How Foxfield Became a Town

by Marie Mackenzie

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. 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.

Many neighbors attended meetings of the Arapahoe County Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners to present a shared vision for a livable area. They tended to listen, say "Thank you very much" and proceed with whatever they had already planned.

Al Gibson took the lead for the incorporation effort. He researched the facts and procedures necessary to incorporate a Town without creating a burden on its future citizens. Neighbors agreed to work together to keep the Town as similar as possible to the neighborhood from which it was formed. Residents discovered they were entitled to certain share backs from state and county funds, and by contracting with the County, could have Sheriff and road maintenance services as well as building department review and inspection. In late 1993, an incorporation committee formed with Al Gibson at its head. The other members were Ray Carr, Dan Gaddy, Hap Henderson, Rebecca McSwain, and Tom Morroni. There were other regulars who sat in on the meetings at Al's house and contributed ideas and money as needed.

In 1994, we had a series of meetings at the [now demolished] Cherry Creek Grange at the SE corner of Parker and Orchard Roads. It was at one of those meetings that the name Foxfield was chosen for the Town. It is the name of a village in England where Ray Carr's in-laws lived and the community liked the sound of it. We invited adjacent communities to join us but they showed very little interest and so we decided to proceed. It required approval of the Board of County Commissioners because we had less than 500 registered voters.

In July of 1994, we 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 function with no funds coming in until January of 1996! Some contributed to the cause allowing us to purchase supplies. Our big salvation was an auction held in early summer in the vacant field at Arapahoe and Waco. Residents contributed items for auction and residents Chuck Bohn and Dan McCrae contributed their professional talents and equipment to run the event! We made around $10,000 which saw us through the rest of the year until our funds started arriving. Fortunately, the County provided our services for the first year so we were covered for the basics. We were the first new Colorado Town to incorporate in 13 years and 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.