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 November 5, 1999

IGA will prevent sprawl, county, city officials say

The Northwest Parkway will have a decidedly different look from the link that runs through Adams County to Douglas County.

No business parks or industrial development here. Boulder County, Broomfield, Lafayette and Louisville officials decided that open space and farmland would be a better border for the Northwest Parkway to preserve “the unique and individual character of Broomfield, Lafayette and Louisville.”

And, under terms of an Intergovernmental Agreement, signed this year, it will be that way for at least 30 years.

“What our councils deemed they wanted in the future was if you leave our city, you weren’t going to get to the north and only get these little green signs that said ‘Here’s Lakewood; here’s Arvada; here’s Wheat Ridge,’ and the only thing that defines the difference between the cities are those little green signs,” says Broomfield Mayor Bill Berens.

But landowners on Paradise Lane have taken Boulder County, Broomfield, Lafayette and Louisville to court over the issue. Elmer and Maryln Crider, Lanny and Martha Helms, Bruce and Lois Gambell, Brian and Lynette Messick, George and Nancy Mallon, and Larry and Karen Thompson claim that the IGA essentially holds them hostage in an area stripped of its rural character because of neighboring commercial development.

They are seeking a declaratory judgment that invalidates the IGA.

“You cannot deprive people access to the political process,” says Richard Westfall, who is representing the Paradise Lane landowners. “All the normal channels that were open to my clients — for a zoning change, to move to be annexed into Louisville — have been stripped from them for 30 years.”

The IGA mandates that open space and rural preservation areas border most of the parkway from U.S. 287 to 96th Street. Paradise Lane, an area of 80 acres divided into 10-acre parcels, was designated as a rural preservation area, which means the landowners can’t build more than one unit per 41/2 acres.

Boulder County Commissioner Ron Stewart says designating the area as a rural preservation area was the best thing for the county as a whole. The county already has plenty of commercial and industrial development, he says. What the county needs is residential development.

That’s not to say there won’t be commercial or industrial development near the parkway.

East of Paradise Lane is 96th Street, an access point to the Northwest Parkway. Also on 96th Street is Colorado Tech Center, an industrial complex, at Dillon Road and 96th Street. Storage Technology also owns land on 96th Street near the parkway that could developed in the future. And Lafayette has about 80 acres west of U.S. 287 and north of Dillon Road, which will be developed for industrial or commercial use.

It’s unfair, says Karen Thompson.

“In our opinion, they are getting free open space (from Paradise Lane),” she says. “If we’re surrounded by commercial development, we should be able to sell that way and get the fair dollar amount – sooner than 30 years.”

The Northwest Parkway will have a decidedly different look from the link that runs through Adams County to Douglas County.

No business parks or industrial development here. Boulder County, Broomfield, Lafayette and Louisville officials decided that open space and farmland would be a better border for the Northwest Parkway to preserve “the unique and individual character of Broomfield, Lafayette and Louisville.”

And, under terms of an Intergovernmental Agreement, signed this year, it will be that way for at least 30 years.

“What our councils deemed they wanted in the future was if you leave our city, you weren’t going to get to the…

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