by Lane Roberts
As of press time, negotiations between Castle Pines North (CPN) and Castle Pines Village (VILLAGE) were still underway. The two communities, both vying for the same business district in its proposed incorporation boundaries, recently filed a “request to stay” on both petitions in Douglas County District Court.
“The intent of the court filing by both parties was to hold both court cases in a stand still position until we could reach an amicable solution,” said Doug Gilbert, Master Association vice president and CPN Preservation Committee leader.
In the most recent action taken by Douglas County District Court Judge Vincent R. White, a ruling was made to allow both CPN and the VILLAGE a few more weeks to reach an agreement.
“A joint agreement between the two communities would allow the incorporation process to move forward rather than be blocked, delayed, or prolonged through endless legal challenges and appeals,” said Master Association President and CPN Preservation Committee leader Maureen Shul.
Negotiations between CPN and the VILLAGE have been ongoing since December. “Our goal in initiating negotiation talks with the Village months ago was to not only move this process forward as quickly and as cost effectively as possible, but to ensure that an agreement beneficial to our community and the business district could be achieved,” Shul said.
While a tentative accord has been reached by representatives of the CPN Preservation Committee and representatives of the VILLAGE, any final agreement will be announced in mid-June, once finalized and presented to the court.
“Whatever agreement is reached between both communities, it would not become effective until both communities become incorporated,” said Shul.
What if one community votes to incorporate and the other does not? According to Shul, any prior agreement reached between the communities would become “null and void.”
CH2M HILL OMI to Present Final Feasibility Study to Community
At two community meetings held on April 10, CH2M HILL OMI representatives presented preliminary findings of the economic feasibility study to more than 300 CPN residents at Rocky Heights Middle School.
During the meetings, CH2M HILL OMI stated that CPN residents should not be faced with property tax increases solely as a result of incorporating. (Review a complete recap of the meeting at www.cpnpc.org.)
In May, the CPN Preservation Committee Steering Committee met with various representatives from CH2M HILL OMI in an effort to complete the economic feasibility study for CPN. The final numbers - what most residents are waiting to review - will be communicated to all CPN residents in early summer. (Watch for announcements via community e-mail.)
According to Shul, the final economic feasibility study summarizes that if the newly incorporated City of Castle Pines North plans its future carefully, maintains existing levels of service, and introduces no new services until the first year of operation is complete, it will have sufficient revenues from existing resources.
“We must carefully craft a plan that allows us to become a city while at the same time maintaining the current level of services we already receive,” said Shul. “If planned effectively, we feel this can be accomplished without imposing new taxes.”
When Will CPN Vote?
The ultimate decision to incorporate rests with the voters of CPN. As of press time, no order had been received from the court and an election date for CPN had not been set. The countdown to election day has yet to begin.
Meanwhile, both CPN and the VILLAGE hope to reach a solution that will benefit both communities. CH2M HILL OMI will continue to compile numbers for CPN. The CPN Preservation Steering Committee, along with numerous other volunteers, will also continue to prepare for election day in CPN.
Watch for the latest updates at www.cpnpc.org. Questions or comments can be e-mailed to Contact by email.