Prior to Foxfield
Prior to establishment of land claims of European nations, Native Americans, including members of the Kiowa, Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, inhabited the area now known as Foxfield. We can only imagine them admiring the same grand vistas, open spaces and blue skies that residents of Foxfield enjoy today.
The area was part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and later was included in the Kansas territory. As part of that territory, it included a large part of eastern Colorado as well as a county named Arapahoe, which was much larger than the current Arapahoe County. At that time Arapahoe County's eastern border was the Kansas state line and the western boundary was what is now Sheridan Boulevard. When Kansas became a state in 1861, the territory of Colorado was established and Arapahoe became a Colorado county. These boundaries existed until 1902 when the county was divided into several counties, including Washington, Yuma, Valverde, and Denver. Later it was again divided to form Adams County. Currently, Arapahoe County is a rectangular strip, seventy-two miles long and twelve miles wide with Foxfield in its western region.
Arcadian Acres was the first development in the area prior to the formation of the Town of Foxfield. It included the area in the northwest corner of the town along Arapahoe Road. Prior to 1965 this road, from Parker Road east to South Liverpool, was known as East Davidson Road after the Davidson family who lived in the area for many years. Bill and Joe Davidson were brothers who owned much of the land in the Foxfield area and whose heirs sold their farming and ranching acreage to developers for some of the subdivisions existing today in the vicinity of Liverpool and Arapahoe Road.
How Foxfield Became a Town
The seeds for the Town of Foxfield were sown in the late 1980s when local residents started seeing zoning proposals that did not seem to be compatible with the residential communities along Arapahoe Road. While the Arapahoe County Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners listened to residents as they shared their vision for the area, plans often proceeded without regards to that vision. These concerns prompted the formation of the Parker and Arapahoe Roads Residents Coalition (PARRC). This group published a newsletter which went to all the communities east of Parker Road to Liverpool and took in Valley Club and Algonquin Acres.
Resident Al Gibson took the lead for the incorporation effort and researched the requirements to incorporate a Town. With the goal of maintaining the character of the neighborhood, some residents also researched how to create a public service infrastructure to support a municipality. Their discoveries led to future agreements and funding share backs from state and county, and ensured law enforcement, road, and buildings services for the Town. Headed by Al Gibson, an incorporation committee formed in late 1993. Members included Ray Carr, Dan Gaddy, Hap Henderson, Rebecca McSwain, and Tom Morroni. Additionally, there were regular attendees who contributed ideas and money as needed.
The name Foxfield was chosen during a series of meetings at the [now demolished] Cherry Creek Grange at the SE corner of Parker and Orchard Roads. Ray Carr proposed the name Foxfield, which was village in England where his in-laws lived.
Incorporation required approval of the Board of County Commissioners because there were less than 500 registered voters. In July of 1994, The Town won approval with the provision that although Arapahoe Road was drawn into the boundaries of the Town the County would retain control of the road. The five-member Election Commission, appointed by Judge Levi, consisted of Anita Taylor, Chairperson, Jutta Garlington, Margaret Henderson, Fred Hicks, and Marie Mackenzie. The Commission set a December 13, 1994, incorporation election. The question was approved by 78% of the voters who went to the polls.
Residents watched as Aurora rapidly moved farther south. Although Aurora's mayor sent a letter assuring Foxfield that there was no interest in annexation, a proposal appeared on the ballot to create the City and County of Aurora in part by annexing Foxfield and all the surrounding communities. Although it did not pass, it reinforced the community's belief that it was better off being a political entity than appealing to one. On February 28, 1995, the first Mayor and Foxfield Board of Trustees were elected. They were Mayor Al Gibson and trustees Don Garlington and Milo Hurley, Jr., Ward 1, Tom Morroni and Jim Reinheimer, Ward 2, and Bruce Lauderback and DeDe Sherman, Ward 3. The newly elected board held its first meeting March 23, 1995.
The next challenge was how to run a government with no funding until January of 1996! Contributions were made by residents; thus, allowing the Town to purchase supplies. In early summer and auction was held in the vacant field at Arapahoe and Waco. Locals contributed items for the auction and residents Chuck Bohn and Dan McCrae contributed their professional talents and equipment to run the event, which raised $10,000. With the auction proceeds and the help of Arapahoe County, which provided services during the first year, the Town was able to serve as a functioning government. Foxfield was the first new Colorado Town to incorporate in 13 years and the lessons learned served as a road map for new municipalities. Lone Tree and Centennial both used our experience to guide their subsequent incorporation.
Foxfield thrives on the involvement of its citizens and its sense of community. We owe a great deal to those who have given their time and talents to serve in elected office and who have volunteered for many projects over the years.