AP NEWS

Erie Leaders Table Vote on Deal to Stall Future Lafayette Development

March 27, 2019

The Erie Board of Trustees on Tuesday tabled a decision on whether to enter into a pact with the town’s urban renewal authority that would promise to stall any Lafayette expansion plans on a property along the communities’ border until Erie had cemented its own development interests.

It comes as the towns return to the negotiating table on a proposed Nne Mile Corner intergovernmental agreement — a deal unveiled earlier this year that would reset relations and dictate development strategies moving forward — that would concede an eventual annexation of the Tebo-owned property, at the southwest corner of the U.S. 287 and Arapahoe Road, to Lafayette for future development.

For that, according to an early draft of the deal, Erie would receive 40 percent of the site’s eventual sales tax revenue and would have veto powers over any plans for the site.

The communities in January announced plans to approve a sweeping IGA that would have, among other reconciliations, settled the town’s roughly three-year land spat. Lafayette in 2016 attempted to condemn 22 acres of Erie’s land at the southeast corner of U.S. 287 and Arapahoe Road, stalling its Nine Mile Corner development for the duration of litigation.

The Colorado Supreme Court rejected the suit on the eve of the IGA’s final approval, and the communities have since returned to the negotiating table and are expected to unveil a new agreement in the coming weeks.

If Erie does eventually approve the latest deal with its urban renewal authority — essentially a promise between Erie’s two government boards — the town’s governing bodies would be agreeing to hold up any of Lafayette’s potential ambitions on the Tebo land until Erie finalizes its interests on the Nine Mile Corner site. Attorneys not involved in the matter suggest the move might be a bid on Erie’s part to stave off any chances of losing Nine Mile tenants to the site across the street.

It would only be valid if both communities approve the overall Nine Mile intergovernmental agreement.

The urban renewal authority — populated mostly by board of trustees members — also canceled a vote on its half of the proposal late Tuesday afternoon; Town Administrator Malcolm Fleming said both bodies wanted more time to think on the decision before moving forward.

As for the impetus for the proposal, Fleming said “we believe that both the Tebo parcel and Nine Mile parcel should develop in a coordinated fashion.”

It’s unclear if Lafayette feels the same; city spokespeople were unaware of the proposal when it was unveiled Friday and could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Fleming said he hopes to have a draft of the revised Nine Mile IGA in front of town leaders early next month.

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