Carl Campanella Announces He’s Running for City Council At Large


At-Large Councilors are elected by the entire City. Currently, Bob Fifer and Kathy Drulard have also announced they are running for this seat. Councilor Bob Fifer is the incumbent.

Here’s Mr Campanella’s press release:

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FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE:
June 27, 2015 – Arvada, Colorado

Carl Campanella, a native resident of Arvada, has announced his candidacy for the Arvada City Council at Large.

Carl Campanella

Carl Campanella

“I loved growing up in Arvada, especially during the 1950 to 1970 time period. We actually had MANAGED GROWTH. Most of the police knew us by first name and we knew them as “Officer” so and so. We could and did play baseball and even camped out in the Arvada Cemetery. Is this Mayberry? No, it is Americana, and what a way to grow up!” Carl is an alumnus of Russell Elementary, Drake Junior High, and, Arvada West, class of 1971! Carl is also has a BA in Political Science.

“Campi”, to his family, friends and neighbors stated there is a vacuum of independent thinking in the sitting city council for Arvada. “I have learned that a white ballot, or unanimous vote on a consistent and ongoing basis, in any sitting leadership body, is a sign of arrogance in leadership and disrespect for the people who elected them to office. Followers should not be leaders! To not debate issues in front of the people, this is not transparent, nor is it honest leadership. By not listening to the voice of the majority there is no representative leadership, only leadership afraid to lead, only leadership afraid to let the public know what is really at heart!”

“We as citizens have a right to know just as much of the concerns and issues facing Arvada as city council, in fact, we have more right!”

Campanella said he is concerned about how Arvada Urban Renewal and the city were able to sell land for redevelopment at such incredibly low prices by using tax incentives and subsidies without citizen approval. “The land and building that has been used by Vineyard Church across from Lowe’s has been sold to a developer for $500,000.00, urban renewal owned the property for $2,780,000.00. Is this fiscally responsible to those of us who live here? Is this fiscal responsibility to us as citizens, I think not! Vineyard even offered to buy the property at a fair market value. The location of the Pak Place Old Town, the developer paid $10.00 for the property. Is this fiscal responsibility to us as citizens, I think not!”

Campanella has observed that with every urban renewal project, there can or will be or has been residences or businesses that have been relocated, many to other cities. Most of the jobs brought in through urban renewal are minimal wage, barely able to live off of, service positions. “We have a large amount of open warehouse and office space in Arvada, why not bring in some light manufacturing without annexing the land it sits on? If something is not more forth coming from economic development, people will not be able to afford to live here.”

“Campi” has concerns about the growth in the northwest area of Arvada. There is an obvious concern about the area being developed, but, not by the urban renewal authority or city council.

“The people of Arvada, MY HOME TOWN, deserve so much more respect than what they are being given by our city council. We deserve leadership that believes in service and leadership and independent thinking instead of what we have now. When elected, I will not be afraid to lead, I will not be a follower, I will not vote just to go along with the rest of council. I will stand for Arvada and her people.”

Campanella stated there are so many more issues that need to be addressed. His top 3 concerns are subsidies and incentives to developers, mismanaged and unbridled growth and the total disconcert when it comes to City Hall and the lack of respect for us as citizens.

“Given the opportunity to make a positive difference for Arvada and bring more transparent communication with my strong ethics, we can bring back the Arvada that is the cause of many of us living here, and yet, we can responsibly move to a future of prosperity and quality growth with the “Home Town” atmosphere. We are not Mayberry and never have been.”

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And, as always, “The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community does not endorse candidates for public office. However, we often post candidacy announcements, press releases, interviews and questionnaire responses for those running for office. And we encourage our members to actively support whatever candidate they choose during elections.”

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The CLRC’s Arvada City Council Election Coverage


by John Kiljan

Dear CLRC members and friends,

For some very practical reasons, there will be a few changes in how the CLRC will be covering the upcoming local City Council elections in 2015. Hopefully those changes will make it a little easier to learn about the candidates, and our members will have fewer emails and less posting clutter to deal with.

Logo

Historically, our local election coverage has given us some of our most popular CLRC articles.   It’s not hard to see why. Very little information is available about City Council candidates in the newspapers. And most people don’t follow politically-oriented Facebook groups or attend candidate forums.

Moreover, the questions asked of the candidates in the venues they do follow are often not the ones that the CLRC membership has said are most important to them. But voters of all kinds do google-up the candidate’s names. When they do that, they often find a link to our articles on RalstonCommunity.org.

