EDITORíS DESK: KFC: A need for balance
The KFC/A&W proposal for 31st Street and Colorado Avenue (see story on Page 1) poses interesting questions about
the balance between property rights and a neighborhood's needs and wants.
On the one hand, the corporation owning this particular link in its chain of stores has every reason to try to maximize its profits - as regulated by competition from other fast-food merchants in the vicinity. In that respect, we should probably feel grateful that the Harman Management Corporation is showing a willingness to design a less garish building than the bright little box that currently sits there, to upgrade the landscaping, and to support extending the Midland Trail at the rear of the property along Fountain Creek.
That having been said, there are legitimate community concerns. Signage is clearly part of that. No question, the proposed freestanding signs - which apparently meet city regulations - are massive.
But the underlying issue, at least to this one observer, is how this development defines the Westside. Do we just cede that part of Colorado Avenue to fast-food chain stores (as City Planning seems to think we should), ignoring the fact that truly historic homes exist right across the street from KFC? And even if they weren't historic, shouldn't the rights of their residents count for something? The right not to have a traumatizing view, the right to feel that where they live means something? Let the KFC be built, but let it be on terms that Westsiders can live with.