Item 7 - Resolution 2021-9 Quantovations Property Purchase

Resolution 2021-9 – Authorizing The Purchase Of Real Property From Quantovations, L.l.c, For Open Space And Park Purposes, Including Acceptance Of A Deed Therefor

Videos

Public Meeting Video

Staff Presentation

Files

Staff Memo ( 0.14 MB )
Resolution 2021-9 ( 0.06 MB )
Property Map ( 0.85 MB )

Comments & Feedback

Comments
 
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Lakewood City Council Members and Neighbors—
As Mr. Liu states in his letter, the Schnell Farm is an acquisition the city of Lakewood cannot fail to reach. The historical value is obvious and the structures are, pretty much, sound. (Except for the barn, that is.)

The Quantovations property will ultimately, I believe, become a prairie dog town, just like the adjacent greenbelt east of it. I don’t think the people walking the trail will think it very useful.

I urge you to NOT consider the Quantovations property but DO consider the Schnell Farm property. We would like to promise that our $60,000 Neighborhood Participation Program vote goes to the Schnell Farm next year when this becomes “public property” --- for community gardens, picnic facilities, ramps for people with disabilities, public art, etc.
Thank you for your consideration.

Karen Eberhardt
Ward 5

02/17/2021 7:32 pm
Karen Eberhardt
9 / 11 Council Members have viewed this comment

Back in 2019, when the neighbors asked the city to step in and purchase the nearby 12-acre Schnell Farm at 3113 S. Wadsworth Blvd, to save it from high density development, the city refused and replied that Ward 5 already had too much open space. Fortunately, at least, the city council voted down that rezoning and development proposal by Richmond Homes. Now a year later, what has changed the city's mind to buy a different property that is only half the size and less than a mile away along the Greenbelt for park and open space purposes?

The Schnell Farm is a centennial farm established in 1888 and has been owned by the very same family. It is a rare gem for Lakewood and is listed on the national, state, and Lakewood Historical Society's registers of historic places. If the city would be willing to purchase the Schnell property, its original farm houses and structures from the late 19th and early 20th centuries can all be preserved and re-purposed for good community enrichment and local history education purposes, and its land with the natural spring onsite can be used for community gardens, 4-H activities, etc, to solve the city's Local Food problem, in addition to the park and open space purposes.

In contrast, the city's plan for the Quantovations property, however, is to remove the perfectly fine existing structures. According to the Staff Memo, "Plans for the use of the property will require removal of structures and other site clean-up." What a waste - the property description on Zillow reads: "Beautiful guest house with large deck overlooking Bear Creek. Fully remodeled kitchen and open floor plan in main house. 10 stall barn with large arena. Directly adjacent to Bear Creek trails. 20 mile of riding out your back door. Huge work shop , giant garden, ..." This senseless and backward recommendation goes directly against everything in Lakewood's own Sustainability principle. As we all know, demolition generates lots of waste, and in this Quantovations property case, there is nothing wrong with the buildings and structures - instead, it is a perfectly fine horse property with the infrastructure that is ready to be enjoyed by the horse owning residents of Lakewood, considering that the talk about closing the Jeffco Fairgrounds was just last year.

So my comments and questions are:
1. Schnell Farm apparently is a better deal for the people of Lakewood than the Quantovations property, with a lot more future community purposes for the generations to come. Has the city ever reached out to the Schnell family since the 2019 council vote?
2. Even though the city refused to consider buying the Schnell property in 2019, the Staff Presentation here clearly mentions at 2:27 of the video that the staff has been negotiating with the Quantovations property owner since. So was the city deliberately lying to the people about not being able to purchase more open space in Ward 5 when it was about the Schnell Farm?
3. If the city can't resist the temptation of buying a property of half the size of Schnell Farm with perfectly fine working buildings, I would urge the city to refrain from tearing them down and violating its own sustainability principle. Instead, be creative and make good use of the existing infrastructure.
4. If the city wouldn't change the acquisition plan of the Quantovations property, does the city still have the resources to purchase the Schnell Farm for the foreseeable future? Is Ward 5 still allowed to have more open space? Are there any other behind-the-scene open space acquisition negotiations going on right now by the staff?

Thanks!

02/16/2021 1:13 am
Jiayi Liu
9 / 11 Council Members have viewed this comment

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