The biggest part of a controversial development in Westminster is making its way through the pipeline. At community meetings on Jan. 26 and 27, developers detailed plans for “Parcel A” of the …
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The biggest part of a controversial development in Westminster is making its way through the pipeline.
At community meetings on Jan. 26 and 27, developers detailed plans for “Parcel A” of the proposed Uplands development near Shaw Heights. The parcel is one of five in Uplands, but it encompasses 60-plus percent development’s total land and total proposed units.
“Federal (Boulevard) is a very busy corridor. It demands more density there and really demands more of the commercial, urban center there,” said Marcus Pachner, a partner of the Pachner Company working with developer Oread Capital.
Parcel A is located west of Federal Boulevard, east of Lowell Boulevard, south of 88th Avenue and north of 84th Avenue. It is 150 acres and will house 1,500-plus residential units.
There are two main sections within the parcel. The first, “Village Center,” will occupy two plots adjacent to Federal Blvd. It will have up to 631 residential units — including apartments, condos, lofts, townhomes and other single-family residences — and commercial space, including offices and retailers. A 65-foot, five-story mixed use hub will be there. Then, the rest of the parcel will be in “Village Residential,” which will hold a maximum of 900 single family attached or single family detached units. The area will also contain new local roads and two new parks.
Neighbors had the chance to chime in, through submitting questions and comments beforehand. One was, “We don’t want your Uplands in this neighborhood. How’s that for feedback?”
Other questions were less direct but sent a similar message. “The city is facing drought conditions, again, and the 2020 water plan stated there is already a gap in current usage versus water supply … The math does not add up unless residents are being told to use less (water), so that private developers can come in and built out this city and residents are paying for it,” read another question.
Other commenters were concerned about new residents taxing the city’s water supply. Multiply the city’s average household size of 2.67 people by the total proposed 2,350 units equals potentially 6,200 new people, said Sara O’Keefe, principal at Turn Corps, in an email. However, due to smaller lot sizes, O’Keefe said, “I suspect that number would be lower.”
Nevertheless, Todd Johnson, president of Terra Forma Solutions, took the water question at the Jan. 27 meeting.
“We are using the current standards and the current planning that the city has provided to us … From the supply side, we can tell you that will be taken care of.”
Another major concern was traffic. Turn lanes will go along 84th and 88th Ave.’s and Lowell Blvd. Federal Blvd. will get a third lane. New traffic signals will go up, the presenters said in trying to reassure people.
Karen Ray, an organizer with the Save the Farm, a community group that opposes the development, felt the meetings weren’t productive. “I think their answers were stock answers that they had prepared before,” Ray said. She also felt city representatives didn’t sufficiently answer certain questions, either.
A lot must happen before the project’s future is secured. The Westminster planning commission and city council have to approve rezoning, plans and plats for each parcel. Once that happens, Ray said, the Pillar of Fire Church, the land’s current owner, will sell to Oread. At the meetings, presenters said they hope rezoning hearings will occur within the year’s first quarter.
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