Planning Commission recommends Project Indiana annexation, rezoning

City Council will determine if Amazon warehouse will come to Arvada on June 14

Ryan Dunn
rdunn@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 4/21/21

In a series of votes that could usher in lasting change to the landscape of western Arvada, the City's Planning Commission voted on April 20 to recommend the annexation and rezoning of Project Indiana to City Council.

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Planning Commission recommends Project Indiana annexation, rezoning

City Council will determine if Amazon warehouse will come to Arvada on June 14

Posted
In a series of votes that could usher in lasting change to the landscape of western Arvada, the City's Planning Commission voted on April 20 to recommend the annexation and rezoning of Project Indiana to City Council. On June 14, Council will vote to decide if an Amazon delivery station will be approved to occupy the 36-acre lot that abuts Maple Valley Park.
 
The Amazon facility would include a 112,000-square-foot warehouse and more than 1,100 parking spaces on Indiana Street near West 68th Avenue.
 
The meeting — held on Zoom and lasting just over 5 hours — saw the Planning Commission vote on four items: the annexation of Maple Valley Park, the rezoning of Maple Valley Park to City of Arvada open space, the Project Indiana annexation located at 6730 Indiana Street and the rezoning of Project Indiana to City of Arvada light industrial.
 
All four items were passed through a vote and therefore recommended to council. The annexation and rezoning of Maple Valley Park both passed unanimously 6-0.
The Project Indiana annexation passed 5-1 with Commissioner Andrew Gay as the lone dissenting vote, while the Project Indiana rezoning passed 4-2 with Gay and Commissioner Michael McCarron dissenting.
 
Planning Commission Vice Chairman Michael Griffith was not present at the meeting. 
 
The agenda was segmented into two separate discussions: the first on the annexation and rezoning of Maple Valley Park, and the second on the Project Indiana annexation and rezoning. 
 
Planning Commission Chair T.O. Owens remarked that the meeting was the most well-attended planning commission meeting he could recall, with over 25 public commenters taking part in the first discussion and over 35 taking part in the second. All public commenters spoke out in opposition of the proposal, with none voicing their support.
 
Protect Maple Valley Park, a group of local residents who oppose the Project Indiana proposal, gave a presentation during the second phase of the meeting. Gina Hallisey, the group's chairperson, said she felt that the planning commission did not give the public equal opportunity to comment in comparison to the time allotted to the applicant.
 
“I think it was unfortunate how (the Planning Commission) treated the public,” said Hallisey. “The applicant was able to talk about their plan in regard to rezoning and annexation and the commissioners talked about why they voted yes, but whenever a citizen, during their 2 minutes of time started to talk about the plan, they were shut down.
 
“So, that was disheartening,” Hallisey continued, “I thought that was unfortunate, I thought they did a disservice to the community. I question whether they even followed their own procedures.”
 
In his dissenting comments, Gay recognized the citizens that spoke out against the proposal and stressed his belief that the proposal does not meet criteria 5 of the Land Development Code, which states that new developments must be “Consistent with the character of existing or planned development on adjacent properties in the surrounding area.”
 
“I thought there was a lot of passion and lot of thoughtful comments from our citizens,” said Gay. “We are paying attention and we hear you. But I also want to complement the developer. I thought they had a lot of thorough planning and a great presentation.
 
“I don't think it meets criteria 5 (of the LDC) where it talks about consistency with the surrounding areas and neighborhoods,” Gay continued. “The comment from the developer is that the adjacent properties are vacant, but I would expand that definition to include the surrounding neighborhoods.”
 
Despite the voting results, Hallisey said she felt that the outpouring of community opposition against the project would continue to build momentum in advance of the June 7 City Council vote.
 
“There were no citizens on the Zoom expressing support of the Amazon facility,” said Hallisey, “only opposition comments.  It's quite obvious that the community doesn't want this. With over 5,700 people in the opposition group, I don't think we lost momentum tonight, I think we will actually gain momentum leading up to City Council.”
 
Arvada's City Council June 14 meeting is set to be a hybrid meeting that will allow for in-person and online attendance. The vote was initially scheduled to take place at the Council's June 7 meeting, but Councilmember David Jones has a scheduling conflict that precludes him from being able to attend that meeting. 

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