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Development planned at 'last farm in Westminster'; residents start grassroots movement against it

Posted at 4:10 PM, Aug 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-13 20:36:58-04

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WESTMINSTER, Colo. — When you drive through Westminster on Federal Boulevard, you come across a giant cornfield. Acres and acres of farmland, sitting on a hill near a red sandstone castle. But that relatively undeveloped land could change if a housing developer has their way.

“There’s no other place in the city like this,” John Palmer, who lives directly across the street from the farmland, told Denver7 Tuesday.

“It’s the last remaining parcel of precious farmland,” neighbor Carl Widmark added.

There are now development plans in the works for the 230 acres between 88th Avenue, Federal Boulevard, Lowell Boulevard, and 82nd Avenue. That proposed development, called the “Rose Hill” development, would consist of single and multi-family homes, mixed use commercial retail, some open space and at least one park, according to the city’s website.

Development plans given to Denver7 by the city show the development would include approximately 2,300 planned residential units. Neighbors who live nearby were not pleased with the announcement.

“The view, the quietness, and the buffer from the city will disappear if they develop it,” Widmark said.

“Our neighborhood is not structured for that. This area is not structured for that,” Palmer added, voicing additional concerns. “For the most part, people are worried about traffic, crime, property values.”

On the city's website, officials wrote: “The City is currently reviewing an application for a proposed annexation, Comprehensive Plan amendment, rezoning and preliminary development plan. Later, this proposed development matter will come before City Council.” The developer is Oread, a local development company, according to a Facebook post from the city's official page.

A city spokesperson sent a statement to Denver7, which read in part:

The Pillar of Fire Church has been in discussions with a local development company, Oread, about the Rose Hill property, which the Church has owned for nearly 100 years. The Rose Hill proposal is in the review cycle and will continue to be until there is agreement that the city standards and requirements have been satisfied. At that time, city staff will schedule public hearings with the Planning Commission and City Council, and will make a recommendation on the proposal.

In response, some of those who are concerned have started a grassroots group to push back.

“To explore options, explore how we can have more say in what happens in how this property is developed,” Palmer described, calling the land the "last farm in Westminster."

That group has a meeting planned for Wednesday night at the Irving Street Library in Westminster at 5:30 p.m.