A 4-3 split vote by Castle Rock Town Council pitted visions to increase business vitality downtown against concerns about increasing congestion and the costs the town bears in continued development. …
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A 4-3 split vote by Castle Rock Town Council pitted visions to increase business vitality downtown against concerns about increasing congestion and the costs the town bears in continued development. The latest issue came in the vote to allow the six-story, mixed use development known as The View.
Mayor Jason Gray, Mayor Pro Tem Kevin Bracken and Councilmembers Ryan Hollingshead and Desiree LeFleur voted in favor of the first reading of the redevelopment and finance agreement at the April 6 meeting. Voting in opposition were Councilmembers Laura Cavey, Tim Dietz and Caryn Johnson.
The second reading for the redevelopment and finance agreement will be April 20.
The View is being developed by Castle Rock Development LLC, which is composed of Treanor Investments LLC, Douglas County Properties LLC, and Rock View Holdings LLC.
The developer is proposing redevelopment of the storage facilities at the northeast corner of Sixth and Jerry streets into a mixed-use, six-story building with 221 for-rent residential units, 14,500 square feet of office space and 5,000 square feet of retail space. Altogether, the building is more than 300,000 square feet, including the parking garage.
The project includes a 400-car parking garage. The town has agreed to purchase 100 of the spaces for $3 million.
Citing a background in engineering, Cavey expressed concern with building more apartments and condos downtown.
Cavey warned fellow councilmembers there is no way to widen downtown streets, and with new residents in the ongoing Encore project and now the View, traffic is going to become a problem. Cavey said even before the expected increased population downtown, it takes multiple light cycles to go through at 4 p.m. on a weekday.
Encore will offer 124 condos for sale downtown, along with a 601-car parking garage, including 308 spaces the town will purchase for around $10 million.
Members of the business community continue to voice support for The View, saying it will bring business and improve downtown.
Kevin Tilson, director of the Downtown Development Authority, said The View is a good fit for Castle Rock. He said he wants an “active downtown” to help business owners experience more business Monday through Friday.
Frank Gray, president of Castle Rock Economic Development Colorado (EDC), said finding office space in Castle Rock is currently challenging and he welcomes the 14,000 square feet of space The View will bring.
In voting against the development with Councilmembers Johnson and Dietz, Cavey continued to question the process by which the unelected Design Review Board (DRB) oversees and approves major development.
Cavey repeated her view at the beginning of the council meeting, saying the council must compromise and limit the powers of the DRB. He once again asked the council to limit DRB to oversee projects under 10,000 square feet, returning major projects to council oversight.
Dietz questioned how boards like DRB are truly representing all the people.
“Everything is already decided before it gets here,” he said. “Infrastructure in town is not keeping up with growth. Police, fire, roads — none of them were even considered with this project. But sure, you can still keep building these monsters.”
In another 4-3 vote, the council approved $2.2 million to build a roundabout downtown. The roundabout is recommended due to the increased traffic counts expected with the Encore development nearing completion.
In voting against the measure along with Dietz and Johnson, Cavey said she does not understand the city paying so much money for a roundabout that is directly caused by Encore developers.
“I would rather put that money towards police and fire rather than a roundabout,” she said.
According to information provided by the town, the roundabout will be covered with $750,000 generated by redevelopment projects, with the remaining costs from transportation funds.
With construction planned between April and June, Wilcox Street will be fully closed between First and Phelps streets. Also, during construction, South Street will be closed between the alleys east and west of Wilcox Street. The detour route will be Perry Street to Third and Phelps streets.
In expressing support for the project, Hollingshead said he is confident the roundabout is going to “make downtown smooth and that’s the point.”
Businesses in the area will remain open during construction.
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