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Jared’s owner wins approval for volleyball facility, brewpub

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County commissioners vote 2-1 for rezoning rejected by planning board

By Ramsey Scott

Jeffco’s county commissioners have rezoned a portion of Jared’s Nursery to allow an indoor volleyball event center and a brewpub on the southwest corner of West Bowles Avenue and South Oak Street.

The vote to rezone a portion of the property was 2-1, with Commissioners Libby Szabo and Don Rosier approving the change.

The zoning change will allow a 27,000-square-foot recreational facility on the southwest portion of the nursery property. The facility, which will be a separate business from the nursery, will include several indoor sand volleyball courts and 5,000 square feet of space for a brewpub.

The original plan included several outdoor volleyball courts, but Rosier proposed an amendment that was accepted by the board to prohibit outdoor courts.

While county staff had recommended the plan, with modifications to the size, the county’s Planning Commission voted unanimously against the rezoning.

Rosier said staff worked over two years with Loren Bauman, the developer and an owner of Jared’s, to ensure the proposal was compatible with the area’s comprehensive plan. Rosier said the Planning Commission didn’t offer enough evidence to persuade him to vote no.

Dozens of neighbors spoke against the rezoning, including Jeffco sheriff’s spokesman Mark Techmeyer, who represented a group of residents north of the property. Many were concerned about the size of the project and the impacts a brewpub could have on surrounding residential areas.

Commissioner Casey Tighe, who voted against the rezoning, said the potential impacts were too significant, despite the changes Rosier proposed and the potential benefit to the South Jeffco economy. He said the county should take a case-by-case approach to rezoning but try to preserve existing zoning when appropriate.

“I believe you have to be willing to change, but other times you have to be fair to the community and hold that to the original zoning,” Tighe said. “I felt that even with the attempts by both the planning staff and by Commissioner Rosier to mitigate the impacts, I felt that, at the end of day, they did not mitigate the impacts enough.”

Szabo said that before the APEX rec center was built in her Arvada neighborhood, residents feared the potential impacts. But many of those concerns turned out to be unfounded, she said, and the center has become a popular amenity with residents of the surrounding area.

Szabo also added that government should respect the rights of property owners.

“I think when we move into our areas, we look at it as a little place of heaven where we can grow our American dream. …,” Szabo said at the hearing. “There are lots of other countries where you cannot own property. And on that property, we are afforded to do the things that we think we should do, that we would like to do, that enhances our property.

“Some people don’t look at those enhancements as what they would do and how they would do it. But we have to be careful that we support people’s right with properties and look at a complete community plan.”

Contact Ramsey Scott at ramsey@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1035, and follow him on Twitter @RamseyColumbine. Check www.columbinecourier.com for updates.