Editor’s Note: The following letter from former Greenwood Village City Councilmember Jerry Presley was read into the record to the Greenwood Village Planning and Zoning Commission.
BY JERRY PRESLEY
My name is Jerry Presley and I served on the City Council until eight months ago when I passed the baton, literally, to my successor. Prior to my eight years of service on the Council, I served another eight years on the Planning & Zoning Commission, sitting in your seat.
I am opposed to the vision presented in the Orchard Station Subarea Plan and I’m opposed to the rezoning request of the specific parcels. I want you to vote no on both cases.
The proposed addition of this Subarea Plan is a direct result of a proposal the city received from a stakeholder developer, whose vision is very different than what the existing Comp Plan would support. The process here is backwards. The Comp Plan should not be rewritten to fit a developer’s proposal; the developer’s proposal should be re-written to match the Comp Plan.
The proposed Subarea Plan is a major change in our vision.
The proposed development is currently governed by the I-25 Corridor section of the Comp Plan and I want to point out three significant differences between the current plan and the proposed Subarea Plan.
The current plan promotes commercial development and reinforces the importance of preserving the commercial tax base of the community.
The proposed Subarea Plan adds residential uses and wants to “balance” the negative impact of apartments and condos to ensure positive net revenue to the city. Residential condominium development generates estimated annual revenue of 9 cents per square foot. Using this as a comparative base, office use generates 800 percent more revenue per square foot. Hotels generate $3,656 more revenue per square foot and retail/restaurant generates $6,278 more revenue per square foot. High-density residential development is the wrong use for this area. It diminishes the tax base.
The current plan encourages employment use as the primary land use with hotels, restaurants and retail as a secondary use. Residential uses are discouraged.
The proposed Subarea Plan encourages high-density residential development in order to “activate” the area and add “vibrancy” and “vitality.” These are code words used by those who support high-density residential development. From this point forward, whenever you hear someone use any of these code words, “activate, vibrancy and vitality,” I want you to smile and substitute the words “congestion, higher costs and increased crime.”
The current plan requires the city to consider the impact of height and massing “density” on the surrounding area.
The proposed Subarea Plan allows density to be based on the maximum capacity of the roadways, as may be enhanced by the roadway improvements. I do not think that maximum capacity of the roadways should govern the density. The vision of acceptable density included in the proposed Subarea Plan is open ended and if Orchard Road were expanded to 10 lanes, let’s say, the allowed density would be massive.
In summary, the current plan actively discourages higher density residential development. The Subarea Plan actively encourages high-density residential developments.
We have a conflict of visions and the bottom line is this: If you think high-density development and adding thousands of new residents to the city is good, then you should vote yes on the two issues before you. Otherwise, you should vote no. It’s as simple as that.
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