Press Releases

Press Release 01- 22 March 2000
Project Announcement






Erie, CO - Using a combination of elements from "Smart Growth," "New Urbanism," and "Healthy Communities" strategies, a new community is being proposed for Erie on a parcel of land long-surrounded by the Town and slated for development years ago. The property, known as "Golden Run," was to be zoned "Primary Urban Density" development - Erie's highest density residential designation - for over two decades and is located within one mile of "Old Town" Erie. The organization submitting the plan, which proposes Boulder County's first large-scale master-planned "green" development effort, is Golden Run, LLC.

"Our goal is to help set new standards for growth in Erie and across the Front Range," explained Golden Run General Manager Carl Oldham. "We want to do this differently. Rather than simply allowing developers to put up homogeneous housing as quickly as possible, we want to demonstrate that communities can ask for more. Our emphasis is on creating 'connections' within the new neighborhoods we are creating and linking Golden Run with the rest of the Town. We are taking the time, working with the Town staff, neighbors, and citizens across the area, to create a plan which keeps people connected with the land and with each other. We want to create a place to live which is people-friendly and environmentally-sustainable - where people are not so dependent on the automobile, and where folks can walk to where they work, shop, play, and go to school."

"By using the best 'New Urbanism' has to offer," explained Ed Byrne, an attorney who specializes in planning, we can create neighborhoods where people can more easily get to know each other - neighborhoods which make even more sense when examined in their regional and community context." New Urbanism is known for clustering buildings, using smaller footprints, building homes with front porches, and a host of other techniques - many taken from construction designs used at the turn of the century - which promote interaction and relationships while minimizing the impact on the land. "This plan will employ a wide variety of designs, colors, and structures. When completed, Golden Run will have the look and feel of Boulder County's 'Old Town' neighborhoods and commercial areas. Our finest communities evolved for decades at a time when resources were scarce and people depended on one another to survive. Form followed function then, and it will again in Golden Run."

Byrne revealed that there was a special emphasis on the needs of seniors citizens throughout the project. "Our mature citizens have a broad range of needs which are not being met in Boulder and Weld Counties' housing markets. The project is aptly named 'Golden Run' because it is designed to enable different generations of families to live closer together. We expect to have housing which meets the full range of the needs of mature citizens. This will include 'empty-nester' homes, apartments, independent living units, assisted living residences, long-term care homes, and high-level care facilities. Our goal is to create a community where those with the most wisdom do not have to move out and where our youth can find places to move in to stay."

"Most importantly, what this plan does," elaborated architect Fenno Hoffman," is to use urban design tools and ecological and social sensitivity to create something more complicated and interesting than the bland 'zones' and spaghetti streets everyone finds so oppressive and confusing. Golden Run will house a healthy mix of activities in a variety of styles and scales of both architecture and open space. Neighborhoods will share public parks and wildlife habitats. Avenues, streets, and paths have a hierarchy and geometry which uses landmarks such as pocket parks and fountains to visually and socially connect everything. Street grids will encourage walking and calm traffic, while echoing the layout historical towns throughout Colorado -- with an emphasis on Old Town Erie. The edges of the project are designed not to exclude or shut-out but to connect and be part of Erie. The neighborhoods within Golden Run are similar. Live/Work studios, townhomes, and apartments over shops create affordable options for those not needing or wanting the traditional single family home. Young singles and grandparents can be down the street in a lively part of Town, instead of being isolated and alone, far away. All of this will be done on a walkable scale so it is only a five- or ten-minute walk to get some sugar, visit and uncle or friend, get some coffee or even go to work."

Hoffman disclosed that while a typical 320-acre development might have 20 or 30 acres of open space and similarly "green" areas, the Golden Run proposal had almost 140 acres of such spaces. "Our design shows that it is possible to create and preserve green spaces, maintain view corridors, and minimize traffic while providing a rich social experience and architectural variety in a plan which gives something back to the community that surrounds it.." Fenno said the group expects strong community support for the design because of the high standards it sets and the diversity it offers. "We believe people in the Erie area want a new model for development and that this is it."

