BY FREDA MIKLIN
George Lantz . Photo courtesy of City of Greenwood Village
By now, most interested residents of Greenwood Village know that the purpose of the city’s comprehensive plan is to provide a framework for future development.
Proposed changes to the current plan, last amended in 2012 (except for residential areas) were unanimously praised by all council members at their regular meeting Aug. 20. Three days later, The Villager sat down with Councilman George Lantz, who serves as Mayor Pro Tem and represents GV district 3. He chaired the committee that penned the suggested revisions to the comprehensive plan for the I-25 corridor from Belleview to Arapahoe and the commercial area on Arapahoe Road.
Lantz said that his committee’s goals were to address inconsistencies, and to put into effect what the residents told council they wanted by their vote in last year’s elections; that there should be no more residential development in the city except single-family homes (of one-quarter acre or larger, according to the proposed plan) and that new commercial/office buildings should have enough parking spaces so that all users can drive their cars. He said that while it would be good if some workers and visitors used light rail or other public or shared transportation, it should not be expected. Describing the council’s overall goal, Lantz said, “We are creating a GV brand that is office park with tree-lined streets and a quiet area.”
Words and phrases that have been in the comprehensive plan since November 2012 or earlier, now removed from the vision for the future that council has endorsed, include: “variety of land uses,” “economic viability,” “public transit,” “connectivity,” “community focal point,” “alternative transportation systems,” “village identity,” “economic viability,” “variety of land uses,” “safe pedestrian connections,” “physical environment that will promote … transit,” and “mixed-use development.” Statements removed include, “Ensure the availability of a variety of residential housing types within the city.”
Lantz said that council envisions the areas near the Orchard and Arapahoe light-rail stations as being business parks with plazas and possibly daycare facilities. While council would be all right with additional restaurants, Lantz knew of no new restaurants currently proposed to be built in the area. The only similar project on the city’s current list of pending developments is a new craft brewery and taproom on Arapahoe Road near Dayton.
Asked if Lantz knew of any plans for the largest parcels nearby the Orchard Road area of the corridor, the 10.2-acre property at 8081 E. Orchard Road or the 11.4-acre vacant property at 5555 Greenwood Plaza Blvd. He said he was unaware of any plans for either property, but that the city was making sure the Orchard property was safe for users and that the Greenwood Plaza Boulevard property was being kept clean.
Regarding Arapahoe Road, Lantz pointed to proposed new plan language that envisions a “retail/restaurant/entertainment” area with “high-quality establishments,” on Arapahoe Road west of I-25. East of I-25, council expects a “hotel and big-box retail center.” Consistent with what is expected for the office park areas, the plan further states, “It is envisioned that automobiles will continue to be the primary mode of transportation within the area.”
The last question was about the citywide transportation study currently in its final stages, and how it might relate to future plans. Lantz said that he expects the results of the study to be consistent with what residents have said about traffic in previous years.
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