The Toe of the Boot. Will it happen?
One of the last large tracts of land to be developed in Stapleton has long been referred to as “the toe of the boot” called such for its odd shape. It’s located in the southeast corner of Stapleton. The land is located between 25th and 26th avenues, and bounded by Peoria on the east and Moline on the west.
There will be four phases of this planned community. The 1st and 2nd phase of the plan includes 52 single family attached and detached units with .43 acres for commercial use. Located farthest to the west.
The 3rd phase is an apartment complex with 264 units. The 4th Phase will be singe family homes and the remaining space may be developed for commercial use. This is located in the eastern portion that borders Peoria Ave.
The development has had its share of setbacks.
Expectations were to sell the land to Forest City in the spring. The DIA thought they had the environmental remediation complete but as it turns out additional remediation is going to be required. Forest City development requested additional testing at the site based on their concerns of that there were heavy metal in the soils. They learned that concrete crusher fines had been used instead of soil for fills.
There are 40,000 cubic yards of concrete crusher fines that must be removed by the City of Denver at the estimated cost of $1.2 billion. A date has not been set for the removal. Set back number one.
Martin Luther King Boulevard is to be extended to Peoria Street and widened to 4 lanes to accommodate the increase in traffic surrounding the new development. Funding for this project includes federal dollars, so the residents in nearby communities must concur with the proposal of a noise wall. Environmental evaluations recommended the noise wall to mitigate the impact of the noise associated more lanes of traffic. In July of 2017, 74% of the residents voted against the wall. Expressing concern about blocked views, sidewalk shading, inconvenient detours for pedestrians and the potential for walls to attract taggers. This sends the project back to the environmental board for review again. Set back number two.
Creative Learning Preschool has publicly stated its intent to begin construction on a 4,800ft facility once Forest City has received the go ahead on “the toe of the boot” It would be located in Phase 1, the .43 acre parcel at 26th Ave and Moline. The daycare received support from the Stapleton Design Committee however the citizen based Zoning and Planning Committee is opposed stating there is not adequate parking for the facility. There are only 12 on-site parking spaces, falling below the Aurora city minimum by three spaces. There is also no dedicated drop off areas for parents dropping off children. Another community minded organization, Northwest Aurora Neighborhood Association agrees. A law suit has been filed to block the proposed construction of the daycare facility. A public hearing is scheduled for August 13th. Set back number 3.
From the outside looking in, this proposed 24-acre community seems to be a great way to utilize this space. Once the environmental issues are taken care of, not anything that the Forest City could have foreseen, it will bring more people and commerce to this community.
The local area residents don’t seem to agree. Is the area already too congested? Are they opposed to the progress that the new community will bring? Or are they just being vigilant about the manner in the proposed community is being planned? Is there any room for mediation?
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