The referendum process is an important right governed by the Colorado Constitution, state statute and the Centennial Home Rule Charter. The right of referendum provides citizens the opportunity to ensure their voices are heard regarding City legislative actions.

Residents and businesses may have concerns or questions about the potential impacts of this referendum petition. This project page is intended to share the facts and history surrounding the City Council ordinance and the referendum process. 

On February 21, 2017, City Council took official action to repeal Ordinance 2016-O-11.  When that action becomes legally effective near the end of March, 2017, Ordinance 2016-O-11 will be effectively repealed. Two ordinances addressing design standards and definitions that were not addressed by the referendum effort were also approved February 21, 2017.  Another ordinance addressing a small change in the Land Development Code to allow a drive up restaurant to be located at the corner of Arapahoe and Havana was also approved. 

What is a referendum?

A referendum is a constitutional right of citizens to challenge legislation adopted by a governing body of a municipality.  The referendum process involves several steps:

  1. The proponents must draft and submit to the City Clerk the form of referendum petition for approval by the Clerk.
  2. The proponents must acquire signatures on the petition equal to 5 percent of the total electorate.  For the particular referendum petition that was circulated for signatures recently, 4,083 valid petition signatures of Centennial voters were required to be obtained.
  3. If adequate signatures are obtained, the petition is presented to the City Council.  The Council may choose to repeal the ordinance as requested in the petition or to set an election.
  4. If an election is set, the voters in the City will decide whether the ordinance at issue should be repealed at the election.
What’s Ordinance 2016-11  about?

In 2005, the City prohibited certain types of development (1) in specific portions of Arapahoe Road (between S. Yosemite Street to S. Parker Road). City Council began studying these restrictions in 2015 and held multiple public discussions to examine the potential for future development, including the types and appearance of potential development in the area. These discussions included open houses soliciting citizen input, surveys on Nextdoor and the City’s website, Council-hosted district meetings, and several public hearings (please see the timeline below for more information).

Following this extensive public outreach process, City Council studied and ultimately adopted revisions to restrictions on commercial development along Arapahoe Road through adoption of Ordinance 2016-O-11. These revisions included establishing a higher standard for the appearance of certain types of businesses and modifying the prohibition established in 2005.

Why was there a referendum petition? What was being questioned? 

The petition is a required component of the citizen-initiated referendum process. Shortly after the adoption of Ordinance 2016-O-11, the referendum process was initiated by two citizen representatives. The proponents of the petition collected the required number of valid signatures on the petition. The petition protests the removal of certain location and siting restrictions under Ordinance 2016-O-11.

What is the Arapahoe Road Retail Corridor Study?

The Arapahoe Road Retail Corridor Study examined existing retail conditions of Arapahoe Road including challenges and opportunities for retail development, impact of spacing and use restrictions that were enacted in 2005, and recommendations for retaining and expanding quality retail along the Arapahoe Road corridor between Quebec Street and Parker Road.

What were the findings of the study?

  • Arapahoe Road is a high traffic corridor which makes it ideal for convenience retail (quick serve restaurants, convenience stores, drive through restaurants, etc.).
  • There are opportunities for mixed use/main street type development, specifically at Arapahoe Road and Quebec Street and Arapahoe Road and Potomac Street.
  • Retailers along the corridor would benefit from increased residential density.
  • The corridor could benefit from place making elements that create a positive and unique identity for the corridor.
  • Opportunities do not exist for new grocery anchored shopping centers or big box retailers due to market demand being met at Parker Road and I-25, as well as the lack of land sites large enough to accommodate this type of development.

What were the recommendations of the study?

  • Amend the Land Development Code to allow currently restricted commercial uses;
  • Facilitate reinvestment in key properties;
  • Preserve mixed-use development opportunities at key locations;
  • Invest in place making to create stronger physical spaces along the corridor; and
  • Introduce higher density housing. 

 

December 19, 2016 Petitions Filed 

The City Clerk issued a provisional statement on January 4, 2017, that a sufficient number of signatures had been submitted. (CRS Section 31-11-109)

A protest period of 40 days after the petitions were filed took place from December 19, 2016, until January 28, 2017.

At the conclusion of the protest period, in light of the fact that no protest was filed, a statement of final sufficiency was issued on January 31, 2017.

