City to pay $500K for annexation study tied to city-county conversion

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AURORA | If Aurora becomes a city and county, it would have to solidify its boundaries and could no longer annex land after the conversion.

Which is why Aurora City Council voted 8-to-2 Monday to award Denver-based consultant Mark A. Nuszer  $531,200.00 to conduct a land use study of nearly 3,000 acres east of city boundaries that could become residential and commercial development associated with  Denver International Airport.The properties would be northeast of Hayesmount Road and East Yale Avenue, east of Buckley Air Force Base.

A map showing land southeast of the city that would be studied for future annexations. The city will pay about $500,000 to study parcels there as part of an investigation into converting Aurora to a city-county form of government. Map provided by City of Aurora
A map showing land southeast of the city that would be studied for future annexations. The city will pay about $500,000 to study parcels there as part of an investigation into converting Aurora to a city-county form of government. Map provided by City of Aurora

“We have always adhered to the policy that annexation pays its own way. Why should taxpayers in Ward IV be supporting a project elsewhere in the city where we don’t know the benefit?” asked Councilwoman Molly Markert who voted against the measure along with Councilwoman Renie Peterson. 

Markert also asked why the landowners, who told council members last November they wanted to annex five square miles of land just east of city limits and pay for a fiscal analysis impact for their properties, were no longer doing so.  

Jim Sayre, a manager with the city’s planning department, said the landowners only own a small portion of the land being considered, and that it seemed more equitable to have the city pay for the study. The city has highlighted about 50 square miles of land southeast of the city that could be affected by future annexations. Only part of that area includes the 3,000 acres that landowners currently want to annex.

“Any fiscal impact study needs to be credible,” he added. “The city should be sponsors of authorship of that fiscal impact study.”

Property owners Steven Cohen, Marc Cooper, James Spehalski and Andy Chaikovsky  said last November the project could take anywhere from 10 to 30 years and would include some retail development. Landonwers are represented by Michael Sheldon and Diana Rael.

If approved, the annexation would extend city boundaries at South Schumaker Road and East Sixth Avenue south to East Alameda Avenue, west to Quail Run Road and as far south as County Line Road from Quail Run.

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mylesahead
mylesahead
7 years ago

A waste of money, just like everything else associated with becoming a county.

Danieljs
Danieljs
7 years ago

A larger version of that graphic in case anyone is interested in reading it:comment image

sue
sue
7 years ago
Reply to  Danieljs

As a native of the Denver area, it’s awful what’s going on in both Denver ad Aurora. The dreadful waste of money in both cities is appalling, and as a resident of Arapahoe County, I feel council is making a huge mistake, all they want is more land, housing, shopping centers, huge apartment complexes, anything to feather their own nest without regard to what residents want. How long until we run out of necessary resources. I never planned to leave my beautiful native state, but we’ve already made plans to move out of the state next month. How sad it makes me!

jo
jo
7 years ago
Reply to  sue

didn’t michael Sheldon own the Fan Fair building that Aurora paid 4 million dollars to
get rid of, and now Aurora can find no one that wants to build in this run down portion
of Aurora? me thinks something stinks!

Duane Senn
Duane Senn
7 years ago

A recent study done by the City of Aurora showed residential developments did not pay for themselves, in fact the City created a development impact fee that recovers 23% of the cost for residential development.

Stranger still to see Michael Sheldon once agin involved in a project that will be a boon to the developers and a boondogel for the City of Aurora.

Mr. Sheldon, just last year convinced the City to reduce water tap fees an average of $8,000 per residential unit and $3,000 per multi-family unit, This resulted in a loss of just over $2.5 million dollars for the Water Department in 2014.

But bank on the clarion call of developers and their representatives, “retail follows rooftops”, and expect council members to ignore the study that shows this concept only succeeds in draining revenue from the City.

All of this for the City and County of Aurora which also has a study that shows a City and County of Aurora is only fiesable if a tax increase is applied to all of Aurora’s citizens that now live in Arapahoe County. After all if it is good for the politicians it is good for the City and the Citizens will just have to learn to live with it.

Lyn
Lyn
7 years ago

I do not want a tax increase.. do we get to vote on this?

Love Aurora
Love Aurora
7 years ago

In this podcast Mayor Hogan addresses the advantages of City/County
http://www.loveaurora.org/LA21.mp3

In this second Mayor Hogan addresses the disadvantages of City/County
http://www.loveaurora.org/LA22.mp3

Joe Hardhat
Joe Hardhat
7 years ago

Heck, whatever position Councilwoman Molly Markert takes on an issue, the opposite position probably best serves the city.