UDC Miller, the company interested in buying the Pine Curve property in downtown Parker, has terminated its purchase and sale agreement with the town Dec. 3, effectively ending its negotiations to buy the property. The property is back on the market.
The town released a statement on UDC Miller's decision Dec. 4:
“The decision to terminate the agreement came after UDC Miller was notified that their proposed development concept did not meet Town Council's vision for Pine Curve,” the release states. “Council's vision for this property is the development of a neighborhood center, which would include a balance of commercial and residential uses and be consistent with the My Mainstreet Strategic Framework.
“The Parker community was extremely involved in the development of the My Mainstreet Strategic Framework and Town Council is committed to ensuring that any development that takes place on Pine Curve aligns with the Framework.
“The property remains on the market as the Town of Parker seeks future development partners,” the release states.
Attorneys for UDC Miller sent a letter to the town, notifying Parker of Miller's intent to terminate its contract Dec. 3. The letter states the "Property is not suitable for (the buyer's) needs..."
UDC Miller is a real estate investment company that has been involved in many area projects, including the Highlands Ranch Town Center and Crossings at Stonegate. The company is allowed to terminate the agreement any time during the inspection process, according to the town's municipal code.
Elise Penington, communications director for the town, said UDC Miller proposed a development that was too-heavily residential with not enough commercial. Council is looking for more balance between the two types of development, Penington said.
On Nov. 15, attorneys for UDC Miller sent a letter to Town Attorney Jim Maloney asking councilmembers Cheryl Poage and Jeff Toborg to recuse themselves from any future council discussions regarding the Pine Curve property. Toborg complied, though he said he did not agree with UDC Miller's reasoning. UDC Miller said Poage's and Toborg's support for the citizen's initiative to rezone the property to open space created a conflict of interest.
Poage declined to recuse herself from Pine Curve discussions, but four town councilmembers voted unanimously during the Dec. 2 executive session that Poage held a conflict of interest. Poage was forced to recuse herself.
Council made a decision without Poage and Toborg that UDC Miller's plan did not comply with council's vision.
Mayor Mike Waid released a statement regarding the company's decision Dec. 4. Waid does not vote on matters before council except in a tiebreaker situation.
The statement reads:
"The four council members who reviewed the proposed development agreed that the concept of the proposal did not fit within the My Mainstreet framework. The purchaser was informed of this and chose to cancel the purchase and sale agreement. Council has always been very open and clear about their desires and the support of the My Mainstreet framework which does not contemplate massive high density residential. Their decision is still in line with those desires and the My Mainstreet framework."
The group Save PACE Parking and Pine Curve 3.0 attempted throughout this summer to rezone the Pine Curve property to open space through a special election but failed to garner the required number of valid signatures to put the question to a town-wide vote. That group disbanded, but many of its members formed a new group, Save Hometown Parker, which in its Facebook description, states it is an extension of the Save PACE Parking and Pine Curve efforts.
The group has been active in some form since 2016 and failed recently to change the zoning or development plans for the Pine Curve property, a 24-acre lot at the east end of Mainstreet on Pine Drive. The property is zoned Greater Downtown-Historic District and is permitted for several mixed-uses, including some above street-level multifamily dwellings, offices, a grocery store, bar or retail offices.
The citizen's initative group, known as Save PACE Parking and Pine Curve 3.0, feared the town would allow a large-scale residential development.
Terry Dodd, one of the leaders of the original “Save” group said the group met Dec. 4 to discuss next steps for the Save Hometown Parker group, which Dodd said is a "long-range group" focused on "fighting the battle in general." Dodd said specifically the group feels its "got to make to some changes in the Town of Parker" and some "straightening out."
"It's absolutely wrong and an injury to the town that the majority council can make up the rules as they wish and dictate what they believe is conflict of interest when their conflict of interest is greater than the councilmembers they said can't vote," Dodd said.