June 18 – SAN comments regarding TOD


June 18, 2013

Arvada, CO – The Arvada Urban Renewal Authority recently issued a press release regarding the next stage in its transit-oriented development for the Olde Town Arvada Gold Line station.

Save Arvada Now supports appropriate developments that are consistent with the neighborhoods where they are located.

We remain deeply concerned about the process that the City of Arvada has recently followed that limits, or eliminates, the community’s ability to influence developments in their neighborhoods. We believe that every project should be open to public scrutiny and comment. Furthermore, we encourage the City of Arvada to act upon the citizens’ comments when a development threatens the quality of their neighborhood.

We are also very concerned about the impact of transit-oriented development (TOD), the latest fad in social engineering. TOD involves dramatic increases in population density. In some developments, like Park Place Olde Town, density can reach very high levels of 50 units or more per acre, compared to an estimated 6 units per acre now. With so many more people living and working in nearby TOD districts, traffic congestion and parking in Olde Town will become even more pressing issues than they are today.

Arvada’s historical legacy, preserved in the physical structures in and around the Olde Town, are threatened by the City’s wholesale adoption of TOD. The charming ambiance of our three National Historic Districts will almost certainly be affected by nearby high-density developments. Air pollution from hundreds of additional cars seeking parking spaces will affect these fragile, original buildings. Noise levels from auto engines will certainly increase, disturbing our tranquil neighborhoods.

In addition, many of the developments supported by Arvada Urban Renewal (AURA) include substantial financial benefits to the developers. These benefits are taken directly from citizens’ tax dollars. For example, AURA has agreed with the developer of Park Place in Olde Town to sell six lots of prime real estate in Olde Town for $10. These lots have a market value of over $1.1 million and include the historic Masonic Lodge, which is slated for demolition.

Finally, the City of Arvada has a reputation for abusing the right of eminent domain. Save Arvada Now opposes this infringement on the rights of property owners, especially when private property is taken ostensibly for “public purposes” and then turned over to a private developer for profit-making purposes.

In recent months, many citizens feel that the City of Arvada is attempting to turn Arvada’s neighborhoods into “Any Big City, Anywhere”, also called “New Urbanism.” Save Arvada Now believes that new developments can be integrated into existing neighborhoods in a way that enhances the quality of citizens’ lives while also providing a vibrant destination for visitors and office workers.

Save Arvada Now is a group of concerned citizens who support smart development that is integrated into Arvada’s neighborhoods, not imposed on our communities.

Contact information for Save Arvada Now:
Telephone: 720-412-7482
Website: www.SaveArvadaNow.info