Red Rocks Ranch Rezoning - Major Overall Development Plan Amendment with Vesting

Case: Rooney Valley Commission
Major Overall Development Plan Amendment for Red Rocks Ranch located within the Town of Morrison in the Rooney Valley. Meeting to be held at Red Rocks Elementary, 17119 Highway 74, Morrison, CO 80465


Meeting Agenda

Comments & Feedback

This case is closed, online commenting is no longer available.

Comments regarding Red Rocks Ranch application to rezone and disconnect from the City of Morrison.

I believe this request should be denied for numerous reasons.

First, approval of this application would be in violation of the IGA between Morrison and Lakewood. In addition, Jeffco was not part of the Rooney Valley Planning process and has no requirement to adopt anything in the ODP that the current Rooney Valley Planning Commission or Town of Morrison approve.

As planners, you already know that planning an area such as the Rooney Valley should not be done in a vacuum of looking at one parcel at a time. Studies to properly evaluate the impact of development of the RV have not been done. Infrastructure issues (transportation; water supply, stormwater, and sewer lines; energy) have not been addressed. Public transportation should be dealt with prior to or concurrently with such development and not as an afterthought. Commitment to suppling land and money for schools has not been addressed.
Natural resources have not been considered. We have limited water supply and an abundance of poor air quality already. There is a major wildlife corridor that is only being addressed as “open space” (ie areas with land characteristics that the developer can’t build on anyway) for wildlife movement as well as tranquility for area residents.

This is a poor development choice as we already have an abundance of available expensive luxury apartments. The Lakewood Housing Study, as well as other economic studies, indicates that housing doesn’t pay for itself. The financial burden of providing services to additional heads in beds outweigh the benefit of having more residents. Let’s be creative and imagine a way to develop this land that will preserve the beauty and benefit our residents, instead of padding out of state developers’ pocket books. Why not consider a progressive campus community (university branch or tech/professional office) with open air museum that would preserve the unique qualities of the area for RV residents and visitors to enjoy. Something that would draw people to visit or work in Lakewood ($$) and allow the professionals that live in the area a closer commute to a good job. A development such as this would be less burdensome on our water and energy resources. In addition, any building that would be part of this development should be equipped with solar systems (not just solar-ready).

Thanks for allowing public comment regarding the development of this special area. Please do the right thing for the existing and future residents of the area and our resources.

04/24/2018 12:51 pm
Mary Gilkison
3 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

Dear Rooney Valley Commission

Below are my comments in advance of the Commission meeting on the 25th.

The Developer’s claim, made multiple times in their presentation, that the number of daily car trips will decrease under their plan is seriously flawed. They are proposing 720 homes, 320 townhomes and 300 apartments, for a total of around 1300 homes, and no professional services, no office parks, no medical campus, only tires stores and low paying service jobs.

The cost of the homes cannot be borne by an income from the planned local low paying jobs, so it is clear that people who chose to live there will be commuting to work.

It is clearly false to assume that the thousands of new residents will not be making many thousands of car trips every day to get to and from work since the work will be elsewhere under the developer’s plan.
Adding to the reality of horrific traffic is the developer’s complete lack of a plan for mass transit.

Thus, doing the simple math can yield only 1 conclusion, that the claim that traffic will decrease by 56% is unsupportable.

Further, with regard to infrastructure, it was pointed out that the developer’s plan is incomplete. He pledges that infrastructure details will be developed later. This is insufficient and nothing but an empty statement. If they can plan for X number of homes and businesses they can certainly plan for the infrastructure to support them. How do they do financial planning to get the financing? Do they tell lenders, “Just give us the 50 million now and we’ll fill you in on the details of how we will spend it later? I think not.

