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Adams County aims to have say in Denver’s airport city plans

By Crystal Nelson

BRIGHTON — The Airport Coordinating Committee met for the first time in nearly five years Dec. 6 to start to address concerns local leaders have with Denver’s proposed airport city plan near the Denver International Airport.
    The committee, which includes the cities of Aurora, Brighton, Commerce City, Thornton and Westminster as well as Adams County, re-affirmed their commitment through a memorandum of understanding to work together on Airport City and any proposed land use surrounding the DIA.

    Adams County Commissioner and committee spokesman Erik Hansen said the memorandum further solidifies a commitment to the original 1988 intergovernmental agreement where the City and County of Denver, Adams County and its cities agreed to work “cooperatively and collaboratively” on development plans around DIA that would benefit the entire region with jobs and economic development.
    Hansen said as currently proposed, Denver’s airport city plans would violate the 1988 IGA between Adams County and Denver, breaking the 25-year bond with Adams County voters.
    “There were promises made in the original 1988 IGA, and we expect them to be kept and we’re unified in making sure that that economic development benefits the entire region,” he said
    Hansen also said Adams County and its cities are committed to work in a “cooperative and collaborative manner” and that they “expect the same sort of regionalism from Denver as it relates to Airport City activity.”
    “We look forward to partnering with Denver on how best to support the Airport City vision while honoring the intent of Adams county voters,” he said. “With today’s action, we will do so with a unified and powerful voice.”
    Although the Airport Coordinating Committee approved the MOU, the agreement has to go before several of the governmental entities’ boards. Brian McBroom, city manager for Commerce City, signed the MOU following the meeting, as permitted by the city’s charter. Brighton will consider it during its 7 p.m. Dec. 18 meeting in City Hall.
    The committee’s next meeting has been scheduled for 1 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Adams County Government Center.
    “I think that by that time all entities will have formally adopted the MOU, we’ll have further discussions about the intergovernmental agreement and I think what we hope to accomplish is to further solidify our unity as well as take some additional action to address our concerns with regard to the airport city development,” Hansen said.

Contact Staff Writer Crystal Nelson via email
at cnelson@metrowestnewspapers.com.