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Residents say new Colorado developments aiming to match growth overlooking existing concerns

Our Colorado: Congestion becoming a growing issue
Posted at 5:54 PM, Mar 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-27 23:50:04-04

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AURORA, Colo. -- Our state is changing, growing by leaps and bounds every day, and many Coloradans say the growth is the biggest issue facing all of us.

Residents in northwest Aurora are dealing with traffic and parking congestion because of the influx of new developments flooding the city. 

In the last six years, the city's population has increased by more than 36,000. The city of Aurora is scrambling to adapt to the growing needs of a city and trying to build up as quickly as possible.  

The problem exists throughout Denver metro cities. So far, this year the city has issued 1,173 building permits and have expedited changes to its zoning in the city to allow for higher density mixed-use developments.

Nadine Caldwell with the Northwest Aurora Neighborhood Association says the latest affordable housing development housing veterans, and another proposed luxury apartment complex with 96 units, will contribute to the congestion problem. 

“Where are those cars going to park? There is no parking on the street anymore. These people that live in single family homes, they've lost all their parking,” said Caldwell. 

The 17th and Peoria development initially proposed 175 parking spots but then reduced it to 110. 

Joanne Southard is the on-site manager of Fitz Apartments. Her view of her Colorado is that the proposed development coming next door is overlooking the concerns of existing residents. 

“It's too big; it's too tall; it's going to cut down the views; it's going to cause a lot of conflict with parking.” Said Joanne Southard. 

But city councilwoman Crystal Murillo says the congestion is expected with new developments. 

“I don't think that can be avoided. In my opinion, I think we need to do a better job of engaging our residents and talking about the upcoming impacts.” Said Murillo. 

The city says with every development proposal, both a traffic and parking analysis must be submitted by the developer before its reviewed by the city.

To accommodate the increase in the population on the northwest part of Aurora, the city is working on analyzing all types of mobility and has established a crossing overpass to take traffic over the train tracks on Peoria Street to improve traffic flow.