Commissioners OK 48 acres for Lewis subdivision

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By Vicky Gits

The county commissioners approved a 19-home addition to the Homestead subdivision off North Turkey Creek Road by a unanimous 3-0 vote April 28 at a regular board meeting.

In connection with the 48-acre development, the Buffalo Park Development Co. is required to contribute $117,000 to partially pave the unpaved parts of Homesteader Drive. Lewis previously paid $29,000 for an earlier filing that also affects Homesteader Drive. The Jefferson County Road and Bridge Department will do the work.

The property is between Sanger Way and Plowsher Way adjacent to an existing Homestead subdivision of about 100 homes built in stages over the years.

A half dozen neighbors came to the planning commission meeting March 31 to question the developer’s plans on grounds it would interfere with wildlife migration and create traffic problems.

In addition to the required contribution, Norm Lewis of Buffalo Park Development volunteered to dedicate $10,000 from the future sale of each of the first five lots to a paving fund.

“The approval of the plat had nothing to do with the additional $50,000,” said case manager Sean Madden of Jeffco planning and zoning.

“He said he would put in another $50,000, depending on whether he sells the lots,” Madden said. “When he gives us the $117,000, we give it to Road and Bridge.”

Road and Bridge figures the cost to pave Homesteader Drive and Plowers and Sanger roads would be $272,000 at current prices, versus the total amount of $146,000 required of the developer. The combined road distance is between 1 and 2 miles.

Several of the neighbors had complained that adding 19 new homes would create dust and traffic problems on Homesteader Drive, which is mainly a gravel road.

The plan for the houses off U.S. 285 and North Turkey Creek Road has been in the works for 16 months, said Lewis, who sounded relieved that he was at least going to be able to start putting lots on the market.

District 3 Commissioner Kathy Hartman said she was sorry that some of the neighbors weren’t happy with the new development.

“I understand their concerns. But the authority to tell people what they can or cannot build on their property is not up to us,” Hartman said. “I may wish that others do differently, but I can’t tell them so as long as it meets our regulations.”

Lewis is not required to pave the entire length of Homesteader Drive, only an amount that constitutes a fair share based on the added impact of the proposed development, according to Jeffco land use regulations.

Instead of building a park, Lewis will give the county the equivalent of $47,000 in the form of parkland credit previously earned, with 2 extra acres contributed for soccer fields at Hutchinson Park. He also will pay the county $18,000 in fees in place of school land dedication. 

As was previously reported, the planning commission voted unanimously to approve the subdivision concept March 31.

Water for the development will be supplied by the Homestead Water Company, which is sourced primarily by the Mariposa Water Supply System, from an application approved by the state Water Court in 1970.

The sheriff’s memo notes the land is in the Red Zone Area and “the potential for wildfire is enormous.” Creation of defensible space is highly recommended.

Contact Vicky Gits at 303-350-1042 or vicky@evergreenco.com