At the next available City Council meeting on February 6, 2017, the City Council promptly reconsidered Ordinance 2016-O-11.  City Council provided consensus direction to staff to bring forward to Council for consideration an ordinance to repeal Ordinance 2016-O-11 in its entirety.  This ordinance is scheduled for first reading on February 13, 2017.  Second reading and public hearing on the proposed ordinance repealing Ordinance 2016-O-11 will follow on February 21, 2017, at 7 pm.

Timeline

2005

Original ordinances are passed restricting land uses along Arapahoe Road

City Council passes several ordinances restricting new auto dealerships, drive through restaurants, drive in restaurants, car wash, vehicle rental, and vehicle service land uses along Centennial’s portion of Arapahoe Road between South Yosemite Street and Parker Road. 

June 2015

City initiates Arapahoe Road Retail Corridor Study

August 17, 2015

City Council Study Session on Arapahoe Road Retail Corridor Study

November 16, 2015 

City Council Study Session on results of Arapahoe Road Retail Corridor Study

December 2015

Arapahoe Road Retail Corridor Study is completed

March 14, 2016

City Council Study Session on proposed amendments

​​City Council directed Staff to move forward with the proposed amendments related to the Central Arapahoe Road Corridor with additional discussion at a future session. Council’s specific comments were incorporated into the proposed ordinance attached to this report.

May 9, 2016

Joint City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission Study Session on proposed amendments

City Council reaffirmed its direction given to Staff to move forward with the proposed amendments related to the Central Arapahoe Road Corridor, but asked Staff to perform additional research related to vehicle sales uses and potential supplemental conditional use and design standards.

July 18, 2016

City Council Study Session on proposed amendments

City Council gave final authorization to Staff to move forward with an amendment to the LDC, as summarized in this report and more fully described in the attached ordinance.

August 17, 2016

Open House for Proposed Rezoning of Key Parcels on the Arapahoe Corridor

Staff hosted an open house at the Civic Center to give all interested parties an opportunity to learn more about the proposed rezoning to Activity Center at key nodes on the corridor, as well as the larger Arapahoe Road Retail Corridor Study project, findings and recommendations. 

September 28, 2016

Planning and Zoning Commission

Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of Ordinance 2016-O-11 with no modifications (5-1). 

October 17, 2016

First Reading Ordinance 2016-O-11

October 17, 2016

First Reading Ordinance 2016-O-20

October 26, 2016

Planning and Zoning Commission

Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval of Ordinance 2016-O-20 with no modifications (6-1).

November 7, 2016 

City Council Public Hearing Ordinance 2016-O-11

City Council voted 8-1 to continue the discussion on Ordinance no. 2016-O-11 an ordinance of the City Council of the City of Centennial, Colorado amending Chapter 12 of the Municipal Code (Land Development Code) related to the central Arapahoe Road corridor to November 14, 2016 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers. 

November 7, 2016

City Council Public Hearing Ordinance 2016-O-20

City Council voted 8-1 to approve Ordinance no. 2016-O-20 an ordinance of the City Council of the City of Centennial, Colorado rezoning certain properties located at the northeast and northwest corners of east Arapahoe Road and South Potomac Street from General Commercial (CG) to Activity Center (AC) under the Land Development Code, and amending the official zoning map.

November 14, 2016       

City Council Public Hearing Ordinance 2016-O-11

City Council voted 6-3 to Approve Ordinance no. 2016 O-11 an ordinance of the City Council of the City of Centennial, Colorado amending Chapter 12 of the Municipal Code (Land Development Code) related to the central Arapahoe Road corridor.

 

Between the three study sessions, two Planning and Zoning Commission hearings, two City Council hearings and the open house for the AC zoning, there have been a total of eight (8) public meetings through November 14, 2016. Staff also discussed this item at CenCON and at least one local HOA annual meeting for a neighborhood along Arapahoe Road most directly impacted by the proposed changes. Compared to other LDC amendments (approximately two dozen amendments since 2011), this was much more widely published and discussed and had minimal opposition from the public (only a couple of residents opposing more car dealerships).  To refer to this year-long process as a ‘rush’ and ‘without public input’ is a misrepresentation by the group opposing the amendments.

Quick Contact Info:

City of Centennial
13133 East Arapahoe Road
Centennial, CO  80112

(303) 325-8000 - 24 Hour Citizen Response Center
(720) 488-0933 - Fax Number

 

Sitemap

ADA Notice

Contact Us

City of Centennial
Powered by Real Time Solutions - Website Design & Document Management