The following is a copy of the letter sent to Parker Mayor Mike Waid on behalf of the Community of Rowley Downs in Parker.
Dated: May 4, 2013
Dear Mayor Waid,
After weeks of board discussions, research, a presentation by the Parker Task Force (PTF), and meetings and conversations with Rowley Downs residents, we, the Rowley Downs HOA board, strongly oppose the proposed location for the Parker Task Force food bank.
We have great respect and appreciation for the Parker Task Force’s mission, its extensive volunteerism, and the services it provides to families in the greater Parker community. Residents of Rowley Downs have often and generously supported Parker Task Force initiatives and projects and will continue to do so.
However, based on the unique nature of the proposed location, we do not support the plan to build the food bank on the Town Lot 3. We believe the proposed site has significant intrinsic value to the Parker community and that the requested building would negatively impact the property, the town campus, Parker residents and Rowley Downs homeowners.
1) The building will be essentially a commercial/warehouse facility, inconsistent with the quality and uses of other buildings on the campus and incompatible with its location in the historic downtown district and adjacent to the entrance to Rowley Downs. It appears that there are many other commercial and warehouse areas in Parker that would better suit the building structure, purpose and activities.
2) Lifestyle attractions that bring and keep Parker residents in the town include the liberal use of open land and spaces, parks and trails, and the naturally accompanying plant and animal life. Traditionally, this specific property has been used for town fairs and activities and has been an informal nature refuge. It was just a few years ago that the Parker community enjoyed the nesting of an owl in one of the property’s mature cottonwoods and this year the community enjoys frequent views of a young white mule deer nearby. Loss of this space would be regrettable for town activities and remove the last vestige of open landscape on the town campus. It also represents the eastern face of the campus, thus impacting the image the town presents. Erecting a warehouse facility at the site seems inconsistent with the location’s prominence.
3) We believe ensuring the long-term welfare of Rowley Downs, a unique and historical Parker neighborhood, is important in maintaining the quality of downtown Parker. We worry the proposed plan for a commercial building at the development’s entrance will negatively impact Rowley Downs property values and downtown Parker.
4) Because of its town-campus location, impact on Rowley Downs, its historical use, its proximity to the trail system, and the attraction and importance of open land and nature to Parker’s inherent character, we feel the community would be better served by reserving the lot as open land, reserving it for civic activities and fairs and other future town needs more consistent with the overall purpose of the campus.
We recognize what we ask will inconvenience the Parker Task Force, but feel strongly a community-based organization such as the Parker Task Force should have included Rowley Downs—a directly impacted neighborhood—in discussions about the property before any plans or donations were considered, offered or accepted.
We reiterate how much we appreciate the Parker Task Force’s purpose and efforts, but believe this is not an appropriate site for what is essentially a commercial warehouse application and that there are better-suited sites in the Parker.
To ensure the proposed construction not proceed, we ask that you reject any and all food bank requests for waivers of Historic Center District building standards, that you reject any and all food bank requests for projects related easements to allow the facility to use Historic Center District town property in the project, and that you take all other appropriate actions to ensure the property continues to be a valuable asset to Parker and its residents.
President | Rowley Downs Board of Directors
PS: We are excited to learn of your discussions with Douglas County Libraries to place a new library near the town campus.