By Scott Keyser
Development and land use changes without citizen input is happening yet again now that the land use has changed for the proposed Littleton Crossing Development at 5591 S Nevada, a block north of Main Street.
Despite community and downtown business objection, in 2013 zoning for the lot at 5591 S Nevada was approved for high density luxury condominiums. In 2016, with no public hearing, the proposed development was changed to low income housing for 55 years by the Colorado Housing Finance Authority (CHFA). The Littleton Crossing Development is being developed by out of state developer, Summit Housing Group
The zoning allows the development of 63 units (85 bedrooms) on a lot smaller than the size of one block and is unlike all other zoning in District One (Downtown Littleton). One of the main objections is related to parking, which is already a challenge for residents and visitors to the local businesses. The city has suggested that restricting visitor parking would be a potential solution should there be further parking issues from the new, high density development. Business owners and visitors are already vocal about parking issues in downtown Littleton, and the new development could certainly lead to more congestion.
The residents of downtown Littleton created a petition in July of 2016 to oppose the CHFA approval for low income housing. The petition was signed by local residents in district one as well as many business owners. There are already four low income housing developments within 3 blocks of the proposed development as well as many more within walking distance of downtown Littleton, and many in the community would rather see a “market rate” development as downtown Littleton continues to prosper.
The CHFA approval is being scrutinized by Littleton city council after learning the community objection was omitted from the review process. Instead, the CHFA approval was based on support from developers and an individual associated with RTD. It has also been realized the development will give priority to Section 8 applicants despite originally promoting the development as a place for teachers, police workers and firefighters, who will not qualify for the low income units. Furthermore, the CHFA approval was based on the low income housing development to stay for the next 55 years.
Littleton City Council is holding a special ‘Study Session’ on January 24 during which it will interview CHFA and learn more about its process related to this project. After the study session City Council will decide whether to give further direction to the City concerning approval of the project. People are encouraged to voice their opinion to city council and the city manager as they continue to scrutinize the CHFA approval. You can find contact information for city council members and the acting city manager at http://littletongov.org/connect-with-us/city-leadership/city-council-members and http://www.littletongov.org/city-services/city-departments/city-manager.
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