Most of the changes are because there are a lot of open seats on the Council – five of them. Already nine people have announced their intentions to run. Usually, only three or four seats are open at one time. And, typically, one or two have only a single candidate running. The deadline for getting on the ballot is sometime in late August when signatures have to be turned in and validated, so we won’t know how many are actually running until then.

We recently asked our CLRC steering committee members what they thought the best way to cover the election would be, and with that input we’ve come up with some changes:

The first change is that we will be limiting the number of press releases we repost for each candidate to a single “I’m running” announcement. Kickoff meetings, fundraising, volunteer requests and all those kinds of follow-on things are gone. The ones that we’ve already posted will be removed from RalstonCommunity.org website. We may still post information about some high-profile endorsements or things similar, but don’t expect much more than that.

Candidates may still add information about their own campaigns as “Comments” to their original announcement articles. In fact, they are encouraged to do just that – as are their supporters.

The second change will be that we will not be doing any written interviews for the candidates in 2015. It’s too labor intensive.

In the past we’ve sat and interviewed each willing candidate for a half hour or more. Then we wrote up those notes in a “first person” format and then let the candidates edit them any way they pleased. The problem with doing that is that it takes three to five days of work to complete a write-up, get it revised and approved by the candidate, formatted and then put up on our website. Doing that for more than four candidates is simply too much work.

Video interviews also seem unlikely this go ‘round, but they are still possible. We haven’t yet found anyone available to set up and do the kind of five-minute, single-take interviews we did with the City Council finalists when Councilor Rachel Zenzinger resigned her seat.

Some things won’t change: We will still try to cover candidate forums that organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce or League of Women Voters often hold.

And we also hope to send out a short candidate questionnaire and publish the responses we get back. The list of questions will be those most requested by the CLRC’s 15-member steering committee. We did that with the last Colorado General Assembly race, the preceding Arvada Fire Department board race and with the Apex Park and Recreation District board race. Those questionnaires seemed to provide voters with some useful information.

We will also try to cover the races in Council Districts 1 & 4, if they are contested – even though they are outside the CLRC’s neighborhood boundaries. It’s important to support candidates other than just the ones for Mayor/At-Large and Districts 2 & 3. All Council members will be voting on the issues that affect central Arvada neighborhoods. And you can support a candidate in ways other than by voting for them – such as by volunteering and making financial campaign contributions.

As you probably already know, the CLRC, as an organization, doesn’t endorse candidates. We’re impartial. All we do is tell our readers what is known about the candidates and encourage our members to decide for themselves who they want to support. People seem to like that. And our primary purpose is to be a neighborhood advocacy group – not a political advocacy group. After all, it is the people that the voters want most who should be sitting on the City Council.

WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community is an independent neighborhood association representing the neighborhoods adjacent to Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to the Kipling Parkway.

You can read all of our articles on our main website at http://www.RalstonCommunity.org or you can read even more posts on our Facebook page at “CLRC – Citizens for a Liveable Ralston Community”. You can write to us, call us or email us at

CLRC
c/o John Kiljan, Secretary
6185 Field Street
Arvada, CO 80004

303-423-9875
jpkiljan@yahoo.com

July 2, 2015

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Dave Palm Announces He’s Running for Council District 2


District 2 covers Olde Town east of Olde Wadsworth Boulevard, the Columbine neighborhood south of 56th Avenue and also reaches into north Arvada.  District 2’s incumbent City Councilor, Mark McGoff, is expected to announce that he will be running for reelection in the district as well.

Here’s Mr Palm’s press release:

* * *

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Tuesday, June 23, 2015 – Arvada Colorado

Palm for City Council

Dave Palm

Dave Palm

Dave Palm, lifelong resident of Jefferson County, former school board candidate and “Arvadan” since 1960 is a candidate for Arvada City Council in district 2.

Palm said he’s getting into the fight to preserve the small hometown, “Mayberry”, Charm and Character that Arvada has had since before Colorado was even a state.

“Members of our current council seem to have little respect for the citizens and have complete disregard for our heritage.”

“District 2 is home to some of the oldest and most beautiful neighborhoods in the city and high density, transit oriented development does absolutely nothing to enhance our quality of life. It’s time to get Urban Renewal under control

“Growing up here in the 60’s, Arvada was referred to as a bedroom community. Our big box stores were Montgomery Ward’s and the Denver Dry Goods store at Lakeside. People built homes here to get away from Denver. Small local businesses thrived because they were actually neighbors”

“Our current council has brought us the 5 story high density, 150 unit apartment building at Wadsworth Bypass and Ralston Rd. And this is just the beginning. On the drawing board is another 5-600 housing units, add in the light rail parking garage and a Hilton hotel all within a quarter of a mile and you can imagine the traffic jam.”

