Developer, citizens lay claim to same stretch of property

Neighbors say plan for incoming Kimbrough Heights violates rights

Posted 8/12/19

A property line dispute around what could be as little as one and a half feet may have large implications for the city. The dispute was one of several matters that took center stage at the Arvada …

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Developer, citizens lay claim to same stretch of property

Neighbors say plan for incoming Kimbrough Heights violates rights

Posted

A property line dispute around what could be as little as one and a half feet may have large implications for the city.

The dispute was one of several matters that took center stage at the Arvada City Council's Aug. 5 meeting, when the city held a public hearing on the proposed development of townhome community Kimbrough Heights.

The applicant, Prominent Residential Properties, has worked with KT Engineering to draft a plan for a 14-unit duplex community on a 1.29-acre plot bordered by West 62nd Avenue, Dover Street and Carr Street.

The plans have sparked conflict with neighbors in two houses directly north of the plot, who claim the development will negatively impact their properties.

John Hawley believes the developer's plans “include land that I own,” he said, with the plan showing Hawley's property line roughly two feet north of where he claims the line lies.

As a result, the developer plans to build a fence “in my yard and through my buildings,” he said. “Why is my family's home less important than this development's profits?”

Hawley's conclusions stem from a 1993 land survey conducted by Kurt Linn; however, Prominent Residential Properties claims the survey is inaccurate, relying instead on surveyor Christopher Mcelvain's land survey, which identified the property line at the more northerly location.

Asked to vote on three items related to the plot, including the developer's preliminary development plan (PDP) and an ordinance to rezone the space for residential use, councilmembers questioned what the differing survey results meant for the city's decision.

Attorney Lori Graham said council could move forward with approval because the developer will be required to submit a more comprehensive land survey with the final development plan.

Regardless of that survey's findings, said Steve Lindsey with Prominent Residential Properties, there should be “no impact on the way development will be done.”

If Linn's survey and Hawley are correct, plans will essentially stay the same, with potential for the developer to alter fencing or work with Hawley on another solution, he said.

If Mcelvain's survey and Lindsey are correct, Prominent Residential Properties will either build the fence as planned or replace Hawley's fence with his permission, eliminating the need for two fences.

“Our intent is not to go in there and start tearing fences down and tearing buildings down,” Lindsey said.

Hawley did not have an opportunity to address these comments during the meeting but previously said that, should the development move forward, he plans to take legal action.

Neighbor John Moore likewise raised concerns, critiquing the townhomes' closeness to his property.

Because one townhome near Moore's property will have a 9-foot-1-inch setback and a rooftop deck elevated about 30 feet and overlooking Moore's property, “my clients will have very little privacy in their home,” said Dennis Green, Moore's attorney.

“We would like to see at least 10 feet (for the setback),” he said.

City staff said the proposed building in question likely cannot be moved because of factors like drainage and utilities.

But Lindsey said he would pursue putting screens in place on the north edges of the decks and attempt to build the decks on the southern portions of the rooftops to ensure privacy.

After the addition of a friendly amendment to reflect this offer, and a second to prevent the removal of Hawley's structures in case of dispute, council voted to approve the PDP 6-0. Councilmember Nancy Ford was absent.

“After the discussion, I feel a little bit more comfortable with the criteria being met,” said Councilmember Bob Fifer. “This area has needed some revitalization.”

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