Diagram of the future Promenade at Castle Rock

The news at last night’s Town Council meeting came as a surprise to many residents. The petition they had signed to hold a special election regarding the Promenade at Castle Rock zoning was withdrawn.

Town Attorney, Bob Slentz “By operation of law under the charter it took affect about 11:30 this morning. There is no further action required with respect to that ordinance.” Hence the roughly 2900 signatures of residents that were gathered by supporters of the petition lost their voice.

Having received the news just hours before the meeting, Mayor Donahue wanted to assure the public that the Town was not been privy to any talks leading to this result. “The town was not involved in any of these discussions whatsoever,” Mayor Donahue said. “We received the news today.”

It is unclear exactly what the agreement between Alberta Development Partners and petition leaders, Keith Lattimore-Walsh and Linda Nostrant, entailed. However, those involved closely with gathering signatures for the petition speculated that money was exchanged.

The petition was signed by many residents looking to save area wildlife
The petition was signed by many residents looking to save area wildlife

Going forward, the collective sentiment felt by council was that through the process, much was learned. Council went on to table and vote on the discussion/direction of the statutory reconsideration of ordinance 2015-09, as well as repealing and ratifying the ordinance, bringing closure to the subject. All motions passed with a vote of 7-0.

Closing comments from council:

Brett Ford, District 7: “These projects start many years in advance. There’s open comment public comment, planning process the developer has open meetings. I applaud the citizens for wanting to be involved in the process and wanting to have a voice in the community but I would suggest there is a better way of doing it then a referendum.”

George Teal, District 6: “In the 1980s our town was bankrupt. Our town wasn’t growing. There was a fear from our town fathers at that time that we were going to be this little town surrounded by a Highlands Ranch…Our Town fathers had the vision of building a charter community – I would not want to speak for my council members, I want an election. I want to give people that choice.

Mayor Paul Donahue: “Be very careful when you are getting signatures for a referendum. It’s important to get the facts before you sign something…We represent all the residents of the community. We may not get it right all the time, not everyone is going to agree with us, but we do work pretty hard in trying to fulfill the wishes of the majority of residents in this community and will continue to do so in the future.”

Jennifer Green, Mayor pro tem: “This was definitely a surprise. It is really unfortunate the one small group so heavily deceived such a wonderful community and a number of residents. And it’s unfortunate that those residents could not come here tonight to explain to everyone else why they were deceived. At this point, as the Town Attorney said, it’s time to put this ordinance behind us.”