Approved - 8 to 0

Item No. 1 - Zoning Amendment at Clear Creek Crossing

Case: WZ-19-10
Council Bill No. 10-2020 - an ordinance approving an amendment to the existing Planned Mixed Use Development (PMUD) zoning to increase the allowable height for hospital uses at Clear Creek Crossing. The applicant is requesting an amendment to the underlying zoning at Clear Creek Crossing to increase by 12 feet the allowable height for a hospital by in Planning Area 1. It would also create a height allowance for a rooftop elevator serving the helipad. A hospital is already a permitted use by the zoning; no other changes to the zoning are proposed. NOTE: This case appeared on previous agendas, but the hearing has not yet occurred. A legal protest was received on June 8, so the hearing was automatically continued from that date to June 22.
This is a recording of the June 22, 2020 City Council Meeting.

Videos

Live Stream

Applicant Presentation

Staff Presentation

Files

Council Action Form ( 0.2 MB )
Staff Report and Proposed Zoning ( 6.69 MB )
Planning Commission Draft Meeting Minutes - February 20, 2020 ( 1.76 MB )
Written Public Comment - rcvd thru June 12, 2020 ( 0.3 MB )
Legal Protest and Analysis ( 1.31 MB )
Planned Development Amendment - Review Criteria

An amendment to a planned development is processed as a zone change. Per Section 26-303 of the City Code, the planning commission and city council shall base their decision in consideration of the extent to which the applicant demonstrates the following criteria have been met. An analysis of these criteria are provided in the staff report linked above.

1. The change of zone promotes the health, safety, and general welfare of the community and will not result in a significant adverse effect on the surrounding area; and 

2. The development proposed on the subject property is not feasible under any other zone district, and would require an unreasonable number of variances or waivers and conditions; and

3. Adequate infrastructure/facilities are available to serve the types of uses allowed by the change of zone, or the applicant will upgrade and provide such where they do not exist or are under capacity; and 

4. At least one (1) of the following conditions exists:

a. The change of zone is in conformance, or will bring the property into conformance with, the City of Wheat Ridge comprehensive plan goals, objectives and policies, and other city-approved policies or plans for the area. 

b. The existing zone classification currently recorded on the official zoning maps of the City of Wheat Ridge is in error.

c. A change of character in the area has occurred or is occurring to such a degree that it is in the public interest to encourage redevelopment of the area or to recognize the changing character of the area. 

d. The proposed rezoning is necessary in order to provide for a community need that was not anticipated at the time of the adoption of the City of Wheat Ridge comprehensive plan.

Comments & Feedback

Comments
 
This case is closed, online commenting is no longer available.

I am writing to express my concerns regarding a change increasing building height limitations for the SCL-Lutheran Medical Center (SCL) located within the Clear Creek Crossing Project (CCC). Applicant states that additional building height is needed to accommodate existing hospital rules regarding ceiling height, and also to enable a rooftop helipad and elevator shaft to move patients quickly from the helipad into the hospital. SCL states that since its purchase of property in CCC, it has “refined their needs for PA 1 and their vision for the services they are seeking to provide to the community.” Wheat Ridge Planning Division Staff Report to City Council, 4/13/2020, Lauren Mikulak. (Mikulak)
While the CCC project was initially zoned to allow for hospital uses, no special provisions for building height relating to hospitals and/or helipads was included in that zoning. After SCL applied for rezoning, a neighborhood meeting to allow neighborhood residents to discuss the application occurred on October 23, 2019, during which various neighbors expressed concerns over the proposed height of the building, the helipad height, and air traffic noise and pollution which would be created by helicopters. (Exhibit 6, Mikulak Memo) SCL advised the neighbors that the helipad at SCL’s current location on W. 38th Avenue is used only, on average, 5 times per month. I am uncertain whether this statement means that the helipad is used by patients only on average 5 times per month, or whether this figure represents overall helicopter take-offs and landings. Since I live close to the present SCL-Lutheran Hospital, and often see the helicopter in flight, the 5 times per month figure seems very low.
Once again we have an application for a zoning change by an entity on property purchased shortly before filing its change application. I worry that this will become the norm regarding properties at CCC. An attitude of “buy the property regardless of its zoning because we can easily have the zoning modified to suit our planned use after we purchase the property” shouldn‘t be encouraged. Repeatedly allowing rezoning under these circumstances doesn’t allow property owners to rely on the current zoning within their neighborhoods. The current CCC zoning in area P-1 allows for hospitals. It does not allow for hospitals that are 102’ high, or heliports that rise to 135’ in height. And, most importantly, it did not allow for these heights at the time the property was purchased. I suggest that all other zoning regulations in the CCC complex be reviewed, to insure that other proposed uses and the industry standards governing those uses aren’t in conflict with the CCC zoning, which, according to SCL, is what brought about its need for changes in height requirements. Even without the requested height changes, SCL would be able to build its hospital, by building fewer floors and expanding the ground coverage of its complex.
SCL suggested that it was more than willing to work with nearby neighbors to control noise and air pollution, as well as traffic impacts on their neighborhoods resulting from the new hospital. It would be helpful to the neighbors if SCL agreed to revisit these issues after the hospital has been operating for a period of time, similar to the agreement made between Denver International Airport and Adams County.

06/21/2020 2:07 pm
Kathy Havens

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