Weems Neighborhood Proposal, Lafayette

I went to the planning commission meeting in Lafayette on October 28, 2015. The developers / architects/ and owners of the Weems neighborhood (to the NW of Walmart, directly north of Anna's Farms) were there to talk. The owner of this farm who has lived there for 40 years was asked by her husband before he died to do something with the property that would allow for people to age in place, and promote sustainability, their farming lifestyle, and multimodal transportation. She (the owner) hired another local woman as her project manager, and a CSA/farmshare lady, to help come up with a vision for the area. 

They have been working with local architects (David Kahn Studios, he is also a professor at CU in their sustainable building/planning department), and a local (actually in Lafayette!) builder (Keenan Tompkins of Cornerstone Contracting) to pull this together. They are looking at creating an inclusive community and catering to diverse needs with housing types ranging from multi-family condos, to townhomes and duplexes, to senior style patio homes/cottages, to single family homes. 

They are emphasizing walkability and bike ability, creating key connections between neighboring developments to the bus routes and trails. They are attempting a net zero energy neighborhood utilizing passive solar and water systems. I have asked for a copy of their slideshow to share with you guys. 

They realize that traffic developed from this dense of a community will be one of the largest issues, and will address it at the Dec. 2 meeting, but won't have a traffic study completed until the next meeting after that. There were citizens from Anna's Farms there to voice their concern about the transition from single family homes in Anna's Farms to townhomes along the southern edge of the proposed development. The architects stressed that they have heard the concerns and will work with the Anna's farms folks to address everything. There will be over 80' between the face of the Anna's Farms homes and the face of the buildings (whether single family or townhomes) in the new development. 

They are asking the neighborhood be zoned as medium density (which is what Indian Peaks and Anna's Farms are zoned as), and will stick with an average of 6 dwelling units per acre, or roughly 480 dwelling units. They are keeping over 30 acres of green space throughout the property, with pocket parks, trails, a CSA and community facility (they are picturing art studios, dance studios, yoga studios, coffee shops, a facility for community gatherings and weddings and parties, etc), there will be an orchard/berry area so there is edible landscaping. They are big on farm/garden to table stuff, and are making sure that almost every single lot is designed to have a south facing yard to accommodate a clothes line (seriously, developers mentioned a clothes line was incorporated in their planning!) and a garden so families can be more self sufficient. They are keeping open pastureland along the south west corner so the current owner can keep her horses there as she is planning to continue living on the property. 

Here is a copy of the presentation from the architect:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Check out the architect's other development in Arvada (it is how Susan, the owner, heard of him and decided she wanted to work with him): Click Here

You can also visit the builder's website: Click Here