By Luke Zarzecki, The Westminster Window
After three long nights of debate and testimony, the Westminster City Council voted 5-2 to approve the controversial plan to convert a large swath of farmland into the 2,350-home Uplands development.
Councilors voted at the end of their Monday meeting, which ran until almost 1 a.m. Tuesday and was met by boos from some of the residents and members of Save the Farm, the group opposed to the development.
Councilors did impose conditions on the approval, however. Those included: requiring the developer to pay 100% of the costs of all required on-site and off-site water, sanitary sewer, storm sewer and other public infrastructure; the inclusion of signs at the development’s parks making it clear they are meant for general public use; a requirement that at least 300 low-income rental units will be built; and the creation of a special fund dedicated to building parks within the development using money from the developer’s cash-in-lieu payments from the public land dedication.
Those voting in favor included Councilors David DeMott, Sarah Nurmela, Lindsey Smith, Rich Seymour and Mayor Nancy McNally.
Councilors Obi Ezeadi and Bruce Baker were opposed.
Developer Oread Capital wanted the city council to let them continue work on the project, designed to convert the large open space surrounding the church into Uplands, a massive mixed-use development, with housing options ranging from single-family homes to apartments and townhomes as well as parks and commercial areas. The project would take several years to complete, ultimately having room for 2,350 dwelling units in a mix of housing types.
Neighbors in the Shaw Heights neighborhood, many opposed to the plan, wanted the city to say no and keep the lot, known by them as the Farm, undeveloped.
“It’s all I’ve ever known,” said John Palmer, who said he has lived in Westminster his entire life, most of it within sight of the farm.
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