Franktown

Franktown Village rezoning hearing draws hundreds

Planning commission postpones decision on development application

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About 300 people packed the hearing room at the Douglas County Philip S. Miller building in Castle Rock to hear the planning commission's decision on a development at the intersection of two state roads in Franktown.

They'll have to wait three more weeks.

Commissioners closed the May 15 hearing on the Franktown Village rezoning application and water appeal at 10 p.m., before many of the more than 100 citizens who signed up to speak had their chance.

Public comment will continue at the next planning commission meeting, scheduled for June 5. The commission is expected to decide the rezoning and water appeal at that hearing.

The development at the intersection of Colorado 83 and Colorado 86 has been in the planning stage for more than five years. Plans include 286 single-family homes and 180,000 square feet for commercial and retail space.

Attorney Jack Reutzel represented developers Russ Berget and Pat Carroll, and said the rezoning application met all 15 criteria for approval and that there would be no "big box" stores in the retail space.

Citizens opposed to it formed a nonprofit group, the Franktown Citizens Coalition, to address concerns regarding density, water rights and the loss of the rural way of life in the largely undeveloped area. The group re-formed in 2014 with the moniker Franktown Citizens Coalition II.

Coalition president Diana Love spoke first for the opposition. She rejected Reutzel's assessment.

Love said Franktown Village would “destroy the rural character of Franktown,” and added that the plan was neither desirable nor financially viable.

One commissioner asked Reutzel about good-faith efforts to educate area residents on the project. The commissioner said development issues arise from poor communication to help citizens understand the inevitability of change and help developers devise a plan sensitive to citizens in the area.

Reutzel said he has enjoyed working with Love, but talks are at a standstill.

“I pride myself on finding common ground,” he said, “I just don't think we're going to get there.”

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