Facing a high probability its request would be rejected, the company planning to build apartments in and around the former Oxford building withdrew its rezoning request, Mayor Clark Hill announced Monday night.
The withdrawal effectively scuttles the project for this year. JES Holdings faced a June 1 deadline for applying to the state for the tax credits essential to making the project work.
JES asked the city to rezone the Oxford site from central business district to R-4 to rehab the former sewing plant into 35 one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments for low-income senior housing, asked for a variance in the units-per-acre requirement so it could put 18 senior living townhouses on the same tract and for a variance in the minimum square footage of the proposed apartments.
The city planning commission had previously voted unanimously to deny JES’ request, but planning director David Zellner and city manager Pete Pyrzenski recommended at the council’s April 2 “work session” meeting that the council grant the request.
But development of the property could still take place.
“What we’re planning at this point is to organize a meeting with the regional commission, have them come up and we’ll have a town hall meeting and engage the planning commission, the Downtown Development Authority, the civic center authority and everyone, and approach the whole area from a redevelopment standpoint,” Hill said. “What does the community want to see, not just the Oxford building, but the whole area?”
Also on Monday, the city council voted unanimously to send back with no vote the planning commission’s recommendations on changes to the zoning ordinance that would have drastically increased minimum sizes of all houses and apartments and tightened up requirements for building materials.
“What I heard at the work session was that the city council wanted to send this item back to the planning commission to work through this further with the goal to improve building standards,” Hill said. He proposed that the council set up a work session with the planners “to work through this.”
For the rest of the Commerce City Council's Monday night action, see the April 23 issue of The Commerce News.
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