Love and Hate – Two Different Views on Urban Renewal


by John Kiljan

Dear CLRC members and friends,

On Friday, February 20th, and on Saturday, February 28th, there will be a couple of public meetings of significance. One will be on the benefits that urban renewal brings to Arvada, and the other will center on why urban renewal should be stopped altogether.

The first discussion will be hosted by the Arvada Chamber of Commerce (CoC). The second is being put together by the loosely organized Facebook group called, “Let’s Talk, Arvada – Arvada for All the People” (LTA).

Olde Wads & Grandview before AURA

Olde Wads & Grandview before AURA

Olde Wads & Grandview after AURA redevelopment

Olde Wads & Grandview after AURA redevelopment

These are not academic discussions. The General Assembly is expected to be taking a hard look at urban renewal during its 2015 legislative session. During the 2014 session, the Legislature passed a last-minute bill that would have effectively redirected much urban renewal revenues to counties and stopped urban renewal activities for a number of months while the bill was weighed by attorneys and adjudicated by the courts. The Governor vetoed that bill. But a similar bill is expected to be brought up again during the 2015 session which ends in early May.

The CoC’s speaker will be Maureen Phair, the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority’s Executive Director. She’s expected to give a short history of urban renewal in Arvada and an update on the City’s plans for redeveloping the Triangle shopping centers and the areas surrounding the heart of Olde Town. All told, if carried through, those developments will amount to many tens of millions of dollars in new commercial investments in central Arvada.

The Chamber’s early Friday morning breakfasts are usually pretty good when hosted at the Arvada Center and are well worth the $15 fee — even if you don’t like what you’re hearing. And you don’t have to be a member of the Chamber to attend. But be sure to book by noon on Thursday so the caterers can figure out how much food to come up with the next morning. Chamber members can get grumpy if they run out of eggs and bacon.

Here’s the link that lets you do that:

http://arvadachamber.chambermaster.com/events/details/3rd-friday-breakfast-aura-update-10981

1882 Schoolhouse before AURA restoration

1882 School House before AURA restoration

School House after $1.5 million AURA restoration

School House after $1.5 million AURA restoration

The LTA’s Saturday morning meeting will feature Bruce Baker, who is a Westminster City Council member elected in November of 2013 and who ran on a platform opposed to urban renewal in the City of Westminster.  Westminster has a lot of urban renewal on its plate and some are wondering if that city can afford all the urban renewal programs it has planned. You can read about the LTA meeting in this Arvada Press article:

http://arvadapress.com/stories/Residents-scrutinize-changes-in-city,179967

The lengthy 24-item action agenda referenced in the Arvada Press article can be found at

http://www.arvadaforallthepeople.com/action-agenda-for-arvada.html

And there is no fee planned for the 10:30 am LTA meeting at the library on Saturday morning. Any cookies and refreshments provided should be free.

The LTA keynote speaker, Bruce Baker, was elected councilor in Westminster in November of 2013. You can read more of his somewhat unique-for-Westminster opinions on urban renewal at this link:

http://completecolorado.com/pagetwo/2015/01/01/westminster-abusing-blight-designation-for-tif-funded-urban-renewal/

There’s a lot happening in Arvada in 2015, and whatever view of urban renewal prevails, it should be as Yankee catcher Yogi Berra once observed: “The future ain’t what it used to be.”

Before the Water Tower project

Before the Water Tower project

 

 

Water Tower development

Water Tower development

WHERE TO FIND OUT MORE
Arvada City Council member Jerry Marks is the current chair of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Kami Welch is the Chamber’s President. Their website can be found at

http://www.arvadachamber.org/

The independent Arvada Urban Renewal Authority (AURA) has a web page at

http://arvadaurbanrenewal.org/

The City of Arvada also updates AURA’s Triangle shopping center efforts at its website at

http://arvada.org/about-arvada/arvada-triangle

and at

https://arvada.org/about-arvada/ralston-creek/

If you want to read a recent article about AURA’s influence on the redevelopment of Olde Town, try this link for a Denver Post article:

http://www.denverpost.com/arvada/ci_27542904/years-effort-paying-off-revitalization-arvadas-olde-town

The “Let’s Talk, Arvada – Arvada for All the People” Facebook group is thought to be organized by community activist Cindi Kreutzer (pronounced CRYTZ-er) and former Arvada mayoral candidate Dave Chandler. If you are on Facebook, you can just type in that long name and read the many posts denouncing urban renewal in Arvada. You can also read many anti-Walmart posts on the “Stop Arvada Walmart” Facebook page which seems to have the same principal sponsors as the LTA.

