New URA for city

Glenn Wallace
Posted 5/28/13

Golden ushered in a new era of Urban Renewal Authority on Thursday, May 23, as the seven-member council voted unanimously to approve two URA plans …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?

Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.


Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.

Our print publications are advertiser supported. For those wishing to access our content online, we have implemented a small charge so we may continue to provide our valued readers and community with unique, high quality local content. Thank you for supporting your local newspaper.

New URA for city


Golden ushered in a new era of Urban Renewal Authority on Thursday, May 23, as the seven-member council voted unanimously to approve two URA plans after hours of a public hearing.

The city has only approved one other URA plan, targeting the downtown area 23 years ago.

The first of the approved URA’s included the lot site of the future 99-unit Parfet apartment complex, and the Briarwood restaurant lot.

“That is going to be a pretty targeted flavor of urban renewal,” Golden Urban Renewal Authority’s (GURA) Executive Director Mark Heller said in a recent interview. He added that the Briarwood had no current redevelopment plans, but were included in case of future projects.

The Parfet development was approved by the city’s planning commission in November of last year.

According to the property owner, Confluence Development, the added financial support of an Urban Renewal Authority’s tax increment funding may be needed to ensure the project is developed in the near future.

Additionally, Heller said the URA money could help developers add items that would be of a benefit to the broader community. The nearby Welch Ditch could be better lined, an old water main could be relocated for easier maintenance, and the 8th Street streetscape could be improved.

Ward 4 Councilman Bill Fisher said he did not like the fact that the amount of tax increment funds the developer would need was still not known.

“There’s some point where I get uncomfortable writing a blank check for a developer,” Fisher said.

Other council members seemed more comfortable with allowing GURA to negotiate the specifics later, even if it meant giving up some portion of future property tax revenue.

“If we do nothing then the property tax stays the same, and we get nothing,” District 2 Councilwoman Marcie Miller said.

The second URA discussed, and eventually approved, was what Heller described as “the commercial core” of the south neighborhood area of Golden. The approved URA boundaries include the “triangle” portion of property between East Street, and South Golden Road, including the roundabout in front of Golden High School and the Golden Bowl shopping area.

The URA includes several lots between 23rd and 24th Streets on either side of Ford Street. It also includes a couple buildings east of East Street along 24th Street.

The city’s recently-finished Central Neighborhoods Plan will serve as the guiding document for the Central Neighborhoods URA. Heller called the URA “an implementation tool,” for the neighborhood plan, which was created with community input.

GURA and Heller will administer both the new Urban Renewal plans. GURA has been overseeing the downtown Golden URA, which will run out of its 25 years of funding in 2014.

Among the more controversial portions of the two new plans was the inclusion of eminent domain powers — allowing GURA to forcibly buy out and relocate land owners within the URA boundaries.

Heller said he felt it was “unlikely in the extreme,” that GURA would ever exercise its eminent domain power to remove blight.

“We haven’t used it in 23-and-a-half years downtown, but we don’t want to lose an important tool,” Heller said.

As a safeguard, the URA plans require GURA receive council approval before using eminent domain.


Our Papers

Ad blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.