Light industrial proposed for Golden Overlook

Visual impact and traffic among neighbor’s concerns

Posted 12/24/18

The latest idea for what could be developed on a parcel of land known as the Golden Overlook, to build self storage some light industrial/commercial space, was presented to the community on Dec. 18. …

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Light industrial proposed for Golden Overlook

Visual impact and traffic among neighbor’s concerns

Posted

The latest idea for what could be developed on a parcel of land known as the Golden Overlook, to build self storage some light industrial/commercial space, was presented to the community on Dec. 18.

And with this new proposal comes many of the same concerns and questions, as with all the proposals that came before it.

“Our communities have kept an opened mind about all kinds of proposals that have been discussed during the last 20 years,” said Marie Williams, an area resident and board member for Open Space Golden Ltd., an organization that represents a few hundred families residing in Golden Heights, Golden Hills and surrounding neighborhoods. “Developers have tried to develop this land for more than 20 years, but every one of those efforts has failed. I think that tells us that the market has spoken on the economics and logic of developing this land.”

The property known as the Golden Overlook is located, approximately, between a residential neighborhood and the C-470 and I-70 exit, on the east if travelling southbound on C-470 out of Golden. It consists of 22.4 acres, and about half of that can be built on.

It is currently zoned residential and is platted for 92 single-household lots. The proposal at hand asks to rezone the property to lower-impact commercial uses. With this rezone, the applicant is proposing two “use areas” within the site, the documents state.

According to the documents, Use Area A would be “open space and landscape uses to provide a physical and visual buffer between Use Area B and the existing residential homes to the east of the site.”

“Use Area B is proposed to allow two primary uses — self-storage facilities, and light industrial/commercial flex space,” the documents state. This flex space is imagined to be “small, condominium units to be used for professional offices; small businesses with indoor warehousing; studios such as photographic, art and culinary; custom manufacturing; and similar.” The condominiums would be owned, not rented.

“We want to put this use in front of you as a first step,” said Allison Wenlund, an associate at Norris Design, the hired consultant representing the property owner, to the crowd of at least 100 people attending the Dec. 18 meeting at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

The rezone process would first go before Golden’s Planning Commission, which will give its recommendation, for or against, to the Golden City Council, which will make the decision. If the property is rezoned, the actual site plan would also require planning commission approval.

The proposal must follow all city regulations and codes. For example, a traffic impact study must show that the proposed development would not make traffic worse than if the zoning would stay the same and 92 households were built. Likewise, the land’s current zoning restricts buildings to a maximum height of 30 feet, a restriction that the developers are not currently seeking to change, Wenlund said.

Back in April of this year the developers discussed a proposal to build an off-road/recreational vehicle dealership on the site. That is no longer on the table, Wenlund said, adding the current proposal would limit traffic impacts and light and noise pollution more.

“We know we need some level of community support to get this approved,” Wenlund said. “We’ve continued to tailor the proposed uses to limit the adverse impacts as much as possible.”

Still, neighbors and the Open Space Golden Ltd. group argue that the development, and the influx of traffic it would bring to the area, poses a danger to neighborhood children and families. Specifically, “Fourth Avenue is the only way in and out,” one meeting attendee said, and another added that “the road by the park is very narrow and is constrained by the park on one side and I-70 on the other, and thus cannot be widened, unless some of the park is destroyed.”

Another concern is the physical location of the Golden Overlook land.

“It is open-space-quality land that is the visual gateway to the city of Golden. This land is virtually the first piece of Golden that millions of people see each year when they approach the city from the south,” Williams said. “We have endured threat after threat of inappropriate development of this land for two decades now. People are tired of worrying about what the next threat will be.”

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