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The 2016 Arapahoe Road Corridor

Referendum Petition:

On November 14, 2016 the Centennial City Council passed an ordinance to allow more car dealerships, drive-thru restaurants, and convenience stores/gas stations on Arapahoe Road - not only on vacant lots, but any commercial property already built can, in the future, redevelop into these businesses. Although dealerships require 5 acres, under this ordinance, smaller parcels could be combined to make the 5-acre requirement.

Drive-thru fast food restaurants and gas stations will generate more traffic and cause even more congestion on Arapahoe Road than it already has. Other cities have banned these businesses in order to preserve and enhance the community's aesthetic qualities.


Citizens filed a referendum petition to repeal parts of the ordinance and prevent these uses on Arapahoe Road OR take the issue to a city-wide vote.

  • The ordinance was developed WITHOUT citizen input or review. 


  • The ordinance would have allowed MORE car dealerships, drive-thru restaurants, and convenience stores/gas stations on Arapahoe Road – on both vacant lots and redeveloped lots. 

  •  Rahal Mercedes Dealership was (and still is) ready to build a dealership on the lot at Blackhawk and Arapahoe, across from the Centennial Medical Plaza, and across from TWO residential neighborhoods! 

  • The ordinance was passed BEFORE a planned public process to revise Centennial’s Comprehensive Plan where citizens will provide input on what they want for Centennial (and Arapahoe Road) over the next 10-15 years. 

The reason this ordinance was passed was to allow a Mercedes dealership and other dealerships to be built on the empty lots left on Arapahoe Road. Some of these lots are directly across the street from several residential areas. It was passed despite pleas from Centennial residents who did not want their quality of life lowered by being across the street from these kinds of businesses, including a 7-11 at the corner of Potomac and Arapahoe (the 7-11 has since left and Advance Auto Parts and Sherwin-Williams Paint now occupy this parcel.) 


This was just another land deal for a rich property owner, but it affects the life savings and home investments of the people who live here. The other dealerships in the city are NOWHERE NEAR RESIDENTIAL AREAS. The residents here were told that those types of businesses were not allowed on this part of Arapahoe, luring them to buy their homes here. The City of Centennial gives more rights to developers than to residents and neighborhoods.

The Referendum Petition was found to be valid and City Council voted to repeal the ordinance and not to take it to a vote. 

BUT... in 2018, City Council proposed a NEW ordinance AGAIN that would have ALLOWED CAR DEALERSHIPS ON ARAPAHOE ROAD.

The petition process started all over again, and was successful.

However, the city can propose a new ordinance similar to or exactly the same


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