Wadsworth motel before urban renewal

Wadsworth motel before urban renewal

This group, the Citizens for a Livable Ralston Community, is an independent neighborhood association representing the neighborhoods adjacent to Ralston Road from Wadsworth Bypass to the Kipling Parkway. There are many articles on our website about urban renewal, the Triangle shopping centers, Olde Town and the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority. Feel free to browse our archives and sign up for new postings.

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”. And, you can write to us, call us or email us at

CLRC
6185 Field Street
Arvada, CO 80004

303-423-9875
jpkiljan@yahoo.com

— John Kiljan, CLRC secretary

February 18, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 Responses to Love and Hate – Two Different Views on Urban Renewal

  1. Stan Dyer says:

    Love and hate? Isn’t that a bit extreme? It is true that differences exist, but it is not accurate to describe these difference in such absolute terms. Someone once referred to the differences here as differences in “perspective,” and that may be more accurate than pushing differences to the far, opposite sides of the spectrum; referring to them as “love,” and “hate.”

    It might be more accurate, using the theme of perspective, to observe that some people seem more ready and willing to dash forward with little regard for historic districts, the law, and the input of the majority, while others advise moving ahead within the law using caution, respect for the opinion of the majority, and a sincere regard for the importance of history.

    After all, who wouldn’t agree that it is better to lift the foot off the gas from time to time, and pull over momentarily to check a map for directions? Not all change is movement forward, and no all forward movement is positive. Sometimes it bears fruit to lift off the blinders, and take a check to see where we are going, and, when we do, it doesn’t hurt to consider, even if just a little bit, where we have been.

  2. Just one correction John. Let’s Talk, Arvada is a facebook group. There is also a well organized and independent grassroots community organization called Arvada for ALL the People. This organization is a joint effort of other community groups consisting of Save Arvada Now, Stop Arvada Walmart and Citizens for a Better Arvada. Yes, we do have a different view on urban renewal but there is absolutely nothing as drastic as love/hate that I’m aware of. Thank you so much for the attempt at pronouncing my last name.

    Thank you also for advising your viewers of our upcoming community meeting on February 28. We are looking forward to sharing information with our neighbors.

    Cindi Kreutzer

  3. Thanks for the update, Cindi. I did not realize that Arvada for All the People (AAP) was different than LTA and was an umbrella organization for SAN, SAW and CBA.

    As to your name, I have sympathy for those who, like me, have Germanic names. From my travels in Germany I know it as a well-respected name that is almost always pronounced CROYT-ser on the continent. My own German-Catholic family now pronounces our name three different ways since they emigrated to the United States just before World War I. I’m okay with any of the pronunciations I hear.

    Your meeting on the 28th should be well attended. Our WordPress feedback says that this article has had 200 viewers in the first 12 hour since it was posted — that’s twice the usual rate of readership we get. Will there be cookies, then? Mothers with young children are more likely to show up if they know there will something for their kids to snack on and they won’t show up at all at Chamber breakfast.

    –John Kiljan

  4. Trish Brecheisen says:

    Where was the Wadsworth Motel?

    • Stan Dyer says:

      Trish, if are you referring to the “Town House Motel” pictured in the article, I don’t remember the exact address, but I do remember it being on the west side of Wadsworth Bypass close to 53rd Avenue. It was just south of Craig Chevrolet, (which was in the area where Ruby Tuesday, and other businesses are located now), and in what is now the area of the parking lot for Lowe’s and Advance Auto.

      I

  5. Pam Morton says:

    I appreciate your updates; they are so informative and unbiased. I look forward to receiving them!

    >

  6. I nearly forgot! Thanks for leaving all those cookies at the meeting last night, Cindi! I had to miss dinner to make the Hilton Garden Inn meeting and I ate half of the ones I picked up while in the car on the way home. Yum! –John K

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