The biggest battle Colorado faces is water supply.
Over the next decade we'll see a lot of change in Jefferson County and much of that will revolve around who we elect as our representatives and how they view high-density development.
If we encourage dense population building in Golden, Wheat Ridge and Lakewood, what irreparable damage will we create?
The 2016 election is important for riders and taxpayers living in the Lakewood, Golden, Wheat Ridge, Lakeside, Mountain View and portions of unincorporated JeffCo.
Mark Natalie Menten as your RTD Director on your 2016 ballot! Protecting our neighborhoods and our families.
Government Economic Planning & Tax Increment Financing
At best, economic planning is a crap shoot. And it is controversial when the planners determine it is necessary to infringe upon individual rights in order to accomplish their goals.
Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is a tool used in economic development and urban renewal areas. The use of TIFs has surged over the last 15 years but it's becoming obvious it's not as great as once thought. Read more...
Understanding that TIFs have been abused, a Colorado law will take effect January 1, 2016 which we hope will help to curb the negative factors. Recently, the citizens of Littleton and Wheat Ridge took matters into their own hands to limit the overreach of Urban Renewal Authorities.
Respecting and Working with Property Owners
As RTD Board Director I take it very seriously when a property owner is harmed due to a public works project. An example, I was contacted by a property manager a few months ago who was asking for an easement over RTD's property into their property. They wanted to install a driveway into their lot but it would have to go over 10' or so of RTD's property which is a culvert. Then for a twist, the use would allow driving 1/2 a block on a road owned by RTD to then get to a road owned by the City of Lakewood. The property owner had been asking for this easement for a long time but wasn't getting anywhere with the RTD staff.
It isn't that the property owner was asking for something for free. They are willing to pay for the engineering and construction of the driveway and they'll pay a substantial amount of money to "rent" this temporary usage which will span years. Up until recently they had used a neighbor's driveway, paying an annual fee to do so. Then the City of Lakewood put in a curb which cut off the driveway which meant another path was needed.
(This story sort of explains why you want elected officials who dig into things, the whole story can't always be researched in a few minutes.)
Without this easement they are land-locked from using their property as it has been for many years. They could negotiate with a neighbor and go an alternate route over or thru to a public road but this easement is the closest road at 10 - 15' away. Now, you may be wondering why RTD owns a road? It turns out that the road was originally supposed to be handed over to the City of Lakewood once the station was built but because the contractor and RTD chose to save money on installing utilities under the street to Lakewood specs, the city won't take it over.
I can't fix the utilities under the street and don't know that I want to - but I can help fix a business' access to public roadways.
This story goes on from there. I could write a chapter about this subject but the other complication is that this business wants to expand but because their use is now limited due to the new city zoning they can't find a lot to buy that is convenient for them, though they are willing buyers. Transit zoning can have this negative effect on neighborhoods. So much emphasis on forcing people into behavior without considering the impacts this has on a human being or a company. That's not healthy and government shouldn't do it.