There is an ideological war being waged in the South Metro area about Transit Oriented Development (TOD). Lured by the promise of increased tax revenues, a narrow majority of the Greenwood Village City Council wants to change the Village’s comprehensive plan to pack density into a small area surrounding the Orchard road light rail station for the benefit of a single developer.
Under political pressure by the residents, the Council decided to refer this controversial issue to a vote of the people. The outcome will be decided in a Special Election on June 6th. The developer is sparing no expense to win the election.
Ordinarily developers collude with planners and elected officials to create developments with developers reaping profits and cities getting tax revenues while the interests of the residents are rarely considered. In Greenwood Village, the residents are fighting back.
The question is whether Greenwood Village voters want to amend the city’s Comprehensive Plan with a YES vote to transform our Village into a high-density, multi-family TOD community that looks like downtown Denver. This vision is urban.
O vote will maintain the existing, open and park-like commercial development along the I-25 corridor. This vision is suburban.
The residents are playing the role of David, and the Developer is playing the role of Goliath. David will likely be outspent 10 to 1.
The Save Our Village Issue Committee is a citizen’s group that includes a former Mayor, twelve former City Council Members, three existing City Council members, four former Planning & Zoning Commissioners, two current Planning & Zoning Commissioners and hundreds of voters who have stuck a “Vote No” campaign signs in their yard.
The “Vote No” campaign does not have deep pockets, but it has passion, shoe-leather and LOTS of yard signs.
While the issue on the ballot is about development, the real question is whether the people have any say over how their cities are run when faced with powerful moneyed interests. On June 6th, we will find out.
The “Vote No” campaign web site is www.SaveOurVillage.org.
Dave Kerber is a former Greenwood Village City Council Member and Planning and Zoning Commissioner who is active in the Save Our Village issue committee