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Thursday, October 15,2009

Foes say makeover of Army Reserve facility isn't all it could be

By Jefferson Dodge

Developer addresses concerns

Residents of the neighborhood west of the Armory agree that Four Star has addressed many of their main concerns, and that the revised development plan is a vast improvement over its predecessor.

"If they had gone ahead with what they had planned, we would have been out in the streets with signs," says resident Michael Preston.

There are still neighbors who are opposed to the project on principle, but even they concede that Stainton was responsive to the initial complaints.

"If I was pro-development, then I'd say yeah, he addressed the problems and it might be a nice development," says Peter Korba, who lives on 46th.

Deb Cerio, who is Korba's neighbor, adds, "Overall, I'm not a fan of developing that area, period, for a lot of reasons. It's kind of a double-edged sword, like, 'Do you want a blunt stick in the eye or a sharp stick in the eye?' I'm certainly appreciative that the developer is trying to accommodate the neighborhood concerns, but I wish the city wouldn't allow it to be developed. We live in Boulder because we don't want things to be developed.

"But I think he did a good job," she says of Stainton.

"He did as much as he could do to appease the neighbors."

Blackmore acknowledges that "the design has come an awfully long way."

"It's far more compatible with a single-family neighborhood I think we need to thank him for working the plans and making it suitable," Blackmore says, adding that the developer did come to the city and community for input. "He didn't want to ram it through without letting the citizens know what he was going to do."

Guiler said the city is required to give advance notice to residents living within 600 feet of such developments.

Among the changes that Four Star has made in response to concerns, Stainton lists reducing the height of two duplex units from three stories to two and removing two units entirely to create more open space, some of which will be used for a flood retention area and a community garden. He envisions that garden as belonging to Boulder, not just Armory residents, and as a source of not only food, but also education for local schoolchildren.

"I do appreciate the idea of a community garden along Table Mesa that will be open to all, not just those residents," Blackmore says.

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