Arvada City Council votes down Amazon’s Project Indiana Proposal

Annexation ordinance crucial to proposed warehouse rejected with 5-2 vote

Ryan Dunn
rdunn@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 6/15/21

After seven hours of deliberation, dozens of public comments and months of debate, Amazon’s proposal to build a warehouse in western Arvada was rejected by City Council on June 15 with a 5-2 vote on an annexation ordinance necessary for the tech giant’s proposal to move forward. Mayor Marc Williams and Mayor Pro Tem Dot Miller were the two dissenting votes.

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Arvada City Council votes down Amazon’s Project Indiana Proposal

Annexation ordinance crucial to proposed warehouse rejected with 5-2 vote

Posted
After seven hours of deliberation, dozens of public comments and months of debate, Amazon’s proposal to build a warehouse in western Arvada was rejected by City Council on June 15 with a 5-2 vote on an annexation ordinance necessary for the tech giant’s proposal to move forward. Mayor Marc Williams and Mayor Pro Tem Dot Miller were the two dissenting votes.
 
Amazon’s proposal to build a 112,485 sq. ft. “last-mile” Delivery Station warehouse in Arvada — referred to as “Project Indiana” — involved annexing of unincorporated county land into the city, rezoning some of the land parcels and approval of the warehouse development plan.
 
When the annexation of 6700 Indiana Street, 6702 Indiana Street, 6710 Indiana Street and a Portion of 6720 Indiana Street E was voted down, Amazon’s proposal was effectively denied.
 
The 36-acre site in question borders the Maple Valley neighborhood and the Ralston Creek trail, a habitat for bobcats, coyotes, deer, and other species of wildlife. A group called the Ralston Valley Coalition — formerly known as Protect Maple Valley Park — formed to oppose the development based on a number of concerns that the group has raised.
 
Prior to the Project Indiana vote, Council unanimously voted to annex Maple Valley Park, previously located in unincorporated Jefferson County, into Arvada. The council subsequently voted 7-0 to rezone Maple Valley Park from Jefferson County A-2 (agricultural) to Arvada Open Space.
 
The council meeting began at 6 p.m. on June 14 and concluded at 2 a.m. on June 15. Council chambers were filled with audience members — many of whom were decked out in green Protect Maple Valley Park/Ralston Valley Coalition shirts and had come to voice their displeasure with Amazon’s proposal.
 
“Voters have entrusted you with a lot of power,” said a resident of the Maple Valley Park neighborhood. “Your decision will impact my home, my mind, my emotional well-being. Many others feel the same way I do. Please make the right decision.“
 
Arvada Mayor Marc Williams said that he voted to deny the motion to reject the annexation of land needed for Amazon’s Project Indiana Proposal — a motion that was raised by councilmember John Marriott — because he felt the citizens of Arvada should be deciding such “hot-button” issues.
 
“I think this should be referred to the citizens of Arvada,” said Williams, “just like I said the trash hauling should have been referred to the citizens of Arvada. My `no’ vote is not an indication that I wanted to see this approved, I would have preferred to see this referred to the citizens.”
 
The Ralston Valley Coalition’s legal counsel James Silvestro argued that going forward with the Project Indiana proposal would have been detrimental to the western Arvada community.
 
“This is not a NIMBY (Not in my backyard) group,” said Silvestro. “The city is squandering their opportunity to make this land a crown jewel of the community … this is not the right site for light industrial use.“
 
After denying the annexation ordinance, Council also voted 6-1 to deny a rezoning ordinance for the Project Indiana land to be designated for light industrial, with Miller being the lone dissenting vote.

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