TIMNATH — The Timnath Town Council Tuesday evening approved, 5-0, a sketch plan for the Ladera development, just two weeks after continuing a public hearing to allow for more public comment.
But public comment was limited at Tuesday’s meeting, with just two individuals speaking, both in support of the plan.
A sketch plan is a conceptual layout of what a development might look like. The Ladera sketch plan, proposed by Connell LLC, includes seven planning areas, with commercial development planned within 45 of the remaining 64 acres of the Ladera subdivision. The subdivision also includes the existing Floor & Decor store.
Town officials have conducted several meetings over the sketch plan, including a neighborhood meeting on Feb. 9, attended by 65 residents.
“This phase of the development (and the future phases) of Ladera furthers the town’s vision for future development, and it will help create a vibrant, healthy, and engaging community,” Connell’s engineering company, Galloway & Co., stated in an April filing with the town. “Ladera will become a center of high economic base, and it will encourage many retail, restaurants, employment, entertainment, hospitality, fitness, office, residential and nonprofit uses to relocate in the town. At full buildout, Ladera will create thousands of diverse employment opportunities for both the residents of Timnath and the Northern Colorado region.”
The sketch plan has been opposed by community group Guide Our Growth, which argued in a July letter to the town that:
- The proposed development is inconsistent with Timnath’s Comprehensive Plan.
- The potential traffic impacts of the proposal have never been adequately analyzed and there is no enforceable plan for the necessary traffic mitigation.
- The proposed sketch plan does not account for the rezoning changes that Connell is simultaneously requesting under the proposed rezoning. Each of these issues provides an independent basis to deny the proposed sketch plan.
Two council members asked questions Tuesday focused on traffic, especially with an anticipated In-N-Out Burger restaurant slated for the Ladera development.
“As you all know, our community is very concerned about traffic,” Councilmember Robert Axmacher said. “I particularly have been critical about traffic, specifically as it relates to the Walmart parking lot.”
Don Taranto, town engineer and director of public works, said issues with traffic around Walmart won’t necessarily be duplicated with the Ladera development.
“The difference between that (Walmart) and Ladera is striking,” Taranto said, noting that Walmart is privately owned, with Weitzel Street, which goes through the Ladera development, a public road, with the town overseeing improvements.
Additionally, he said, development of Timnath Parkway is expected to further ease traffic issues in the area.
Councilmember Brett Hansen asked whether further review of traffic volume would occur with specific users that might have high rates of traffic.
Taranto noted that the sketch plan is an early version of the development-approval process. Further review will occur as the subdivision is platted and a development site plan is approved. Additional review will occur for specific building projects.
“We’ve got an overall (traffic) study that the applicant did, and with each use that comes in, we’ll measure that against the projections that the applicant had in their study,” Taranto said. “Every time, we’ll get another bite at this apple to evaluate the potential impact of the actual use that is being intended.”