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.
- The buildings highlighted in “Green” are The Landmark. I’m going to take a big leap of faith that The Landmark will not be redeveloped in the near future. Therefore, The Landmark does not require any change to the Comprehensive Plan. However, the Subarea amendment provides special language protecting The Landmark’s views (see last sentence of Item 3C). Why are The Landmark’s views more important than anyone else’s views. I think they should all be protected.
- The empty land highlighted in “Purple” is now owned by Century Communities, who earlier this year submitted a development application to build just over 100 townhomes on the site. Century’s application likely fit within the existing Comp Plan. However, Century withdrew its application and I’m guessing is now waiting to see what happens to the Comp Plan. If passed, they may be able to build something “bigger and better” than 100 town homes. If you don’t know the history of The Landmark or this site, read this article. This land is currently zoned for 686,000 square feet and is 13.1 acres.
- The area and building highlighted in “Yellow” is all of the property that Alberta Development Partners currently has under contract. We are guessing Alberta’s contract contingency period is the driving force behind the frantic pace that put this amendment back on the agenda (only two-months after it was previously rejected 8-0 on July 19 and two-weeks after the September 6 Study Session where P&Z made minor changes to the amendment). This area is 24-acres. This area is currently zoned for 1.2 million square feet. Alberta wants to build 2.8 million square feet.
- Alberta keeps raving about the 7.5-acre park they plan to build on the site. Please know that the park is not a nice “gift” from Alberta. The park represents the 30% open space requirement under Town Center zoning.
- Also note that six of the buildings in the proposed subarea are still B-1 zoning. B-1 zoning, which is typically used for professional office, does allow for some retail, restaurants and other uses. B-1 has a 40% open space requirement, so a change from B-1 to TC will reduce the amount of open space. B-1 to TC also removes height restrictions and allows for residential. The rezoning is not on Tuesday night’s agenda (as it was at the July 19 meeting), but I’m guessing it will be back. The city is likely dividing up the meetings, so that it becomes difficult to maintain such large opposition meeting after meeting.
- The final area highlighted in “Light Blue” includes 4 buildings on just under 7-acres. One of these buildings is the eBags building. To my knowledge these four buildings are not currently for sale or contemplated for redevelopment (although, I’m sure that could change if the comprehensive plan amendment is passed).
So, based on this analysis there are 44-acres in the Subarea that do not include The Landmark. Alberta and Century own 85% of this land and are the only two property owners contemplating redevelopment. Century did not initially need a change to the Comprehensive Plan, so the Alberta project is unequivocally driving the creation of this Subarea. How underhanded and condescending is it to pretend that Tuesday night’s meeting has nothing to do about Alberta. In John Herbers’ guest column in the Villager, he titled the article “Orchard Subarea makes Good Sense”, but the entire article goes on to talk about all of the “supposed benefits” of the Alberta development.
Thank you to everyone who has written incredible letters to City Council and P&Z. There are many great letters as to why the Comp Plan amendment, rezoning and the proposed 2.8 million square foot (7 IKEAs) development do not make any sense for Greenwood Village (you can find all of the Public Comment here). Please plan on attending Tuesday night’s meeting – your voice and attendance will have a meaningful impact on the Commissioners!
Thanks for all of your support – Randy