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Massive project on Grand Ave.

The officials of Grand Lake have just made a big mistake and nothing about it has appeared in the paper. They have approved a massive project on Grand Avenue, the largest yet. It sets a precedent that will change the nature of the town forever.

Over the years, there have been many occasions for people to provide input about the future of the town. At every one of these meetings, the majority of people have repeatedly and emphatically said that they want to preserve the nature of the town. The lake, views, and small-town flavor are what give Grand Lake its charm.

Now along comes this project. On three fifty-foot lots, the developer wants to put a big-box-like building, from lot line to lot line (at the most, conceding a four-foot setback on one side), with 38 small condo units, a restaurant, four commercial spaces, and a seven-lane bowling alley with a pub. There’s inside parking for 36 vehicles. All of this on three small lots. Obviously, it would require every square inch of space, so the developer has requested variances.

He has requested variances for parking (there’s not enough space for the residential units let alone the commercial activity), open space, and utility easements, all of which means that other property owners will have to bear the overflow of this mammoth development. He has also treated the south side of the building as a “backside,” but it actually faces Lake Avenue, and should look like a “frontside.”

The zoning and building regulations are there for a reason. These have been guided by citizen input and the long-time experience of previous town employees. The regulations are supposed to guide the decisions of the town employees and the board of trustees. Variances are only to be granted in extenuating circumstances. This violates public trust in a big way.

This whole project smells funny. Could this be part of the reason two board members resigned?

What’s the big hurry? When there’s something with such significant potential impact, it needs considerable more thought and input.

Judy Capra

Grand Lake & Wheat Ridge

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