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.
“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.