Bill pulled, sides urged to resume talks

Darin Moriki
Posted 5/3/12

Proponents of the Beltway Economic Enhancement Project Act (BEEP) have pulled the bill out of a legislative drafting committee. The move came in …

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Bill pulled, sides urged to resume talks


Proponents of the Beltway Economic Enhancement Project Act (BEEP) have pulled the bill out of a legislative drafting committee.

The move came in conjunction with a request from Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office and the Colorado Department of Transportation for the municipalities and organizations with a direct interest in the Jefferson Parkway to re-establish negotiations concerning its construction.

The proposed 10-mile parkway would connect the Northwest Parkway in Broomfield to Highway 93 north of Golden.

“We believe that it’s to the benefit of the state and region if local communities engage each other and work together to better the region,” Stacey Stegman, CDOT’s public relations director, said in an e-mail. “CDOT is always willing to support and endorse regional cooperation and if the parties to the west want to engage, we will participate in that.”

Stegman said specific details, including a tentative timetable and costs, have not been established, since many municipalities “are still reacting to the announcement.” CDOT, she said, is awaiting responses from local municipalities about levels of interest to continue mediated negotiations.

Over about six months last year, also at Hickenlooper’s request, officials from Jefferson County and the cities of Golden, Arvada and Broomfield, and the Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority (JPPHA) met in mediated negotiations attempting to reach an agreement to clear the way for construction of the parkway and address Golden officials’ concerns about traffic impacts.

Hickenlooper’s suggestion came after Golden made an offer to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to purchase or trade land for a right of way on the east side of the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, a counter to an offer made by JPPHA to obtain the land for part of the toll-road route. In December, the Fish and Wildlife Service decided in favor of JPPHA’s officer, and the negotiations halted.

In December, the town of Superior filed a lawsuit against the Fish and Wildlife Service, which was followed by Golden filing a similar lawsuit, both calling for a more thorough environmental analysis of the two offers.

The lawsuits have been combined and will be heard in federal court later this year.

Last month, Jefferson County officials said they were seeking legislative support for BEEP, a draft bill that would have created a state beltway authority to advance construction of the parkway.

During the Golden City Council meeting on April 26, Mayor Marjorie Sloan said the city will continue “in the direction it had already set” after last year’s negotiations concluded without an agreement.

“Our collective data and our residents’ contributions will be key to our informed participation in productive negotiations in the future,” Sloan said.


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