BY FREDA MIKLIN
On a split vote, the Greenwood Village City Council passed a ninth addendum to its April 2013 agreement with Greenwood Village Hotel, LLC, who has long been expected to build a high-end Westin Hotel at Yosemite St. and Caley Ave. The land was purchased from the City of Greenwood Village.
Council members Jerry Presley and Dave Kerber opposed the addendum. Mark Flaherty of Milwaukee-based Jackson Street Holdings, told the council on Feb. 26, that his company was unable to go forward with the project as originally planned, due to unexpectedly high construction costs.
The purpose of the new addendum is to allow Greenwood Village Hotel, to partner with Granite Properties and Confluent Development to complete the project. Though no testimony was taken by council at the March 5 meeting, The Villager confirmed with Stephanie Lawrence, Granite Properties senior managing director, that the parties will work together to redesign the hotel and undertake all necessary steps for approval. The process will begin with a neighborhood meeting to present the new plan and receive input from the residents by June 15. Other key performance deadlines in the contract are Dec. 1 when the revised site development plan is to be completed; and the application for a building permit is July 31, 2019.
At last week’s council meeting, the developers proposed adding a 105,000 square foot office building on the site, along with the hotel. However, the new agreement makes no mention of the additional office space. Lawrence indicated that the development team is highly motivated to build the hotel and will consider every possible option to make this project work.
If the developers lose the Westin franchise, miss deadlines, or for any reason are unable to come up with a plan that is acceptable to the public and the city, title to the property will be transferred back to Greenwood Village.
The city has received concerns and complaints about drones, include invasion of privacy, filming concerts at Fiddler’s Green without permission, harassment of pets and horses, and interference with public safety operations. Currently, there are no restrictions or safety requirements on small unmanned aircraft in the Greenwood Village Municipal Code. The Federal Aviation Administration has sole jurisdiction over all U.S. airspace, however, its mission does not presently include developing or enforcing policies pertaining to privacy or civil liberties, leaving room for local governments to enact laws in these areas. Accordingly, the council is considering a municipal ordinance in the future to address the problems.
Village Greens Park at Union and Dayton
Continuing with its ongoing upgrading and maintenance of its parks, the city is moving forward with the Village Greens North Phase IV project, which will provide amenities to support the current users of the disc golf and mountain bike courses, as well as the users of the athletic fields to the south and regional Cherry Creek Trail to the east. Included in this project are a new plumbed restroom, drinking fountains, bike racks, shelters and seating areas. This $1.9 million expansion of facilities is being funded by $1.1 million from Greenwood Village capital improvement funds, set aside in 2016 for this purpose, awaiting the availability of matching funds from the county. Based on a lengthy and highly detailed grant application, $800,000 was awarded to the city from Arapahoe County Open Spaces on Jan. 23. Construction is planned to begin in mid-March and be completed by late summer.
City council ethics and appointments to boards and commissions
The Greenwood Village Ethics Code for city officials was first adopted in 1992, and last updated in 2007. In its study session this week, the council decided to prohibit former elected officials from representing others before the city council, or any board or commission or department, for two years following their term of office. They also agreed to add new language to ban incumbent elected officials from using their position to influence or interfere with city staff for personal financial gain or advantage.
Council also passed a resolution concerning appointing citizen volunteers to city boards and commissions that was last updated in 1986. The resolution notes that incumbents may be given preference for reappointment by their district council members depending upon their performance, over new applicants. However, there is no guarantee that any member of a city board or commission will be reappointed.
Sitting commissioners can be removed by a vote of six city council members. That is not a change in policy, but rather a restatement of what has long been included in the municipal code and charter, but absent from the written policy.
New Liquor License
Zig Zag Smokin’ Burger/Meatball Eatery & Libations, located at 9220 E. Arapahoe Road, was granted a liquor license. There are two separate restaurants at that location, with a shared kitchen.
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