“Golden Run” (9/24/13)

From: Aaron Harber

Subject: Golden Run

Date: September 24, 2013 1:15:27 PM MDT

To: "Sam Sours "


 www.GoldenRun.com     Aaron@GoldenRun.com

2500 North 119th Street, Lafayette, CO 80026-9216

P:  (303) 666-6161    C:  303-718-3399


Dear Sam,


Thank you very much for your very thoughtful letter.  I hope you will take time to take a look at our overview (www.bit.ly/OverviewGR) and will encourage others to do so because it provides some of the information you were seeking.  In the meantime, please let me try to answer all of your questions in as much detail as possible.


1.      METRO AREA LOCATION.  If you consider the development of the Denver metro area, Erie certainly is considered as part of that today.  Whether its inclusion in (a) the Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area for Denver, (b) the Denver Regional Council of Governments, (c) the Denver Regional Transportation District, (d) the Denver metro Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, or any other number of metro area entities, there is no question Erie is part of the metropolitan area.  Perhaps more importantly, given the development already occurring and planned in the region (including, most immediately, the projects you mentioned in Broomfield and at all four corners of the I-25 and Highway 7 intersection --- none of which are controlled or even influenced by Erie but which take in an extraordinary amount of Erie-based revenue), Erie’s place as part of the Denver metropolitan area certainly will be cemented further in the coming decades.  At the same time, it is important for Erie to create and maintain its own identify with a focus on the future.  As the home of what we expect to be one of the nation’s premier sustainable communities, having Golden Run be an integral part of Erie should be very valuable to the entire community in terms of living, residential, employment, and commercial opportunities for all the Town’s residents.

2.      BOULDER COUNTY LOCATION.  We appreciate some of the ideas you have proposed for other locations but none of them are in Boulder County.  To be candid, being in Boulder County and being the last 320-acre parcel known to be designated for high density development (the property has been assigned Erie’s highest density rating since the 1986 Comprehensive Plan --- over quarter of a century ago) is a huge attraction to companies looking to expand or locate their businesses.  We also are completely in the Boulder Valley Public School District which is another major attraction.  Golden Run’s location is a tremendous asset to Erie and should not be wasted, especially as it is Erie’s last such opportunity.


3.      ERIE LOCATION.  Golden Run’s location is close to the Four Corners area (about 2,910 feet away, to be exact) and will spur significant Economic Development up and down the entire County Line Road Corridor --- Erie’s only internally protected location for significant retail activity.  Golden Run’s numerous residents will represent the Town’s best opportunity to support Historic Downtown Erie as well, given the pedestrian, biking, and related connections we expect to make.  No other development can deliver the visitors and customers Historic Downtown Erie needs to survive economically.  Golden Run’s location provides superb access to Boulder (where a plurality of Erie residents have worked for many years) as well as to Lafayette, Louisville, and Longmont via Highway 287 and Highway 7.  With Highway 7’s eventual expansion, Golden Run provides a potential major gateway for the tens of thousands of commuters passing by Erie.  And access to I-25 also is convenient for those going to Denver, DIA or other Front Range locations.  Access to major regional medical facilities is very convenient (e.g., the extraordinary Kaiser and Exempla campuses in Lafayette as well as Avista Hospital in Louisville).  These facts substantially differentiate Golden Run’s location from all of the other locations you mentioned.


4.      BUILDING HEIGHTS.  The actual heights of structures will be determined through a collaborative effort between the Town and the Golden Run team in the next year or two so nothing has been determined at this time.  There will be plenty of opportunities for members of the Erie community to give their input.  So please remind others that anyone making claims about what the actual heights are going to be is not conveying accurate information.  As part of its plan to create enough density to achieve desired economies of scale (such as being able to justify certain services for senior citizens or to provide medical facilities which require a minimum number of patients or attract enough patrons to convince high quality restaurants or retailers to locate in Erie or build Olympic-quality athletic facilities for the use of the entire Town), Golden Run does expect to have several tall buildings which likely will be terraced so their height will not be seen as so prominent.  It is likely the majority of the taller buildings will be on the half of the property closest to County Line Road, where the greatest concentration of employment, retail, entertainment, fitness, and other commercial and business structures will be.  This will be how we attract the stores, restaurants, theaters, et cetera, which Erie does not have and which the vast majority of citizens want.  One of our considerations is the fact the property slopes upward approximately 120 feet from County Line Road going west to North 119th Street.  The tallest structure currently on the western side is approximately 55 feet high.  This means, with good planning, even well-placed 170- or 180-foot structures (i.e., 120 feet + 55 feet) should not significantly affect sightlines or views from locations directly east of the property.  Furthermore, a majority of the residences directly east of Golden Run already are at elevations substantially above Golden Run (e.g., 50 to 100 feet).  This means many view corridors would not even be affected with higher heights.  And please note, given the considerable distances between Golden Run and any of the neighborhoods to the east, Golden Run actually represents only a small portion of the view corridors from any of these locations.


5.      ACHIEVING WHAT ERIE CITIZENS WANT.  If you look at the Town’s recent survey of residents, what stands out starkly is the lack of employment and retail (e.g., restaurants, shopping, et cetera) opportunities in Erie.  Retail growth is seen as too slow by 90% of those surveyed.  An even greater number --- 94% --- believe job growth in town is too slow.  The lack of economic sustainability is poignantly highlighted by other responses.  Golden Run should be the Economic Development engine which helps the Town successfully address all of these issues.


6.      MITIGATION.  Our plan is to work collaboratively with the Town to design a community which achieves our objectives related to sustainability.  This absolutely means using design and other techniques to mitigate impacts.  If we can demonstrate the ability to have the population numbers which have been projected yet not have all the impacts traditionally associated with such numbers, I would hope everyone in the community --- including you --- would be supportive of and excited about Golden Run and what it offers for Erie’s future.  I hope you will participate in this effort.


We would like to thank you for the spirit in which your comments and suggestions were offered.  We especially appreciated your statement, “Thank you for your time and responses to my comments and inquiry.  I appreciate your openness to communicate with the neighborhood.”  We will continue to make this endeavor totally transparent and will involve all interested Erie citizens in this process over the next three years as we design Golden Run together.  We realize most major decisions will not be made for many months or even years but that is why we want to get everyone involved now,  Please feel free to share this message with anyone you feel might be interested and do encourage them to contact us at any time.  Thanks, again.


Sincerely yours,




Board and Community Correspondence

As part of the transparency of the project, Golden Run periodically posts correspondence it believes citizens might be interested in having the opportunity to read. Please contact us with any additional questions.