A Phoenix developer has submitted an application to Jefferson County to rezone about 26 acres of land on the north flank of North Table Mountain near Golden in hopes of eventually constructing a …
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A Phoenix developer has submitted an application to Jefferson County to rezone about 26 acres of land on the north flank of North Table Mountain near Golden in hopes of eventually constructing a community of 236 rentable homes.
The project could help to address the “missing middle” affordability challenges that currently plague Golden, the developer says.
In response, a group of residents from the surrounding area have formed a group called No Rezone North Table Mountain that promises to fight the rezoning and potential development.
The group says the project would be incompatible with the existing character of the area and have negative impacts on their health and welfare.
Both the developer and members of the opposition group got their first chance to weigh in on the proposed rezoning at a virtual community meeting held on June 25. The application is being considered by the county because the property is located just outside of Golden city limits, although it has a Golden address.
That meeting began with a presentation from the developer, Phoenix-based NextMetro Communities, whose representative said it has built about 30 such communities throughout the U.S. He said such rented homes have proven a popular option for people who want a suburban-feeling neighborhood environment without having to take on the burdens of homeownership.
“If you look at the benefits of having a professional maintenance staff on-hand, luxury finishes, quartz or granite countertop, windows on all sides with a really efficient footprint we feel we are creating attainable housing, quality housing for the hometown heroes that instead of driving a half-hour or hour for affordability actually get to live in the communities they serve and continue to remain in them,” said Tyler Elick, a development manager with NextMetro Communities.
The community would consist of one-, two-, and three-bedroom homes that Elick estimated would start at $1,400 rent for a one-bedroom and go up to $3,000 for a three-bedroom.
The site, which currently consists of sections zoned for agriculture and new development, had previously been seen as a potential location for a 90-home subdivision similar to those in the Candelas and Laden Rock subdivisions.
Elick said it was listed for sale over the past year before going under contract with NextMetro. He also said that the previous owners, who both live nearby, chose their bid because it presents several advantages over a traditional home subdivision.
Those advantages, Elick said, include the fact that the homes would be one story and about 12 feet shorter than a traditional 3,500-square-foot home, lessening impacts on views. He also said it’s expected that the majority would not have a child living in them, lessening the impact on local schools.
Elick said NextMetro communities are completely privately funded without the use of metro districts and “with no impact on the taxpayer.”
But members of No Rezone North Table Mountain say such a development is not a fit for the site given its proximity to North Table Mountain.
“While there’s a need for high density housing throughout the Front Range, our two-lane streets and intersections were not designed for this level of increased traffic,” said Shane Marberry, who is identified as a concerned statement in a statement released by the group ahead of the meeting. “Nor do the flanks of North Table Mountain need to be subject to a building boom. This location is not zoned for large-scale luxury rentals regardless of out-of-state developers asking nicely for a rezoning so they can extract their returns at the expense of the environment and Colorado’s treasured landscapes.”
During the comment portion of the meeting, one resident asked Elick why surrounding residents should support the development given its impact on their views and possible property values that could be reduced due to the loss of a more rural character.
Elick again pointed to the Front Range’s housing affordability issues, which he said will only continue to be exacerbated if more housing is not built. He also argued that other surrounding sites have also been developed.
The community meeting was the first step in the rezoning process, which would ultimately require approval by the county commissioners and county planning commission.
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