Also on the subject of infrastructure, it was appalling that the CDOT’s only input was about C-470’s possible traffic noise impact on apartment dwellers. There was no input or discussion or even questions from the Commission on the very important subject to carrying capacity on C-470 and neighboring arterials in Lakewood. As I have pointed out since 2017, C-470 is already a parking lot as it goes through Rooney Valley, and is reduced from 3 lanes to 2 going south at the point where Morrison Road intersects C-470. Yet, the Commission is ignoring the reality here that adding thousands more car trips per day will be a traffic disaster. The excuse that ‘CDOT has no money’ is ridiculous. CDOT recently completed a needed underpass at Colorado School of Mines on Highway 93 in Golden. CDOT can get things done. What is completely lacking is a requirement by the Rooney Valley Commission that the infrastructure be expanded to handle actual traffic load from development in tandem with development. Developers will always claim that ‘highways are out of their control.’ The Commission must not buy into this excuse. Responsible leadership by the Commission should lead the way in communication with all parties; all Developers, the Cities of Lakewood and Morrison, and Jeffco, to get an infrastructure plan in place before any building plans move forward. This sort of broad collaboration should certainly include the proposed developments north of Morrison at Dino Ridge, since none of the proposed developments along the corridor will exist in a vacuum. The impacts will be cumulative.

After all, isn’t this why the Commission exists, to require that necessary steps be taken to ensure that a new development will be viable, not a blight on existing residents and the nearby communities? Providing for adequate roads and infrastructure is a vital step in growth. It does not take an engineer to understand this. It is common sense.

Lastly on transportation, since the developer’s plan will require new resident’s who are professionals to work elsewhere, it is inexcusable that Light Rail is not even being discussed for this development. What will be built in Rooney Valley will impact the Valley and Lakewood forever. To forego long range planning for infrastructure is to invite disaster. The very job of a planning commission is to set the standard for successful development, not to rubber stamp a plan that will only lead to problems down the road that must be addressed by others.

Please consider all that I say here, and slow this process down. Now is the time for the Commission to set some priorities that will ensure successful development, not just add more heads & beds, traffic, noise, public anger, and make a big profit for developers who will walk away and leave the problems they created for others to solve.

This is what planning is all about…to evaluate impacts and require solutions before problems are created.

Alan Heald

04/24/2018 12:07 pm
Alan Heald
3 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

Please vote "NO" to yet another attempt to take the open space that we residents love and cherish and turn it into pavement, buildings, and endless traffic. The madness to convert every inch of buildable land into a new subdivision is criminal and short-sighted for the future of this area. Open spaces are what make this community and this state great. As a Lakewood resident who lives within walking distance to the trailhead, I can't bear the thought of destroying more open space and bringing yet more traffic (car and otherwise) to our already taxed area. Please consider that value takes more forms than the dollar, and once decisions are made to develop land, we will be forever altering the landscape, environment, and opportunities for future generations to enjoy our greatest resource - our wilderness.

04/23/2018 10:18 pm
Kelly Pelkie
3 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

Development along the Rooney Valley area is destroying what makes Lakewood, Morrison, and West Littleton such attractive places to live: the open, green space with easy access to highway.

I was born in this area and live minutes from where this development is planned. I drive C470 twice a day most days. When I am stressed, I will actually go out of my way to drive C470 for the exposure to the open space along the sides. Every strip of undeveloped or minimally developed green space in this area increases the value of the surrounding areas, decreases the stress of the citizens who live there (there are tons of studies on commute stress and beneficial effects of green space on physical and emotional health, so I won't bother with linking them), and preserves desperately necessary wildlife habitat.

As our population rises and traffic rises accordingly, developers and cities are pouncing on opportunities to draw people and business in for profit. But with development like this proposal, short-term gain causes long-term loss. People want to come to Colorado because of its open spaces and its wildlife. What happens when you have to drive further and further South and North to see a field? What happens when the crowding and congestion becomes so thick that the Rooney Valley area loses it's beauty to concrete, and clogs with more traffic? Is Colorado going to go the same way other cities have, steadily sucking up the open land space as the population increases, until only strips of heavily trafficked hiking areas exist over here? Is that what we want for the generations that come after us? For our grandchildren to have never see this land as open space, but only as cement, buildings, and asphalt? The Solterra development and it's future plans is horrible enough.

This does not even getting into the problems with school crowding, water and sanitation issues, consequences of traffic congestion, and other issues brought up by the Rooney Valley Alliance and others.

No amount of profit will ever be worth the loss of this stretch of land proposed for development.

The cities and officials involved in this need to question their priorities and their alliances: Is your allegiance to the developers and investors and profit?

