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Business

Digital media company's Parker plans could hinge on stopping trash facility

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Media and technology company Redbarre says if a trash-transfer/recycling facility is built at a site in northern Douglas County it could interfere with the company's plans to build a 70-acre campus in Parker.

In a plan that was met with much fanfare over the summer, Redbarre announced intentions to build a $1 billion digital media and technology campus in Parker. Redbarre held a news conference at the state Capitol in August — with Gov. John Hickenlooper in attendance and touting the plan — to announce the development, which the company claims will bring 4,000 jobs to the area. The campus would focus on feature film, television and digital media production.

Redbarre is eyeing the Compark area near E-470, about a mile south of the trash-transfer/recycling facility that Mountain Waste and Recycling plans to build in unincorporated Douglas County.

As of Dec. 28, Redbarre had not filed site plans with the town, a Parker spokeswoman said.

In short, it's not a done deal that Redbarre is coming to Parker.

"The building of the (trash) facility would have a significant impact on our decision," said Andy Boian, CEO of Dovetail Solutions, which handles public relations for Redbarre. “We have taken every opportunity to work with our neighbors, but this one will cause a problem. They (Mountain Waste and Recycling) claim the facility will be fully enclosed and that people in the neighborhood just don't understand what they're going to build. I respect his opinion, but our research says otherwise. This facility is exactly what neighbors think it is.

“We are not opposed to recycling. All of us here would encourage recycling. But having them next to our campus is not ideal."

Opponents of the trash-transfer/recycling facility have cited increased truck traffic, unwanted odors and the possibility of attracting large numbers of birds to the area. The facility would be located west of Chambers Road, north of Grasslands Drive and just southeast of Dove Valley Regional Park.

Mountain Waste and Recycling CEO Scott Eden purchased the land in 2016, after consulting with the Douglas County planning commission to determine which zone districts would allow a trash-transfer facility.

On Dec. 21, Parker officials announced the town has filed a lawsuit against Douglas County in an effort to prevent the facility from being built. Mayor Mike Waid said Douglas County is in violation of an intergovernmental agreement between the county and Parker that was established in 2002, which includes a Comprehensive Development Plan, agreed upon by both parties, regarding future development.

Parker officials claim the town master plan and the county master plan do not allow general industrial uses at the location proposed for the facility, and allowing the project to go forward would have negative effects on the residents of Parker. Douglas County officials have not commented on the lawsuit.

On the heels of Redbarre's comments, Waid responded to a request for comment but did not specifically address the Redbarre situation, instead reiterating his position against the trash facility.

"Aside from not being a permitted use in this specific area based on the intergovernmental agreement between the Town of Parker and Douglas County, the extremely heavy industrial use and excessive truck traffic that will be created from this type of trash transfer facility would represent a significant negative impact on existing public roads, residential neighborhoods, private commercial operations and educational institutions that are permitted in this area,” Waid wrote in an email.

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