Planning Commission OKs rezoning for assisted-living complex

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By Vicky Gits

A proposal to rezone a 1-acre lot next to the Gardens at Columbine assisted-living center from agricultural to planned development was approved without public comment at a meeting of the Jeffco Planning Commission on Aug. 22.

The rezoning was on the consent agenda, meaning no public hearing was called for unless someone who appeared at the hearing wanted to speak; no one did.

The planning staff recommended approval of planned-development zoning on grounds that the center would have a residential look although it would be a commercial use, and would be operated by the management of the Gardens at Columbine as an extension of the existing 100-bed facility.

A letter from the developer to the Jefferson County planning department says the project will fill a need for "dementia care in a more secure environment" and will employ about 20 people, with about six employees per shift, working in three shifts 24 hours a day.

The developer agreed to limit the height of the structure to a single story and to incorporate larger setbacks to reduce potential noise and visual impacts.

The Gardens is at 5300 W. Ken Caryl Ave., on the southwest corner of Ken Caryl Avenue and Platte Canyon Road, next to a large gas station. The main building is in Arapahoe County, and the new building would be Jefferson County.

The proposal will be considered Sept. 11 at the meeting of the county commissioners, who make the final decision. Public input will be taken if necessary.

The owner of the assisted-living center wants to relocate a vacant single-family home on 1.14 acres next door to make room for a care center for about 22 residents.

The prospect of expanding the assisted-living center to another lot in the neighborhood was first presented at a community meeting June 12 and was generally well received by the seven neighborhood residents in attendance.

Some concerns were voiced about the future of giant spruce trees on the property and whether they would be incorporated into the final design. However, the rezoning did not address landscaping design or other architectural details, which will be covered in another process.

Property owner Darrel Schmidt was present for the vote but said he couldn't comment any further on his plans.

A housing and land developer, Schmidt is a partner in Signature Senior Housing LLC, which built the assisted-living center in 2000.


Contact Vicky Gits at vicky@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22.





Plan details for extension of the Gardens at Columbine

(Source: Jeffco Planning and Zoning)


• Primary entrance will be through the existing assisted-living center to the east.

• Direct access from Ken Caryl Avenue limited to emergency vehicles.

• Parking, main entrance and trash enclosures will be oriented in front of the buildings adjacent to Ken Caryl Avenue and away from existing homes.

• Height limited to single story.

• Setback of 50 feet on the front or north side, 20 feet on west, 10 feet on east and 25 feet at rear.

• Architectural design should be similar to adjacent residential design and colors and materials such as brick, stone, cultured stone, wood or metal siding and stucco. Shiny metals and reflective glass are prohibited.

• Parking to be set back a minimum of 5 feet from northern property line to allow lot to line up with the existing parking lot to the east.