Or is your allegiance to the earth upon which you, your citizens, and your grandchildren live and intend to live for generations?

04/23/2018 11:34 am
Michael Kipp
3 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

As a resident of Lakewood for 26 years, I ask you to please vote "NO" on the Red Rocks Ranch Development. Calling this a ranch is an insult to any Real rancher
in Colorado and the west. Call it what it will be - "a mess"! Transportation problems, light pollution, noise pollution, air pollution and visual pollution.
Is this what you want - I call it a "nightmare". Vote "NO".

Kathy White

04/20/2018 2:13 pm
Kathy White
3 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

As a longtime Jeffco resident, I have seen many changes to the area. Our family moved here in 1976. I truly believe it is time to stop the growth, especially on the western metro area. What we love about the area is rapidly vanishing with so much development. Wildlife no longer have places to roam, our natural resources are dwindling (especially water), and traffic is becoming unbearable.
The valley where the development is proposed is full of history, artifacts, and dinosaur fossils. It's time to stop crowding Colorado! Solterra is (more than) enough!

04/20/2018 1:14 pm
Kathleen Hanvey
3 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

This development must not go forward. We do not have the water for any more residents, this is all just a real estate developer's scam. You need to get serious about global warming as it presents here in Colorado, i.e., don't count on stealing water from farming because we all need to eat, too. And when the water runs out, everyone, not just the newcomers, will leave the area and there will be nothing but foreclosures left behind. This battle is being fought all over America right now, the get-rich-and-get-out-quick schemers vs. the interests of the People who live here and love Colorado. Every foot of concrete you pour raises the temperature and is a nail in our coffin. Every tree you cut emits more CO2 into the air. Every resident you plant is another car or two that spews tons of pollutants into our once-fresh air. You need to see that you have a stake in this, too; there won't be 'somewhere else' to go to with your bags of Monopoly cash, your children will be stuck with the heat and the drought and the pollution and floods and famine and thirst. There won't be any skiing. There won't be any animals. If anything, scientists have down-played the consequences of this rash and immature behavior. Be part of the solution.

04/20/2018 8:40 am
Susan Williams
3 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

Victoria Liebman
14531 W Bates Pl, Lakewood, CO 80228
[email protected]


My name is Victoria Liebman, Colorado native, 13-yr Lakewood and Rooney Valley resident and over 40-year resident of Jefferson County. I attended the public hearing at Red Rocks Elementary on April 12, 2018. Given the inevitability of development (unless an angel from God appears with a check for the millions it would require to purchase the property for open space), I was pleased to hear that much of the Plan Rooney Valley recommendations were implemented in the plan presented by the developer. However, I have several concerns:

#1 THE ODP. How enforceable is the final ODP plan, agreed upon by Morrison and the developer once the property is disconnected into unincorporated Jefferson County? The Morrison town attorney seemed to think that it will be enforceable, but what does that mean? Does it mean a long, expensive legal battle if the developer decides to change one of the recommendations? Will the County Commissioners decide to build unnecessary retail or commercial space to gain more profit? Will the county commissioners have any power to change the ODP as they see fit? I did not feel comfortable with the town attorney’s response – it seemed off the cuff with no meat behind it. Please clarify before disconnection.

#2 OPEN SPACE. The developer’s plan of 12% open space doesn’t seem to be what Plan Rooney Valley had in mind. I would like to see more specific open space plans. Does it include gulleys, medians, etc. Why were there no parks planned for the neighborhood nodes? That seems irresponsible and greedy! I would like to see broad swaths of undeveloped land in natural form along bike/walk paths interconnecting the surrounding neighborhoods, i.e. Tamarisk and Solterra, Summit Glen, etc. I was relieved when Morrison has a requirement code of 25% open space for any development, so it looks like the developer needs to re-look. And referring to #1 above, how enforceable will this requirement be once disconnected to Jeffco????

