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The History of Car Dealerships on Arapahoe Road,

Lack of Transparency of City Government

and their FAILURE to Inform Centennial Citizens

Arapahoe Road Retail Corrider Study


Page 12 summary

List of Stake-holders

contacted for study

Rahal Deed

Lots 1, 2


Rahal Deed

Lots 3-6


Letter from citizens


Referendum Petition


Rahal Letter


Centennial Next Survey results


Centennial Next Survey results


Centennial City Council adopts ordinances prohibiting additional car dealerships on Arapahoe Road to PROTECT

residential areas from the noise and traffic from dealerships.


Arapahoe County, the City of Centennial and citizens, working together, form a unified front and turn down a car dealership at Arapahoe and Blackhawk.



Cornerstar RETAIL shopping center is built by Aurora at the corner of Arapahoe Road and Parker Road.

No dealerships are included in the center. Sales tax revenue is collected from Centennial, Foxfield, Parker, unincorporated Arapahoe County and Aurora residents. There is no other retail in this area. 

Centennial City Council directed staff to explore retail opportunities on the Arapahoe Road Corridor.


Centennial Community Development Department, Economic Division directs Arapahoe Road Retail Corridor Study.

CenCON (Centennial Council of Neighborhoods) is told there is an Arapahoe Road Retail Corridor Study but is not briefed. Community Development tells CenCON they will be briefed, but never return to brief them or seek input.

Arapahoe Road Retail Corridor Study completed
Study concludes that retail other than dealerships, gas stations and fast food is not viable on Arapahoe Road (see page 12.) Apparently Aurora did not consult this "expert" before they built THEIR retail center ON Arapahoe Road. 

  • Citizens were not included as stakeholders

  • Walid Maaliki, the owner of the Blackhawk property who wanted to sell his land to Rahal Dealership is one of the 26 people this study lists as a stakeholder.

  • Miro Jewelers, Advance Auto Parts, Sherwin-Williams Paints and Natural Grocers (all retail businesses) have been built on Arapahoe Road AFTER this study was submitted.


March 14 
Council meets in Study Session for a detailed review of the Arapahoe Road Retail study and draft Land Development Code Amendments – the amendments remove restricitons on car dealerships, drive-thru restaurants, and convenience stores/gas stations on Arapahoe Road

  • No public outreach or input

 May 9
Centennial City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission meet jointly to review proposed LDC Amendments

  • No public outreach or input

 July 16
Centennial Next is launched - an 18-month process to update of Centennial’s Comprehensive Plan for land use in Centennial. 

  • Process involves public meetings and surveys

July 18 
Centennial City Council Study Session to further discuss proposed LDC Amendments.

  • No public outreach or input


September 28
Planning and Zoning Commission considers the Land Development Code Amendments

  • Three citizens testified against the LDC Amendments  - P&Z approved anyway

  • No one testified in favor


September 30

Rahal closes on property lots 1 and 2.

  • Closed on property even though it was not ZONED for a dealership

November 3
Rahal closes on property lots 3, 4, 5 and 6.

  • Closed on property even though it was not ZONED for a dealership

  • During June 11, 2018 work session, a member of Centennial City staff said he told Rahal he was comfortable that Council would approve the amendments.

  • Citizens Collect 120 Letters asking City Council not to allow car dealerships, etc. on Arapahoe Road 


November 7
LDC Amendments to Centennial City Council

  • Hearing on the amendments does not begin until 10:00 pm

  • 6 citizens opposed and 1 in favor. Many of the opposition gave up and went home due to the late hour

  • No public outreach or specific notice to citizens regarding the LDC Amendments


November 14
After continuing the issue, Council approves the LDC Amendments

  • Vote of 6 – 3 (No votes: Carrie Penaloza, Cathy Noon and Kathy Turley)


November 19
Citizens file Referendum to repeal adoption of the LDC amendments or a city-wide vote on the issue.

December 19
Citizens turn in 5,000 signatures to refer the LDC amendments to a vote of the people.

February 13
Council votes not to have an election and repeals the amendments in response to the will of the citizens of Centennial

May 25 
Rahal Motors (Mercedes Dealership - Property owner at Blackhawk and Arapahoe) files a court document saying the City had assured them they would get their zoning.  - “The City of Centennial made it very clear in a hearing it is open to other paths to zoning approval for the dealership and we are taking the City up on this.”

Centennial NEXT Process Continues

January 25
Rahal Motors emails all city council members to ask for a meeting to discuss a conditional use for a Mercedes dealership at Blackhawk and Arapahoe– Email available through the Colorado Open Records Act.


March 29
Results of the Centennial NEXT survey results are posted

May  7
Regular City Council Meeting
Council members hold an executive session

  • Executive Session Pursuant to C.R.S. Section 24-6-402(4)(b) to Receive Legal Advice Related to the Amendment of the Land Development Code to Expand the Number of Conditional Uses Within Commercial Zone Districts of the City.

At the end of the Council meeting during Other Business, Councilwoman Moon requests “study of conditional uses on Arapahoe road. ” Review of the recording would lead one to believe that her request was driven by staff.

City Council 5/7/18 CW Moon -
00:00 / 00:00

June 11
Centennial Council Work Session

  • This meeting is held at the Public Works building with one microphone. The recording is not posted on the Centennial website and can only be accessed with a CORA request and is only available for 6 months.

Staff brings a draft LDC ordinance to members  -  the response to Moon’s May 7 request to “study” conditional uses on Arapahoe Road.


Councilwoman Maurer opposes the ordinance and indicates that she requested tax data for uses on Arapahoe Road and city staff denied her request. Staff responds to another council member’s request for tax data at the session.

 June 27
NEW ORDINANCE to allow more car dealerships on Arapahoe Road was voted through by the Planning and Zoning Commission

August 13

NEW ORDINANCE to allow more car dealerships on Arapahoe Road was voted through by City Council 5 to 4.

The vote to pass the ordinance on August 13 was:

Stephanie Piko - NO

Carrie Penaloza - NO

Tammy Maurer - NO

Kathy Turley - NO

Ron Weidmann - YES

Mike Sutherland - YES

Ken Lucas - YES

Candace Moon - YES

Marlo Alston - YES

August 19

Citizens file Referendum to repeal adoption of the LDC amendments or a city-wide vote on the issue.

September 13

Citizens submit signed petitions to city.

October 24

Petition is deemed sufficient by the city.

November 5

Council votes to prepare an ordinance to repeal ordinance 2018-0-13 

Stephanie Piko - YES

Carrie Penaloza - YES

Tammy Maurer - YES

Kathy Turley - YES

Ron Weidmann - NO

Mike Sutherland - YES

Ken Lucas - YES

Candace Moon - NO

Marlo Alston - YES

November 13

Council will hear the first reading for an ordinance to repeal ordinance 2018-0-13 

December 3

Council voted (7-1) to repeal ordinance 2018-0-13 - NO vote was from Ron Weidmann, District 4

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