By Karen Morfitt

ARVADA, Colo. (CBS4) – Across Colorado, towns are trying to balance growth and new development with historical preservation. The City of Arvada is among them.

(credit: CBS)

Some community members are speaking out about plans for new development which they believe could be erasing the old from Olde Town.

“We are the heart of the city because that’s what a historic district is,” Lori Drienka said.

Lori Drienka (credit: CBS)

For the last 14 years, Drienka has run a clothing story off Grandview Avenue, a main road through town. Her building fits the criteria for historic.

“The first mayor of Arvada’s house built by Benjamin Wadsworth in 1874. That’s crazy, that’s just so unique,” she said.

(credit: CBS)

Nextdoor are two more of the town’s oldest buildings. The city says they “contribute to the historical district, but they’re not historically protected” and could soon become a thing of the past.

“If you take away history you can’t put it back. There’s no way for people to get that experience,” Drienka said.

(credit: CBS)

The property owner, who CBS4 reached out to but did not hear back from, wants to scrap the old buildings for three stories with retail and living space.

According to the city, the plan does not exceed current height limits and the final look would need to approval by a design review board.

For long-time community members Drienka says it is not enough, and they believe a better option would be improving what is already in place.

(credit: CBS)

“I have worked a lot to be sure that these areas are preserved and we present ourselves that reflects our history and the uniqueness of our area and that is my real concern that this could take away from that.”

If you would like to weigh in on the issue, you can do so at the city’s Board of Adjustment meeting Tuesday Feb. 26 at City hall at 6:30 p.m.

Karen Morfitt

  1. Cindi Kreutzer says:

    This developer has also stated his willingness to move the houses rather than demolish them if anyone is interested in that. Unlike the other major Transit Oriented Development projects in Olde Town, this developer is not receiving any taxpayer subsidies and is providing adequate private parking. The old houses are now having to be boarded up because vagrants are breaking into them. This is not a “bad” project, it is simply new in an historical location.

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