GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – Dinosaur Ridge supporters are fighting to try to keep car dealerships from moving into the area.
Dozens rallied against the proposal to rezone the property on Wednesday.
Longtime Jefferson County resident Melanie Stafford was among them.
“You’re not going to put a car dealership at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park so why should we put one at that gateway to the Rockies?” Stafford said.
The piece of land currently under question has been home to the visitor center at Dinosaur Ridge for years.
The piece of land is currently zoned for commercial building. According to Greg Stevinson, that means the property could see industrial, manufacturing or even a shopping center development tomorrow.
“Any idea that this is pristine and needs to be preserved, that horse left the barn quite some time ago,” he said.
Stevinson is one of three developers now asking that the area be rezoned for what he believes is better use.
“We thought ‘Let’s try and find something that’s easier to manage the impacts’ and we came up with the automobile use,” Stevinson said.
He says approval of their proposal would mean less traffic and lighting restrictions.
Linnea Hauser with the Save Dino Ridge group helped organize Wednesday’s rally. She says despite those claims, any development would jeopardize the future of the historic site.
“We are opposed particularly to car dealerships because that could be the worst possible thing to happen to this land from an economic standpoint, from an environmental standpoint, a people standpoint, from the visual standpoint. There’s no win in car dealerships other than to the developer,” Hauser said.
After nearly a year Jefferson County commissioners are set to hear the issue and could make a decision on that proposal as early as next week.
That will happen at the next Board of county commissioners hearing on Tuesday at 8 a.m. at the Jefferson County Courthouse.
Karen Morfitt Joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around metro Denver. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.