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Erie Urban Renewal Authority Tables Nine Mile Agreement with Lafayette, Casting Doubt on Deal

January 24, 2019
A sign advertising the imminent arrival of Erie's Nine Mile Corner development.

Erie’s Urban Renewal Authority tabled a decision late Tuesday night on the town’s half of an intergovernmental agreement with Lafayette, just an hour after trustees apprehensively pushed the deal forward .

The agreement, which would settle the communities’ lasting litigation over the Nine Mile Corner development, requires an approval by the authority and Lafayette leaders before it’s made official, and the commission’s hesitancy may signal disaster for a deal that some have already cast doubts on.

Trustee Scott Charles, acting as the authority’s commissioner, said Tuesday he wanted to delay the vote until Erie’s “town staff and attorney has time to look into some issues and negotiate.”

It’s unclear what specific issues those are — the majority of the authority’s discussions took place in an executive session — though several officials, and the project’s developer himself, have lamented a provision of the deal giving Lafayette a 250-foot buffer at the southeast corner of the intersection of U.S. 287 and Arapahoe Road, where Nine Mile is slated.

Tyler Carlson of Evergreen Devco, the developer behind the project, told trustees that the buffer — a slimmed down concession to Lafayette — likely would drive away some of the larger anchor tenants the company was pursuing for the project.

According to the deal, Lafayette would drop its lawsuit to condemn the land and pay Erie’s $460,000 in attorney fees in exchange for the conservation easement. The agreement also would drop two disputes over Erie access permits, draw “influence areas” across the county dictating where both communities can annex and develop in the coming decade and regulate revenue sharing on a piece of property along the communities’ border.

Trustee Dan Woog earlier in the meeting asked the board to table a vote on the agreement until concerns over the buffer had been renegotiated, suggesting the provision signaled continued hostility by Lafayette.

Lafayette’s efforts to condemn Erie’s land still awaits a decision by the Colorado Supreme Court; as legal proceedings have dragged on, Erie’s development has sat in limbo.

“I do think it’s good to move forward,” Woog said of the deal, “but I see we rolled over to Lafayette. It’s absolutely crazy what they did, and they’re getting a win out of it now.

“On principle it’s crazy to roll over in my opinion.”

Lafayette is scheduled to convene a vote on its half of the agreement next month.

Anthony Hahn: 303-473-1422, hahna@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/_anthonyhahn

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