#3 MORRISON ROAD. I am strongly in support of preserving the natural embankment/hill along the north side of Morrison Road so that all the development is hidden from the road and from Bear Creek Lake Park. Who wants to look at a King Sooper’s sign and “Storage Unit” signs when you’re going to enjoy the park across the street. This may seem trivial, but it is hugely important to the psychology of the area. I’ve seen examples in Scottsdale, AZ where signage is hidden and natural desert landscaping is the focus so that you don’t even realize there is a Super Target just off the street. Please address this in the next meeting. As you (the developer) heard over and over that night, “This place is special!”

#4 TRAFFIC ESTIMATES. I used to be a numbers gal and those NEW daily car trip estimates under the proposal look too good to be true in comparison to the previous zoning. I would like to know how these numbers were derived and how the county, cities, etc. plan to deal with the influx of increased car trips. Where will the money come from?

#5 Finally…two words and a huge question mark: STORAGE UNITS? This is irresponsible development, especially in this special area. I know it must be profitable now, but we can find better suited areas for this kind of development. Plus, in case you have not been paying attention, Millennials are not over-consumers like generations past (and because they can’t afford the housing here, even less so!). I predict this storage building boom will go the way of big box retail and indoor malls – EMPTYNESS! Say no to Storage Units!!!

I urge the planning commission to take these issues under consideration for the next public hearing and I would like to hear from the developer on these issues.

Respectfully, Victoria Liebman

04/19/2018 11:55 am
Victoria M Liebman
3 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

I support residential development that involves affordable housing and provides diversity for the community. However, development must include infrastructure, which should be made a requirement of the developer, not the local taxpayers. Careful planning should include streets, utilities, schools, access to emergency agencies (fire and police), adequate parking and local parks. Also a mix of commercial and residential areas in order to provide a sense of community. Please consider designs which include community development as a part of the developer's design and at the developer's expense.

04/17/2018 2:48 pm
Kathleen Taylor
6 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

Hello, I've been following the debate about the Rooney Valley development and have many concerns that I don't think are being addressed. I've lived in Lakewood for 32 years, always in the Green Mountain area. I'm an avid hike and nature lover. However, I'm originally from a large city so hate to see this land be over-developed as it is in a beautiful area utilized by our wildlife and with scenic views. I definitely understand the need for development but would rather see a real mixture of commercial and residential, along with its own school, library, etc. As I understand the current plan, it's primarily residential with no real open space except a ditch that can't be developed anyway.

I also understand that the developer no longer needs to provide land for schools and I think this should be changed. Green Mountain schools are already overcrowded and who knows about the Morrison schools? In addition, taxpayers didn't pass the last bond issue presented to them from the Jeffco school system.

I'm also worried about the infrastructure as 470 is already crowded during rush hour. That's why I think it is so important that the valley be used for a development that incorporates a walkable community including commercial and other major components of such a community.

I also feel that Morrison should honor any agreement between it and Lakewood. Jeffco county, if the land goes to them, should honor those living closest to this land, whether in Lakewood or Morrison.

And then there is police and fire services. As a resident of Green Mountain, I'm especially concerned about crime. Crime has already increased here and we get little to no response from the police. Who pays for the expanded protection needed in this new area?

Thank you for the change to provide a public comment.

04/17/2018 1:23 pm
Janet Santaniello
6 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

I am writing to ask you to vote NO to the proposed Rooney Valley development plan. The plan is insufficient and will damage the Rooney Valley. It does not provide land for a school and even if land is provided JeffCo does not have e budget to build a new school. The plan also lacks a park, rec center, library, public transportation, etc. Please require all of these important amenities to be in the plan and funded for but the developer before even considering the plan. Thank you for taking the time to listen to the concerned neighbors.

04/16/2018 5:51 pm
Katie Jones
6 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

blingOn behalf of Lakewood Clean Energy, we would like to see some of the land (2 to 10 acres) dedicated to a Community Solar Garden. Such gardens are very mellow, they generate no traffic, no pollution, no noise. Solar gardens can lock in the land for non-construction use.

Furthermore, the clean local energy benefits the community, reducing our dependence on Xcel (which makes dirty electricity and takes large revenues out of of community and state), keeping our energy purchases within the local community where the money experiences economic multipliers, removing the impacts of coal and natural gas electricity on our community's health and environment, and enabling local participants/subscribers to receive more affordable electricity at stable rates.

