Eastcreek Farm zoning finalized on second reading

Thornton City Council gives last-needed green light to controversial development proposal

Liam Adams
ladams@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 5/17/21

Thornton City Council cemented the future of a proposed development with a diversity of housing when it passed a zoning amendment on second reading 7-2 at a May 11 meeting. Councilors and project …

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Eastcreek Farm zoning finalized on second reading

Thornton City Council gives last-needed green light to controversial development proposal

Posted

Thornton City Council cemented the future of a proposed development with a diversity of housing when it passed a zoning amendment on second reading 7-2 at a May 11 meeting.

Councilors and project proponents said Eastcreek Farm will be a unique project for the city because it includes a mix of single-family detached homes, multi-family apartment units, duplexes and townhomes. After a second public hearing for the zoning amendment, more councilors voted to support the project this time than the first.

Mayor Jan Kulmann, Mayor Pro Tem Jessica Sandgren and Councilors Julia Marvin, Sam Nizam, Jacque Phillips, Angie Bedolla and Sherry Goodman voted for the amendment. Councilors David Acunto and Adam Matkowsky dissented. Council passed the amendment on first reading in March with a 5-3 vote.

It’s unusual for the public to provide testimony on a development proposal a second time, explained Interim City Attorney Bill Tuthill. However, the developer was presenting new information to council for the second reading, so Tuthill said, “my recommendation was that it was better to hear it out than to exclude an opportunity for people to be heard.”

Many of the main features in the zoning amendment that council approved on first reading in March did not change. When representatives of the developer came back for the May 11 meeting, they presented more concrete numbers around home prices and informed council they are considering waiving certain fees and offering other financial incentives to first responders and veterans interested in living there.

Still, general concerns about traffic and density brought 10-plus community members to speak against the project at the meeting. A near equal number of residents spoke for it, though.

Kulmann, who lives in the area where Eastcreek Farm will go, said she understands residents’ concerns. However, she said she also has to make decisions for the whole city and the development, “is an opportunity we don’t have in the city. And we absolutely need all kinds of housing, rental properties, and purchase properties. So, I am more than happy to support this.”

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