A new development brings many questions. We’ve provided detail here that answers questions we’ve received. To stay up-to-date on communication regarding this project.
FAQs from May 2nd Neighborhood Meeting
Why is four-stories important when building this development?
The current approved PDP allows for three-story commercial up to 40 ft in height. The initial request by the development team was for 58’ and four stories. Based on additional work by the architect and depending on the roof type, flat or pitched, we believe we can hit a 54’ height. The height allows the design team to compress the development footprint, moving it away from existing residences and adds open space to the Big Dry Creek.
We would continue to work to reduce the height of the four story development recognizing that the community should reflect the design of the overall neighborhood.
I am concerned about traffic and especially want to know how your initially proposed access at Xavier Street would interact with Wolff Street and the commercial on the north side of 112th?
Based on neighborhood and city input, the proposed PDP Amendment moves the 112th access point to Wolff Street specific to this proposal only. The current PDP shows the access generally in alignment with Xavier and the property owner has indicated the intent to keep that access point should this application not be approved.
The project developer would agree to pay for the signal at Wolff should the project achieve the current approval requests and an approved ODP.
The traffic study conducted by HKS identified that the current Wolff and 112th intersection meets warrants for a signal based on traffic today; however, we have not heard that the city has any plans or funding set aside to build the signal.
Will there be adequate parking for residents?
Yes, there will be plenty of parking for residents. In addition, the building design and orientation seeks to hide the parking interior to the project so that neighboring businesses and residents don’t see a sea of parking. In addition, the buildings will have tuck under garages as part of the parking plan. Final parking design and detail would be determined at the ODP level.
We were promised when we bought our property that nothing would be built on this corner so why is this happening?
Unfortunately, the people who told you that were mistaken and were not in a position to guarantee that to you. This corner has always been planned for development and is currently zoned for commercial and retail.
Your traffic study says that commercial would generate more traffic than the proposed project. Can you explain why?
The national organization “Institute of Transportation Engineers” maintains an industryrecognized database of different types of land uses and the associated traffic generated by them in the morning peak hour, the evening peak hour, and an average day. This database and the associated publication, “ITE Trip Generation Manual”, provide industry-accepted data that show commercial land uses generally generate more traffic than residential land uses, especially in the AM and PM peak hours.
More specifically, based on the “ITE Trip Generation Manual”, the 112th and Sheridan multifamily project is projected to generate 1630 trips per day/125 trips in the AM peak hour/152 trips in the PM peak hour. For the example commercial development, and based on the “ITE Trip Generation Manual”, the commercial project is projected to generate 7,346 trips per day/646 trips in the AM peak hour/564 trips in the PM peak hour.
For more specific detail, the traffic study is still under review and final results will be shared when they are available.
Why do you need to build 245 units?
The proposed luxury multifamily community would feature high end amenities and include quality finishes. A critical number of residences are necessary to provide the variety of amenities anticipated in this luxury community. Those include a clubhouse with indoor recreation, common kitchen, fitness center, entertainment and business center. Outdoor amenities at the clubhouse include a pool, sun-deck and barbeque areas with seating. Additional amenities may include a bike repair station, dog wash, dog run and additional outdoor gathering areas.
Will there be adequate parking for residents? If the project is approved will there be a light on Wolff Street?
Yes, if the project is approved the developer has agreed to put a light on Wolff Street.
Why is the project four stories tall?
A four-story development is more efficient and allows us to include upgrades like air-conditioned hallways and stairwells, as well as elevators. Elevators are required when a project reaches four stories. Four stories also allows the same density in a smaller footprint, which results in a better project because of increased outdoor amenities and landscaping.
Access routes to the proposed development from neighborhoods to the north already are congested. Will the proposed access point increase congestion?
A traffic study has been conducted to evaluate the impact the proposed land use would have on the surrounding transportation system. The analysis found that the proposed use would have 4-6 times less traffic than a typical commercial retail center at the same location. Recommendations for traffic mitigation, to be developed in collaboration with the City, will be based on the completed analysis.
I was told the land was permanent open space when I purchased my home.
The privately owned land has been designated for three-story retail/commercial development since 1992 when the Westminster Golf Course Community PUD was approved. It has not been owned by a public entity for the purpose of public open space.
Is the project taking any land from the Big Dry Creek Open Space area?
No, land will be taken from the Big Dry Creek Open Space for this project. Land holdings identified in the 1992 Westminster Golf Course Community PUD between the project’s parcel and the open space area will remain the same. If this design is approved by the city, because the building footprint is smaller, there would be more open space bordering the Big Dry Creek Open Space than there would be if it were developed under its current zoning.
Will there be an increase in crime?
People sometimes associate density with crime, even though numerous studies show that no relationship exists between the two. A study in Irving, Texas, using geographic information systems and crime statistics, found no link between crime and density. In fact, it found that single-family neighborhoods are “not all associated with lower crime rates.” Another study conducted by the University of Alaska found no relationship between housing density and crime in Anchorage.
Source: Higher-Density Development, Myth and Fact published by the Urban Land Institute.
How will public art be determined?
Our goal is to commission a local artist if possible. We will engage stakeholders in the community to ensure the process is positive and constructive.
The area feels very suburban but this project is quite urban.
Four-story residences similar to this proposed project have been successfully integrated within suburban neighborhoods through appropriate architectural design. Internal parking, which is less visible from public spaces, as well as 360-degree architecture are important whether the site is urban or suburban.
How many children will be living here? Will our schools be overflowing their capacity?
The Adams County 12 School District will conduct an analysis based on the development plan.
