Fight not finished: Louisville residents push to overturn City Council’s Redtail Ridge approval

LOUISVILLE — It took well over a year to get plans for the massive, mixed-use development Redtail Ridge approved by the Louisville City Council, and while the project’s developers got the project across the finish line last month with a split 4-3 decision, the race might not be over.

A group of Louisville residents is organizing a petition effort to bring forth a vote to overturn the City Council’s decision.

Denver-based developer Brue Baukol Capital Partners LLC seeks to transform the long-vacant, former Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) with the construction of as many as 3 million square feet of office, industrial and flexible-use buildings.

Brue Baukol representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

Throughout the city’s development-plan approval process, which was put on hold last year after city leaders balked at the scope of the ambitious proposal at the roughly 400-acre site that formerly housed the Storage Technology Corp. headquarters, concerns have been raised both by officials and residents about loss of open space, economic viability, traffic congestion and environmental degradation. 

The City Council placed a series of conditions on the approval of the plans such as a 3-million-square-foot cap on development, increased public-land dedications and a minimum of three megawatts of solar power on site.

While these conditions were enough to win over the support of a majority of the council, some in Louisville remain unconvinced. 

“This is probably the biggest land-use decision in the century,” Sherry Sommer, one of the petition’s organizers and a former Louisville City Council candidate, told BizWest. “… I want to see something [developed on the Redtail Ridge site] that the majority of others in Louisville want to see as well.”

Sommer highlighted that the development plans were approved on a split decision “and it was one vote away from being opposed by the City Council. I think that’s very important to recognize.”

In order to get a ballot measure in front of Louisville voters, petitioners must first get the petition language and format approved by the City Clerk’s office, which Sommer said was accomplished last week. 

“I feel really fortunate to live in a city like Louisville where citizens are active and care a lot,” Sommer said. “…It’s very good that we’re involved because we’re thinking 20 years down the road.”

Within 30 days of last month’s vote to approve the plans, the petitioners are tasked with gathering signatures from 2.5% of the registered electors in Louisville, of which there are about 16,000, according to Boulder County.

“We have a number of circulators out there” gathering signatures, “and we’re all taking different approaches,” Sommer said. “Many people are going door-to-door. … It’s actually not been very difficult to get signatures.”

While collecting signatures, Sommers said, local residents have been “very, very positive.”

“Overall there’s a lot of interest in this referendum and a lot of goodwill and enthusiasm,” she said.

© 2021 BizWest Media LLC

LOUISVILLE — It took well over a year to get plans for the massive, mixed-use development Redtail Ridge approved by the Louisville City Council, and while the project’s developers got the project across the finish line last month with a split 4-3 decision, the race might not be over.

A group of Louisville residents is organizing a petition effort to bring forth a vote to overturn the City Council’s decision.

Denver-based developer Brue Baukol Capital Partners LLC seeks to transform the long-vacant, former Phillips 66 (NYSE: PSX) with the construction of as many as 3 million square feet of office, industrial and flexible-use buildings.

Brue Baukol representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

Throughout the city’s development-plan approval process, which was put on hold last year after city leaders balked at the scope of the ambitious proposal at the roughly 400-acre site that formerly housed the Storage Technology Corp. headquarters, concerns have been raised both by officials and residents about loss of open space, economic viability, traffic congestion and environmental degradation. 

The City Council placed a series of conditions on the approval of the plans such as a 3-million-square-foot cap on development, increased public-land dedications and a minimum of three megawatts of solar power on site.

While these conditions were enough to win over the support of a majority of the council, some in Louisville remain unconvinced. 

“This is probably the biggest land-use decision in the century,” Sherry Sommer, one of the petition’s organizers and a former Louisville City Council candidate, told BizWest.…