Our civic association hosted a neighborhood meeting September 19 to get an update on the proposed developments at Colorado Blvd/1st Ave and Colorado/Bayaud Ave. This is the same developer, Doug McKinnon, who is in charge of the church property redevelopment agreed upon in 2017. 30-40 people attended the meeting and participated in the discussion. This a recap of the meeting.
Mr. McKinnon bought the properties on Colorado in April. The properties are currently zoned PUD and G-RH-3 and he wants to rezone to G-RO-5. This would allow residential and/or office buildings up to 5 stories or 65’ high. He is working with Tryba Architects to design these new properties.
These 4 properties are on the narrow strips between Colorado and Harrison Ave. The sites are 95’ wide. There is a mandated 20’ setback on the Colorado side, 10’ feet on the Harrison. The proposed buildings would allow:
-north side of 1st: 30,000 sf (30-40- units)
-south side of 1st: 60,000 (60-70 units)
-north side of Bayaud: 50,000 sf (50-55 units)
-south side of Bayaud: 30,000 sf (30-35 units)
I spoke with Dylan McQuinn from Tryba and he said these numbers were maximums from the neighborhoods and McKinnon could have latitude to build fewer units. However Lou Raders from Cherry Creek North RNO said everything is still under discussion. It appears to be a fluid situation and we will continue to be involved. There is a meeting Nov. 26 with McKinnon. McQuinn is also to send dimensions for the lots.
Their proposal includes removal of the “porkchops” at the CO/1st intersection and redesign to a regular intersection. There would be a sign designating the intersection as a “Gateway to Cherry Creek”. CO/Bayaud would be the same sort of intersection. They envision more trees beautifying the sites.
The plan would provide 1 parking slots per unit per city code plus visitor parking. All parking would be underground and accessed only on Harrison.
The developer hopes to go to the city for the rezoning request the first quarter of 2020.
The status of the church property was a lengthy discussion. Neighbors are understandably unhappy about the state of disrepair and vandalism. There are homeless people on the west porch constantly and evidence of drug use. Nearby neighbors have been threatened. Police are slow to respond and the building has become a safety hazard. Mr. McKinnon says demolition is being held up by the Verizon cell tower in the steeple. He confirmed at the meeting that the property is tied to a 25 year contract that renews every 5 years and just renewed in January. It goes through 2023. Neighbors were not happy that they were just now being informed about this. Verizon did send a representative to the meeting to answer questions. He reported that Verizon has recently been looking for another site and thinks they have found one. If negotiations with the new site go well, the steeple could be vacated by next year. Mr. McKinnon says there is also an asbestos problem.
Since the meeting and in response to the neighbors, the developers boarded up the west side of the porch and all other openings. They also boarded up the staircase to the basement which was a popular potty site.
Neighbors – please report ANY illegal activity you witness. This is a private property with no trespassing notices, so if you witness people on this property, we urge you to report to 911. To have these calls acknowledged by the city you must request a return call from the police. Then your call will be filed with the city.
Sue Bollman – Cranmer Park/Hilltop Civic Association Board of Directors