Tag Archives: zoning

Independence 920 Homes or 2,500? Part I

Independence Serentity Pointe Elbert County ColoradoThey keep saying 920 homes for “Independence”, but even as far back as 2009 another development called “Serenity Pointe” has been right next door to the former “Bandera” development.  Literally, right next door.

Here’s the Elbert County Commissioners Resolution 09-14:

Elbert County Res 09-14 Bandera West PUD

Note section 4:

“4.) The current site layout shows residential clusters abutting the property boundaries on the north, west, and east. To avoid potential conflicts between agricultural uses and the smaller lots (1/2 acre), the buffer area along these property boundaries should be increased. This will require shifting some of the perimeter lots toward the interior to create additional buffer area, eliminating the perimeter lots, or re-locating them elsewhere on the property. Serenity Point is a proposed development adjacent to and immediately north of Bandera. The lot configuration being proposed along Bandera’s north boundary may be appropriate, provided the open space and road connections are coordinated between the two proposed developments”.

As many that were there in person for the County Commissioners public hearing before the vote heard, Independence developer Tim Craft “offered” us citizens increased buffer setbacks out of the goodness of his heart to help sway any doubters.  Such a nice guy that Tim Craft.  Read section 4 above again.

Serenity Pointe is the 320 acre parcel of land immediately north of Independence and is owned by the Walton Group and their Asian “Land Unit” partners.  They together have invested north of 9 Million dollars in AG (agricultural) land.  They invested in a 320 acre field of nothing, not even a tree.  You think they’re going to spend that kind of money to graze cattle?  The storm is right around the corner.

Now, so we’re clear.  Independence is 920 homes, Serenity Pointe exact numbers aren’t known yet, but the Walton Group gives us clues.  Many clues.  They’re doing another development north of Denver in Larimer County called “Taft Ridge”.  Taft Ridge is 855 lots on 178 acres.  Here’s their brochure:

Walton Group “Taft Ridge” 855 lots on 178 acres (.20 acre/lot)

Walton Group also has several other land development projects going on across the country, including several failed ones.  They don’t actually build homes, they buy ag land, attract Asian investors to lessen their load, flip county zoning, planning and commissioner boards, then sell to real developers and walk away with the profit.  Oh, they usually build a Walmart a few years ahead so their developments have a place to shop at their new store.  Sound familiar Elbert County?

Here’s the Walton Group’s “ownership” with their Asian partners from the Elbert County Assessor Website (log in as public):

Walton Group 320 Acres North of Independence

Click on any of those “special Warranty Deeds” and you’ll see their Asian land unit investors (silent partners) and “SERENITY POINTE REVOCABLE TRUST“.  There’s 411 investor deed issuance’s for a total of $9,030,000.00 for a 320 acre parcel of AG land.  Huh?  What could they possibly know that the rest of Elbert County hasn’t a clue?

So knowing the density of Taft Ridge at .20 acre per lot (5 lots per acre), we can take that number and divide 320 by .20 and what do we have for homes?  1,600 more homes.

So 920 homes is really 2,500 homes now, isn’t it?

You can start connecting the dots as to why Independence needs its own supersized waste water sewage plant.  Why it requested and received 6 Special Districts with powers of eminent domain.  Why the huge push to get Independence through.   And where do you get the water for 7,500 new residents?  There’s soooo much more tied to it, and there’s soooo much money that it’s too big to fail, right?

Haven’t we heard that before.

And finally, did Barry Dulzen from the Walton Group really send this letter of support for Independence to the Elbert County Commissioners?  You bet he did, pulled straight from the Elbert County Website (click to enlarge):

Walton Group Independence Letter (pdf)

My fine Elbert County neighbors, the enemy is much closer than you think.

Coming soon, PART II. Stay tuned.

Wayne Ordakowski, a concerned RURAL Elbert County Citizen