Amazon has submitted an application to the City of Arvada to develop land located at approximately 6730 Indiana Street into a distribution center. The tech giant and developer Scannell Properties held their first neighborhood meeting since Nov. 2020 for Project Indiana on Thursday, March 11th, via Zoom.
The 36-acre site slated for development borders the Maple Valley neighborhood and the Ralston Creek trail, a habitat for bobcats, coyotes, deer, and other species of wildlife.
A group called Protect Maple Valley Park has formed to oppose the development, and has raised a number of concerns regarding the proposal.
The Amazon development plan would require approval by the City Council vote to begin development.
The distribution center would include a 112,000-square-foot warehouse and a 1,500-space parking lot to accommodate incoming freight and outgoing delivery vans. At the meeting, Amazon’s Manager of Economic Policy Stephen Maduli-Williams said that most of the traffic in and out of the facility will occur at night and therefore will not become a nuisance to the surrounding neighborhoods.
“The biggest concern that we have heard about our operations is that there is noise and truck activity overnight,” said Maduli-Williams. “The good and unique thing about a delivery station is that you have a few line-haul trucks that come in overnight, but there’s not a lot of overnight activity. And so generally speaking that does not generate a significant amount of noise in the community.”
Maduli-Williams continued to say that delivery vans typically go out around 10 a.m. and would not disturb regular neighborhood traffic. A traffic study conducted in conjunction with the City of Arvada found that the proposed development would produce less traffic than comparable retail, commercial and industrial centers.
However, Members of Protect Maple Valley Park have argued that since the traffic study was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, it does not accurately reflect the normal flow of traffic in the area.
Additionally, Protect Maple Valley Park has countered Amazon’s proposal with one of their own, an Olde-Town-esque retail district that group Chairperson Gina Hallisey says will benefit the community more than an industrial development.
“If I’m a citizen I’m benefitting from driving to a small business to shop,” said Hallisey after the meeting. “I guarantee you we’re not all going at the same time. 200 vans going in and out at the same time is very different than a few cars going to the bakery or going to buy coffee — or people walking over.”
Hallisey says that the environmental and traffic concerns raised by Protect Maple Valley Park were not satisfactorily addressed by the Amazon representatives at the March 11th meeting.
“I got dizzy watching (the meeting) because of all of the spin,” said Hallisey. “There’s still some questions about the buffering of the park that I don’t think have been answered, there’s still some questions about light and noise pollution that haven’t been answered.”
The City of Arvada Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the Project Indiana development on April 20th at 6:15 p.m.