Can you include ground-floor retail?
Retailers have not been attracted to the site for the last 25 years, but we expect the proposed residences would have a positive impact on existing nearby retailers and service providers.
Would the site require fill for commercial use?
Yes. It is likely a commercial development would require more fill to flatten the site. Commercial sites usually have larger parking lots with building pad sites scattered throughout the site. A commercial development with a more expansive footprint would require more fill to level the shared parking areas.
What is the public process for approvals of the project?
The Spanos Corporation has submitted an application requesting that the City amend the Westminster Comprehensive Land Use Plan to allow multi-family use at the property. In addition, The Spanos Corporation will submit an application requesting that the City amend the preliminary development plan (PDP) for the property to allow for a four-story, residential community. These applications will be taken to public hearings at both the Planning Commission and City Council. There will be notice in advance of any public hearing.
If the City approves the amendments to the Comprehensive Land Use Plan and preliminary development plan, The Spanos Corporation will submit an application for the City’s approval of an Overall Development Plan (ODP). The ODP addresses issues such as architecture, site plan, landscape design, public art, civil engineering, stormwater, grading and erosion control, parking and transportation. City staff would review the ODP application along with the technical reports associated with such application. Spanos will conduct additional open house meetings to share plans and hear community input on the design. The ODP will be referred to the Planning Commission for approval. The Spanos Corporation is committed to working with the neighborhood and City staff to answer questions, respond to input and provide periodic updates through a dedicated website and email updates. Additional conversations with neighboring communities is anticipated in advance of public hearings.
Higher-Density Development: Myth and Fact.
Who is the contact at the City?
Andrew Spurgin, AICP | Senior Planner
City of Westminster Community Development Dept
4800 W. 92nd Ave., Westminster, CO 80031
City Hall Hours:
Monday – Thursday 7:00 am to 6:00 pm (Closed Fridays)
How will this impact traffic, which is already an issue?
The property is currently zoned for 3-story commercial/retail uses, which would generate significantly more traffic than the proposed multi-family land use.
What will the proposed development do to my mountain views?
Whether mountain views will be impacted depends on the location of each residence, but no project, including a 3-story commercial project as allowed today, can guarantee they will not be impacted. We will create visual simulations that depict the current development and the proposed four-story project to provide a better understanding of how views will be impacted.
Why are the buildings so close to Sheridan Boulevard and West 112th Avenue?
First, Placing the buildings closer to Sheridan and 112th allows the development footprint to be more compact and, as a result, preserves valuable open space along the Big Dry Creek Open Space. It also provides a greater distance between the project and the single-family homes to the east and south.
Second, activating the street’s edge with appropriate landscaping, sidewalks, gathering areas and connections to ground-floor residences creates a distinct, creative neighborhood that promotes connectivity. Residential buildings closer to the street help to define this unique pedestrian realm.
What will happen with the flood plain?
Our goal is to avoid impacting the existing floodplain. The proposed site plan was designed to push the improvements closer to 112th and Sheridan to allow for additional open space near the floodplain. We will try to eliminate fill in the floodplain as much as possible, but if improvements are made within the floodplain, we will work with the City, Urban Drainage and Flood Control District and FEMA to mitigate the impacts and receive approval.
Will the development push the floodplain closer to Cotton Creek homes?
No. FEMA regulates revisions to the floodplain and will not allow proposed improvements to negatively impact existing structures.
Will this hurt the value of our homes?
The Spanos Companies completed a luxury apartment community in the Jefferson Park neighborhood located in the City and County of Denver. The development called Element 47 opened in 2015. According to Trulia, home values in that neighborhood have increased from $382,500 in 2016 to $530,000 today.
Will this development cause the price of our water to go up?
With other types of infrastructure, high-density development actually is more efficient than low density development. By their very nature, longer sewer lines and sprawling utility (water, gas, and electric) supply systems are more costly; traditional development patterns also dictate expensive road construction. In addition, local governments must provide fire and police protection (as well as other services) over a larger area. By contrast, compact development benefits from economies of scale and geographic scope – and these benefits are large, potentially saving more than $125 billion in the 2000-2025 time frame.
Source: Mark Muro and Robert Puentes, “Investing In A Better Future: A Review of the Fiscal and Competitive Advantages of Smarter Growth Development Patterns.” Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy, March 2004. The authors take note of possible countervailing costs, such as the higher load placed on roads and sewer lines in more densely populated areas. See also Richard M. Haughey, Higher-Density Development: Myth and Fact. Washington, DC: Urban Land Institute, 2005
Where does the overflow parking go?
Parking is designed to be within the development area and is not expected to overflow into the surrounding neighborhood. This project includes a parking plan designed to provide adequate resident and guest parking.
Have you decided on architecture yet?
The architectural “look” has not been determined. We are seeking input from the neighborhood and City staff.
What are the financial impacts for the school district?
The school district receives a large portion of its funding from property taxes. The revenue is based on a property’s assessed value. While residential, including multifamily, is assessed at a lower rate than commercial, a luxury apartment community’s property value is substantial.
Based on initial information received from the Adams County 12 School District, the school district’s preliminary projections indicated a growth in enrollment of 10 elementary students, 5 middle school students and 5 high school students at project build out.
The school district has indicated they would remove the proposed development from the Cotton Creek Elementary School attendance area due to overcrowding. The appropriate elementary school would be identified at a later date. The site has been determined to be in the boundaries of Silver Hills Middle School and Northglenn High, both with sufficient capacity. The development team expects to work with the School District during the formal approval process to finalize details.