Development altered by road change

Chris Michlewicz
Posted

Stroh Ranch residents who enjoy the relative quiet of their neighborhood have the Parker Water and Sanitation District to thank for keeping it that way.

Stroh Road, not Hess Road, was originally planned to connect to Interstate 25. In 2005, the water district rejected a Douglas County proposal to build bridges along Stroh Road over inlet channels on the south end of the expanded Rueter-Hess Reservoir for fear that de-icing chemicals and hazardous materials spills would contaminate the town’s drinking water.

The county then decided to go north of the reservoir with Hess Road, which added to the price tag but still provided an alternative east-west route to congested Lincoln Avenue.

That changed the town’s master plan, a document of guidelines for future development. Parker originally believed Stroh Road would become a major thoroughfare to the highway and approved plans for a 5-acre commercial development and a 15-acre community of triplexes on the northeast corner of Stroh Road and J. Morgan Boulevard.

The project, originally proposed by Ameriwest Communities, received preliminary approval in 2004, but for various reasons never came to fruition, said Patrick Mulready, senior planner with the town’s community development department.

With the future of Stroh Road altered, the Town of Parker updated its master plan in June and recommended a reduction in intensity for the 20-acre lot, which is across the street from a large-animal veterinarian and a fire station. The suggestion of medium-density development rendered obsolete the plan for a commercial center and multi-family complexes at 10 dwelling units per acre.

The latest landowner, MSP Properties, now has plans to build 80 single-family homes as part of a project called Village on the Green. Neighbors say that addition would fit much better with what already exists.

The Stroh Ranch Homeowners Association previously expressed concerns about the amount of traffic and noise the retail and triplex development would generate. Those worries have turned to words of support for the 80 single-family homes from those living nearby, Mulready said.

Parker Town Council approved a planned development amendment, sketch plan and preliminary plan Aug. 20. The first round of final plat review – the last step of approval – was scheduled for Sept. 12.

When reached by phone, developer Mark Palkowitsh and project representative Chad Rodriguez said they do not speak to the media.

The change in zoning was apparently not the only driving force behind the idea to build single-family homes.

“I think the developer felt that doing a for-sale multi-family project in this economic climate simply wasn’t going to work,” Mulready said, citing the recent increase in home sales.

Indications from MSP Properties point to possible infrastructure installation this winter, with construction beginning next spring, but the developer declined to make those details public. Mulready said market conditions will likely dictate when Village on the Green is completed.

Because of the elimination of the sales tax revenue-generating commercial area, the Town of Parker asked the development company to pay a deficit reduction fee of $4,100 per lot. Town officials calculate the costs associated with maintaining police and road services to the neighborhood and compare them with the estimated property and sales tax revenue generated from each development. The fees are a way of recouping the loss of anticipated sales tax revenue. It is unclear if the $4,100 charge will be factored into the final price of residential lots.

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