The council voted unanimously to approve a proclamation declaring Nov. 27 as Small Business Saturday and approved an expansion proposal for Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado, a therapy …
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The council voted unanimously to approve a proclamation declaring Nov. 27 as Small Business Saturday and approved an expansion proposal for Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado, a therapy facility located at 7275 Kipling St. at the Nov. 15 Arvada City Council meeting.
Small Business Saturday
Councilmember John Marriott introduced a proclamation officially making Nov. 27 Small Business Saturday in Arvada. The holiday follows a national effort that began in 2010 as a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which typically benefit larger retail stores. The motion was passed unanimously by council with a 7-0 vote.
In Arvada, the festivities will kick off at 10:30 a.m. in Olde Town Square, where free coffee from Hunter Bay Coffee Roasters and free breakfast burritos from School House Kitchen and Libations will be available to the first 100 people who stop by.
Businesses will turn holiday lights on at 5 p.m., and the Annual Olde Town Tree Lighting will take place at 6 p.m.
Marriott said that small businesses are a vital part of the city’s economy.
“Small business creates jobs, boosts Arvada economy and preserves neighborhoods. Each purchase made in Arvada goes to pay for city services such as police, parks and street maintenance,” Marriott said. “Keeping the dollars in Arvada helps create and maintain quality jobs.”
Olde Town Business Improvement District Executive Director Joe Hengstler thanked council for supporting Arvada’s small businesses.
“I would love to thank city staff and city council for their continued support of the small businesses of Arvada. There has been a lot that has been done over the last year and a half and I don’t think it’s been lost of anybody what a special community Arvada is and the support that we have seen has not gone unfelt,” Hengstler said.
Animal Assisted Therapy
Council also unanimously approved an ordinance rezoning land located at 7275 Kipling St. from residential/agricultural to planned unit development, and subsequently approved the PUD plan for the property, which is the location of Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado, also with a 7-0 vote.
The development plan allows Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado — believed to be the first formal therapy practice in the state to utilize on-site animals in their programs — to add six additional office spaces and six additional parking spaces in order to accommodate an increase in patient volume.
The development plan also calls for the demolition of an unused building on the property.
Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado sees an average of 25 patients per day and has about 30 animals — including horses, donkeys, alpacas, goats, chickens and rabbits — that live at the facility.
Co-founder and Executive Director Linda Chassman Craddock said the practice currently has a 42-person waiting list and is struggling to adequately see patients in its current space.
“We need to expand. Right now, we have rescued and rehired animals that live on site. We have about 30 animals that live on site and then we started with just a couple of people and a couple of animals and we have grown very rapidly, and so we are going to want to expand so that we can see more clients,” Craddock said.
She added that the practice was formed in 2010 and moved to a small farm in Lakewood in 2013 before coming to Arvada in 2018. Craddock said that interest has drastically increased since moving to Arvada.
“It’s pretty crazy how fast we’ve grown. When we moved here to Arvada, we’ve just been skyrocketing. The need is growing, our programs are growing,” Craddock said. “Within the last year, year and a half in particular there has been such a need. We’re a very unique program and we help people in a different kind of way that sit down and talk therapy.”
Councilmember Lisa Smith praised Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado’s mission and its staff’s handling of the development application process.
“As someone who has worked with mentally ill patients and seen the work that animals can do in conjunction with mental health, I sincerely appreciate all that you’ve done in our community,” Smith said.
“In our packet, I read that when the neighborhood meeting happened and there were some concerns, you took them on a tour, you talked to them and you mitigated a lot of those concerns, and that is just a really good example of how the process of notifying the public and working alongside your neighbors can benefit all the people,” Smith continued.
Councilmember Lauren Simpson echoed Smith’s sentiments and praised the practice’s use of the land.
“I want to commend it; I think it’s a wonderful business model. I will be supporting the motion. I love what you guys do,” she said.
The next Arvada City Council meeting will take place at 6 p.m. on Dec. 6 at Arvada City Hall.
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