Aurora lawmakers study proposal that could open up 12 square miles for annexation

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify a city staffer’s comments on the timeliness of reconsidering the planning and annexation boundary.

AURORA | Aurora City Council members debated but did not formally oppose a financial analysis that could lay the groundwork for future annexations of about 12 square miles northeast of city limits.

According to city principal planner Karen Hancock, a nearby property owner had inquired about expanding the city’s planning and annexation boundary to the northeast. The financial impact analysis required before the boundary could be extended to include the land would cost up to $25,000, which Hancock said would be paid by the property owner.

“That landowner is not eligible for annexation at this time,” Hancock said, but added that “the time is ripe” for the council to review the boundary.

If Aurora’s council is supportive, the boundary change could take place as soon as the first quarter of 2023.

Regarding future uses of the land, Hancock said residential development is out of the question because of the proximity of the Colorado Air and Space Port.

Some council members expressed concern about opening the land up to annexation, which could drive speculation and inflate rents and make future commercial projects less affordable.

“Affordable housing is important, obviously, but affordable commercial space and industrial space matters too,” Marcano said, “So if we have folks arbitrarily increasing the cost of development through the speculative process, I’d like to be able to combat that.”

“I think this is just a first step,” said Mayor Mike Coffman. “It in no way commits the city council to bring that land into Aurora, but it starts that process where we can formally look at it.”

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Doug
Doug
3 months ago

8nvestigative reporting needed here

cammy1938
3 months ago

of course Aurora needs more land

Jeff Brown
Jeff Brown
3 months ago

So where does the entertainment district go that the city needs so desperately? And when is council going to come to grips with the fact that revenue from sales tax is wholly insufficient and that Aurora is sucking wind at attracting fellow Coloradans and visitors to spend, dine and have fun here? What a huge strategic opportunity!

There’s over $28 million in sales tax being left on the table each year the city fails to fully participate in the regional entertainment and leisure tourism market. Denver loves our money!

There’s over $7 million in sales tax collected here for the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District and Denver also loves that very little of it stays in Aurora. Meanwhile the second largest city in the SCFD still has no venues for its graduations.

The City of Irving, Texas figured it out when they replaced the NFL Dallas Cowboys (8 games per year plus post season) with the city-owned Toyota Music Factory that filled up 100+ nights in 2019. 25 bars and restaurants. Boutique shopping. Vibrant. Its near a major airport too.

Don’t you dare suggest the city needs higher tax rates– not when there’s so much potential upside with the retail tax base itself! The $28 million gain is simply Aurora’s tax base reaching an average level of performance within the state– $28 million/year by rising from a grade D- to a solid C.

So does anyone on this city council have the political courage to reach out and grab the $28 million?

Dean
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Brown

Jeff, you and I agree on something. As some cosmopolitan city as Aurora wants this image of itself shown to appear to the outside world, the truth is, we are bush leaguers. For anyone that wants to get into a choice first class steak house, in Aurora- don’t bother. This is where the failure of the city has botched to protect the nice neighborhoods, and shopping centers with their crowding in high density subsidized housing. No high-end steak house owner is willing to risk building anywhere in Aurora. These are businesspeople that understand the simple concept, if you go out to a nice diner, you also expect not to have to deal with risk and be hassled by waves of transient residents, with their bizarre habits. Until the city is willing to get serious and show a commitment, they actually know what they are doing to provide these safe areas, these business refuse to come. So we go to Denver, to eat in an upscale steak house. Be that as it may, I remember years ago, Aurora used to have several top-notch places, which would pull folks from Denver, they’re gone now.

vern
vern
3 months ago

Well the city is great at looking for money. They also put in sound deading windows for homeowners just before moving the airport. They all ways say no residence,,, then allow hugh hoteks that if a pkane was to crash into it would be much more life loss than a single family. Oh no residences near an airport,,, drive around DIA, Aurora does what is going to make the most money,

Dean
3 months ago
Reply to  vern

Vern, a little history lesson is needed. Stapleton international airport was built on the outskirts of east Denver in the 1920’s. Subsequently, after sixty years of housing filling in around the airport on three sides, things changed. In the late 1981 a half a dozen residents from Park Hill, and one from Aurora sued the City of Denver and the manager of Safety of Denver. Their claim was Denver violated a state noise statute. The cities own noise measuring studies showed it was breaking the law. The jets then, were then not as quite as they are today. And the runways were too close to each other for parallel safe separation during poor weather. The airport did try to mitigate noise in the noise contour footprint areas with upgraded windows, insulation etc., you are correct. DIA was the only option and was the principal settlement offer to end the lawsuit. DIA then became the evident solution. And it’s important to remember, Denver did not want to be building another airport in 60 years. So, they created a protected barrier enforced through zoning around their new airport disallowing any residential building. And wouldn’t you know it a developer decided to approach Aurora to rezone a piece of land they bought that was industrial to residential that laid in Adams County, thus Aurora. Denver told Aurora not to rezone the land as per the previous intergovernmental zoning agreement. But Aurora wanted the residential zoning so bad they disregarded the agreement and rezoned it to R-1. Denver sued, Aurora and the developer, Aurora backed away and it went back for industrial/commercial. In short, Aurora needs to pay attention to what and where they commit and grant Gov. services no matter what kind of sweet deal the package looks like.

Bill
3 months ago

Once again, Aurora City Council gives away water to a Developer.

Keep our water ours.