Large Weld development moves closer to reality

By Gene Sears
Posted 8/17/10

    GREELEY – Plans for a controversial subdivision west of Fort Lupton took another step forward Aug. 4 when Weld County commissioners voted 3-1 in favor of the project during a …

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Large Weld development moves closer to reality


    GREELEY – Plans for a controversial subdivision west of Fort Lupton took another step forward Aug. 4 when Weld County commissioners voted 3-1 in favor of the project during a second reading of an ordinance to amend the county’s comprehensive plan.

    With Commissioner David Long in absentia due to family issues, Commissioner Barbara Kirkmeyer found herself once again the lone holdout against the amendment reaching a third reading, now on the agenda for Aug. 23. The vote is the second step in the approval process of a regional urbanization area for the largely residential Dry Creek mega-development, planned for the southern end of the county. Located equidistantly between Brighton, Fort Lupton and Dacono and roughly a mile from the community of Wattenberg, the 2,000-acre Dry Creek development has the potential for 6,600 homes housing up to 20,000 residents. It would be on a population par with the city of Windsor. The Todd Creek Metropolitan District, developers of Todd Creek North, is promoting the project.

    The development has met opposition from representatives of Weld County’s planning, environmental health, public works and financial departments, which urged the county’s planning commission early on to reject the project. They cited concerns that the development would come up short in terms of fiscal self-sufficiency, citing an estimated annual gap of approximately $6 million between property tax revenues and the cost of county services to support the region. Planners also predicted a spike in traffic from the population increase, necessitating expansion of Weld County Roads 6 and 2 to four-lane highways, and Weld County 17 between the two expanding into a six-lane major arterial.

    During the commission meeting, the city of Brighton expressed opposition to the project, citing density concerns. Several area residents also voiced concerns over the development, including entering a petition in opposition.

    One person the development did receive support from was Fort Lupton Mayor Tommy Holton, who appeared before the commission during the hearing.

    “Basically, my position is that we have had an IGA with them (Todd Creek Metro) since 2005 to take their sewer,” Holton said.

    He noted that it was his position alone at this point, since the city council had not offered a formal stance in support or against the project as of yet. The intergovernmental agreement Holton refers to was Fort Lupton’s 2006 agreement to provide sewer service to the area through its wastewater treatment facilities as part of the city’s 208 boundary (a sewer boundary set by the state outlining service areas).

    Earlier this year, then-Fort Lupton city planner Tom Parko told the commission that Fort Lupton “in general supports the RUA with caveats,” saying the city would rather see the development within its span of control than without.  

    That agreement predates an agreement signed last year with the city of Brighton, which limits Fort Lupton’s annexations to essentially the areas above Weld County Road 6.

    “Brighton brought up the fact that now we have an IGA with them. But we are still bound with this IGA we have with Todd Creek,” Holton said, citing a potential conflict between the agreements.     “But I would think the earlier one would take precedence.”

    In either case, in Holton’s eyes the point is largely academic at this stage, because Holton believes that any conflict is “10 or 20 years down the road,” before annexation would become an issue for either municipality.



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