Oldham noted, "With the New Urbanism approach, we will use mixed sizes of lots with a variety of different high quality building standards and creative options so people still have very attractive life-style opportunities. By using an approach which mixes small parks and small commercial operations throughout residential areas, people can work, shop, and play near their homes. By creating communities which are 'walkable,' people can stay connected to the land. To do this means avoiding the tendency of developers to build on and pave every inch of a project."

The effort also has a key high-tech component with the entire community expected to be "wired" to promote use of the Internet and future technologies throughout homes, schools, other public buildings and all commercial buildings anticipated to be on the property. "Our goal is to create a community where everyone is linked and where telecommuting is easy and where everyone has access to all the information they need at all times," observed Jeff Ruppert, a leading-edge proponent of alternative construction designs and the key engineer for the project. Ruppert also noted that the project provides sufficient commercial space - including office space - to create a business campus as a possibility. "A far-sighted company will see Golden Run as an opportunity to locate its operations where it not only has sufficient commercial facilities but where its employees have the opportunity to live and play within walking distance of work. These are the kind of new opportunities we are trying to create."

Ruppert commented, "Our goals of sustainability - environmentally, economically, and socially - are being met through a number of diverse ways. We are using an incremental approach that will add up to a considerably more efficient, healthier community at all levels. Our goals will be to have a 'zero sum' impact on the surrounding community physically, while enhancing connectedness among neighbors." Ruppert also mentioned environmental responsiveness, resource efficiency, community and cultural sensitivity, and the integration of ecology with real estate as being the key elements of "Green Development."

"We have been approached by developers for years," long-time environmentalist and property owner Aaron Harber disclosed. "We decided the best way to be sure this project proceeded with the needs of the entire community in mind was to try and do it ourselves. It is taking us longer and is more expensive but, in the end, we know we will have done the right thing." Harber is a 31-year resident of Boulder County. He has lived in the Erie area for over a decade. The land known as Golden Run is where he lives with his daughter Holly.

"We differ from developers and builders because we are a permanent part of the community," Harber asserted. "We have watched growth skyrocket in the area and have realized this is one way we can help shape that growth. We can show citizens that it is OK to demand more of developers and builders - that we need to hold them to higher standards. What this project will prove is that you can ask for more and everyone still comes out ahead. Unlike most developers, we live on the property and are here to stay. We want to influence what will be around us for decades to come. Golden Run offers us and everyone in Erie that opportunity."

As part of the project, Mr. Harber expects to donate significant acreage to the Town to use for parks, open space, and other civic purposes - possibly including a school, a performing arts center, a library or a recreational site. "We are particularly enthusiastic about the idea of expanding the Wildlife Habitat we started eleven years ago as well as creating walkable links to surrounding communities - especially Old Town Erie," Harber said. The Wildlife Habitat includes a six-acre pond and the Harbers hope eventually to see the Habitat area doubled in the future.

Harber emphasized other elements which excited him. "From its initial design, we want this project to incorporate elements such as community recycling, solar siting, community composting, efficient utility usage, community gardens, and gray water systems. We see the high-tech broadband hard-wiring element as being environmentally-friendly. It's a way to reduce everyone's reliance on cars. And by staying involved with and spending our time and money on the project, we are able to make certain all these goals are achieve," he continued.

"The other aspect of our approach which is radical in nature is how we are involving everyone in the process from the beginning," he said. Harber disclosed that the Golden Run Team held numerous meetings to develop the plan and has met with neighbors, Town staff, prospective partners, and citizens of the Town and in unincorporated areas around Erie before even submitting its plan. "We are looking at an extraordinary level of openness to this project and are preparing a plan to implement this objective," he concluded. Golden Run expects to have a major announcement next week which will set new standards for citizen involvement, communication, and trust.

