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New development on the horizon for CPN

An annexation petition submitted to the City of Castle Pines North could bring an additional 2,500 homes into the city. Representatives of The Canyons filed a petition for annexation with the city in April.

Article by Terri Wiebold; photos courtesy of North Canyons, LLLP.

A new community of homes nestled among parks, open space and regional trails and complete with new areas for shopping, employment and restaurants, may become part of the City of Castle Pines North under an application submitted to City officials last month.

Representatives from The Canyons development, a residential community planned east of I-25, filed an annexation petition with the City of Castle Pines North (CPN) in late April. The City Council determined that the petition adequately complied with statutory requirements for an annexation process to proceed. While negotiations are still in the early stages, both the developer and the city have expressed enthusiasm over the potential partnership.

“As a city, we view it [annexation] in a very positive way to potentially have a voice and input on a community development that will be adjacent to us,” said Castle Pines North Mayor Maureen Shul.

Initial plans for The Canyons include up to 2,500 homes arranged in various neighborhoods across 3,344 acres. The plans incorporate “buffer zones” of open space between the community and surrounding neighbors and open space on more than half of the property.

Plans also include 225 acres designated as “The Marketplace,” planned east of the interchange at I-25 and Castle Pines Parkway for future shops, restaurants, a boutique hotel, offices, and condominium living.

“We have planned a new kind of community on a vast network of parks and open spaces that will live in harmony with the natural Colorado environment,” said Mark Nickless, project manager for The Canyons. “We are inspired by the city’s vision for the creation of a world-class sustainable community.”

Sustainable development practices are at the core of the plan, including conservation planning for water and energy resources. The community emphasizes aggressive goals for reducing the demand for water and energy in every home, and where possible, there are plans to use wind, solar and geo-thermal energy to supplement the community.

“We traveled around the country to study thriving, sustainable communities. The result is planning that is inspired by some of the best thinking in the country,” said Nickless.

How will the community be served?

As part of an inclusion agreement from 2003, Parker Water and Sanitation District will provide water and sewer services to The Canyons. The Canyons has established its own metropolitan district, and there are currently no plans to join the existing Castle Pines North Metropolitan District.

The developer will build the roads and infrastructure necessary to establish the community, and the City of Castle Pines North will take over responsibility once the development is complete.

What are the potential pros for the city?

The Canyons brings much needed revenue sources to the city. There is potential for a substantial “annexation fee” to be paid to the city, as well as future sales tax revenues.

According to CPN Treasurer Doug Gilbert, “The city will benefit because the sales tax revenue from the new commercial property that The Canyons brings would otherwise not be available to the city.”

Expansion of Castle Pines Parkway east of I-25 with a commercial component could also facilitate the completion of Hess Road, providing direct access to Parker and communities to the east.

What are the potential cons for the city?

The developers of The Canyons originally filed a Planned Unit Development (PUD) request with Douglas County and ultimately settled on a residential density of 1,533 units on 3,344 acres. The current proposal with the city of CPN involves approximately 2,500 homes on the same acreage; nearly 1,000 more homes than originally agreed upon.

To put it into perspective, there are approximately 3,355 homes within the City of Castle Pines North, expanding across 2,450 acres of land. While the density of The Canyons is planned for less than that of the current city, annexation of The Canyons development into the city would more than double its overall size.

Also included in the proposal with the city, are areas of mixed use where commercial properties are planned. Although the commercial district will bring additional sales tax revenues to the city, it – combined with the residential component – will bring additional traffic, demand for services, water needs, and road issues.

Maintaining the infrastructure will be the responsibility of the city, with no additional mill assessment or property tax base (at this time) to sustain the growth.

Many of these details will be discussed and worked out as the development continues to move forward.

What is the impact on surrounding communities?

As part of the original PUD with Douglas County, The Canyons entered into an inter-governmental agreement with the Happy Canyon Homeowner’s Association, Inc. and The Pinery Homeowner’s Association, Inc. (in Parker), establishing limitations on density for certain areas and setting open space and buffer zone requirements. Representatives from both Associations were present at the April 23 Castle Pines North city council meeting where the annexation petition was accepted.

“We have been working with The Canyons on this development for years, and we hope to continue to be a presence and a consideration in negotiations,” said Les Lilly, Happy Canyon HOA president.

President of the Castle Pines Village Homes Association, Ed Will, commented that, “This development is of interest to us [residents in the Village] because of traffic concerns, primarily.” Will continued to say that property values could be impacted by higher densities as well.

The Canyons team (pictured below) has begun hosting a series of open house meetings with the CPN community. The sessions have given residents a chance to hear the vision for the community and get answers questions they have. Additional community open houses are scheduled for this summer. More information is also available at

A full annexation process will take many months, and the City Council must still determine if The Canyons is eligible for annexation under statutes at the upcoming June 11 City Council meeting.

Watch for updates at

Representatives from The Canyons have been conducting community open houses to present plans for the development of the property east of I-25, just off Castle Pines Parkway. Pictured above, left to right: Sandi Thomas, Mark Nickless, Darren Everett, Anne Kerlin, and Blake Calvert.



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