July 12, 2011
by John Kiljan
After a lengthy session late last night, the Arvada City Council approved the Outline Development Plan (ODP) for the Triangle shopping district. An amendment that would prevent the Arvada Community Gardens from being considered for relocation in future redevelopment proposals was defeated on a 3-3 vote.
Various safeguards for the community gardens had been added to the ODP during the review process leading up to last night’s meeting. However, the Council went further and voted to tighten up those safeguards and make them more explicit. The ODP was amended to require that, if the gardens were relocated, it would have to be within a quarter mile of the Triangle.
The Council also added a provision preserving the gardens’ size and features. And, they added a provision saying the City was amenable to alternative alignments for Garrison Street. That provision (which was proposed by this writer) will give more flexibility to developers who want to work around the existing gardens.
As with last month’s Planning Commission meeting, there was extensive public comment. Those comments centered on the importance of attracting a developer to the shopping district, on the need to preserve the community gardens as a community asset and on the impacts that the additional housing will bring to the neighborhood.
During its presentation AURA was firm in saying that only multi-use developments are economically viable in today’s markets. That means that 300 to 900 new housing units may be built. Also, for the first time, professional office buildings will allowed in the Triangle.
Despite the 3-3 vote on excluding the gardens, the Council was remarkably cohesive in the overall objectives of redevelopment plan, support for the community gardens and the other concerns raised during public comments. Council members promised a thorough review of the actual development proposals they might receive. The final rezoning and ODP proposals both passed on 6-0 votes.
Mayor Frie did not participate in the ODP approval. He recused himself on the firm advice of the City’s attorney. Although not garden club members themselves, the mayor’s wife and son rent a plot in community gardens. Last night’s action was considered to be a quasi-judicial proceeding meaning that the Council members should hold themselves to the same standards as judges in a courtroom.
WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
The Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community will add the official Council meeting notes to this post when they become available. The streaming video is already available online at the City’s website at
Scroll down to the entry marked ‘7/11/11’ to see the streaming video of the entire meeting. Be prepared to wade through a lot. The meeting lasted nearly four hours and the clearly tired City Council did not finish up the hearings until after 11 PM.
And, look for a write up by Megan Quinn in the Arvada Press when it comes out this Thursday.
The CLRC will post other information on its website at http://www.ralstoncommunity.org/ as it becomes available.
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