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Zoning violations, development get council scrutiny

Lone Tree City Council meeting addresses several issues

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The Lone Tree City Council discussed progress on proposed Ridgegate development plans, and increased fines for zoning violations and abandoned shopping carts at the Feb. 6 meeting.

Keith Simon, executive vice president at Coventry Development Corporation, addressed various amendments to the Ridgegate development, including plans for the East villages and the city center sub-area plans. Simon explained the scope of the project, which will include more than 200 attainable housing units, 145 acres of public land for libraries, schools and open spaces, and more than 500 acres of open space. The city center plan is designed to create a vibrant urban center, with complete streets for vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles, 9 million square feet of office space and hotels, and up to 2,500 residential units

Resident Harold Anderson spoke during the open comments section of the meeting, and thanked the city for meeting affordable housing needs.

“I really like the plan,” said Anderson. “I am most happy about the affordable and senior housing. Many seniors want to move to Lone Tree to be near their children. But sometimes they haven't done as well, and can't afford housing in the city. This solves, or at least helps the problem.”

Mike Fronapfel, deputy director of planning and development at Centennial airport, spoke to the council and although he praised the Ridgegate project, reminded them that the heights of structures are critical and need to be considered through all stages of the project. He also expressed concern for a need for an airport noise disclosure to future homeowners.

“The city is dedicated to making sure future property owners in Lone Tree be aware of airport noise, and open space,” said Mayor Jackie Millet. “They need to know that if you buy a home that backs up to open space, that doesn't mean it's always going to be open space. Something might be built there.”

The council unanimously approved the amendments.

Lone Tree Zoning Coordinator Julius Zsako spoke to the council regarding zoning ordinances, and proposed increasing the fine from $500 each day to $1,000 each day a violation occurs. Zoning ordinances include not taking care of residential or commercial property, including overflowing trash bins, building regulations and nuisance complaints.

“Only one in 400 zoning violations resulted in a ticket being issued in the past two years,” said Zsako.

The council unanimously approved the first reading of the ordinance.

The council also approved the second reading of the municipal code concerning abandoned shopping carts, which can include a $1,000 fine to cart owners who do not retrieve carts taken from their property and left elsewhere.

The next city council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Civic Center, 8527 Lone Tree Parkway. Meeting agendas and packets can be found at www.cityoflonetree.com/cms/One.aspx?portalId=745982&pageId=1608177.

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