DENVER, Colo. (CBS4) – After a two-year battle, residents in Denver’s Crestmoor neighborhood are taking their fight against a townhome developer all the way to the state Supreme Court.
Plaintiff neighbors were unsuccessful in challenging the development from being built in both district and appeals courts.
Historically, the East Denver neighborhood has been zoned for houses only. A rezoning in 2015 approved the area for condos and townhomes.
Metropolitan Homes is the developer currently building townhomes under construction at Monaco and Cedar.
Residents worry about traffic congestion and parking problems that they believe the development will cause. They say they tried to negotiate with the developer prior to pursuing litigation, but felt ignored by both the developer and the city.
Margaret Whitelaw, a plaintiff, moved into the Crestmoor neighborhood three years ago to get away from traffic and congestion. She fears the area’s tranquility is short-lived due to the three-story townhomes complex going up across the street from her.
A 2.3 acre plot will be the site of 25 townhomes and 41 condos.
“It’s way undersized for what they’re trying to do,” Whitelaw said of the space. “We don’t oppose moderate growth … but moderate growth is not on the table. It’s viral growth. Growth gone viral.”
A Denver planning and development spokesperson said that parking and traffic are not stand-alone criteria for rezoning, but that those aspects were taken into consideration when approving the development site.
“To us, that’s irrational,” said Greg Kerwin, attorney for the plaintiffs. “That if you’re going to put more density in a residential neighborhood, you need to consider as part of that the affective traffic and parking on the existing residents who’ve invested their family savings in a home there.”
“The Denver lifestyle, the quality of life here is in danger,” Whitelaw added.
As of Wednesday evening, Metropolitan Homes had not responded to CBS4’s request for comment. Neither had the council person for Denver District 5.
As a solution to the demand, Kerwin proposes that multi-family housing development happen near major transit hubs like downtown Denver.
As for a Supreme Court decision, Kerwin said that it could take 3-6 months for the Colorado Supreme Court to decide if it would hear the case, followed by another 6-12 months for a ruling to be issued.