Thursday night Alberta presented a new proposal for Orchard Station that is 2.8 million square feet or 7-Times the size of the IKEA in Centennial.
They are proposing building just under 1,000 residential units. Can our schools support the increase in enrollment from high density housing when the schools are currently overcrowded and were built in the 1970’s to accommodate single family homes?
They also presented a traffic study, which was not well received. People believe the proposed enhancements will make traffic worse by adding a traffic light on Orchard between I-25 and Greenwood Plaza, thus creating more congestion. They also plan to take out the attractive median on Orchard between I-25 and Quebec. There are NO plans to make improvements EAST of I-25. Additionally, I do not believe the traffic study takes into consideration the increased traffic from developments recently completed or currently under construction (Belleview & Quebec, Fiddlers Green, Arapahoe and Caley, etc.). Additionally, an environmental impact study needs to be completed.
Planning and Zoning and City Council should hold town hall meetings and conduct a citywide survey to find out what citizens truly want as a vision for the Village. However, to date they have not reached out for any widespread input from the citizenry. This is the perfect time to meet and begin a dialogue with residents, because there is not currently an application under review. Therefore, P&Z and Council ARE NOT prohibited from discussing any development plans.
Alberta has actively targeted residents (many with connections to the real estate industry) to write the city asking P&Z and Council to revisit the rezoning and Comprehensive Plan amendment that were both voted down at the July 19 P&Z meeting. These supporters main arguments are that we need to activate the city, add youth, make the city appealing to the top companies and expand the tax base. They make it sound like Greenwood Village has become blighted and buildings are rotting from neglect and vacancy. I don’t think this is the case. In fact the Orchard Triad, adjacent to the proposed development, just sold for $46 million and at the time was 90% leased and has undergone extensive renovations over the last couple of years. By comparison, Orchard Triad is 415,000 square feet on 22 acres, whereas Orchard Station would be 2.8 million square feet on 24 acres.
If they want to expand the tax base, they should not add ANY residential housing. The proposed residential housing will generate UNDER $100,000 in annual tax revenue and likely will use more in resources than it contributes. See the Orchard Station Subarea Fiscal Impact Analysis Memo for proof.
If you are concerned about substantially increased traffic, impacts on already overcrowded schools, very high density, potential increase in crime, increase in noise levels, blocked views of the mountains and a substantial increase in pollution, more traffic accidents, we need more letters written to city council and P&Z.
Please write Heather Vidlock (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask her to distribute your letters to Planning & Zoning and City Council.
Finally, pass along these sites and the information about the new development proposal. I do not believe a majority of the city knows the size and scope of what is being proposed and the potential irreversible impact it will have on schools, traffic, views and overall quality of life. If the citizens truly want this development, I will accept that, but as of now I think only a very limited number of people have any knowledge about the actual facts of the development proposal.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and submit your comments to the city.
PS – Thirty-one years ago, I remember when another high-end mall opened to great hype. A few years after it opened it was sold for pennies on the dollar.
The mall was originally named Beau Monde Mall, but is now called the Happy Church. Ironically, this property is the center of the Orchard Station debate.
Here are two articles I found on Beau Monde; I found it interesting to look back at the history.