Petition update

Save Westminster! Save the Farm! COMMUNITY MEETING January 8

Save the Farm @Westminster Castle
Westminster, CO, United States

Jan 4, 2020 — 

Save Westminster! Save the Farm!
COMMUNITY MEETING

Wednesday, January 8, 2020
6 p.m.
Advent Lutheran Church
7979 Meade Street  
Enter through church office doors at the south end of the building.

Are you concerned about the proposed development of the Pillar of Fire (Uplands/Rose Hill/Westminster Castle) Farm? Are you concerned with current rate of growth in Westminster? Do you believe that the City should serve its residents and protect our neighborhoods? If so, please help us fight to save our beautiful city by joining us on January 8th to plan our next steps to oppose the Pillar of Fire (Uplands/Rose Hill/Westminster Castle) Farm development and to prepare for the first public hearing, which will be on Tuesday, January 14th at 7 p.m. at City Hall (details on the public hearing are below in next section of this email). 

YARD SIGNS will also be available at this meeting. 
Let's line the neighborhood with signs!


Summary of the current situation:

Most of the farmland around the Westminster Castle/Pillar of Fire School is proposed for a massive, 2350 unit, mixed-use development called Uplands by the developer, Oread Capital. The sale is contingent on approval from the City of Westminster and the first public hearing will be on Tuesday, January 14th at 7 p.m. at Westminster City Hall. 
Westminster's Comprehensive Plan is a part of the city zoning code, and any new zoning changes must align with the future use designations prescribed in the plan.
The Westminster Comprehensive Plan is currently being updated to now include the farmland around Westminster Castle as an "Opportunity Area."  Prior to this update, the farmland was nowhere near any of the identified "Five Focus Areas" for development. 
The Uplands project, headed by a former Richmond Homes executive Jeff Handlin who now is President of Oread Capital, involves 5 parcels, among which, the designations of Parcels B and D need to be amended for residence use. Parcel E is a very small Parcel that is now designated Office and is proposed for a Private Park. Parcels A/C do not exclude residence use in current designations.
The 1/14 Planning Commission meeting is the meeting about the future designation changes of Parcels B/D/E in the city’s comprehensive plan. After the commission recommends the changes and if the City Council okays them, the applications for annexation (a small part of Adams County), rezoning (all 5 parcels), and a Preliminary Development Plan, which have already been filed by the developer with the city, will come before the Commission and the Council at a later date for review and consideration.
The Westminster Castle, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is surrounded by the 5 parcels of farmland (none of the farmland is protected or designated historic), which provide an open view of the castle as well as the Downtown Denver skyline and the mountains.
Parcel A once made up 20% of the original city of Westminster area that was incorporated in 1911 and has been kept "as was." Once this pristine and picturesque land is gone, it will be gone forever.  
The Jan 14 hearing is about 3 of the 5 parcels. The planning department is trying to reduce the number of objections by telling us to only comment on this application instead of objecting to the entire development plan, as the public will have the chance to comment on the entire plan later when that application is up for review. This shows that the city tries to conveniently ignore the fact that the entire batch of paperwork has been officially filed and is in the pipeline, which means that the Jan 14 application is a part of the entire application. 
The developer has been citing early Westminster University (the tentative The Princeton of the West and the namesake of the city) plans in an attempt to weaken the residents' objection, i.e., "This hilltop was always slated for a college town, small homes, small shops and businesses. This was always designed for that." (News source) This shows that the developer ignores the de facto agricultural use of the parcels in the past century and thus has no respect for the history of Westminster.
One of the arguments the developer uses for developing the land is that "You have this giant parcel that has farmland that's private now, so, you know, you can't go there, you can't walk your dogs there, you can't do anything there." (starting 2:07 in this video). According to the local residents, the church has been using the farm to grow hay for animals and grow wheat to make bread. The inclusion of this particular comment in their well-crafted marketing video really demonstrates the developer's ignorance and arrogance towards Westminster.

NEW DATE! PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
Tuesday, January 14, 2020
7 p.m.
Westminster City Hall

A public hearing and consideration of three proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendments for the Uplands development (formerly Rose Hill and Pillar of Fire) is now rescheduled to Tuesday, January 14, 2020. 

Click here for Meeting Agenda/Packet

Sign-up to speak prior to 7 PM night of the meeting. If you can't speak please attend--number matter!

Submit testimony in writing prior to the hearing date to:

Jacob Kasza
City of Westminster
Department of Community Development, Planning Division
4800 West 92nd Avenue
Westminster, CO 80031

or by email to jpkasza@cityofwestminster.us.  Written materials received will be provided to the Planning Commission and entered into the public record.

If you write an opposition letter, please also copy the people listed at the bottom of this email. 

_________

Patrick Caldwell
Senior Planner
City of Westminster
Department of Community Development
4800 West 92 Avenue, Westminster, Colorado 80031
pcaldwel@cityofwestminster.us
 
Jill Jennings Golich
Director, Community & Economic Development
Adams County
4430 S. Adams County Pkwy.
1st Floor, Ste. W2000, Brighton, CO 80601
JJenningsGolich@adcogov.org

Jason Genck
Director of Parks and Rec
jgenck@cityofwestminster.us

John Hall
Director of Economic Development Westminster
jhall@cityofwestminster.us

Staff Liaison: Rita McConnell
AICP, Planning Manager
rmcconne@cityofwestminster.us

Don Tripp
City Manager
dtripp@cityofwestminster.us
 
Herb Atchison
Westminster Mayor
hatchison@cityofwestminster.us

Anita Seitz
Westminster Mayor Pro Tem
aseitz@cityofwestminster.us

David DeMott
Westminster City Councilmember
ddemott@cityofwestminster.us

Kathryn Skulley
Westminster City Councilmember
kskulley@cityofwestminster.us

Jon Voelz
Westminster City Councilmember
jvoelz@cityofwestminster.us

Rich Seymour
Westminster City Councilmember
rseymour@cityofwestminster.us

Lindsey Smith
Westminster City Councilmember
llsmith@cityofwestminster.us


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