“It’s not just about the development and how it impacts our current quality of life, it’s about the way it’s getting paid for. The Arvada Urban Renewal Authority (AURA) in collusion with city council is incentivizing developers with taxpayer money and redirecting future tax money that would otherwise go to schools, street maintenance, and fire departments into the pockets of private sector developers and corporations”.

“… I want to try to slow down the out of control development and let the light rail earn its own way just as developers should earn their own way. If, as a city, we’re going to subsidize anything it ought to be small mom and pop businesses not national corporations.”

“We are at a tipping point, now is the time to take back control Arvada and let the free market work.”

“I’m not an attorney or a developer, just a hometown guy that wants to preserve the Arvada experience and return common sense and transparency to its leadership.”

Dave is 64 years old, graduated from Arvada High School in 1969, and is the father of a grown son, Matt. Dave and Matt are small business owners, operating Hackberry Hill Communications in Arvada for over 30 years.

Contact: Email:davepalm@hackberryhill.net
Phone: 720-663-PALM (7256)
Text: 303-420-9859

# # #

* * *

And, as always, “The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community does not endorse candidates for public office. However, we often post candidacy announcements, press releases, interviews and questionnaire responses for those running for office. And we encourage our members to actively support whatever candidate they choose during elections.”

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Dave Chandler Announces His Candidacy for Mayor


Community activist Dave Chandler has recently announced his candidacy for Mayor in the coming November Arvada City Council elections.  Here is a copy of his press release:

* * *

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Friday, June 19, 2015

Chandler for Arvada Mayor

Dave Chandler

Dave Chandler

Dave Chandler, well-known and long-time community advocate, is a candidate for mayor of Arvada.

“I am confident that Arvadans want to keep our city a special place: family-friendly, small town atmosphere, easygoing with neighborly local shops and businesses.”

“I am running for mayor to offer that direction for Arvada.”

That is in stark contrast, Chandler says, to the path the incumbent mayor and city council are pursuing.

“We can keep Arvada a quality community or we can let it slip away into just another unremarkable, humdrum suburb. Vote for me to keep Arvada’s valuable character, or vote for the other guy and get more traffic, more gridlock, more high density housing, and more neglect of our streets.”

Election day is Tuesday, November 3, 2015; all balloting is by mail.

Chandler emphasized how important this city election is.

“We are at a critical point in Arvada.”

“We need more respect for our own Arvada community character. I am flat out against the efforts by the incumbent mayor through the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority to turn our town into an overcrowded, congested extension of Denver — I like Denver, but I live here because I like it here, this is our home.”

“We can be innovative and bring Arvada fully into the 21st century while still keeping this city committed to its history and traditions. We can make a good start on that by sticking to free enterprise and free markets and ending the recent spate of government tax subsidies and land give-aways to private developers and corporations.”

Chandler ran for mayor four years ago and ran for council before in the mid-1990s.

“I’m principled and determined. I’ll never give up defending the Arvada taxpayer. I’ll never stop working to make Arvada city government as good and as honest as its citizens.”

Dave is a founding member of Arvada for All the People, a grassroots citizens group advocating for integrity, transparency and diversity in local government.

Mr. Chandler is fifty-eight years old; he has been married for 28 years and has two grown children. He is a summa cum laude graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Dave and his family have resided in Arvada since 1991. In recent years Dave has been a work-at-home dad, a free lance writer, and an artist painting at Le Chaundeler.com. Dave is an enthusiastic member of the Denver Art Museum and a monthly contributor to the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

Contributions can be made at: http://www.MayorDave.us/contribute

More information at: http://www.MayorDave.us

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mayordaveforarvada?ref=bookmarks

Contact: Email: Dave@MayorDave.us
Phone: 303-424-9897
Text: 303-995-6941

# # #

* * *

[Editor’s note: The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community does not endorse candidates for public office. However, we often post candidacy announcements, press releases, interviews and questionnaire responses for those running for office. And we encourage our members to actively support whatever candidate they choose during elections.]

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Park Place Photo Essay – Apartments to Lease this Fall


Park Place Photo Essay – Apartments to Lease this Fall

by John Kiljan

Dear CLRC members and friends,

Curious about the construction going on at the corner of Ralston Road and the Wadsworth Bypass? Arvada’s Olde Town is growing and Park Place is Olde Town’s most recent residential development.

