BY JAN WONDRA
The Town of Parker has filed suit against the Douglas County Board of Commissioners in an attempt to prevent a trash-transfer facility from being located on the town’s northern border. Parker says the facility is inconsistent with agreements that have been in place between the two governments since 2000 and that the facility would have a negative impact on the town’s professional, medical and corporate businesses, as well as residential neighborhoods, regional parks and open space.
The proposed location for the facility is near Rocky Vista University, the Parker Performing Arts School and Dove Ridge, a single-family residential neighborhood.
The conflict is unusual for both the county and Parker, because the two entities entered into a memorandum of understanding in November 2000, a historic first step for joint land-use planning. That agreement expressing “a mutual desire to establish joint planning areas within and between the county and the town.”
By 2002, the two governments had an intergovernmental agreement and jointly adopted an enforceable comprehensive development plan that regulated land use within Parker’s “urban service area” and what the county calls a “community separation buffer area.” Any development has to comply with both the plan and applicable town regulations and master plans.”
Fast forward to August 2017, when the town received a referral response request from Douglas County about an application to develop a recycle-trash transfer facility just outside Parker’s town limits, but within the urban service area. The town has taken the position that this is a violation of existing governing development agreements. Neither the county nor the town’s master plans allow general industrial uses at the proposed location.
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