CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, CO (KDVR/CNN) – A neighborhood outside of Denver will no longer be called “Swastika Acres.”
The area had once been home to a company with the word “swastika” in the name, but that name was chosen long before Germany’s Nazi Party adopted the symbol.
In the southwest corner of the small city of Cherry Hills Village, the word “swastika” won’t be found on roadway welcome signs, but it is seen on legal, historic and real estate closing documents.
“Some buyers are savvy enough to read the documents and really dig in and understand what their legal description of their property is. That’s the only way you’d know,” said Cherry Hills Village councilman Dan Sheldon, who spearheaded the effort to change the name of the subdivision.
The Cherry Hills Village city council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a new name.
Sheldon showed KDVR old documents that tell the history of the business from which the neighborhood took its name, the Denver Land Swastika Company, which divided the land in plots there at the turn of the 20th century.
"It was nothing wrong with it at that time," Sheldon said.
Sheldon said over the years there’s been a desire to change the name of Swastika Acres, but the legal process to do so wasn’t easy, requiring 100 percent of property owners to be on board.
So, Cherry Hills Village adopted a new ordinance requiring just 51 percent of owner approval.
"I think all the neighbors out there are excited to see this get finished," Sheldon said.
But not everyone supported the name change. One woman voiced her opposition to the city.
"She thought it was important to preserve that historical value of that symbol, the swastika, even though she herself lost family members in the Holocaust," Sheldon said.
But with the majority of residents wanting the change, Swastika Acres is no more. The subdivision will now go by the name “Old Cherry Hills.”