The sample letter below has been drafted as an example- feel free to use the wording or edit as you see fit. Sending in letters of opposition is key to defeating the rezoning. Just simply copy and paste the letter below into an e-mail and then Click here to find e-mail addresses for Jeffco planners and commissioners. A shorter version is available here.

Please Feel free to add your own voice and express why this issue is important to you.

To: Heather Gutherless, Case Manager, Planning and Zoning ,Planning and Zoning Commission, and Honorable Board of County Commissioners:

(Optional but effective- insert a personal statement why this issue is important you)

I am submitting formal comments in opposition to the proposed rezoning on the NW and SE parcels located at C-470 and W Alameda (Case Numbers 16-108148RZ and 16-108156RZ ). As a ___________,1 I strongly urge Jefferson County to deny the application and proposal to rezone these two parcels.

The proposed rezoning request highlights the very reason why counties need zoning rules and regulations to ensure smart growth and development that makes sense in the context of the surrounding area.  The current zoning permits a wide variety of uses.  The proposed zoning provides for additional uses including motorcycle and automotive dealerships.  Below are my reasons for opposing these additional uses:

  1. Tax Revenue: Dealerships are sub-optimal to the county from a sales tax standpoint since taxes are paid where the vehicle is registered and purchasers may reside elsewhere.  Jefferson County already has an abundance of auto dealerships that are geographically concentrated on West Colfax, as indicated by Area 20 of the Central Plains Area Plan.

  2. Wildlife and Biological Impacts: The properties proposed for re-zoning are adjacent to open space which   contains Dinosaur Ridge, a place which provides important habitat for wildlife, migratory birds, and raptors. The adjacent wildlife would be negatively affected by the excessive lighting associated with automotive dealerships. Auto dealerships are one of the worst offenders of light pollution.

  3. Recreational impacts: These parcels are adjacent to some of the most iconic and loved open space areas in Lakewood and Jefferson County and attract visitors from all over.  Multiple auto and motorcycle dealerships will negatively impact the experience of visitors to Green Mountain Open Space, Dinosaur Ridge, and Dakota Ridge Open Space by degrading the valley’s view shed during the day, creating significant light pollution at night, and generating increased traffic in the area at peak recreation times between 4 and 8 PM on weekdays and on Saturdays.  The hours of operation of automobile dealerships would be in direct conflict with recreation users.

  4. The proposed rezoning violates numerous principles of the Jefferson County Master Plan: The plan clearly states that lower density/intense land uses and large buffers are one technique that should be promoted to enhance compatibility with public open space.  The existing Master Plan for Jefferson County as well as the Jeffco open space guidelines both state that development should factor in impacts to existing open space. I don't believe the proposed rezoning does so, especially with respect to the Northwest Parcel. Allowing automotive dealerships in close proximity to protected open space does not promote sound land use policy.  

  5. Cyclist concerns: Both Rooney Road and Alameda are extremely popular routes with road cyclists and the increased traffic is expected to impact this group of stakeholders significantly. Road cycling is a major attraction in the valley and mountain biking is popular on Matthews -Winters / Dakota Ridge and Green Mountain with many mountain bikers utilizing local roads to access the trailheads.                                                                   

  6. Economic impacts: The proposed use is likely to generate fewer higher paying jobs for the local economy compared to flex use warehouse/office space which is currently allowed under the existing zoning.  The existing zoning promotes a higher density of primary employment opportunities.

  7. Impacts to the local community: The Green Mountain area is a highly sought after location due to its unique character and access to natural areas.  The proposed rezoning offers little to no benefit to the local community.  However it is expected to impact quality of life for the reasons stated above.  Any economic benefits could be negated by a reduction in local property values, especially for homes in close proximity such as those in Solterra. 

In summary, the proposed use will diminish the character of Dinosaur Ridge, a cherished and renowned National Natural Landmark (designated in 1973) that attracts visitors from within Colorado and outside of the state, which generates tourism dollars. The proposed rezoning is in direct conflict with the Jefferson County Master Plan that clearly states one of the goals of the open space program is to protect and enhance unique or distinctive areas of Jefferson County.  Allowing the addition of automotive dealerships immediately adjacent to this landmark and open space would be in direct conflict with these goals and priorities.  The overall visitor experience would be severely compromised by the addition of automotive dealerships, building material retail stores, and stand alone parking facilities.

For the reasons outlined above, I am strongly opposed to the rezoning and sincerely hope you will consider the impacts to the surrounding community including property values, Dinosaur Ridge, public parks and open space, recreational users, and wildlife when you evaluate the application and ultimately make a decision on this extremely important matter.  The proposed rezoning is not in accordance with the entire Jefferson County Master Plan, but is only in accordance with recommendations made in the Central Plains Area Plan for the C-470 / Alameda Activity Center (Area 31). The recommendations found in Area 31 are inconsistent with the entire body of Jefferson County Planning and Zoning documents, which indicate consistently that development and rezoning needs to carefully consider surrounding approved land uses. Further, Appendix B III b of the Comprehensive Master Plan indicates specifically that zoning and development adjacent to open space and parks is low intensity, not medium or large. I request Jefferson County deny the application.

Respectfully,

 [Your Name]
[Your Address]

 

[1] Include any of the following that apply: Native, Longtime resident, Voter, Taxpayer, Resident of XXX Neighborhood

*As mentioned, this is just an example- feel free to edit and add your own voice.