Name: Dean Legatski
Profession: Solutions Architect
Biography: I grew up in Colorado and have lived in Castle Rock for over 13 years. I received my bachelor's degree from Colorado State University and my MBA from the University of Denver.
I have been married for 32 years with 2 daughters, both of whom graduated from Castle View High School. I have always had a passion for being involved in my community. In the past, I have been involved with coaching youth sports, including running the Cougars Girl's Lacrosse program (now part of the Raptors).
Why are you running for council?
11 years ago, the town did a survey and the top priorities of the citizens of Castle Rock were traffic, parking, water and maintaining our small-town feel. I think that the council has lost sight of these priorities and I would like to work towards slowing some things down and taking responsibility for trying to make things better.
What is your approach to governing growth?
While I consider myself pro-growth, it must be responsible growth. For example, it’s ridiculous that we already have 2 more condo buildings approved for downtown that are only going to have around 1.3 parking spaces per unit, leaving another deficit of parking and increased traffic during peak times. My approach would be to evaluate requests for development based on how they would impact existing citizens, voting against requests that put extra strain on our infrastructure without returning sufficient value to the people. It doesn't do us any good to have more restaurant choices if there is nowhere to park.
What are you top priorities and how should they be addressed?
1) I would move the responsibility for major variances downtown back to the Town Council, who should be accountable for anything that is going to impact the quality of life for the citizens of Castle Rock. 2) Colorado Revised Statutes (CO Code § 31-23-305) states that the Town Council can amend previous zoning decisions. I intend to work with the Council to evaluate guidelines for how long a property can be zoned without development before we change the zoning so that we can take control of our future again.
Metro issues are starting to impact Castle Rock and Douglas County as a whole - How would you address homelessness in Castle Rock?
Douglas County has already started a program, and the Castle Rock Police are partnering with them, to provide outreach services to the homeless in Castle Rock and surrounding areas. I am firmly in support of this program to try to help people off the street. Additionally, I would work to establish a campaign to educate citizens about the risks of giving money to panhandlers. I would not, however, approve a permanent shelter or camp in the Town of Castle Rock for the chronic homeless since we are not equipped to support them.
What are the biggest challenges facing the town?
While there is talk that we have enough water for all the houses in the 2030 Master Plan, that is not accurate. Castle Rock Water is still working to find new renewable water sources just to keep up with the current homes and businesses. Therefore, additional building will only add more demand for limited supply. For those that are too far away to walk, downtown is getting too hard to visit, between an increase in traffic and a lack of parking. Our roads all over town are getting overcrowded, with regular delays when driving during peak times.
What are the biggest opportunities and good things happening in Castle Rock now?
Castle Rock is an oasis in the middle of hustle and bustle of both Denver and Colorado Springs. We have incredible opportunities for hiking, biking and being outdoors all through town, and visitors have said that visiting Castle Rock is like going to the mountains without the drive. For a small town, Castle Rock also has a lot of unique opportunities. For example we get great bands that play at the MAC amphitheater, have the mini-incline, and an ice-skating rink in the winter. And the annual Starlighting is a community event that brings the whole town together to have fun!
Crime is also a regional issue impacting the Denver metro area - What is Castle Rock doing right to address the increased issues? Where can Castle Rock improve?
The police in Castle Rock do a good job partnering with the community to create relationships where they can get support, both for reporting violations and investigating crimes. They also work with other regional departments with programs such as HEART to address homelessness in Castle Rock. One challenge with partnering with the community is that citizens expect to see something done. Whether it is drag racing on our streets or drugs in our neighborhoods, it is important to make sure that people's concerns are being acknowledged, and that a plan is put in place to address recurring issues.
Castle Rock asked voters to approve four tax measures in 2021 - The measures were aimed at improving public safety and addressing growing traffic concerns. As the population grows - What do you think Castle Rock should be doing to be proactive and stay on top of roads and infrastructure and the growing need for more firemen, officers and stations?
The first thing that needs to happen is that the impact fees need to be increased so developers are paying their own way for development that is already committed to happen. Then, we need to take back control of zoning for land that is not already being developed based on C.R.S. § 31-23-305. While the Dawson Ridge project did not make a lot of people happy since it involves a lot of homes, a positive is that they are contributing $50M towards infrastructure improvements. Additionally, the sales tax generated by the Costco will fund additional police and fire personnel.