SUN Q&A with Forest City
(questions answered by Tom Gleason)
How does Forest City incorporate public input into the design and decision-making process regarding Stapleton parks, town centers and other amenities?
A: Starting even before development commenced in May 2001, Forest City has participated in monthly meetings with the Stapleton Development Corporation’s Citizens Advisory Board (CAB) and its committees on parks, housing, zoning and planning, and communications to solicit input on all key aspects of the redevelopment process. That citizen input is weighed in all important decisions Forest City makes as the master developer. Forest City has also been a regular participant in SUN forums to provide updates on development and solicit input from SUN members.
Forest City embraces the vision of The Stapleton Development Plan (commonly referred to as “The Green Book”), a set of broad principles designed to guide the redevelopment of Stapleton. The Green Book was the product of the input of citizens from Denver, Aurora and Commerce City who participated in more than 100 public meetings prior to the plan’s formal acceptance by the City of Denver in 1995.
What factors contribute to development delays or changes? How are those changes approved, by whom, and how are the changes communicated?
A: Development can be delayed by a number of factors, most often the forces of a weak or uncertain market. In the case of the Eastbridge Town Center, for example, potential grocery anchors have often expressed reluctance to make a commitment until residential development is more fully built out and the market demand has grown stronger. In regard to changes in planned development anywhere at Stapleton, changes requiring a change in zoning must be approved through the standard rezoning process of the City of Denver. Zoning changes are communicated to the community through the established processes of the City, which includes official communications to registered neighborhood organizations such as SUN. Changes in development plans are also provided to the community through Forest City’s regular meetings with the Stapleton Development Corporation’s Citizens Advisory Board.
The East Bridge Town Center development is top of mind for Stapleton residents. How does Forest City intend to keep the community informed of progress and residents’ preferences that are being factored into the design?
A: Forest City has been keeping the community informed about progress through its regular meetings with the CAB and participation in SUN forums such as the recent block captains’ meeting.
How is the development being funded north of I-70?
A: Development north of I-70 is funded in the same manner that development was funded south of I-70. Construction of major regional arterials such as the extension of Central Park Boulevard and the creation of regional parks are financed through Tax Increment Financing (TIF) in which revenues created by new development are used to retire bonds issued by the Denver Urban Renewal Authority. Local streets and in-tract (neighborhood) parks are financed by property taxes collected by the Westerly Creek Metropolitan District on all property at Stapleton.
The General Development Plan approval process of the City of Denver requires public input. In spring of 2014, we will have a GDP amendment for the design of Section 10, which is the section of Stapleton north of 56th Ave. Those public meetings will be posted and provide an opportunity for additional public comment.
Help SUN Help You
Visit Buffalo Wild Wings in Quebec Square on Sunday, Jan. 12 and mention Stapleton United Neighbors and they will donate 10 percent of your check to SUN, which will help us pay for our email list and survey system, meeting expenses, and more.
Sun Block Captain & Board Meeting Date Changes to Third Tuesday
The SUN Block Captain and Board meeting night has been changed to the third Tuesday of each month, still at 6:30pm (Block Captains) and 7:30pm (Board meeting) and still at the Rec Center.