City Commission postpones Wheat Ridge annexation decision to January

City Commissioners voted Tuesday to postpone a decision on Wheat Ridge until their Jan. 15 meeting.

The decision was made largely to give city staff time to review revised storm water plans submitted by the developers late last week and on Tuesday afternoon. Commissioners also had concerns about public safety access to and from the development.

Commissioner Owen Robinson moved to approve the proposed annexation but the motion was amended by Commissioner Mary Moe who added conditions that approval was contingent on storm water and public safety access details to be worked out afterward.

Wheat Ridge vote scheduled for tonight’s City Commission meeting

Craig Raymond, city planning director, said he was concerned about conditional annexation and wasn’t clear on what conditions Moe was proposing based on her motion.

Raymond said it would take time for the development to provide the necessary information about the new storm water idea and it would take time for staff to review and suggested a January date to revisit the proposal.

City staff recommended denial of the project over concerns on storm water, public safety, connectivity and compatibility with Malmstrom Air Force Base.

The Wheat Ridge development team argued that their proposal meets the city’s criteria for approval.

A number of supporters said the city should approve the project for economic development, additional housing and to move on from the hope of a new flying mission at Malmstrom.

Opponents of the project, which included the Great Falls Area Chamber of Commerce, the Montana Defense Alliance, a Cascade County commissioner and others, said the city should deny the annexation to avoid limiting future mission opportunities for the base.

Sen. Steve Daines and Rep. Greg Gianforte sent a letter on Tuesday to the city saying any decision limiting the base is “shortsighted.”