ARVADA, Colo. (KDVR) — People in a west Arvada neighborhood hope city council members will consider their concerns before voting on a measure that would allow an Amazon distribution center to move forward in the city.
The proposed site is off Indiana Street near 68th Avenue. It sits adjacent to Maple Valley Park and Ralston Creek Trail — a popular recreation area for neighbors.
“We’re just worried about compatibility. It doesn’t make sense that you would put something that high of a use so close to an open space park and homes,” said Gine Hallisey, chairperson for “Protect Maple Valley Park.”
Hallisey helped gather more than 8,500 signatures for a petition to oppose the plan. She said most people are worried about increased traffic, noise and light and the impact it could have on the wildlife habitat in the park.
Kate Baldree has two young kids and frequently uses the trail. She said the air quality and environmental impact is a concern.
“I’ve talked to other parents on my block, too. I just think that really needs to be thought about when we are planning what goes into this space,” Baldree said.
Scannell Properties is the developer behind the facility. Working alongside Amazon, they plan to build a 112,485-square-foot warehouse building and parking for delivery vehicles as well as employees.
A portion of the proposed land will have to be annexed into the city of Arvada and re-zoned before development can move forward. The city council will vote on whether to allow that on June 14.
Hallisey said their group plans to attend the meeting to express their concerns.
Ryan Stachelski, director of Community and Economic Development for City of Arvada, said the city is neither for or against the project.
Instead, he said they’re looking at it from a technical standpoint.
“We did not solicit (Amazon), we did not attract them, we didn’t offer incentives, and they did not ask for incentives. This is a development case that happened organically, and we are processing it at their request,” Stachelski said.
Nikki Wheeler with Amazon media relations sent a statement in response to questions about how this site was selected, how they’re handling concerns and what type of jobs the project would create.
Here is their response in full:
“Regarding your questions, Amazon is good for the community and proud of the investments we’ve made in Colorado. This site was selected so we could be closer to our customers. This planned facility is a last mile delivery station with the primary function of delivering to the end customer.
“Amazon is a good neighbor. With our development partner, we hosted two voluntary neighborhood meetings, listened to the community, answered questions live and posted follow up information on the project website. We appreciate the community interest in the project, welcome the dialogue and the opportunity to answer questions and to provide accurate information about the project.
“While it’s too early to say the exact number of jobs that will be open at this facility, I can tell you Amazon employs over 16,000 people in Colorado and we’re hiring. This year in the Denver metro area, Amazon is committed to hiring at least 3,000 full and part-time employees across its fulfillment and transportation network.”