A June rehearing of the appeal that halted the Grandview Station project is no longer scheduled to take place because the developer has been approved to submit a new application instead. The widely …
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A June rehearing of the appeal that halted the Grandview Station project is no longer scheduled to take place because the developer has been approved to submit a new application instead.
The widely talked-about project would go up on the properties at 7315 Grandview Ave., 7317 Grandview Ave. and 7318 W. 57th Ave., replacing two 20th century houses. Developer Keane Palmer has offered to move the houses if another property-owner would provide land for the relocation.
Palmer's project, Grandview Station, was planned to be a three-story condo and retail development. The plan was the subject of an extensive approval process starting in 2019, going before several government bodies including the board of adjustment, planning commission and city council.
After the planning commission made a Nov. 2019 decision that would allow the project to go forward, the decision was appealed to city council by business owner Lori Drienka, who owns the Eli Ashby Healing Arts Center at 7401 Grandview Ave., adjacent to the property in question.
Over the summer of 2019, Drienka started a paper petition and change.org petition against the project, gaining more than 2,000 signatures to date.
Drienka's December appeal saw council overturn planning commission's decision with a 3-3 vote. Councilmember Nancy Ford recused herself from the vote because she had signed Drienka's petition prior to knowing the issue would come before city council.
Because of the vote, Palmer was unable to proceed with the plan as drafted. But at a Jan. 27 meeting, council voted unanimously to rehear the appeal.
Palmer did not speak at the first appeal and councilmembers believed if he could speak at the rehearing, it might change the way some of them voted.
However, this decision was made under a provision in the city's previous Land Development Code (a new code was adopted May 2020). The city's interpretation of that same provision was recently overturned by the Colorado Court of Appeals in a separate matter concerning a development called Olde Town Residences, prompting the city to reconsider whether a rehearing under this provision was the best possible route.
“Out of an abundance of caution, the city chose not to recommended moving forward with the rehearing using that same provision,” said Ryan Stachelski, Arvada's community and economic development director.
Instead, the city recommended to Palmer that he submit a new application. Stachelski has officially deemed the new application substantially similar to Palmer's first application.
In average circumstances, a substantially similar application cannot be submitted until a 12-month waiting period has passed. However, under the code, if council finds good cause to waive the 12-month period, it can do so.
Council voted to waive the waiting period June 1.
“There is very good cause. At the first go around, the developer did not get to present his application because of the request of the city that the city staff do it,” said councilmember John Marriott. “The developer just shouldn't be penalized for the city's action. The other good cause is this project has changed and it does more closely meet the guidelines.”
Palmer's new application will go before the city's Design Review Committee on June 18.
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