“Golden Run...” (9/27/13)

From: Aaron Harber

Subject: Golden Run...

Date: September 27, 2013 1:32:31 PM MDT

To: "Erika Stutzman"

Cc: "John Aguilar", "Doug Pike"

Dear Erika,


Thanks for your message.  I think John and Doug have been doing a great job of covering Golden Run for the Camera and theTimes-Call, especially given the complexity of creating a truly sustainable neighborhood which benefits the entire Town of Erie and surrounding communities.


Yes, you are right about there being a lot of confusion.  This is simply due to the fact none of the specific decisions about Golden Run have been decided and won’t be for possibly another year.  The proposal is to work collaboratively with the Town staff, the Planning Commission, the Board of Trustees, and citizens to put together the actual plan and specific design for Golden Run.  We expect to complete the annexation approval by the Board of Trustees on October 8th.  Then we begin the Zoning process, which is when the real details will be developed.  


That process will not even begin for another month or two so a lot of people are jumping the gun.  As you would expect, this is being driven by a set of neighbors adjacent to the property who have contacted several of the Home Owners Associations in an effort to get people riled up.  One HOA officer told us the Canyon Creek HOA was using what he described as “scare tactics” in its messaging.


Please keep in mind this is a 25-year project so it is unlikely any buildings will be constructed any time soon.  And, as you might expect, the taller ones are likely to not even be started for a decade or more.


To specifically answer your question, we would expect the average building height to be 4 or 5 stories.  If appropriate for some of the commercial and senior living residential buildings, we could envision heights of +/-150 feet (i.e., 15 stories).  These would be terraced to make them fit in as well as be aesthetic.  And given the existing 120-foot rise in the property from east to west, this should not create any major problems in terms of view corridors.  Please keep in mind, between the 120- foot rise and the existing 55-foot building on the west side of the property, the tallest structure on the western border is almost 18 stories above the altitude of the property at County Line Road. 


The entire concept is to build up (i.e., above ground) and down (i.e., underground) as much as possible so there is maximum space for parks, open space, trails, community gardens, athletic facilities, et cetera.  This approach also creates extraordinary efficiencies in terms of water use, energy consumption, wastewater treatment, and vehicular use --- all key elements of sustainability.


The higher population numbers are related to attracting the retail opportunities people want so they can shop in Erie as well as go to restaurants, coffeeshops, theaters, et cetera.  Our job is to create a design which mitigates the impacts of large numbers of people so you can have all the economic benefits without the typical number of costs.  These benefits are focused on having Golden Run residents subsidize amenities for the entire Town (such as athletic facilities, trails, ultra-speed Internet, et cetera, while, at the same time, using the large number of residents with significant disposable incomes to attract the restaurants, entertainment venues, and retail shops Erie does not have).  


If we are able to demonstrate how this can be done, people should not be as concerned as some are today.  We do understand, however, the burden is on us to prove how this can be done and we will take the next year to work on that.


Finally, we are working diligently to create a world-class National Sustainability Council to help guide Golden Run and ensure it adheres to the highest principles of sustainability.  This group will bring national and international attention to Erie.  We are just in the processing of putting together the Council but, as you can see, we are off to a fairly good start: www.bit.ly/CouncilGR.  We expect this group to become active next year.


To be candid, our guess is the people who are most vociferous today --- i.e., the ones in the adjacent neighborhood --- will be the ones who use Golden Run’s trails and bike paths (as well as frequent the restaurants and coffeeshops after using the athletic, training, fitness and health facilities!) more than anyone else in Erie except the residents of Golden Run.  And it will be their property values which will increase more than any other part of Town because their neighborhoods will be the closest to Golden Run while offering a housing stock not identified with Golden Run (i.e., larger, single-family homes).  So, in the end, we believe they will be quite pleased.


I hope this information answered your questions and is helpful.  Call me any time at 303-666-6161.



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.