Letter from Dino Ridge Neighbors to City Council -

NW Parcel Prioritization

Dear Mayor Paul and Lakewood City Council,

I am writing you today to urge to prioritize acquisition of properties around the C-470 / W. Alameda interchange. Primarily, the northwest (NW) parcel. Please assign staff to pursue an acquisition backed by 2D funds and prioritize this at next week’s workshop on March 18th.

The NW parcel and surrounding area adjacent to C-470 and Alameda includes a National Historic District, a Centennial Farm, the number one dinosaur track site in the U.S., the world’s number one historical Jurassic site, and it contains a cherished National Natural Landmark, Dinosaur Ridge. In addition, the hogback is part of the mountain backdrop/foreground preservation area, a designation which acknowledges the importance of the visual appeal and cherished view shed. The land on the west side of the C-470 and Alameda contains important links to Colorado’s history and our prehistoric past.

It should be noted that when the original Environmental Assessment (EA) was completed for the C-470/Alameda Interchange back in 1996, the City of Lakewood entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation as part of mitigation efforts for adverse impacts to historic resources from the construction of the interchange. This MOA required the City of Lakewood to make a reasonable effort to acquire the NW parcel to preserve the Rooney Ranch Historic District. Unfortunately, the City of Lakewood did not make an adequate offer to the original landowner and the documentation in the EA indicates that the landowner was not receptive to selling or making a land trade to preserve the parcel. With the passing of 2D, the City of Lakewood has a second chance to acquire this parcel and preserve the rich history of this area for current and future generations. Moreover, the City of Lakewood owns the adjacent parcel just to the north and acquisition of the NW parcel would provide a contiguous track of protected open space. 

The City of Lakewood is currently evaluating a proposed settlement from Green Tree Metro District/Three Dino’s LLC for the failure to repay the three million dollar loan to construct the C-470/Alameda Interchange. We strongly urge the City of Lakewood to act in the best interest of the citizens and negotiate acquisition of the NW parcel as part of this settlement. The NW parcel of C-470/Alameda is worthy of your consideration for acquisition and preservation and the City of Lakewood currently has funding and leverage available to preserve this area. It’s time to demonstrate to the community that the City of Lakewood will be the one to step- up and preserve this world-class destination, cherished view shed, and hub for recreation, education and tourism.

Respectfully,

Dinosaur Ridge Neighbors

SaveDinoRidge.Org