Property owner leaves Greenwood Village after rejected rezoning request


The land is undeveloped and separated from the rest of Greenwood Village by Interstate 225. (Google Maps)

Greenwood Village just got a little bit smaller.

The southern suburb’s City Council last week approved the “disconnection” of 5.78 acres north of Interstate 225, near RTD’s Dayton station.

The move makes the land, which is currently undeveloped, part of unincorporated Arapahoe County.

It’s not uncommon for a city to annex land into its boundaries, taking property from a county’s jurisdiction into its own. But de-annexation is more rare. This is the third time it’s happened in Greenwood Village, with the previous episodes happening in 1985 and 2011, according to city spokesman Garrett Graybeal.

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A map included in city documents showing the location of the property. (Public records)

The 5.78 acres border Aurora and Denver, and had been the northernmost part of Greenwood Village — one of only two privately owned lots north of I-225. It is owned by an LLC controlled by David Chaknova, which bought it in 2015 for $5 million, records show.

The land was part of 77 acres that Greenwood Village annexed into the city in 1980. Cherry Creek School District owned the land then, and dedicated it to open space and livestock agriculture. 

Five years later, a developer asked a northern portion of the land be annexed into Aurora for continuity on a project, marking the first land disconnection in Greenwood Village. 

That left 23 acres north of I-225 in Greenwood Village — including the parcel now owned by Chaknova — which were zoned for commercial use. Last year, Chaknova applied to change that, requesting his land be rezoned for residential use. There is housing to the north and west.

At the time, Chaknova and developer Metropolitan Residential Advisors (MRA) proposed developing an eight-building, 80-unit condominium complex on the site, according to city documents. Chaknova declined to comment. MRA did not respond to requests for comment. 

In August, the City Council denied the rezoning for a handful of reasons, one of which was that Greenwood Village police could not quickly reach the property. The department said the fastest it could get to the property in an emergency was eight minutes and 45 seconds, double the average citywide response time of four minutes and 10 seconds.  

So, in January, Chaknova started the process to leave Greenwood Village and become part of unincorporated Arapahoe County. 

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A rendering of the proposed condominium complex submitted to the city as part of the unsuccessful rezoning bid. (Public records)

According to state law, those who own more than 5 acres near city boundaries can petition for their land to be disconnected if they can prove their municipality cannot provide the same services to the property as it does to others. 

Chaknova’s property made the cut with 0.78 acres to spare. And the police department’s statements about response times made it easy to prove the component about city services.

A special election was held April 16. Greenwood Village residents voted 2,906 to 320 in favor of disconnecting the parcel, according to city records, and the council made it official last week.

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