North Valley residents petition against master plan change |

North Valley residents petition against master plan change

by Christy Chalmers, staff reports

Four residents have started a petition drive in hopes Douglas County leaders will delete apartments from a land use plan for 624 acres north of Sunridge.

The group’s leader, Suzi Warren, a real estate agent and Sunridge resident, said she expects to submit more than 200 signatures to County Manager Dan Holler by Monday.

“They are just totally amazed, totally enraged and more than happy to sign,” said Warren. “We feel like we have been railroaded.”

The petition is a response to an Aug. 8 recommendation by the Douglas County Planning Commission to set aside 64 of 624 acres for multi-family residential zoning – the designation for apartments.

The overall plan is intended to guide development of the 624 acres, which are now empty. More than 400 acres are owned by the Bureau of Land Management, which anticipates selling the land to private buyers.

Possible land uses include offices, commercial, houses and public facilities in addition to the apartments. Warren said Sunridge residents she’s contacted object only to the apartments based on concerns about decreases in their home values and other negative impacts.

Another Sunridge resident, Dianne Humble Fournier, said she hasn’t found anyone in support of the proposed apartment zoning.

“We don’t have anything against them developing that highway corridor, but we’d like to stay single-family residential,” she said. “They are trying to force this down our throats.”

Fournier is also a member of the Indian Hills General Improvement District board, which is adjacent to the land under consideration.

Douglas County planner Pete Wysocki said county ordinances allow up to 12 apartments per acre, but the number decreases depending on the roads, common space and other amenities a project requires.

He said the proposed apartment zone is located 500 feet north of North Sunridge Drive and about 2,200 feet north of Haystack Drive.

The planning commission’s recommendation is advisory, which means the county commission could affirm or change the plan. The county commission is set to consider the plan Sept. 7.