Bighorn Sheep sighted near Shirttail peak
|From Bighorn Sheep Display, Denver Museum
of Natural History|
March 5, 2004. Bighorn sheep appeared in the Eldorado Canyon area
about a week ago but few people
knew they were there since they were hiding up near Shirttail peak.
According to local experts, the sizeable herd of bighorn sheep invaded
Eldorado Canyon, either in search of green pastures or to drink the
fragrant Artesian water that gurgles from the ground. The lovely mountain
backdrop these sheep enjoy can be seen in spite of the Pinnacle Tower site
bristling on Eldorado Mountain. The sheep have probably moved on to other
vistas by now, said Eric Johnson of Eldorado Springs.
Citizens oppose Ten Eyck Development at the mouth of Coal Creek Canyon
Phase II - Defeat of Ten Eyck Ballot Question
If you haven't heard the good news already, our petition effort was
successful and the Ten Eyck annexation issue will be on this fall's
ballot in Arvada. Thanks again to all those who worked hard collecting
signatures and to everyone who contributed financially so we could reach
our goal. We doubled the number of required signatures, and easily met
the City's requirements to put the issue on the ballot.
Now we are ready to start Phase II - inform as many Arvada voters as
possible about the issues before the election. Since early voting begins
in October, we will begin erecting yard signs, distributing flyers and
asking everyone we know who can vote in Arvada to vote YES on the ballot
|Location of Proposed Ten Eyck Subdivision|
question to repeal the annexation. We will know the ballot number (and
let you know) about September 6, and will start distribution and
education as soon as possible after that date.
We need your help. Yard signs, flyers, mailings, advertisements, etc.,
are expensive. Donations will be needed to both Arvadans Protecting the
Mountain Backdrop and Friends of the Foothills. Volunteers are needed to
hand out flyers at super markets and neighborhoods (very simple work in
comparison to getting petition signatures). We need help distributing
yard signs to requested locations and assembling mailings.
Of course, we can help get out the word by distributing flyers to our
friends and contacts in Arvada. Many people are associated with soccer
and bowling teams, other parents at schools, business associates, and any
number of other ways you might reach Arvada voters. If you have special
skills that would help, such as marketing/advertising expertise, let us
We have been told the Ten Eycks have hired a public relations firm to get
out their message, and have already used the newspapers to give their
"spin" on the issues. To counter this misinformation, I have included in
this email a fact sheet addressing their statements. Please read and
|Closeup of Land Targeted by Developers
remember these facts when communicating with Arvadans on the issues. The
opposition continues to repeat wrong information regarding property
rights, visibility of the houses, etc. It is all-important to counter
these statements with the facts. Be informed!! Print copies of the fact
sheet (attached) to give to Arvadans you contact. The attachment is also
included below in text form.
Those of us who helped with petitioning realize that the majority of
Arvadans have had enough development and out-of-control growth and the
costs that follow. People across the state want to preserve more open
space, not build more homes on our scenic lands. We are half way to the
goal. Help us complete the job by volunteering. We will win, if
everyone helps. Contact me by email or phone (303-642-3153) to volunteer
or give donations. If I'm unavailable, contact Bob Kropfli
(303-642-7152) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 1997, the city council of Arvada, in a flagpole annexation, brought
two parcels of land into the city for residential development. The
"Ten Eyck" property is on the shoulder of the mountain at the
mouth of Coal Creek Canyon, part of our Mountain Backdrop and just west
of Boulder's Jewell Mountain Open Space.
At the time of the annexation
five years ago, the city lowered the number of homes from the 95 the
developer wanted to 60. The Ten Eyck's then went to court and in a
1998 out-of-court agreement, the city allowed 90 homes to be built.
That year, a group of Arvada citizens, concerned about this despoiling
of the Mountain Backdrop, filed an intent to referendum to bring the
issue to the voters. However, their petition effort was denied by the
government because, the city argued, the annexation took effect in 1997
- even though the court settlement a year later changed the very nature
of the annexation and zoning.
Just this year, the Colorado Supreme Court affirmed that the right of
the citizens to petition for a referendum had been unjustly denied by
the Arvada city government.
