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Area near Deer Creek zoned for residential use

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By Corinne Westeman

The Jeffco Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved rezoning areas near the Deer Creek Golf Course to allow for residential and commercial development, emphasizing that much of the current golf course will remain undeveloped open space.

The 90-acre area, which includes the golf course, is north and east of C-470 and southwest of the intersection of Shaffer Parkway and Chatfield Avenue.

Dennis Carruth of Carruth Properties Co., a representative of the area’s four landowning entities, presented the commissioners with a vision to build 125 patio homes in two plots — one to the north of the current course and one to the east, where the current driving range is. Another small area will be mixed use of both commercial and residential, while the bulk will remain open space.

The golf course will be reconfigured to accommodate the development projects, Carruth said. A representative of In Play Membership Golf, Inc., who owns Deer Creek Golf Course, said the company plans to preserve the space, as it would like to see an 18-hole golf course there in perpetuity.

Nearby residents who commented were generally in favor of the proposal but did bring up concerns about the distance between the proposed lots for the homes and the nearby light industrial complexes. They also emphasized that they wouldn’t be in favor if the majority of the land wasn’t being preserved as open space.

Bill Houlihan, a property owner neighboring the driving range, commented that he supported the proposed rezoning and development, as he was tired of everything and everyone on his property being pelted continually by golf balls.

“You could put a jail on that site, and I would be good with it,” Houlihan told the commissioners.

Commissioner Don Rosier expressed a concern about the proposed setbacks between the envisioned residential lots and the neighboring industrial sites, saying that future developers should consider creating more distance between the two.

Carruth commented that he believed the setbacks were fine, but that there might be some tweaking down the road with the county’s site developers and planners.

During his vote to approve the rezone, Rosier said, “Let’s be very sensitive to what you’re looking at with other business owners in this area. And as far as shoehorning things in, sometimes it looks tight. And just be aware, because I know how things change in the field. ... We will look at the plat when it comes forward.”

During their votes, Commissioners Casey Tighe and Libby Szabo pointed out that there was strong communication and good faith between the rezoned area’s landowners and the neighboring community.

Szabo added, “It looks like a good project for the area and (housing) is well-needed in Jefferson County.”