Continued 533 Van Gordon Street

Item 10 - Continued Resolution 2020-45 Authorizing Allocations for 533 Van Gordon Street, Lakewood CO


Public Meeting Video

Applicant Presentation

Staff Presentation


Lakewood Municipal Code Chapter 14.27 ( 0.16 MB )
Staff Memo ( 0.39 MB )
Resolution 2020-45 ( 0.11 MB )
Withdraw Request 533 Van Gordon ( 0.24 MB )

Comments & Feedback

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Analysis of the SGI/14.27 Law

Authorization of “surplus” allocation must meet Two requirements (both criteria must be met - failure to satisfy one factor will invalidate the request) -

(1) Must NOT prejudice the allocation process -

a.) Developer argues “newer" projects are better than “old” projects - water efficiency, less polluting, etc. -
This argument might be relevant in a one on one comparison between similar-sized new and older projects, but it doesn’t mean more development is good or less damaging just because it is newer. A SMALLER new project would also be efficient, but the smaller footprint would be less destructive than the current/LARGER proposed footprint.

b.) Developer argues the development’s problems (higher density, loss of open space, infrastructure stress, etc.) will mean those problems can shifted from other parts of the City to this area. Moving problems around the City doesn’t excuse these prejudices to the allocation process.

c.) Developer claims 533 VG won’t burden infrastructure -
currently the vacant gym (Point Athletic Club) does not put any additional traffic on Union. However, any new/additional housing will add more traffic. The magnitude of the adverse impact will depend upon how large a project is approved. The larger the project the greater will be the adverse impact. In addition there will be additional demands soon (new projects such as 66 S. Van Gordon and 730 Simms St.) which require we leave some room for more stress on infrastructure in coming years.


(2) Allocations are available in the surplus pool - the shifting total of the unused allocations makes it difficult to assess this requirement.

Potential Response/Rebuttal #1
Since they don’t want to “waste” any allocations by not using them, note that a year ago (December 2019), the City gave out another 605 building permits in order to beat the year-end deadline. Any unused 2020 allocations would just partially offset the 2019 over-allocations.

Potential Response/Rebuttal #2

The law says allocations from the surplus pool are expected to be ready to go and therefore be used immediately. Any surplus allocations must be used by May 31, 2021. There is no provision for a “banking plan” for surplus allocations.
14.27.090 Issuance of Allocations D. Surplus Pool. …. "Acquisition of the final remaining allocation by a banking plan for a specific project during the surplus pool shall trigger the expiration of the banking plan at the end of the first allocation period in the following year.” [Note - May 31, 2010] emphasis added

12/14/2020 11:58 am
David Wiechman
10 / 11 Council Members have viewed this comment

I agree with the previous comments. You elected officials are obligated first to the existing citizens of Lakewood, and we voted for limited growth. We do not need a massive apartment building on that corner with limited streets in the area. There is wonky stuff happening with that application anyway, so none of this should be approved tonight. Our horrible rezoning happened during the holiday season in 2012, and look at how much TROUBLE and EXPENSE that caused the City.

Your second obligation is to future citizens, and your third obligation is to developers. I can't emphasize enough how bad it looks when the citizens voted for the Strategic Growth Initiative, and certain staff and elected officials do everything they can to subvert it in law and spirit. I have never heard a satisfactory explanation for that.


12/14/2020 11:57 am
Deborah Romero
10 / 11 Council Members have viewed this comment

Should the request go to Planning Commission first? The Planning Dept. application said it is to go to P.C.

Should the developer be allowed to have multiple attempts? It has already been denied.

Should this issue be addressed during the holidays? Looks like it is being slipped when citizens aren’t watching. (Councilors objected and asked for a continuation)

Issue - Public Notice Process. Council needs to establish procedures to be used in public notices:

(a) meeting agenda lists as “resolution” rather than “public notice”,

(b) official “public notice” did NOT disclose the actual request for 232 units. The notices just said “over 40 units” although city staff knew (or should have known) the actual request was 232 units as early as October 2. For six weeks the actual figure was withheld from the citizens until Saturday, November 14.

(c) The sign on the fence outside of 533 Van Gordon says the public’s opportunity to comment on the proposal to give 533 Van Gordon an exception to SGI’s 40-unit limit was November 23.

