Neighbors for The Streets at SouthGlenn
On January 7, 2019, developers Northwood Ravin and Alberta Development presented their initial vision to Centennial City Council on the redevelopment of The Streets at SouthGlenn, which included building an additional 1600 multi-family apartments and would replace the Sears retail space.
The “Neighbors for Streets at Southglenn“ group formed to facilitate learning about the redevelopment plans, and to create a unified neighborhood voice for our concerns, desires, and questions. Our goal is to become well-educated about the proposed redevelopment. Our concerns regarding the plan include how much the redevelopment will exacerbate current terrible traffic congestion and will multiply the volume of unsafe cut-through traffic around our schools, as well as how high-density high-rise apartments will permanently alter our suburban neighborhood’s character.
A founding key principle of our group is our willingness to collaborate as we explore, discuss, and debate in our effort to understand the current redevelopment plan, and propose workable alternatives. We are not an opposition group and not opposed to redevelopment, but we do have very serious concerns about the current plan. We are not an “anti-growth” or “no growth” group ( e.g. Lakewood’s Strategic Growth Initiative). We recognize that the success or failure of the redevelopment will have a significant impact on the financial health of our city, and we are dedicated to helping our city succeed.
Our group has been extremely successful. Approximately 220 concerned citizens from over a dozen HOAs and Civic Associations in Centennial and Greenwood Village have signed up to participate thus far, and the group continues to grow each week. Many of us have emailed, called and talked with the city staff and elected officials to express our points of view and share our passion about protecting our community. We have voiced our desires that the redevelopment uphold our community’s character and complement the surrounding suburban area.
With that in mind, I accepted an invitation to meet with Alberta Development’s paid advisor on June 19th. In that meeting, I reminded the developer’s advisor of the group’s key principles. I repeated our willingness to work together by extending an open invitation for a small group to meet to collaborate for the good of the neighborhood, city, and project. (Unfortunately, our invitation was later declined.)
We want to protect the culture of the surrounding SouthGlenn neighborhood and protect our Sandburg and Twain Elementary and Arapahoe High School neighborhoods from unsafe traffic. We are committed to continuing to educate ourselves, including learning successful strategies and tactics we can use to persuade the developers to modify their plans to something other than a high-density, high-rise multi-family development in west Centennial.
As we continue to hold informational meetings for neighbors, we will remain hopeful, and will continue to advocate for a positive redevelopment that can benefit the nearby community and property owners.
2019 Candidate for Centennial City Council, District 1
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The owner-developers January 7, 2019 presentation to City Council (click on item #13a)
CenCON – Centennial Council of Neighborhoods (only $35 dues to be in the loop!)
The following amendments to the MDP have been requested:
Decrease the minimum required amount of retail from 909,815 to 500,000 square feet.
Currently there are 948,403 square feet of leasable retail area, including the Sears and Macy’s buildings which are approximately 305,000 square feet.
Increase the number of allowed residential units from 350 units to a total of 1,950 units.
Currently, there are 202 residential units within The Portola at SouthGlenn apartment building.
Modify the permitted height of the Sears parcel from 50 feet to 100 feet; and permitted height of the Macy’s parcel from 50 feet to 75 feet.
Here is a flyer you can download and give to your neighbors and friends.
The circled box indicates where we are in the Land Development Process.
Here is a recap of concerns and suggestions the group has shared with the developers and the city. While this list isn’t intended to be exhaustive, it does capture the major areas and are the basis of the issues the group has felt important regarding the redevelopment. Although many of us have discussed and shared our concerns in three large group meetings, plus a survey in late March, there are some who are new to the group who want to know if their shared concerns have been presented.
Recap of issues/concerns/suggestions
Below is a listing of issues/concerns/suggestions that have been discussed and then shared with the developer and/or city about the known redevelopment plans.
· Too dense
· Too urban
· Want/need affordable housing, not luxury apartments
· Need more set back distance for any building along Easter
· Too tall buildings; keep to 50’ or less and away from the outside boundaries; build in the interior
· Terrace any building away from streets so we can see the mountains
· Traffic congestion (already horrible) will become worse
· Cut-through traffic will increase in our neighborhoods and around schools
· Traffic study; why not do during school year?
· Slow down; what’s the rush to get this done?
· Have an impact on the schools due to more kids
· The type of retail found at S@SG doesn’t meet our (immediate) community needs; offer something like Stanley Marketplace
· Indoor walking space for seniors when it’s winter and cold – we can’t always drive to South Suburban but could walk to S@SG
o More public library space
o More parks, community space
o More entertainment options
o Amphitheater (small) for local events
o Activity center for youth and seniors
o Plaza and water park for kids; craft events and festivals
o Fine arts or local history museum
o Outdoor space for dogs and dog walking
o Space for city meetings so don’t have to drive across town
Updates or FYI notes:
· We don’t know exact numbers of apartments yet and won’t until the developer’s revised concepts are presented to the public.
· The retail options at The Streets at SouthGlenn (S@SG) are decided by the property management company who is hired by developer. The city has no control over the type of stores, restaurants, leases or rents. This the exclusive right of the property owner.
· The current process is at the beginning, although the one mandatory community meeting has been held (March).
· The traffic study is underway and is being extended to better account for school traffic. The study will conclude late August or early September.
· No formal or final submission has been made by either developer to the city and submission is not expected until the traffic study has been submitted to the city (i.e. September).
· The process for redevelopment is based on the city’s land use rules and laws that are documented in the Land Development Code (LDC). The LDC defines how (the use) a property (land) can be developed, whether for commercial, residential or retail, etc. This document is reviewed and approved through a process that includes two public hearings (Planning & Zoning and City Council).
Ultimately, City Council is accountable for the content of the LDC. While zoning is updated as needed and ongoing, the last significant update was completed in 2011. The scope of the LDC includes retail, commercial, and our neighborhoods. The code, if printed out, would be over 6” thick and hundreds (1000?) pages. It’s enormous. Provided a developer follows the guidelines in the LDC, most any development will meet the approval criteria. This sometimes referred to as “staying in the box.”
· After formal plans are submitted, there is a 21-day “referral period” when outside agencies to the city are invited to review and comment on the plans. CenCON is one of those agencies. If you don’t know about CenCON, go here (http://www.cencon.net/members.html) to see if your Civic Association or HOA is registered. Look for the button on the right side, “Member Associations.”
· There’s one great website on the city website that has good information and provides additional links to other website info, like frequently asked questions and ways you can be involved. Go here to the “SouthGlenn” page - http://www.centennialco.gov/southglenn
· Anyone can email, call or talk with their city council representative at any time.
Go here to learn who your representative is:
To subscribe for the “Neighbors for Streets at SouthGlenn” citizen group email distribution, click here.
ALL citizens are welcome.