Candelas: A Big Box & Residential Development to be Built on Nuclear Waste and Watered by the Fraser and Colorado Rivers via Gross Reservoir
The Rocky Flats Nuclear Plant was a Unites States nuclear weapons production facility that operated from 1952 to 1992. Some of the plutonium, tritium, dioxin and other contaminants that polluted the site and its buildings have been removed. Even so, recent studies demonstrate that the plutonium levels in the soil, which become airborne when the soil is disturbed, remain at unsafe levels.
Many of the workers at the Rocky Flats plant took pride in their work protecting Americans from the Russian nuclear threat. They are now suffering and dying in unimaginably horrific ways because of exposures at nuclear production facility. Watch Dying on American Soil, a heartbreaking documentary of the lives of the Rocky Flats workers.
The Candelas Development: Statewide Impact
By Preserve Colorado
An immediate example of the trade-offs between conventional local development and statewide impact is Denver Water’s proposal to expand Gross Reservoir. This proposal is driven in part (and would be partially funded by) the city of Arvada to secure water supply for the Candelas development. In addition, an integral part of the Candelas development is construction of a toll way that has been resisted by regional citizens and communities. The statewide impact represents a cruel tax on affected citizens and the environment in the form of extensive collateral damage that in many cases is irreversible and therefore can not be effectively mitigated. Candelas Development
- 1,500 acre mixed conventional development
- 1,456 single family homes
- 3,185 attached and multi-family homes
- 350,000 square feet industrial
- 6.9 million square feet commercial, including 18-story buildings
- Traditional water intense landscaping including golf and grassy park areas and big lawns
- Plans to impose a toll way on area residents for the benefit of Candelas
- Endangered Fraser River reduced to 20% of normal flow, with 50% of Fraser and Upper Colorado River water already diverted to Front Range
- Loss of 20-30,000 trees
- Inundation of 230 acres of elk, moose, mule deer and big horn sheep migration routes
- Two globally-rare plant communities wiped out
- 4-6 years of gravel haul trucks drastically impeding traffic and decreasing safety from Longmont to Gross Reservoir both for local residents and Front Range commuters (superficial consideration given to using rail as in the original construction of Gross Dam)
- Years of quarry blasting noise and diesel truck and machinery noise
- Negative impacts on the quality of life, directly or indirectly, for 17,000 residents of the greater Coal Creek Canyon area, including a downward impact on property values, serious noise, dust and diesel pollution, flushing wildlife away from the area, damage to trout fisheries, impeding fire, police and medical emergency vehicles, a doubling or more of commuter travel time, the loss of Gross Dam as a recreational area for many years with access to Eldorado Canyon State Park and Walker Ranch severely obstructed as well
- Toll way plan would cripple traffic on Hwy 93 and Indiana and require $800+ million of taxpayer money to connect to an existing system that is inadequate for added traffic
The Rocky Road to Developing Around Rocky Flats
By Jared Jacang Maher Thursday, Jan 15 2009
... Charles McKay already owns a large chunk of the land that he and others plan to turn into the 2,000-acre Candelas, a development with more than 4,000 single-family homes and 7.2 million square feet of office, retail and industrial space that will be located in western Arvada, just below the former nuclear-weapons plant that's being turned into a wildlife refuge. Promotional materials for Candelas paint the project as an Eden of environmental stewardship, "a place where neighbors are as committed to our planet's future as you are." They'll be living in homes equipped with energy-efficient appliances and using recreation centers that are LEED-certified, "so they're as good for the environment as they are for your health."
But unlike urban infill developments that center density around transit hubs so that people aren't reliant on cars, Candelas is counting on the construction of the most auto-based transportation project imaginable: a highway. The latest drawing for Candelas shows a Denver Tech Center-style development of office high-rises organized along winding streets, all huddled around the hulking bend of the "Proposed/Assumed Jefferson Parkway....
Rocky Flats, Section 16, and the Proposed Jefferson Parkway: Decision Day for Boulder and Boulder County
By LeRoy Moore December 16, 2010
...Likewise, the Rocky Flats site itself is still contaminated. Those responsible for the “cleanup” that preceded transfer in 2006 of most of the site to US Fish & Wildlife Service to operate as a wildlife refuge made no effort to clean the site to the maximum extent possible with existing technology. Indeed, part of the logic of turning the site into a wildlife refuge was to reduce the cost of the “cleanup.” An unknown quantity of plutonium in particle form was deliberately left in soil on the site....