A frustrated developer met with a mostly hostile crowd May 16 in an attempt to defend his project, just two days after city staff declared it unworkable.
Andy Clay of Alliance Residential Company told residents gathered at Buck Recreation Center that after hearing over and over the proposed Broadstone at Littleton Station apartment complex is just too big for the old sheriff’s building site, the company scaled it back from 325 units to 270. But the proposal still calls for a six-story project on the top of a hill overlooking downtown, and some fear it would dwarf the iconic Littleton Courthouse immediately north of the site.
“Staff finds the proposal to change the existing commercial zoning to allow only residential land uses at the proposed scale is in conflict with many of the goals of the (comprehensive plan),” writes Jan Dickinson, principal planner with the city, in her memo to the planning board. “Furthermore, the intensity and scale of the project is in direct conflict with the adopted design guidelines for the area. Therefore, staff is recommending denial of the request.”
Current zoning requires a mix of commercial and residential uses on the property, but Alliance wants it rezoned to be strictly residential. The planning board postponed a planned May 13 vote on the matter until June 24, at Clay’s request. He wanted more time to revise the plan.
A man in the audience became so incensed at the postponement that police were called to escort him out of the building. Board member Mark Rudnicki requested police presence at all future meetings regarding Broadstone.
The project has indeed generated more outcry than most. A group to fight it and other high-density projects, Citizens for Rational Development, continues to grow.
“I really don’t feel like you’re hearing our concerns,” Nancy Barger told Clay during the May 16 meeting. “What you want to build, regardless of how many millions of dollars it costs, this isn’t right for this part of Littleton,”
“I hear you saying, ‘Go away,’” said Clay. He continues to say that if his project dies, something much larger with more impact on traffic could replace it. He also stresses that the proposal calls for luxury, high-end apartments designed to attract young professionals and empty-nesters.
“Downtown Littleton is like the original lifestyle center,” said Clay, comparing it to the Streets at SouthGlenn in Centennial. “It’s what all those are modeled after.”
Not everyone is buying it. Sharleen Williams said people will want to live there because of the proximity to the bars on Main Street, and she doesn’t want a bunch of drunk people wandering around the neighborhood.
“Those kind of people won’t be able to afford them,” she said.
Lots of people have expressed distaste for the building’s appearance.
“The style bothers me, because it looks almost urban,” said Tom Kristopeit. “You’re really bringing a piece of the city to the suburbs.”
Only one person in the room expressed support for Broadstone, saying he’d like to see similar projects crop up all the way to Broadway.
“You know what I look at it as is one word,” said Tom O’Brien. “Progress.”