Allocations for 533 Van Gordon St.
Comments & Feedback
July 19, 2020 comments.
Full comments regarding 533 Van Gordon Street – Proposed apartment project.
The comments I gave before the Lakewood City Council meeting on Monday, May 13, 2019 were taken from this narrative.
“Note added July 19, 2020: How can this project be approved when the City of Lakewood has already approved projects that will count against the allotments for the next three years?”
These comments are with regard to the proposed Van Gordon Apartment project at 533 Van Gordon Street, Site Plan 19008.
After hearing that The Pointe Athletic Club would be demolished and replaced by a 309-apartment-unit project, I acquired the Site Plan for the Van Gordon Apartments for review and comment. This project is not included in the Union Corridor Plan that is bound on the west side by Van Gordon Street.
This project is proposed to be a total of five stories high, with the basement being a parking garage, and four floors of apartment units above ground level.
In reviewing the site plan, the density of units is not in keeping with the surrounding area, where there are already more than 2,900 multi-family units. Older and established communities within one-half mile to the south and west of this address include apartments, townhouses, condominiums, and duplexes, as well as single-family homes. All of these residences are three stories high, or less. It would be my desire to see that this building be designed with no more than three stories above ground level in keeping with the overall character of the community.
I also suggest that there be far fewer apartments, to a total of less than 120 units and that the project be divided into two or more buildings. This is a relatively small parcel of land, and the density would be more appropriate if it were similar to Westhills Apartments, its neighbor, rather than the Beacon 85 building.
According to the site plan, there is one entrance/exit from the 6th Avenue Frontage Road into this property that will handle all of the traffic for the Van Gordon Apartments, plus some traffic to the 408 apartments in Westhills. Obviously, the entrance to this project is not exclusive. East-bound traffic on the 6th Avenue Frontage Road is very heavy at peak hours and the driveway exit is at the beginning of the curve from the Frontage Road into Van Gordon. This already gets dicey, and adding 300 to 400 cars for the Van Gordon Apartments will make it dangerous. Turning to the left from the driveway is subject to the cars coming around the curve from Van Gordon Street into the Frontage Road. I would like to see the Traffic Study for this project, especially as it relates to the Frontage Road.
Inside the property, the driveway that would enter into the Westhills property is marked “Do Not Enter.” Other than the driveway off of the Frontage Road, Westhills has only one other entrance/exit driveway and it’s at the southeast corner of their property. What about emergency vehicles? The only other way for cars from the Van Gordon Apartment site to get out would be to follow the Westhills driveway to the west around the perimeter of their property and exit onto Van Gordon at their southeast corner.
Also, I see that the parking garage has only one entrance/exit for over 400 cars that would be parked in it. What would happen in an emergency that might block that exit?
There is no street parking next to this proposed building on the 6th Avenue Frontage Road or Van Gordon Street, and the closest would be one to two blocks away. Because of the lack of parking spaces in the communities of Riva Ridge, Telluride, Telluride West, and Snowbird, which were built in the 1980’s, the closest is on Wright Street, and Wright Street is already 90% or more full of cars in the overnight hours. Wright Street in this area extends from 2nd Avenue to the 6th Avenue Frontage Road. Due to the number of vehicles that are parked on this street because there is not enough parking in their own townhouse, condominium, and apartment properties, there are few spaces left for more vehicles.
The very modern architecture of the project would be as out of place as the Beacon 85 building, and is not in keeping with the surrounding area. A lot less detail and fewer paint colors can be used and still have an attractive appearance.
Consider water and sewer usage for the project. I realize that what I reviewed was only a site plan, however, if all of the landscaping is put in place, the pool is filled, and residents in 309 units are bathing, washing clothes, and running dishwashers, the water usage alone will be increase many times over that used by The Pointe Athletic Club.
Please ask the developer to redesign this project with far fewer apartment units, and make it more in keeping with the rest of the community.
The alternative is to find a different and better use for the site.
433 Wright Street, #106 - Lakewood
There is s shortage of affordable housing in the Denver metro area and in Lakewood, Colorado.
Approval of a plan for multi-family housing units should mandate that a minimum of 40% of the total number of units be designated affordable units for residents meeting 30%, 40%, 50%, and 60% of the area median income limits.07/24/2020 11:37 am
It would NOT appear that there is a shortage of large apartment complex options in this area for the foreseeable future. If this building is approved then there will be significantly more traffic in an already congested area. It becomes absolutely critical that the S. Zinnia Way/Arbutus St. roads access to Sixth avenue freeway frontage road be reopened/restored in order to allow traffic coming from neighborhoods north of this "growth" area to have reasonable access the 6th ave. freeway frontage road and other areas west of this proposed building. Funneling all traffic coming from neighborhoods north of this proposed apartment area onto one or two roads because years ago this one was closed off seems unreasonable. If traffic calming is necessary those roads then additional roundabouts should be built07/27/2020 7:54 am
My thoughts on this matter are the following:
The housing study seems to rely on data that is now 5 years old and does not factor in all the apartments, etc. that have been built since then. Many aspects of the narrative assume how people will feel about the type of housing they might prefer.
The area and location of this project seems to fly in the face of the issues facing the union corridor, so I believe project justification should speak to those union area issues that have been raised and be resolved before granting allocations.
I would remind the council of all the sociological, employment, political unrest, and economic changes just this year, much less since 2015, that have and will impact future business development and subsequent state growth. I would definitely not use the housing study as any major factor in decision making.07/26/2020 10:13 pm
I do have to applaud the developer for their creative plan of banking credits over 5 years but, if there is a strong demand for new apartments now, letting "The Pointe" sit vacant for the next 4-5 years while they collect credits hardly seems to answer that demand any time in the near future. In addition, the restrictions that were voted upon by the residents of Lakewood were specifically aimed at decreasing the construction of large 4 or 5-story apartment complexes like those on Union and Van Gordon to the west. Density was as much, if not more, of a factor in the new regulations than the actual number of units overall. To go from a relatively low-use gym to a high-density 5-story apartment complex is completely against the spirit of the Lakewood growth control measure. The property itself is not large and should have development comparable the the surrounding area, which is mostly 2-3 story apartments and condos.
Carl Youngblood07/26/2020 11:11 pm
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