Golden Run is located one-half mile north of Arapahoe Road and one-half mile south of Leon Wurl Parkway (formerly Isabelle Road). Its western border is North 119th Street and its eastern border is County Line Road. The property lies completely in Boulder County and was assigned to Erie for development by the multi-party Intergovernmental Agreement of 1994 between Boulder County, the City of Lafayette, and the Town of Erie.

Press Release 02- 17 April 2000
Public Meeting Schedule




Erie, CO - Just days after announcing a "Smart Growth" plan for a group of environmentally-sensitive, Urban Villages to be created in Erie, Colorado -- collectively known as "Golden Run"-- project leaders announced they would sponsor four Public Meetings to present "Smart Growth," "New Urbanism," and similar leading-edge concepts being applied to Golden Run and to give the public its first look at the project's conceptual plan.

"By getting people involved right at the start of the process, we can shape this project to meet the needs and desires of the community," asserted Carl Oldham, the General Manager of Golden Run. "While this requires more time and effort initially, we think involving the public early is a good model for all future developments." Oldham disclosed he was unaware of any project in the area which held public meetings at the same time it was submitting its original application. "Our early approach means that citizens will have a chance to review our ideas and plans as well as comment on them before we even receive any formal feedback from the Town of Erie," Oldham noted. "This puts citizens on equal footing so decisions cannot be made before the public has a chance to really become involved. We believe this is what citizens want."

The Golden Run team believes this is the first project in Erie which has offered Public Meetings prior to formal consideration. "This is the new standard we are using this project to set," offered Aaron Harber, Denver PBS Talk Show host and the owner of Golden Run. "We want to show municipalities, property owners, builders, and developers that they can and should trust the judgment of citizens and that it makes sense to involve people early in the process. Our goal is to create the most open and accessible process possible and to get everyone to adopt this perspective as the new standard."

The meetings will include a presentation on "Smart Growth," "New Urbanism," and similar land use concepts as they apply to the area and to the Town of Erie in particular. The conceptual plan for Golden Run also will be presented. Ample opportunity for participation will be structured into the sessions using a "Question & Answer" format. All meetings are open to the public.

The first presentation of "Smart Growth Concepts" and the Conceptual Plan for Golden Run -- a project designed to set new and higher standards for development in Erie - will be held on Monday, April 24th, from 7:00 pm until 8:00 pm at the Arapahoe Ridge Community Center, 1750 Powell Street in Erie.

The second Public Meeting to review and discuss the Golden Run proposal will be held on Wednesday, April 26th from 7:00 pm until 8:00 pm in the Board Meeting Room on the lower level of Erie Town Hall. Town Hall is located at 645 Holbrook Street in downtown Erie, Colorado.

The third Public Meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 1st, from 7:00 pm until 8:00 pm at the Arapahoe Ridge Community Center, 1750 Powell Street in Erie.

A fourth Public Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 2nd, at the home of Aaron and Doreen Harber, 2500 North 119th Street, from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm. Due to space limitations at this private home location, attendees must RSVP no later than Friday, April 28th, to Carl Oldham of Golden Run by phone at (303) 497-0610 or via e-mail at Carl@GoldenRun.Com.

For further information or directions, please contact Ed Byrne at (303) 478-8075 ( or Carl Oldham at (303) 497-0610 (Carl@GoldenRun.Com). The public is strongly encouraged to attend and to participate in this effort to raise the standards for development everywhere.

Press Release 03- 24 April 2000
Public Access & Website Unveiling





Erie, CO - In what might be a nationally-trendsetting move, the sponsors of an environmentally-sensitive set of Urban Villages to be created in Erie, Colorado -- collectively known as "Golden Run"-- announced that their entire application to the Town of Erie and all related materials were being made available to the public, on-line, at no charge, on a 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week basis via the World Wide Web. "Our goal is to have the most open process ever seen for a project of this magnitude," former software company president and current Denver PBS Talk Show public affairs host Aaron Harber revealed. "We want to set a new standard so developers and builders across the country will be required to submit their plans for true public inspection before a single issue is decided or before any commitments are made." Harber acknowledged that such an approach contradicted traditional strategies in which some developers and builders did not encourage and actually often avoided public scrutiny for as long as they could -- especially at early stages in a project's development when citizen involvement was most critical and could derail a project.

