Public comment proved to be the highlight of the Golden City Council meeting on Jan. 24, with a county commissioner stopping in, and the public getting an update about the Golden triangle area.
Golden resident and longtime anti-growth community activist Laura McCall was among the members of the public that spoke at the meeting, and said she had serious concerns over a proposed rezoning of the central neighborhood area, and the future of the Golden Bowl bowling alley.
McCall said she was speaking in opposition of zoning changes, and proposed plans for the “Golden Triangle” commercial area. She said she attended a recent community meeting, where a consultant labeled the area “blighted” as a precursor to development.
“My neighbors and I do not want any new traffic or parking problems,” McCall said.
Mayor Marjorie Sloan asked Community and Economic Development Director Steve Glueck to help address some of those topics.
“There are three specific conversations taking place concerning the central neighborhood, and sometimes people get them confused,” Glueck said.
First, he said, was the proposed community mixed use zoning for the Golden triangle, which has been the subject of staff and public discussion for months now as part of the Central Neighborhoods Plan.
“Its primary purpose in that location is to reduce the height limit on development,” Glueck said, adding that the zoning would limit most new development to two stories through that area. He called that “significantly less” than the current commercial zoning on the area.
Ward 4 Councilman Bill Fisher commented that he could be included in the group of people who were confused by the three issues involving the central neighborhood. But, he had a clear opinion about the new zoning rules being developed as part of the neighborhood plan process
“These were all designed to give the local areas the ability to have input and control into what gets built in our neighborhoods,” Fisher said.
The second conversation involves an urban renewal survey study which recently looked at the central neighborhood area. Glueck said that Golden Urban Renewal Authority (GURA) recently commissioned the conditions survey to see if enough properties qualify for the legal definition of “blight.” If so, a Central Neighborhoods Urban Renewal Authority could be established, doing a similar job to what GURA has done in the downtown.
Glueck said topic three was the announcement by the owners of the bowling alley, who announced they were under contract to sell the building to a Denver-based grocer to create “a quite small neighborhood grocery store facility.”
Glueck added that preliminary sketches of the project show the existing Golden Bowl building being torn down to make way for a new structure. He said the proposed grocery store would be allowed under both the current and proposed area zoning. The plan would go before the city Planning Commission for approval once more specific plans are delivered to the city.
Also at the meeting, newly elected Jefferson County District 2 Commissioner Casey Tighe introduced himself to the council.
“I’ve been on the job for three weeks and I’ve got a lot to learn,” Tighe said, adding that he would try to catch occasional community meetings “to also keep an eye on the local issues.”