Park Place Olde Town under construction

Park Place Olde Town under construction

It’s hard for the 60,000 or so drivers who pass by the southwest corner of this busy intersection each day to get a good look at what’s being built there. So, in May, I asked the developer of this project if he would let me have a look at the site from the inside so I could put together some photos for all of us to see. The developer quickly agreed, and after waiting a few days for some decent weather, I was given an hour-long hard-hat tour of what turned out to be a very busy construction site.Rendering sw_2

A LITTLE BACKGROUND
Park Place is tucked in between the Wadsworth Bypass and McIlvoy Park on land that was once home to the Masons and the Lions Club before they left their buildings, and on a retail strip that used to host a tire shop and tattoo parlor before the Bypass was rebuilt to allow it to pass under Grandview Avenue.

View from Olde Town Tavern

View from Olde Town Tavern

The site was slated for low-density three-story walk-up apartments with surface parking. But Arvada’s urban renewal authority, AURA, actively encouraged the construction of medium-density apartments on the surplus land by offering part of it at no cost to the developer in exchange for adding a number of improvements.

Morning view of McIlvoy with campus-like feeling

Morning view of McIlvoy with campus-like feeling from sheltered traffic noise

Those improvements included features such as under-the-building parking, elevators, a better architectural design, some off-site improvements and adding more units. There will be a number of special features as well, such as a wifi café, barbeque areas, a small pool on the second level, security features, an area for washing the residents’ dogs, repairing and maintaining their bicycles and tuning their skis.

All of this is in line with urban renewal’s efforts to restore blighted urban lands, and with creating walkable communities with higher density housing for new construction within walking distance of the new Gold Line commuter rail station. The new rail station in Olde Town is expected to be open for passengers around the middle of next year.

Mcllvoy pavilion from the north Park Place Olde Town plaza

Mcllvoy pavilion from the north Park Place Olde Town plaza

In the final design, the Park Place Olde Town will have 153 units on five levels with three plazas looking out over the adjacent McIlvoy Park from its second level. There will also be eight garden-level apartments on the west side next to the park and three more on the south side of the building. All the apartments will be one or two bedroom units. There will be elevators and six handicap-accessible apartments as well. Half the parking will be located under the building. The rest will be in a screened area on the east side of the building. The main entry will be on the southeast corner of the building from Teller Street, where the building is the tallest because of the sloping ground.

The building is not expected to be complete until very early next year, but the property managers will be letting out some of the units as early as this September even while the rest of the building is under construction starting into winter. The property will be let and managed by Lincoln Properties, who also manages the Water Tower apartments on the southwest corner of Olde Town.

View from heart of Olde Town from the Arvada Public Library

View from heart of Olde Town from the Arvada Public Library

So far, there is no estimate for the increased business that the new residents will bring to Olde Town retailers, but the mix of new residents living there should add noticeably to the area’s vitality. And, after AURA’s redevelopment authority runs out in about 16 more years, the County, the schools, the library, fire department, recreation district and county social services should see quite a bump in the property taxes they collect each year as $18 million in improvements are added to the property’s valuation.

There’s more to come in new residences in Olde Town. Solana is expected to break ground at the end of the year on about 350 new apartments just east of the mini-storage on the Wadsworth Bypass. Those housing units should be built to even better condominium-grade standards than Park Place, with up to three bedrooms and individual garages and a full pool for its residents. But that’s a story for another article.

View from the corner of Grandview and Upham

View from the corner of Grandview and Upham

Despite the benefits to the planned growth of Olde Town, the Park Place housing project has been controversial. Many living near Olde Town objected to the more modern architecture of the building, its height and its proximity to McIlvoy Park. Also objected to were the razing of the old Masons’ Hall, even though there were no viable options for repurposing the building.

The photos here are very amateur, and they were taken with a digital hand-held camera. They include pictures taken inside the building and a number of views of what the topped-out building now looks like from various locations in Olde Town. Also included are a few comparison photos of what the architects say the building will look like when it is complete. Also included are some photos put out by opposition groups that greatly exaggerated the visual impact of the new building in an effort to stop its construction.

South façade of the building with entryway below

South façade of the building with entryway below

While I was walking the construction site with one of the developers, Mark Goldberg, he talked about the pride he had in the ongoing work and the benefits he saw it bringing to Olde Town and the City as a whole. And he was especially complimentary about how well he could work with the City Staff and the City Council on planning and building the project.

