'We wanted to protect our little place'

Franktown citizens celebrate as developers withdraw application


A surprising finish ended a six-year fight between developers and a citizens' group over a proposed development at the intersection of Colorado highways 86 and 83, as developers behind the Franktown Village project withdrew their application.

The move came July 27, at the beginning of the second day of testimony before the Board of County Commissioners, as public comment by dozens of Franktown residents carried over from the first hearing at the Philip S. Miller building in Castle Rock on July 25.

“We are thrilled,” said Diana Love, president of the Franktown Citizens Coalition II, a vocal group organized against the project. “If you look around at what's happening with the growth, it's scary… People are worried about congestion, density and water.”

The rezoning application, first submitted in 2011, requested a change from rural residential and planned development to planned development to make way for the mixed-use project, which would have included 286 single-family and single-family attached residential units and 180,000 square feet of commercial and retail space on a total of 106.9 acres.

“Upon reflection and a lot of conversation since Tuesday night at 10 (p.m.), my clients have determined that this is simply not the way to proceed,” said attorney Jack Reutzel, representing developers Pat Carroll and Russ Berget, as he read a prepared statement.

“There's just too much stress, there's too many hard feelings for a community like this,” he said, “regardless of the outcome.”

Members of the coalition presented evidence by geologists, water attorneys, local business owners and other residents to counter testimony from the developers' experts concerning how the development would affect the area's aquifers and rural feel.

Commissioners Roger Partridge and Lora Thomas questioned Reutzel at the July 25 hearing concerning the developers' outreach to residents and provisions for water and sewer services to the development. But the withdrawal on July 27 saves the board from making a decision on the project, for a while.

“We will re-imagine our plan in a way that addresses the objective concerns of the residents we heard both at Planning Commission and here,” Reutzel said. “We will be back in front of the county soon with a new plan.”

Love said she and other Franktown residents are willing to negotiate with Reutzel again, provided meetings are public to give citizens their say.

For now, though, Love and other coalition members will enjoy the victory.

“We wanted to protect our little place,” Love said. “We are absolutely willing to see what they come up with and meet with them. And when they think they have a plan that they want to present, then we' ll have a huge Franktown public meeting and they can present it to the public."

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