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Aerial photo with a one-block area circled.  The block contains trees and houses.
Future locations of Safeway and Burger King - 1966 photo by Bill Robie

36 Years Ago
The March 3, 1988 Golden Transcript reported that developers were seeking rezoning for the land north of Safeway, between Ford and Jackson Streets. There were two houses there at the time, and developers planned to raze them and build shops and a fast food restaurant.

The March 8th Transcript described the Planning Commission meeting at which the case was discussed. Fifty-eight residents had signed a petition against the rezoning and fifteen spoke against it at the meeting.

In addition to traffic, neighborhood residents are concerned about commercial encroachment into their residential area, proposed demolition of two “historic” residences, noise, air quality, property values and the fact that too much commercial space already is sitting vacant in Golden.

City staff recommended in favor of the project. The Planning Commission voted against it, 3-2.

The developer persisted, and the neighbors took their concerns to Council on April 14th. By that time, they had 131 residents on their petition, but the developer had collected 110 signatures from people who supported the project. The hearing was continued to (paused until) their next meeting.

The April 26th Transcript reported that the developers had continued to meet with City staff, and more staff members were urging Council to approve the rezoning. The neighbors asked why staff hadn’t met with them.

Satellite image with the same block circled, now occupied by Safeway, shops, and Burger King.
Google Satellite image showing the former residential area

The May 3, 1988 Transcript reported that Council had approved the rezoning. The neighbors continued to protest, and threatened a recall, but the Burger King opened in November of that year. The retail building opened the following spring, with Golden Video as its first tenant.

The fears about air quality were not unfounded. The May 9, 1989 Golden Transcript reported that “For the second time since it opened last winter. Burger King has come under fire for blowing smoke.” District 1 Councilor Matt Faykosh reported that “smoke was covering the streets around the restaurant Wednesday and Thursday of last week.” A Burger King representative responded that they were “addressing the problem by using low-fat oil and better filters.”

Thanks to the Golden History Museum for providing the online cache of historic Transcripts, and to the Golden Transcript for documenting our history since 1866!