Below is further information on a temporary website for those to who want to pre-register to lease an apartment when the new units start opening up. A permanent website will be started later on. There are also other links for the architectural design of the building and past CLRC articles on its development.

MORE PHOTOS

View from the park pavilion

View from the park pavilion

Swimming pool under construction in a plaza

Swimming pool under construction in a plaza

What the plaza will look like when completed

What the plaza will look like when completed

Covered parking area under the apartments

Covered parking area under the apartments

Plaza to have wifi café and fire pit

Plaza to have wifi café and fire pit

The same plaza when finished

The same plaza when finished

Looking out over the park from the rec room/café

Looking out over the park from the rec room/café

Looking inward on a plaza with workers taking a lunch break

Looking inward on a plaza with workers taking a lunch break

Another 9 am view of the park adjacent to the garden-level apartments

Another 9 am view of the park adjacent to the garden-level apartments

Interior hallway under construction

Interior hallway under construction

View to the north and the outdoor parking area -- only half the parking will be below the building

View to the north and the outdoor parking area — only half the parking will be below the building

Another view of a plaza from an upper-level apartment

Another view of a plaza from an upper-level apartment

A view from an apartment looking over the Grandview bridge and the Denver skyline

A view from an apartment looking over the Grandview bridge and the Denver skyline

A view from the roof overlooking St Anne's church -- residents will not be allowed onto the roof

A view from the roof overlooking St Anne’s church — residents will not be allowed onto the roof

The view toward Long's Peak from an upper-level apartment

The view toward Long’s Peak from an upper-level apartment

 

Spruce tree preserved during construction

Spruce tree preserved during construction

Trees coming close to touching the apartment windows.

Trees coming close to touching the apartment windows.

View to south to Granview Avenue

View to south to Grandview Avenue

The rooftop is being covered with a thick, white waterproofing membrane

The rooftop is being covered with a thick, white waterproofing membrane

The base of a construction crane and its counterweights

The base of a construction crane and its counterweights

This finish test wall is being used to obtain approval for wall coverings by the City before application

This finish test wall is being used to obtain approval for wall coverings by the City before application

Looking to the north along the west side of the building

Looking to the north along the west side of the building

And now for a few views of Park Place from around Olde Town . . .

Looking north from 56th and the Wads Bypass

Looking north from 56th and the Wads Bypass

View from Teller and Grandview

View from Teller and Grandview

Ceremonial "topping tree" replanted McIlvoy Park

Ceremonial “topping tree” replanted McIlvoy Park

View from the Stocke-Walter side of the Bypass

View from the Stocke-Walter side of the Bypass

View from the Grandview Street bridge

View from the Grandview Street bridge

View from Grandview east of the bridge

View from Grandview east of the bridge

View from Fuzzy's Tacos in Olde Town

View from Fuzzy’s Tacos in Olde Town

What anti-PPOT said the view from Fuzzy's would look like

What an anti-PPOT group said the view from Fuzzy’s would look like

Saint Anne's school children at recess in a noticeably quieter park

Saint Anne’s school children at recess in a noticeably quieter park

View looking north from Grandview Avenue

View looking north from Grandview Avenue

What Arvadans were told this view would look like

What Arvadans were told this view would look like

View from Upham Street and Ralston Road

View from Upham Street and Ralston Road

McIlvoy Park playground

McIlvoy Park playground

View from the back of St Anne's school

View from the back of St Anne’s school

What we were told the view would look like

What we were told the view would look like

View from the far side of Wads Bypass and Ralston Road

View from the far side of Wads Bypass and Ralston Road

WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
Here are the planned lease rates for the units:

PLAN                                  STARTING FROM
1A 686 Sq Ft                     $1,180
1B 823 Sq Ft                     $1,420
1C 800 Sq Ft                     $1,395
2A 1,130 Sq Ft                  $1,395
2B+ 1,053 Sq Ft               $1,640
2C 1,199 Sq Ft                  $1,720

Seems expensive? To read a Denver Post article on increasing apartment rental rates in the metro area, have a look at this Denver Post article:

http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_28110292/metro-denver-apartment-rents-go-off-leash?source=infinite

There’s another Denver Post article about Park Place Olde Town at

http://www.denverpost.com/arvada/ci_25614072/arvada-oks-18-million-park-place-olde-town/

You can pre-register to get on a list to lease the units as they come open by clicking on this link:

http://www.parkplaceoldetown.com/

To see more detailed architectural plans for the units, go to this website:

http://www.vmwp.com/projects/pdfs/park_place.pdf

For past CLRC articles on the development, try these links:

http://ralstoncommunity.org/2014/04/24/masons-hall-being-pulled-down-photos/

and

http://ralstoncommunity.org/2015/01/20/how-tall-is-five-stories-park-place-olde-town-reaches-to-the-sky/