"What is unprecedented is the combination of (1) a completely accessible site with (2) this volume of material and (3) the timing of its availability," stated Carl Oldham, the General Manager of Golden Run. The Web site's official opening date was 21 April 2000 -- well before the project received any formal feedback from the Town of Erie, which is responsible for the approval of Golden Run. According to the Web site designer, Zac Adler, the principal of Intrinity Studios, LLC in Boulder, Colorado, revealed the Golden Run site ultimately is projected to contain more than 10 million bytes of information -- the equivalent of over 2,000 pages of text documentation. Adler explained, "We already have the equivalent of about 500 pages of text, representing just 25% of the site's content. The majority of the site --75% --is in the form of graphical images." The Web site offers maps, drawings, conceptual plans, charts, tables, figures, and everything in Golden Run's complete, formal submission to Erie. "My instructions were to include everything, so that's what we did," Adler disclosed. He also revealed that the effort had taken over two months to complete.

"To have citizens and Town officials looking at a project at the same time is unheard of," Oldham asserted. "This gives everyone a chance to participate in the process right from the start. This is the standard we hope to help set in Erie, in Colorado, and across the nation. Too many decisions are made by governments before the people most affected get a chance to be involved. With our Web site, we can invite the entire Erie area community to participate at their convenience and at no cost to themselves in the design and approval process before there is a single hearing on our proposal. That's the way it should be."

Ed Byrne, an attorney who specializes in land planning and who is a member of the Golden Run team elaborated, "Our goal is to create the most open process ever seen in Colorado and the United States when it comes to a proposed development. Rather than shun the spotlight of public scrutiny, we welcome it. We want every citizen in and around Erie - as well as any others willing to critique our work - to examine what we are doing and give us their thoughts and ideas on how we can improve this project. And citizens can view what we are doing at their convenience. They do not need to go to Town Hall and get in line to ask for assistance looking up materials. They do not have to pay for copies of documents but can view and download them directly from our site for their own personal review. And it's great for government staff members who won't have to spend their time looking up and photocopying documents. With our 'Open Access' approach, everyone comes out ahead."

Harber stated, "This is our way of saying to everyone, 'We want your involvement and participation. We seek your help and endorsement. We want you to contact us and tell us what you think and how we can do better.'" Harber encouraged citizens to view the site and send in their comments about the proposal itself and how Golden Run could improve the Web site as well as the Golden Run team's effort to redefine "Public Access." Harber is known as a long-time advocate of public access and for strongly supporting the Press's and the Public's right-to-know. In 1982, he won a case against the Colorado Secretary of State, which attempted to withhold Public Records in the easiest-to-use format. He was assisted by a then neophyte lawyer who now is Colorado's Attorney General. Over a decade and a half later, he won an Open Records case against the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, which attempted to mislabel public information as "confidential." It was a rare victory by a citizen in Colorado. Harber concluded, "By building this Web site ourselves, we can demonstrate how this can be done and why municipalities and government agencies across the country can begin to insist that all submissions subject to public review should be available on the Internet at the earliest time possible. Ultimately, we would expect submissions to actually be made via the Web so government staff would have the same ease-of-access citizens have. This would allow updating to be done quickly and easily, and would save government agencies a lot of time while providing a tremendous convenience to them as well."

Anyone with Internet access can view the site by going to "" All materials on this site are copyrighted and owned by Golden Run, LLC. They are for use by the citizens of the Town of Erie in their evaluation of the project and may not be used by any entity for any other purpose without the prior written consent of Golden Run, LLC. For further information, please contact Ed Byrne at (303) 478-8075 ( or Carl Oldham at (303) 497-0610 (