Now, the petition for referendum will finally go forward. Arvada
voters will be asked to decide if the 90-house development - now called
"Canyon Pines"- should be allowed in the Mountain Backdrop.
Support for preserving the Mountain Backdrop, and opposition to this
development, has come from many quarters. Individual citizens and
groups who favor protecting the beautiful vistas to the west are
enraged and surprised by the Arvada city council's actions ...
especially since the city was a signatory of the original
intergovernmental Mountain Backdrop agreement.
The cost of this residential sprawl will certainly impact Arvada
taxpayers. Sewer service for this development seven miles from
Arvada's nearest current neighborhood has yet to be determined. Arvada
residents could end up footing all or part of the bill for the
infrastructure to serve 90 up-scale homes. The maintenance for
services of this sort will definitely be borne by Arvada taxpayers.
Police protection would also be stretched miles away from the central
city for this "executive" development.
And the impact of this development in the Mountain Backdrop would not
only affect Arvada, but residents of Coal Creek Canyon and other
surrounding rural communities. "Canyon Pines" would be
located within their fire district areas and they would have to serve
this new development with small, all-volunteer fire departments.
Of course, construction of 90 houses to the west and above the Jewell
Mountain Open Space would forever diminish the beauty and value of this
investment by Boulder taxpayers.
Preserving the Mountain Backdrop is truly a regional issue. We all
enjoy and cherish the beauty of the western horizon ... no matter
which city of county we live in. Already several organizations have
endorsed this effort including the Sierra Club-Rachael Carson Group,
Friends of the Foothills, Citizens Involved in the Northwest Quadrant
(CINQ), various homeowners associations, and others.
TEN EYCK FACT SHEET
Ten Eyck Claim: Only a few houses can be seen from 93 highway.
The reality: Both their site plan and their own computer model indicate many
houses would be seen from SH 93. In addition to the SH 93 view, the Ten Eycks
never mention the negative visual impact of the 60+ houses that will be seen
when driving along the scenic Highway 72 route into Coal Creek Canyon.
Given the tree removal that will be required to build in the wildfire red
zone (extreme wildfire danger), the public's view will change from the current
natural beauty to tacky/urban, with houses and road cuts being the prominent
visual features on Coal Creek Peak. Water limitations and severe weather will
severely limit any alleged attempts to use newly planted vegetation to hide
what cannot be hidden. Unless the developer plans to prohibit the use of
lights, all the proposed homes will be quite visible at night, and sun
reflections on windows, etc., will be seen during the day.
Ten Eyck Claim: Arvada taxpayers will pay nothing for the Ten Eyck
City water is being supplied to this development, taking away from water
needed for present residents. Diana Ten Eyck states in a June 4, 2002 Denver
Post article that "We'd still rather do it
[the development] with
Arvada due to the availability of the water and sewer."
She goes on to say
they would pay for it.
But a recent Jefferson Center Metropolitan District document clearly states
that city taxpayers will pay. "Water facilities and service arrangements to
the entire Service Area will be provided by the District in coordination with
the City of Arvada. The District and/or City will acquire water rights and
build the water facilities for the Service Area [includes Ten Eycks]. It is
anticipated that, following acceptance by the City, the City will own, operate
and maintain the potable and non-potable water system."
There is no reason to believe that the plan for sewer service to the
property would not also require city taxpayers to pay. In addition, road
maintenance, police, fire protection, etc. will be provided by the City.
The City historically has promised no taxpayer impact from new development,
but in the final analysis paid many of the development and ongoing costs,
breaking its promise to city taxpayers time after time. Just recently,
residents were charged new fees to cover waste water treatment costs, and both
fire and recreations districts asked for increased monies. The City is now
asking for more taxes for road projects. Clearly, development is requiring
more services and is not paying its way.
Residential development does not pay its own way. If it did, considering
all the housing developments Arvada has, the city would be rich. Instead, it
continues to talk about the need for more commercial tax base. Property tax
income from the 90 houses in this project will only yield a few hundred
dollars, not the one hundred million dollar windfall claimed by Ten Eyck
Ten Eyck Claim: The mountain backdrop has already been marred by
houses, so why criticize Ten Eycks?