There’s a YouTube video (if it’s still available) that describes the coming destruction of Olde Town caused by housing like Park Place. It has the exaggerated pictures of the project’s size and was put out by “Save Arvada Now”. Here is the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MILSHPBkChU

And here’s another more recent anti-urban renewal post about Park Place by a related group:

http://www.arvadaforallthepeople.com/2015/05/failing-historic-olde-town-arvada.html

And then there is your own CLRC: The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community is an independent neighborhood association representing the neighborhoods adjacent to Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to the Kipling Parkway.

You can read all of our articles on our main website at http://www.RalstonCommunity.org or you can read even more posts on our Facebook page at “CLRC – Citizens for a Liveable Ralston Community”. You can write to us, call us or email us at

CLRC
c/o John Kiljan, Secretary
6185 Field Street
Arvada, CO 80004

303-423-9875
jpkiljan@yahoo.com

June 10, 2015

 

 

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City Finalizes Arvada Center Privatization – Comment Period to be Brief


by John Kiljan

Dear CLRC members and friends,

Unless something changes, coming up at the June 15th Arvada City Council meeting will be the first reading of an ordinance to turn the operation of the Arvada Center over to private, non-profit agency. The ordinance will be to approve a “Cooperative Agreement” between the City and the soon-to-be-independent “Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities”.

1432846672_Main_Page_Banner_-_AC_2The final 22-page agreement, which now includes the expected “Strategic Results” appendix, was only released last Monday afternoon. It had been undergoing last-minute updates and negotiations since a draft document was first included in a May 11th Council workshop packet. The agreement is still open for amendment, and the City now has a webpage up on Arvada.org inviting public feedback.

But it’s rare that any ordinance is modified after its first reading. And that’s what is scheduled to happen this coming Monday. So, if any member of the public wants to see any changes, amendments or additions to the agreement, they will have to act promptly.

Because of the brief comment period available, the Arvada City Manager, Mark Deven, has taken the somewhat unusual step of asking those who have questions about the agreement to contact him directly. And the President of the newly restructured Arvada Center non-profit corporation, former Mayor Ken Fellman, has also said that he welcomes personal contact for those who have questions.

There will also be a formal public hearing at the Arvada City Council meeting being held on Monday, July 6th just before the enacting ordinance is voted on by the Council members.

WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
The agreement, and six pages of commentary, is now available for download on Arvada.org at this link:

http://arvada.org/about-arvada/proposal-to-restructure-the-arvada-center-for-the-arts-and-humanities-as-a-non-profit-organization/

The contact information for the Arvada City Manager is: Mark Deven, mdeven@arvada.org or 720-898-7510.

The contact information for the President of the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities is: Ken Fellman, kfellman@kandf.com or 303-320-6100. Mr Fellman is currently an attorney with firm Kissinger & Fellman and you’ll be calling his office.

The CLRC has covered the initiative to turn over the operation of the Arvada Center to a non-profit corporation in a number of articles. The most comprehensive of those dates back to the spring of 2012 when the idea was first raised at a Council workshop. Here’s the link to that article:

http://ralstoncommunity.org/2012/06/15/clrc-news-council-to-decide-on-arvada-center-growth/

You can find subsequent articles by entering the words “arvada center” into the CLRC’s RalstonCommunity.org website search engine.

The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community is an independent neighborhood association representing the neighborhoods adjacent to Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to the Kipling Parkway.

Our main website is at http://www.RalstonCommunity.org or you can read even more posts on our Facebook page at “CLRC – Citizens for a Liveable Ralston Community”. You can write to us, call us or email us at

CLRC
c/o John Kiljan, Secretary
6185 Field Street
Arvada, CO 80004

303-423-9875
jpkiljan@yahoo.com

June 9, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

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City, Apex Explore Fisher Pool Replacement at Fitzmorris


by John Kiljan

Dear CLRC members and friends,

“. . . In addition to those five things, we consistently heard – much! – really loud! But we consistently heard people stand up and [say], ‘Listen and pay attention to the idea of community recreation centers.’ As opposed to regional centers, like the Apex Center is now, which generate revenue and pay for themselves or even make money. It seems that what we are hearing from both the different parts of the community are this idea of smaller, neighborhood rec centers. Which, as we’ve talked about, are not profit centers.”

