compete with the sale of almost 1,000 neighboring condos?
    • If the comp plan is changed and higher density is allowed in the Subarea, will Century Communities want to build condos instead of townhomes? If Alberta gets 2.8 million sqft on 24 acres, will Century want 1.3 million sqft (instead of 100 townhomes) on its 11.4 acres (4-times greater density than Century was contemplating earlier this year).
    • Even if the 1,000 residential units initially start-off as apartments, there is a chance that the apartments will be converted to for-sale condos after the statute of limitations runs out on the Construction Defect challenges.
  • Alberta’s traffic study shows an additional 1,000 cars per hour in the afternoon.

Continue reading

Part 1 – Response to Orchard Station Subarea Makes Good Sense

Last week John Herbers, CEO of the DTC|Greenwood Village Chamber of Commerce and President of the Landmark HOA, wrote a guest column in the Villager titled, “Orchard Subarea Plan makes good sense”.

While I appreciate and share Mr. Herbers passion and pride for Greenwood Village, I found it very confusing that the CEO of the DTC|Greenwood Village Chamber of Commerce is so supportive of a massive development project that will likely force many existing retailers to close their doors.

As part of a 2.8 million sqft development (a small detail that was excluded from the article), Alberta is proposing 300,000 sqft of retail space at Orchard Station. Belleview Station currently has 300,000 sqft of retail space under development and the Landmark and Belleview Promenade combine for an additional 270,000 existing sqft. Continue reading