(d) A neighborhood resident (Lori Niquette) indicates she never received the required mail notice.

(e) The Denver Post (November 26) carried some legal notices (the small print in the back) for PUBLIC HEARINGS on Dec. 14 for:
(1) appropriation for Rooney Valley law enforcement training,
(2) acquire land for sidewalk along 1st Avenue,
(3) acquire land for sidewalk along Independence Ave.
(4) replace traffic signals along Kipling,
(5) revise Chapter 3.01 - tax code

(f) There is NO mention of this public hearing on the City website’s Public Notice page.

12/14/2020 11:57 am
David Wiechman
10 / 11 Council Members have viewed this comment

The City of Lakewood does not have a usable study or report on which to base decisions as to the need for additional housing upon. The previous report is outdated, inaccurate and useless. It does not include the effect of the building boom that has taken place in Lakewood since the issuance of that report many years ago. Council should immediately task staff with the assignment of undertaking a new study and refrain from making decisions as to the need for new housing until that study and a report is completed and can be discussed by Council and the public.

12/14/2020 11:44 am
James Kinney
10 / 11 Council Members have viewed this comment

I was surprised to see that the Van Gordon property was back on the Agenda so
quickly. Several weeks ago the topics of the Union Corridor and CCU were brought up as issues that needed to be addressed. The response was that these were not a priority. To those of us affected by decisions regarding these issues it is a priority.
Yet Van Gordon gets another go round. I truly hope that any decisions made regarding this property follow the directives in the Initiative regarding allocations and banking guidelines. We are watching and waiting for you to do the right thing.

12/14/2020 9:28 am
Lenore Herskovitz
9 / 11 Council Members have viewed this comment

Why is it so complicated? We’ve voted for restricted growth in Lakewood. Lakewood does not need any more housing units, any more storage units, etc. City council is supposed to take care of residents’ interests, right? Please deny developers’ requests, we do not want increased traffic, decreased property values and lower standard of living. Do not put more money into developers’ pockets at the expense of Lakewood residents! Thank you in advance.

12/13/2020 7:40 pm
Jaroslaw Borysiewicz
10 / 11 Council Members have viewed this comment

How many times do residential owners in the neighborhood have to say that the proposal for 533 Van Gordon is too many units and that it will look a lot more commercial than "The Point" ever did. It will also create a lot of traffic on an already very dangerous corner. I have previously questioned the traffic study. Who did it? And have they gone to the property and spent time near the entrance/exit to see what it's really like during the busiest times of day? There is only one driveway off of the 6th Avenue Frontage Road, and none off of Van Gordon.
There has to be a better proposal than so many luxury apartments with high rents. All of the other apartments, condos, and townhouses in the area are more spread out, with separate entrances and closer parking to each unit. This is not New York City--it's suburban Lakewood, Colorado.
I have made detailed comments to the City Council during the last two years. The only thing that has come out of it is that the number of units has been reduced a little. Lakewood can do better than this.
Thank you for taking time to read this.
I am a property owner within six blocks of the site, who has never personally received a notice of proposed development or hearings. Sending the notice to a “Neighborhood Organization” does not mean that the information is forwarded to the residents/owners of condominiums and townhouses. We are also concerned owners who want our neighborhood development to be the best use possible.

12/09/2020 12:55 pm
Lori Niquette
10 / 11 Council Members have viewed this comment

I agree with the previous comment. Lakewood could be a world class city. Everything is in place but without leadership to recruit more employers, good paying jobs, and companies that want to invest in itself, its employees, and be a contributing part of the community this will not happen. Everyday we hear about companies expressing interest in relocating to the Denver Metro Area. Why not Lakewood? I encourage Lakewood leadership to take a new approach to running Lakewood. One that benefits existing residents, creates jobs, and then provides a GOOD reason for more housing instead of the other way around.

12/08/2020 8:43 am
Jennifer Shay
10 / 11 Council Members have viewed this comment

Regarding 533 Van Gordon Street - Either deny the request OR require the developer follow the law and build by May 31, 2021.

12/06/2020 2:29 pm
Lynne Kinney
10 / 11 Council Members have viewed this comment

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