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"City officials are warning that a recently launched citizen petition designed to keep a prominent and picturesque parcel of land on the western fringe of the metro area [of Golden in Colorado] free of commercial development could cost taxpayers up to $5 million as part of a legal showdown over property rights," reports John Aguilar.
Golden Overlook is a 27-acre vacant area, and the owner of the property wants to build storage spaces and warehouses on the land. But residents want to see Golden Overlook kept as open space.
The property is zoned for commercial use, and any regulatory taking of the land would require that the city compensate the landowner, which could amount to up to $5 million, a significant amount of the city budget.
"The effort comes at a time when the rapid pace of development throughout the metro area has led to pushback and resistance from those bemoaning a sense of lost natural space in the face of increased urbanization," says Aguilar.