The long journey of the Broadstone at Littleton Station project, a proposed 225-unit apartment complex at the corner of Bemis Avenue and Littleton Boulevard, has come to an end. The City Council voted 6-1 to reject the latest version of the development.
After an extensive presentation by the developer, Alliance Residential Co., on its vision for the project and hours of public comment, most of which was opposed, the council voted after 2 a.m. Sept. 4 to reject the rezoning request.
The property is currently zoned primarily for commercial use. The proposal for the 4.5 acres on the southwest corner of Bemis and Littleton Boulevard would have changed the zoning to residential and allowed a density of 50 units per acre.
“What I heard repeatedly tonight was, that’s a special place in the community, and it really is a gateway to what many people refer to as the crown jewel of Littleton, the downtown area, which is a unique and very vibrant and excited place. It’s our core at this point,” Mayor Debbie Brinkman said.
“It’s a property that is really begging for some sort of change,” she said. “It’s begging for something different; it’s begging for something else. But what does the community around it need?”
“I don’t think (this project) matches our community-wide goals at this point,” Brinkman said.
Councilman Jim Taylor was the lone supporter of the rezoning. He saw the project as a way to create a new customer base for downtown merchants, which in turn would help increase the city’s sales-tax revenue.
The proposal that the council voted on had been scaled back twice to meet concerns from the city and from nearby residents. In January, the proposal called for a 350-unit, six-story building.
The next iteration, which the Planning Board voted against 6-0 in July, called for a five-story, 250-unit complex divided into two buildings. It would have been set back 10 feet from Littleton Boulevard.
The latest plan called for a 225-unit apartment building with a maximum height of four stories. The building would have been set back 15 feet from Littleton Boulevard. The changes would have reduced the density of the project from 56 units per acre to 50.
Yet the project still proved to be too big for council members to get behind. While the planning department was opposed to the original proposal, it had recommended passage of the revised plans.
Throughout numerous meetings, Community Planning Director Glen Van Nimwegen pointed out that, under the current zoning, a developer could build about 370,000 square feet of commercial and residential space on the site.
That was brought up by several nearby residents when the project won Planning Board support after it was scaled back. It was also one of the reasons Taylor voted in favor of the rezoning.
Contact Ramsey Scott at email@example.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22, and follow him on Twitter @RamseyColumbine.