Some of the development that has taken place was based on 1960’s ideas.
That development did not anticipate encroaching over-development of Colorado’s
scenic resources. We know better now and should learn from past mistakes, not
repeat them. In spite of these oversights of forty years ago, the scenic rural
character of this beautiful area has somehow been maintained. The few houses
presently visible along the mountain backdrop are situated on much larger
parcels than the one-half acre lots planned for this urban-style development.
Because of past planning errors and recognition that open space benefits
both the economy and the quality of life, the Five-County Mountain Backdrop
project was started in 1996. The Ten Eyck property is directly within the
mountain backdrop area they identified and development of this kind is totally
inconsistent with the principles laid out by this project. Arvada should not
allow this development to go forward because it would violate statements made
by public officials that the mountain backdrop must be preserved.
Ten Eyck Claim: Area residents (outsiders) have no right to get
involved in this Arvada issue.
Yes they do. Since the Ten Eycks plan to use water wells (in addition to
Arvada water) to landscape and beautify the development, they will be taking
precious groundwater needed by area residents for their basic household needs.
In this arid area, use of ground water for landscaping is considered a
frivolous use of a very limited resource.
In addition, they want our volunteer fire department to serve these homes.
Our volunteer department is small, and housing developments of this size and
density in the red fire hazard zone could diminish service to other residents
and greatly increase the risk of wildfires spreading to the surrounding area
from the steep slopes where the development is planned.
A development of this size could easily add 1,000 vehicle trips per day to
the highway used by area residents. Property values of surrounding private
property would be affected, and the adjacent public open space lands would be
marred by urbanization of this scenic rural area, paid for and used by many
residents of the state.
Clearly, homeowners not living in Arvada would be negatively impacted by
this development, and they have a legal right to object to it.
Ten Eyck Claim: The Ten Eyck's personal and property
rights are being taken away.
When land is purchased, there are no guarantees given that the owner will
make a profit on his investment. The Colorado Supreme Court recently made such
a ruling. Their purchase of land zoned agricultural can still be used
following regulations governing that zoning. The developer is using the city
government to avoid the county's community plan for this area. Speculative
purchases are just that. People who live in the nearby area also have property
rights. Shouldn't people who have lived in an area and paid taxes for years on
their property have a say in what happens in their neighborhood?
Ten Eyck Proponents Claim: We have plenty of open space already.
A recent statewide land-use survey indicated that support for more open
space is high. In fact, if there were a ballot issue this November to dedicate
up to $50 million in state revenue to purchase open space around the state, 72
percent of likely voters would support it. The City of Arvada signed the Front
Range Mountain Backdrop Protection Agreement to preserve the beautiful front
range scenery. The Ten Eyck property is planned for development on Coal Creek
Peak - a critical preservation land in the mountain backdrop. The Arvada
Planning Commission voted against this development 0-6.
citizens have formed "Arvadans Protecting the Mountain
Backdrop" to lead the petition effort and the referendum election
campaign. To volunteer or contribute please contact:
Website: Arvadans Protecting
the Mountain Backdrop
Colorado residents know how important the natural environment is to our
quality of life, to our spiritual well-being, and to our future
prosperity. We will need to work hard to let the entire metro area
know how determined we are to preserve our Mountain Backdrop.
For a map of the affected area, see http://www.friendsofthefoothills.com/map/map.asp
Arvadans Protecting the Mountain Backdrop
Hildegard Hix, Chair: 303-422-3893
Sierra Club - Rachel Carson Group
Dave Chandler, Chair: 303-424-9897
Friends of the Foothills
Tom Hoffman, President: 303-642-1233
Victory for Rocky Flats
Rocky Flats will be preserved as a wildlife refuge
Dec 17, 2001. Today Colorado U. S. Senator Wayne Allard and Second District
Representative Mark Udall gathered with representatives of local citizen
groups along with federal, state, and local officials to celebrate their
accomplishment of preserving Rocky Flats as a wildlife refuge following the
Representative Mark Udall, Jefferson County Commissioner Pat Holloway and
U.S. Senator Wayne Allard|
site's cleanup and closure in 2006. The refuge became official when
Congress last week approved the legislation almost unanimously. The
president is expected to sign the bill before Christmas.
