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John Marriott: Response to Email about Walmart/Density

by on October 1, 2013

From: Christine Duncan
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2013 2:27 PM
To: John Marriott
Subject: Questions on Triangle

Hi John,

I’ve asked your opponents, Ted and Justin these questions.  It seems only fair to ask you.   What is your position on the Walmart proposed for the Arvada triangle area?How do you feel about the outline developers plan for high density in the area?

I did look for your stance on your website, but saw nothing.  I am hoping to share your answers with Citizens for a Better Arvada.


Christine Duncan



Thanks for the opportunity to answer your questions, and feel free to share this with anyone.

Let me start by saying that I am for re-development of the Arvada Plaza and Triangle area. This is obviously not a controversial position as I think most people are in agreement that the shopping district is on the decline and has been for many years. The question really is what is the best way to proceed and what do we want the redeveloped area to look like. I have to say that while I am not enthusiastic about a Walmart store in our neighborhood, I would rather have re-development happen than have the area stay the way it is now for the next 10 or more years. Since the City Council has approved the Walmart development, the most important issue now is how do we make the new development fit in to our existing beautiful neighborhoods. This and a few other reasons is why I am running for City Council. It is critical that residents, neighborhood groups, and elected officials pay attention to every detail, and hold the developer to the highest standard when it comes to this development. Along with the redevelopment is going to come an increase in traffic, and we must control the flow of traffic to keep it out as much as possible from our neighborhood streets, and keep it on the main roads where it belongs. It is also important that all sides of the new development be attractive, and functional. It is not right for the backside of the proposed Walmart to look any worse than the front, and there must not be pallets, boxes, trash or other items outside the back of the store. It would not be fair for the residents that live on the south side of 57th, or any one else who uses 57th. These are just a couple of many details that, If I am elected to Arvada City Council I will be focusing on. Since you have served on the Arvada Board of Adjustment with me for many years, you know that I am a fierce defender of private property rights, and I can also be persuasive to others around me. I also am not in lockstep with the city staff, and I have no allegiance to anyone on the city council. These things make me the best person to fight for our neighborhoods during this time of big changes around us.

There are other items on the outline development plan (ODP), that I am opposed to. Most versions of the ODP show Garrison Street continuing south from Ralston Rd to 57th. I am completely against this. I see it having no value in efficiently moving traffic, and the amount of cut thru traffic to get to I-70, Costco, Home Depot, and other places would just increase. We have chosen to live and raise our children on the corner of Carr and Grandview, and a large increase in traffic would be tragic. Speaking of traffic I see the Arvada Ridge rail station as being a potential traffic generator for mine and your neighborhoods, and I would like to hear what you think of it. I feel like some ramps off Kipling Parkway to Ridge Road might be a good idea, so traffic coming from the north could use Kipling Parkway instead of Independence, or Miller St.

Another item on the ODP that I strongly disagree with is high density multi family housing at the current site of the community garden. The original intent of high density housing in the Triangle was to provide rooftops and customers for a walk able multi use development. Now that we are getting a large format retailer, I see no justification for high density housing, and I would like to keep the community garden where it is. As far as high density housing on the North side of Ralston Rd. I am in favor of multi use development there, and support a housing component of that use, but only if the housing is part of the commercial buildings I.E. commercial/retail on the ground floor and housing above.

I prefer to have discussions about important items face to face, because listening is as important as talking, so if you or any one else would like to meet, let me know.

John Marriott
Larson’s Ski and Sport
4715 Kipling St.
Wheat Ridge, Co. 80033




I wanted to respond to your question from Tuesday night about TOD developments in Arvada. I am generally a supporter of Transit Oriented Development, however I don’t believe in TOD without limits. Park Place Old Town is a good example of this.


 First a bit of history, I was opposed to the Water Tower Housing development in the late 1990’s. I did not feel that it would help Old Town, and I was against loosing the semi rural feel of that area of town. At the time I owned a business in Old Town on Old Wadsworth, and I did not see any benefit for me. I now realize that I was wrong about the Water Tower housing area. A lot of the vibrancy, and activity in Old Town is because there are now enough customers close by to allow impressive variety of businesses to succeed.

  I support the idea of higher density housing within walking distance of shopping and transit, and the location of PPOT between the Wadsworth Bypass and Old Town is a good place for it. There are, however, things about PPOT that I don’t like. First I don’t like 5 stories of height, I feel 3 would have been more in keeping with the feel of Old Town. Second, I would not have been in favor of vacating the Teller Street right of way, and I don’t think this would have been necessary if the project were smaller. Third, I would like to have seen an aesthetic design more in keeping with the look of Old Town. I am particularly concerned with the large slab face of the East side of the building. This is another concern that would be less if the project were smaller. The biggest issue I have, however, is the process that this project was approved under. City Council in effect farmed out their approval authority to the Director of Community Development, by allowing him to grant wavers to the design guidelines. I favor the public process where community meeting are held, and ultimately elected representatives are the decision makers. One more issue with this development, I feel that projects such as these affect a much larger area of the community than typical developments, and should have a public process that is more robust and includes more stakeholders than normal.

 I support other TOD efforts, like the new housing around the Arvada Ridge station. As you know, that project was approved the normal way, and we even had several issues before us at the Board of Adjustment. I think this project has been done well, and will be very nice for years to come. At this time I don’t see any housing component of the Arvada Plaza/ Triangle as being TOD focused, but I do favor incorporating mixed use housing in the redevelopment of that area, I.E. commercial or office on the ground floor and residential above, or maybe residential facing Ralston Creek, and commercial closer to the main roads. I do not favor any large scale high density housing in the Triangle area.

John Marriott
Larson’s Ski and Sport

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