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Old sewage system brings new development to a standstill in Westminster

One year moratorium in two-thirds of city
Posted at 4:41 PM, Jul 24, 2018

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WESTMINSTER, Colo. — If you need evidence of the growing pains our Colorado is dealing with, look no further than Westminster.

An old sewage system teetering on collapse is forcing the city to hit the pause button on future growth in two-thirds of the city.

"The entire city is growing, and there's a demand to provide all the resources and services that come with a growing population," explained Jenni Grafton, the city's acting director of economic development. "The moratorium that's going into effect today means we won't take any new development applications during this 12-month period."

The areas impacted by the moratorium are north of West 92nd Avenue.

The outdated 22-mile Big Dry Creek Sewer System collects sewage and wastewater from about two-thirds of the city, which accounts for more than 70,000 people.

Westminster said development can still take place south of 92nd Ave., and East of Huron Street and will not impact the downtown or Westminster station redevelopment projects.

"It doesn't pose a public health threat today, this is about getting ahead of that issue," said Grafton.

The city said any projects with building permits are guaranteed to move forward. Those still in the cue will be green-lighted based on sewage capacity.

"It just wasn't sized for the conditions we have today," said Grafton. "You don't know how quickly growth is going to come so trying to get ahead of it all, that is always a challenge."

The city said it plans to use the 12-month long moratorium to study the sewage system to determine what needs improvements and how much it will cost.

For updates and more information visit the city of Westminster's FAQ here.