04/16/2018 5:44 pm
Laurent Meillon
6 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

Stop this now! Developers are only interested in their own bottom line. If we need/want more tax revenue let's have marijuana shops like Arvada . More high density housing isn't the answer and will make Lakewood/Morrison less desirable for everyone. At the very least, build single family homes. More traffic and pollution. Let them build out east.

Diana Tate
532 S. Deframe Ct

04/13/2018 11:32 am
Diana Louise Tate (formallly Diana Louise Kendrick)
7 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

After reading though the Public Comments it looks like the resounding comment of wanting more open space was not addressed. I understand we cannot stop this development, but we can try to protect more of the open space. I would like to see a minimum of a 50 acre conservation zone in this plan (maybe in PA 5 or 7) in addition to the 39 acres of planned open space. These 50 acres could be used as a disc golf course, sports fields, or a large neighborhood park with recreational equipment. This will increase the overall open space from only 10% of the area to 25%, which will go a long way towards public acceptance.

04/11/2018 4:28 pm
Gwen Riffle
7 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

Pursuant to my comment regarding the missing Fossil Ridge Districts letter of opposition to this application. The letter has been mixed in to the Staff Exhibits packet with other citizen comments. PAGE 55.

Please note this is a letter response from a referred agency. They were solicited for feedback by the Town of Morrison, however they have been omitted in the listing of referred agencies.

Please take a look at this letter and afford it the weight of other referred agency, as it has a direct bearing on the decision to amend the Red Rock Centre ODP.

04/11/2018 2:05 pm
Rita Bertolli
7 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

Pursuant to my comment regarding Fossil Ridge Metropolitan Districts' opposition letter to this application, while I am reviewing the Staff Exhibits that have been provided to you for tomorrow night, it appears the letter was included as page 55, mixed in with other non-agency public comments.

Please note, this is a letter from a referred public agency, and they were not listed as a referral agency in the staff cover to this application.

Please take a very careful look at the Fossil Ridge letter as it has a direct bearing on the ODP Amendment that is coming before the Planning Commissioners.

04/11/2018 2:02 pm
Rita Bertolli
7 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

The application packet for this hearing is incomplete. There was left out an important response from a referral agency. That agency is the adjacent Fossil Ridge Metropolitan District. Not only was Fossil Ridge not listed in the referral agencies of the latest staff report, but their response letter was also omitted from the evidence that is being provided to the Rooney Valley Planning Commission.

I have attached their correspondence here to my comment. Their correspondence can be verified with the agency directly.

As this constitutes a quasi-judicial proceeding, it is critically important that the Planning Commission have prior access to all necessary and relevant information so that our Commissioners can make a fully informed decision regarding this application for ODP Amendment.

I hope sending this document gives our Commissioners enough time to verify this evidence and speak to the points of this letter on April 12. Unfortunately I only today discovered that this LakewoodSpeaks link was available for comments regarding this meeting (no indication of our Commissioners receiving comments to this meeting through was provided on the page where the legal notice is required to be posted).

04/11/2018 1:11 pm
Rita Bertolli
7 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

Colorado is no longer Colorado.
People came here for the "WIDE OPEN SPACES". Those no longer exist. The human race can NOT build over every field still in existence and not suffer for it. So many people have moved here over the last few years it makes me SICK. I have lived here my entire 59 years on this Earth, and I am ready to get out of here and find a less CROWDED place to live. (If that exists) My parents moved here in 1955, there was NOTHING between us and the Mountains. (I am 5 blocks east of Belmar) The Building has to stop somewhere, before the last wild blade of grass is paved over. Then no child will know what the color green looks like.
" We do not inherent the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children...."
Native American Proverb

04/10/2018 11:56 pm
Sheri DiSanza
7 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

Once it's gone into the hands of developers it is gone for good. We the people don't want more growth - enough is enough. The roads around here are crowded enough and in poor shape as it is. Why doesn't the Planning Commission understand the concerns of the people that have lived here for a very long time and see the demise of this once great area. I don't get it and in fact it is disgusting. Don't build and they won't come...let us enjoy what we have and make it better.

04/10/2018 7:49 pm
Paul Yednak
7 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment

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