Those were Director Jeff Glenn’s opening remarks at a joint Arvada City Council/Apex Board of Directors’ meeting held May 12, 2015 to discuss the results of Apex’s last public input meeting on its upcoming bond renewal. That March public input meeting drew 150 participants according to Director Glenn, who is also the President of the Apex Board.

The director’s comments marked a sea change in the board’s vision for the future of recreation in Arvada. It is a change that can only help the more underserved areas of south and southeast Arvada, and it is a change that may finally bring about a restoration of the Fisher Pool that used to be located in Arvada’s Central Park. This article contains the latest news on how that change is unfolding.

The need for local community recreation dominated the discussion during the remainder of the hour-and-a-quarter meeting between the two government entities. Both the City of Arvada and the Apex Park & Recreation District jointly provide for Arvada’s many public parks and recreation facilities.

The City of Arvada has already set aside $3.1 million in its budget to build a replacement pool/rec center for the community pool closed by Apex at Ralston Central Park eight years ago. But that’s only about half of what’s needed to build a replacement for the Fisher Pool.

During the meeting discussion, City Manager Mark Deven asked the group to consider using that set-aside money to instead set up an operational trust fund for local community recreational facilities that Apex might have to operate at a loss – but only if Apex would agree to build the facilities in the first place. The Mayor liked that idea as well, and said that the voters were more likely to support an Apex bond proposal if it were a collaborative partnership between Apex and the City.

Fitzmorris Park looking out to Fitzmorris school

Fitzmorris Park looking out to Fitzmorris school

At that meeting, the City said it was already looking at the possibility of locating a neighborhood pool at the Fitzmorris elementary school and the adjacent City park located at 62st Avenue and Independence. Apex Director Jim Whitfield thought that Fitzmorris would work as a site, but he also thought Wolff Park would be more centrally located.

But Mr Whitfield also asked why the south and southeast parts of the city should be treated differently than other parts of the city.  “What makes this [neighborhood] more special than any other part of the city?” he asked. District 3 Councilor John Marriott answered that it was simply because these are areas that are underserved.

Satellite view of Fitzmorris, Ralston Central Park and Wolff Park

Satellite view of Fitzmorris, Ralston Central Park and Wolff Park

Overall, there was good support from Councilor Marriot, Councilor Dyer and the Mayor for including neighborhood recreational facilities in a bond proposal, with Mayor Williams saying we need a “present under the tree for everybody” in the bond proposal.

Councilor Bob Dyer also floated the idea of a circulator shuttle to help kids in the southeast part of the city to reach the available recreational facilities farther west and north. Councilor McGoff also liked that idea, but his concern was as much for seniors living on the east side of Kipling. He cited demographics that say the senior population is growing most rapidly in east Arvada. Councilors Fifer and Allard were not able attend this meeting.

* * *

Only two members of the public attended the May 12th joint meeting, but about seven members of the public showed up at a follow-on workshop held on May 21st. This workshop was held by Apex after its regular business meeting that evening, and the Arvada City Council did not attend. Apex’s workshop was held to decide what the district should do next to keep on a schedule to put a bond renewal issue on the ballot in May of 2016. Apex hopes to decide by September what it wants to include in a bond renewal proposal and to begin promoting the concept shortly afterward.

At this follow-on Apex workshop, Mike Miles, Apex’s Executive Director, asked the members of the board to sort through a pile of seven project categories, and for each director to come up with his or her own package totaling no more than $25 million worth of project proposals.   The cost estimates were very rough and most had several cost options depending upon the scale of the projects. Mr Miles placed the $25 million limit on the total, because that is how much money would be available without raising the mill levy rate the district now has on property taxes.

Those project groups were, in no particular order:

tennis courts – $1.1M, $4.0M, $6.5M, $7.7M and $10.3M options (from just surface repair to 6 indoor courts and 6 outdoor courts);

a new pool/club house at Fitzmorris – $3.2M to $4.0M, with costs based on Candelas’ HOA costs;

P1010214a new pool/club house at Columbine in southeast Arvada – $3.2M to $3.5M, or $6.8M to $8M for a Secrest-sized facility;

Secrest upgrades – expanded gym for $5.5M to $6.9M but with increased operating deficits, with an option for a senior-oriented hot therapy pool for another $1.5M, but the old pool may need a replacement (or major repair) in ten years or so;

Apex center – $1.5M for a new outdoor splash pad, indoor pool improvements, clubhouse renovation;

Long Lakes Ranch – $4.5M for new ball fields, lighting, restrooms, concessions, new multi-sport turf fields, parking, sidewalks; and,

Lutz sports complex – $4.3M for a package that includes reconfiguring the ball fields and adding restrooms and concessions.

