Sept. 6 Council update: Costco agreement approved; Proposed 2023 Budget, ColoradoScape requirements for new homes move forward
An infrastructure incentive agreement for a proposed Costco has been approved; and the Town Manager’s Proposed 2023 Budget and a potential requirement for no-grass ColoradoScapes for new homes’ front lawns are moving forward following Town Council’s Sept. 6 meeting.
Here is a closer look:
- Costco agreement – Town Council approved on first reading (Approved 6-1, For: Gray, Bracken, Dietz, Hollingshead, Johnson, LaFleur; Opposed: Cavey) an agreement for the Town to provide up to $10 million in infrastructure assistance to bring a Costco to Castle Rock as part of the planned Dawson Trails project.
Costco is estimated to generate $4 to $6 million annually in Town sales tax, which would make it the single-largest sales tax generator in Town. With this projected revenue, the Town plans to hire 18 fire and police staff in 2025-2027.
Under the agreement, the Town will pay the developer an initial $3.5 million when Costco opens from the Town’s Economic Development Fund, which is comprised of taxes from commercial developments. The remaining amount will be paid from a portion of the new sales tax Costco will generate – which will be paid by all Costco shoppers, regardless of where they reside – so the incentive will not be paid from existing general tax sources.
Municipalities typically offer incentives for Costco locating within a jurisdiction. Parker paid $8 million in 2007 for Costco to locate there, and Longmont this year paid $10.9 million in incentives to attract a Costco.
Also related to the Dawson Trails project, Council approved a service plan for the metropolitan districts that will serve that area. A metropolitan district is a taxing entity, separate from the Town, that exists primarily to finance public improvements that benefit property owners in the district. The service plan includes a regional mill levy of 5 mills that will be used to help fund Town services. This equates to an additional $156 in property tax annually paid to the Town by each Dawson Trails homeowner, per today’s median home value.
- Proposed 2023 Budget – Public safety would continue as the Town’s top priority under the Proposed 2023 Budget, which the Town Manager introduced Tuesday to Town Council and the community.
To provide resources to ensure outstanding public safety, it’s proposed that a portion of the Town’s sales tax be reallocated from the Town’s Transportation Fund to its General Fund, to allow for the hiring of four police and four fire personnel in 2023. Enhancing the Town’s roads would remain a strong priority, with construction of the Crystal Valley interchange expected to begin in 2023, along with $18.5 million planned in annual pavement maintenance.
Securing the Town’s water future would remain another key priority. To help provide for nearly $300 million in water project investments over the next five years, a water rate increase of 3.88% for the typical residential customer is proposed for 2023. Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course green fees are proposed to increase by $5 per round. No tax increases are proposed for 2023. The Town’s property tax mill levy would remain 1.139, which amounts to $35.53 annually for a median-valued home.
Improvements to Mitchell Gulch Park are planned to continue in 2023, along with numerous other key initiatives.
The first reading of the Proposed 2023 Budget will be on Sept. 20, and the second reading on Oct. 4. Visit CRgov.com/2023Budget
for additional details, including a two-page Budget in Brief document and the Town Manager’s Budget Message.
- ColoradoScape requirements – Conservation is critical to ensuring water for Castle Rock’s future. With that in mind, Castle Rock Water is proposing that Town Council limit the amount of grass allowed in the yards of new homes built in Castle Rock after Jan. 1, 2023.
A proposed ordinance introduced Tuesday would prohibit grass in front lawns for new homes – instead requiring water-wise ColoradoScapes – and would allow no more than 500 square feet of irrigated turf in backyards. These measures could reduce outdoor water use Townwide by about 50% once Castle Rock is fully built out.
The requirements would not apply to existing homes. Homebuilders would be incentivized to install both front and back yards of new homes under the proposal if the regulations are enacted. Since new homes with ColoradoScaped front and back yards will impose less demand on the Town’s water system, the incentive will be reduced water system development fees for homebuilders that install both. The requirements will be heard on first reading on Sept. 20 and on second and final reading on Oct. 18.
Council also approved on first reading (Approved 6-1, For: Gray, Bracken, Cavey, Dietz, Hollingshead, LaFleur; Opposed: Johnson) an ordinance designating routes for commercial truck drivers to follow when traveling through Town, to eliminate cut-through freight traffic in predominantly residential areas. Learn more a CRgov.com/TruckRoute
Additionally, Town Council approved a request from the property owner to demolish the house at 414 N. Perry St. The Town’s Historic Preservation Board has recommended approval of the demolition.