Business group calls for cutting leash to past

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Norman Stucker says it’s time for Littleton businesses to get down to business.

“I don’t feel like we’ve been united in the past,” said Stucker, chair of the new Littleton Business Coalition, during the group’s Feb. 14 meeting. LBC is busily taking pro-development stands on the many projects crawling out of the city’s woodwork.

“In Littleton, that’s where the battles have been fought,” he said. “It’s been fought between pro-development and anti-development. … Let Littleton decide what Littleton wants to be, and not be constrained to the past by some leash.”

LBC has publicly supported Littleton Commons, an apartment project proposed for County Line Road and Erickson Boulevard, and the Nevada Place density increase. Stucker was one of just a minority who spoke in favor of the latter during a five-hour public hearing Feb. 11.

“The fact that we have council meetings that go into the wee hours means that we live in a passionate community, and that’s good,” he said.

But he urged members of LBC to move forward in a formalized way to speak with one voice.

“This is a substantive group that can have a huge impact on the community for decades to come,” said John Brackney, chair of the South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce.

The group is reaching out particularly to large companies like Littleton Adventist Hospital and CenturyLink.

“I fear, especially the larger businesses in Littleton, we have not been engaged in the community enough,” he said.

Councilor Bruce Stahlman implored the group to help the city help business.

“There are 40,000 people in the community, and consistently we don’t hear from 39,800 of them,” he said.

Councilor Bruce Beckman added that the business world likely has the most power of any faction of the community.

“We can make Littleton’s government more approachable,” he said. “Then we can get out of the way of people who want to make things happen.”