Fitzmorris Park & school (click to enlarge)

Fitzmorris Park & school

When the straw poll was complete, four out of the five directors supported building a Fisher Pool replacement at, or near, the Fitzmorris elementary school, and none fully supported a recreational facility for the Columbine neighborhood.   The tennis, Lutz, Secrest, Long Lakes and Apex projects were supported by all the directors at some level.  Several directors supported adding a hot-water therapy pool to Secrest as well.

When putting together their $25 million priority list, only Director Humrich did not include a community pool at Fitzmorris.  And only Director Whitfield supported setting aside some money ($1.8 million) to support a partnership with the City of Arvada to provide a facility for Columbine.

But there was also sympathy from some of the board members when turning down Columbine. The primary concern expressed was that it did not look like there was available space in the neighborhood, and that the City might, or should, be able to provide more support for that area.

* * *

And the City might well do that. A few days after this workshop meeting, I talked briefly with Gordon Reusink, who is the City of Arvada’s parks director. He told me that the City has launched a complete review and revision of its Parks Master Plan and that it will include a hard look at the needs of the Columbine neighborhood south of Grandview and east of the Wadsworth Bypass.

Satellite view of the Columbine neighborhood in SE Arvada

Satellite view of the Columbine neighborhood in SE Arvada

The Plan is important. It will look at all the City’s park facilities with an eye to a full build-out of the City to a population of 150,000. The current population of Arvada is about 110,000 and limited land and water availability may not allow much further growth. The City hopes to complete the Parks Master Plan by the end of the year, and it will start setting up meetings to get public input on Arvada’s parks needs, probably sometime this summer.

But back to Fitzmorris. Already seeing Fitzmorris as a viable site for locating a community pool, the City has taken the initiative to begin exploratory talks with Jefferson County schools about locating one there. So far, those discussions are only at the staff-to-staff level, but they seem promising.

Apparently, the City goes a long way to coordinate its park developments with the adjacent schools. Mr Reusink can now cite 29 locations where the City and Jeffco schools have set up partnerships to coordinate their adjacent school and park developments.

Wolff Park on Ralston Road was the last such partnership. The City built and maintains Wolff Park, but the school owns the land it sits on. It’s all done under a formal intergovernmental agreement (IGA). The City seems to do this kind of exploratory planning well in advance. There is another joint project being discussed for a park near a new Leyden Rock school that has not yet even been funded.

At some point the staffs of the Arvada City Manager’s Office, Apex and Jefferson County schools will come together to discuss what might be possible at the Fitzmorris site. But so far, no meeting has been scheduled. And after that, it looks like the City Council and the Apex Board of Directors may get together one more time before Apex makes a decision as to what to put on the ballot next year.

Not familiar with the area? To see a short video pan of the proposed Fitzmorris site for the pool/recreation facility, try clicking on this link:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4zrk7705kpqspws/P1010315.MP4?dl=0

You don’t have to sign up for Dropbox to see the one-minute video.

SO IS THIS WHERE IT WILL HAPPEN FOR SURE?
By no means. By my own count, ten different sites, including this one, have been discussed as a location for a replacement Fisher Pool over the years. They stretch from the Triangle shopping center through Wolff Park to Memorial Park and to the City Hall campus itself. Each potential site has its own benefits, problems and expenses associated with its development. If an agreement cannot be reached among the school, Apex and the City to locate at Fitzmorris, there are still other possibilities for central Arvada to once again have a decent public pool and recreational facility.

WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
Your neighborhood association, the CLRC, has covered the need for local recreation and the need for a community pool since it was founded in 2010. The most recent CLRC article covering the public comments made about local recreation needs during the March 26th public input meeting can found at this link:

http://ralstoncommunity.org/2015/05/08/pool-and-recreation-center-comments-made-at-the-final-apex-public-input-meeting/

A copy of the audio recordings for the May 12th and May 21st meetings are available upon request.

The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community is an independent neighborhood association representing the neighborhoods adjacent to Ralston Road from the Wadsworth Bypass to the Kipling Parkway.

Our main website is at http://www.RalstonCommunity.org or you can read even more posts on our Facebook page at “CLRC – Citizens for a Liveable Ralston Community”. You can write to us, call us or email us at

CLRC
c/o John Kiljan, Secretary
6185 Field Street
Arvada, CO 80004

303-423-9875
jpkiljan@yahoo.com

June 1, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

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