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Monument Trustees reject Conexus metro district bid

Monument Trustees meeting.jpg
Posted at 12:28 AM, Aug 17, 2021

MONUMENT, Colorado — The Monument Board of Trustees rejected an application for a service plan forming a metropolitan district for the 170 acre Conexus commercial real estate development Monday night. Hundreds of people attended forcing the town to hold the meeting at Family of Christ Lutheran to accommodate the large crowd.

The special district would have served as a type of financing tool helping pay for public infrastructure improvements associated with the project such as roads, water, sewage, and storm drainage.

"Development can pay its own way, we're not asking Triview (metropolitan district), which overlaps this property, to put in these public improvements. We're not asking the town to put in these public improvements," attorney Russ Dykstra told the board.

The property stretches for more than a mile and a half between I-25 and Old Denver Road, south of Colorado Highway 105.

The part of the development that drew such a large public response was a plan calling for a series of large warehouses to be built during the third phase of the project.

Those plans were submitted by Indiana-based industrial real estate development firm Becknell in late June. They called for six warehouse-style buildings to be built with the smallest covering an area of approximately 69,000 square feet. The largest would span more than 334,000 square feet.

"That's actually (the size of) three Home Depots in Monument put all together," said Matt Brunk, vice president of the Santa Fe Trail Homeowners Association and part of the organized opposition to the development. "That's massive."

He believes the hundreds of semi-trucks that enter and leave the property from the warehouses would create a safety risk to residents, some of whom live as close as 500 feet away.

"It's dangerous for everybody involved; for the semi drivers, people trying to walk, people trying to ride their bikes, people trying to drive," he said.

The development team, as well as town staff, pointed out that Monday's vote was specifically for the special district, and that the board could decline approval of future aspects of the plan.

After hearing hours of testimony from members of the community, Brock Chapman, President, and CEO of Shuck Chapman Companies, attempted to address some of the concerns raised by the community.

He told the board that the Becknell proposal would still need to go through traffic and engineering studies and that Town Staff would still have to review those reports to make sure that all of the zoning and development standards were met.

However, the board ultimately decided against Chapman. Trustee Ron Stephens expressed frustration with the sudden inclusion of the Becknell proposal when there was no mention of warehouses and distribution centers several months earlier during initial community meetings about the Conexus project.

While the crowd had thinned out a bit by the time the vote was called, it was still met with cheers and applause from the community members who stayed for the end of the meeting.