Green Gables Neighbors for Responsible Growth
We the undersigned citizens of Jefferson County certify that we stand united in opposition to the proposed rezoning and development at the southeast corner of Jewell Ave. and Wadsworth Blvd. until the following unresolved issues have been addressed. 1. This development does not conform to existing, legal and legitimate land use plans: for one, the Jewell Wadsworth Site Plan does NOT allow for "big box" retail stores greater than 70,000 sq ft. (see http://www.ci.lakewood.co.us/Planning/Corridors_and_Special_Areas/Jewell_Wadsworth_Specific_Area_Plan.aspx ). This development calls for an “anchor tenant” of 155,000 sq ft., which is substantially larger than the average Costco, Sam's Club, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Target and Lowe's. 2. The site as planned suffers from inadequate access. For example, on the east side of Wadsworth at Evans, a new Evans segment is planned as the primary access to retail in the development. No stoplight is planned for this intersection and a deceleration lane is not planned for northbound Wadsworth for those turning right into the development. This obvious oversight is an invitation to daily disasters on this busy section of road. Similarly, people exiting the neighborhood west of Wadsworth and driving north will no longer have an acceleration lane to use for merging with traffic. 3. Still more unmitigated traffic issues will impact the larger area. A 155,00 sq ft. big box store, one of two retail sites in the plan is NOT a "Neighborhood Retail" site as was present in the original plan in the Fall of 2011. A store of that size would need to draw shoppers/drivers from outside the area. In addition, the lower sales tax outlined below would entice shoppers to drive to our neighborhood. Add to this the development's plan for 600 new residences and our already marginal traffic conditions would assuredly become more congested and dangerous for everyone. 4. Regarding the intensive retail development facing existing residential properties, we oppose the development for these reasons: a. lighting—the developer seeks 30 ft tall parking lights; the county approves only 20 ft tall b. signage—planned signs are enormous, close to or as large as the Best Buy sign in Belmar 5. Regarding the development’s remaining in unincorporated Jefferson county and not being annexed to Lakewood, we oppose it for these reasons: a. It creates a sales tax inequity and gives an unfair advantage to the retail sites in the development over existing retail businesses in the area. b. It guarantees permanent confusion for residents and neighbors about who to call for help. The county sheriff will serve this area not Lakewood city police. We urge our Jefferson County Commissioners to withhold approval of this development until our concerns are addressed and formally mitigated in the Official Development Plan. We maintain that approval of the plan as-is would be hazardous, unsightly and unfair.