Arapahoe County Objects – Appoints Arbitrator and Waits for City To Do Same – Urban Renewal Impact Reports

The Urban Renewal law requires impact reports be provided to the county showing how an urban renewal project will impact the county.  This is important because urban renewal projects will siphon taxes away from the county for 25 years plus but the county is still required to provide the urban renewal areas with the same services that the rest of the county receives.  This puts a financial strain on the county which is already losing about $1.5 million a year due to urban renewal projects.  (The impact reports should be based on a specific project but the plans approved do not have any projects identified as required by the law.  Therefore, the impact reports are based on the current zoning of the land which is most likely not what will happen with the land under urban renewal.  The impact reports have no basis in reality.)

The Arapahoe County Attorney has sent letters to LIFT and the City Council stating that they are challenging the impact reports provided on the Santa Fe Corridor and Columbine Square Urban Renewal Areas.  They have appointed their Arbitrator and now the city has to do the same.  Then the two Arbitrators will select a third before proceeding with the challenge.

Since all four of the urban renewal plans are all “boiler plate” I would suspect we will see the same type of challenge to come forward if the Littleton Blvd plan and the No. Broadway plan are approved.

I also expect that the County Assessor will be challenging the inclusion of the agricultural land in the Santa Fe Corridor plan as the law was amended in 2010 to make it virtually impossible to include agricultural land in an urban renewal area.

141119 Carl Ltr on behalf of BoCC to Littleton Council re Columbine Square URA Plan Objection

141119 Carl Ltr on behalf of BoCC to Littleton Council re Santa Fe URA Plan Objection

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2 Responses

  1. This is fascinating. I just read about this issue for the first time on the Denver Post. Grew up in Littleton, by Ketring, and my family lives there still. You make an excellent point about the boilerplate.

    I had many of the same reactions that Arapahoe County had when reading the “different” [identical/boilerplate] “plans”. What I didn’t know was that Littleton passed resolutions indicating they had approved these plans and would fund them.

    My translation of the legalese in these letters from the County: “You passed a plan that isn’t a plan. It lists vasts tracts of your city as blighted with little to substantiate that judgment. Then it vaguely lists dozens of potential, totally contingent, remedies that resemble a plan only in the sense that they’re divided into immediate/medium term/long-term goals. And then you passed a binding resolution that said you would fund this non-plan. Good lord.”

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