The Friends of the Foothills have worked hard to let our elected officials
know that this future use for Rocky Flats had strong citizen
support. Representative Udall recognized the support from the Friends of
the Foothills in his remarks.
The initial legislation was first introduced by Rep. Udall (D) in 1999 as
proposed open space. Later, Senator Allard joined the effort and
additionally proposed that the site be preserved as a wildlife
refuge. There was initial resistance and active opposition to the bill by
interests wanting to see development on the former nuclear weapons site.
We wish to thank Senator Allard and Representative Udall and their staff
members who worked so hard for the last two years to make this dream a
reality. We also thank all of the citizens and Friends of the Foothills
who wrote letters, attended meetings, contributed financial support, etc.,
because without the strong citizen support, this would have never happened.
Tom Hoffman and Doris DePenning represented the Friends of the Foothills at
just about every meeting and event that was held on this issue. Tom tells
us that Doris bore the majority of the burden and was masterful in her
ability to keep the elected officials informed of what our people were
|The new Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge with
Eldorado Mountain in the background.
thinking and updated on the facts when the opposition's spin got off base.
We see this as a big step forward in preserving an area that is truly a
"crown jewel" of natural open lands. However, there are still several
major threats to preserving the important lands in the area adjacent to
Rocky Flats. Most immediate are the Pinnacle Towers proposal for Eldorado
Mountain and Arvada's Ten Eyck housing subdivision on Coal Creek Peak at
the entrance to Coal Creek Canyon.
Please help us - we can still stop these poorly conceived threats our
Send your check to Friends of the Foothills, PO Box 7002, Golden, CO 80403.
Also, volunteers are needed to enter names and addresses into our data
base. We need people who have a pc with Microsoft Access. E-mail us if
you will help.
Have you filled out and sent in a post card opposing the Pinnacle Tower
proposal? Have you gotten others (especially Jefferson County citizens) to
fill out and send in post cards? If not, e-mail us your name and address
and we will send you the necessary materials.
On behalf of the Friends of the Foothills, thank you for your support and
have happy holiday season.
Friends of the Foothills,
Strip Mining Rocky Flats a Real Danger
Another Attack on Eldorado
Although Rocky Flats has been declared a national wildlife refuge,
the core facility was not included in the plan and could eventually
be sold for development. Furthermore the mineral rights of the
western and northern portions of the buffer are still held by the
Lafarge Company that is in the business of mining aggregate leaving
it open to being strip mined. See,
Strip Mine the Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge
by Bruce Bland, posted to BCNA 12/20/01 and 01/04/02.
"A year after its defenders fought off a proposed rock
mine, Eldorado Canyon State Park confronts another threat to its magnificent
views and irreplaceable serenity." See full story:
to save Eldorado"
- Denver Post 01/23/01
Bill Seeks Ways to Preserve Mountain Backdrop
The open space character of the Rocky Mountain backdrop is an important
esthetic and economic asset for communities along the Front
Range, making them attractive locations for homes and businesses.
Rapid population growth in the northern Front Range area of Colorado is
increasing recreational use of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests
and is also placing increased pressure for development of other lands
within and adjacent to that national forest.
Efforts by local governments and other entities have provided important
protection for portions of this mountain backdrop, especially in the
northern Denver metropolitan area. However, some portions of the mountain
backdrop in this part of Colorado remain unprotected and are at risk of
losing their open space qualities.
A bill originally introduced by Second District Representative Mark Udall
in the 107th Congress seeks ways to preserve these valuable Colorado
open space assets. Since this bill has not yet passed, it deserves
your attention and support to help it advance.
"Colorado Northern Front Range Mountain Backdrop Protection Study Act"
"Forest Roadless Areas and Mountain Backdrop Need Protection"
by Congressman Mark Udall
Preserving the Mountain Backdrop
Two recent articles in Colorado newspapers on the importance of preserving
the beauty of the Mountain Backdrop:
"Preserving vista needs private funds", Rocky Mountain News, 12/26/01
"Counties want help saving vista",
Boulder Daily Camera, 12/27/01