Development to break ground at C-470, West Alameda Parkway

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By Deborah Swearingen

Sports manufacturing offices, aerospace companies and breweries may soon call the Rooney Valley home once the Foothills Business Park breaks ground on the northwestern side of C-470 and West Alameda Parkway near the Dinosaur Ridge Visitors Center.

Several community members attended an Aug. 27 meeting at West Bowles Community Church to hear more about the development, which is scheduled to break ground in November. Although many came armed with questions, none of the people in attendance spoke too harshly about the development plans at this meeting.

While the development team could not divulge specific companies, it did say negotiations with all three of those industries were in the process.

“That’s what’s in high, high demand,” said Hank Brumley, vice president of construction and development with Stream Realty Partners.

At full capacity, the office park can hold about 1,500 employees. And as part of the development process, the project team will be reconfiguring the traffic pattern and putting in either a four-way stop or a roundabout — whichever is deemed appropriate by a traffic study.

Furthermore, Brumley said, no businesses will be allowed to have outdoor storage. For example, if a granite manufacturer moves in, the business wouldn’t be allowed to store granite outside of the building.

The Rooney Valley has been a hot area for development lately with endless debates over what is suitable for the area. Red Rocks Ranch, a largely residential development at the northeast corner of Morrison Road and C-470, was fought by many residents. The property’s zoning will now be up to Morrison’s electorate in two separate elections.

Additionally, groups such as Save Dinosaur Ridge have been working tirelessly to protect the natural landscape by protesting development, signing petitions and more.

Developers, on the other hand, maintain that they strive to do just that by utilizing native grasses and plants, and working with Jefferson County Open Space to help with trail connectivity.

“This is much more (of a) natural type of area,” said Sean Malone with Norris Design. “Our landscape plan reflects that.”

“This whole area has a lot going on,” he later added, mentioning Dinosaur Ridge, the Dinosaur Ridge Visitors Center and Rooney Road. “As part of all that, there’s a lot of bicycle and pedestrian activity. … (We’re) not encouraging any more traffic to come down here than what’s necessary.”

At this point, there isn’t too much that can be done to fight the development since zoning allows for the current proposal. Upon site plan approval, Brumley is set to purchase the 60 acres from Three Dinos, LLC.