Vice President of Planning for Village Homes, Ron Skarka presented ideas for CC-20 to residents on April 19.
By Lane Roberts
If you build it they will come. That was the key message from Village Homes, owner of the land located on the northwest corner of Castle Pines Parkway and Monarch Boulevard known as CC-20.
After years of negotiations with Castle Pines North (CPN), the new plan from Village Homes was presented to more than 50 residents on April 19. The revised plan included a library as the “anchor” for the development, which would attract other smaller retailers and service providers to the community.
Throughout the meeting, Village Homes continued to stress the importance of securing a library in this project. “We’ve had conversations with the library district to be the anchor to set the tone for a more pleasing center,” said Ron Skarka, vice president of planning for Village Homes. The company is currently targeting retailers that see the “value in having a library nearby.”
Building Fund Issues May Pose Problems for Library
Village Homes’ new plan for CC-20 currently calls for a 5,000 to 6,000 square foot library; however, funding issues of the Douglas County Library District may not fit Village’s timeline. Currently, Village Homes hopes to begin construction of the project in spring of 2007.
According to Jamie LaRue, Executive Director of the Douglas County Libraries, they are “very serious” about building in CPN, but the District lacks funds for building a new facility. “We’ve been watching the growth of Castle Pines North and think it is time for a library,” said LaRue. “The problem is there is no money to build it or staff it.”
Negotiations with the Library District and Village Homes are ongoing. “I would like to say CPN could expect a library in the next two years, but it isn’t likely,” said LaRue. “We’ve had a good meeting of the minds with Village Homes and we are definitely interested. We are looking at finances to see how to make it happen.”
A future library in CPN would be a “neighborhood” branch in contrast to a “regional” library. Roxborough currently has a neighborhood library that would be comparable to the purposed library in CPN.
What Other Businesses will Village Homes Bring to this Development?
“The goal is to make this parcel a community gathering place,” said Mary Beth Jenkins, president of the Laramie Company, a brokerage and consulting firm working with Village Homes. Jenkins said they are currently looking at a day care center/preschool, smaller restaurants, medical offices and a bank. “We won’t build a shopping center that sits empty,” she said.
During the meeting, Skarka also told residents the entire commercial area on CC-20 is two-thirds the size of a standard King Sooper’s, or about 40,000 square feet.
According to Jonette Brown Eyes, CC-20 committee chairperson and Stonecroft resident, Village has agreed that fast-food restaurants, gas stations and other car-related businesses would not be built on this parcel. “We’ve made a lot of progress and are happy with the compromise, but we would also like to see the addition of a park to this plan,” said Brown Eyes. “The library is a major part of the theme of Village Home’s concept and the resulting mixture of retailers. Obviously it would be a huge disappointment if the library can’t be a part of this development.”
Brown Eyes said requests for the construction of a park on CC-20 have been declined by Village Homes. “If someone could show us how it (park) could be profitable for us we would look into it,” Skarka said. Skarka said CC-20 is a, “very valuable piece of real estate.”
Property to be Re-zoned to Include Residential Units
As of press time, Village Homes was moving forward with three land use applications that must be approved by Douglas County in order for construction to begin. According to Margaret Barden, public processing manager for Village Homes, the land use applications will be submitted during the next six to eight months. Village Homes plans to sub-divide the property into six lots – two residential and four commercial.
“We will need to re-zone the property,” said Barden. The master plan for CPN includes commercial development on the property and the newly proposed plan calls for 47 residential units.
Other concerns from local residents attending the April 19 meeting included traffic issues, duplication of existing businesses, empty store fronts, signage, and school overcrowding.
“One of the biggest concerns is the traffic impact, especially around the sled hill area and it is still a very major issue,” said Rick Dobbs, CC-20 committee chairperson and Retreat resident. “This is a huge step and compromise from where we first started with Village two years ago.”
To read more about CC-20 visit www.cpnhoa.org or contact the Master Association at 303-482-3078 for more information. Future meeting dates with Village Homes will be announced through community-wide e-mail alerts.