The Latest: Council Votes to Continue Negotiations over Jefferson Parkway

The Latest: Council Votes to Continue Negotiations over Jefferson Parkway

Feb. 25, 2011 – The Golden City Council voted unanimously last night (Thursday, Feb. 24) to continue working on a possible agreement with Jefferson County regarding the proposed Jefferson Parkway.

However, the City Council determined that Golden will not drop its opposition to the Jefferson Parkway or give up its right to sue to stop it unless some very specific requirements are met.

This decision was made after public comment that lasted three hours in an overflowing Council Chambers.

Golden residents and business owners and many citizens from areas outside of Golden took sides in a debate about whether to continue negotiations or just go ahead and file a lawsuit to stop the Jefferson Parkway. Despite the passionate feelings on both sides of the issue, the crowd was calm, respectful, courteous and even funny at times. “It is a testament to the residents of Golden that they can have differing opinions and still portray a unified community willing to do what it takes to protect Golden,” said Golden Mayor Jacob Smith.

The City also recently held a series of four community meetings on this topic and created a website (www.GetTheFactsGolden.org) specifically addressing this issue. 470 people attended the community meetings and hundreds submitted written comments at the meetings and through email, while the website registered nearly one-thousand unique visitors.

At about 11 p.m., the Golden City Council approved a motion to continue negotiations towards a binding Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) with Jefferson County, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Broomfield, Arvada and the Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority (JPPHA) relating to the Jefferson Parkway.

The motion directed City staff “to seek an enhanced IGA that will provide greater certainty of funding for the priority elements of the Muller Plan; addresses noise and other pollution mitigation and monitoring for northern neighborhoods, including Mitchell Elementary; addresses improvements to Highway 93 north of Golden; addresses improvement of other arterials outside the city limits to disburse traffic; includes provisions for no non-compete agreements that will impact travel on other alternative roadways that serve the area; requires CDOT be a part of the process and agreement; addresses Rocky Flats contamination issues, particularly during construction if it occurs; and addresses timing of key roadway improvements in Golden and sequencing of those improvements before parkway construction begins. City Council further directs the City Manager to work with the city’s attorneys to develop options for the City to challenge the Jefferson Parkway approvals in court in the event that negotiations do not timely and adequately progress in a fashion that protects the City’s position. The City Manager and the City’s attorneys shall keep the City Council appraised of litigation options and possible deadlines. The motion does not preclude the use of other strategies by the City to advance the City’s position regarding the Jefferson Parkway.”

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