The headline in the Denver Post on January 24th. read:”Jeffco rejects Home Depot”. The County commissioners in Jefferson County Tuesday voted down a request by Home Depot to build a store on a “fast-track” development process.Home Depot can still approach the Commissioners to get approval under regular guidelines, and the company has already promised they will be back. But so will residents who opposed them. The newspaper said that Home Depot’s plans “caused outrage” among neighbors in Ken Caryl. Home Depot wants to build in a business park that has been viewed as an office park. Residents complained that a huge Home Depot would “irrevocably tear the fabric of Ken Caryl Ranch.” The Ken Caryl Master Association made it clear that they would oppose the project in that location. Neighbors said they were concerned about noise from delivery trucks, as well as traffic congestion, expected to be several thousand car trips a day. There is a townhome community next to the site, and homeowners say the Home Depot will have an adverse impact on their property values. Commissioner Rick Sheehan voted to reject the fast track process, saying questions the neighbors raised about noise and traffic hadn’t been answered. Two other Commissioners voted with him. “I still feel a bit of discomfort. I just get the impression we haven’t done all the homework,” Sheehan told The Post. Residents applauded the commissioners’ denial, and several said they hoped the delay and community opposition would persuade Home Depot to move on to other sites.
This is a minor setback for Home Depot, and the company has vowed to return to Ken Caryl and push their store on a resistant neighborhood. The Jefferson County Commissioners should ask Home Depot to underwrite the cost of an independent appraisal of the impact of their store on residential values on neighboring properties, and an economic impact study on public revenues if the store is built. Finally, the company should underwrite the cost of an independent traffic study, allowing the County to pick the engineering company that will do the study. Relying on Home Depot-generated studies is like inviting Dracula to a blood drive. For contacts with residents fighting the proposed Ken Caryl Home Depot, contact [email protected]