(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Community members living near a proposed apartment project on the north side of Colorado Springs say they fear the new development would damage their neighborhood. Concerns surrounding the multifamily housing project sparked after a community meeting in early August.
Pine Creek neighbors are now making their voices heard as a 232-unit apartment project is proposed in the Briargate area.
“32 apartments, 632 plus people living in this tiny area,” said Stephen Parrish, a Pine Creek neighbor.
Community members fear additional traffic generated by future tenants living in hundreds of apartment units would impact already congested roads around the development site and Pine Creek neighborhood.
“They want to put two u-shaped buildings that are 50 plus feet high,” Parrish explained. “They are also roughly 300 feet long. You’re going to have everyone use one road to come into the apartment complex.”
Parrish says his family chose to live in the Pine Creek neighborhood because it didn’t have apartments.
“It was designed for commercial use,” Parrish said.
Now Parrish and hundreds of his neighbors are preparing to appeal the project.
“It sickens me to see what’s happening, this is our city,” Parrish explained. “We, the residents, have a say, it’s not up to developers.”
Another concern – neighbors say they believed the proposed project site was zoned for commercial use only and were surprised to see an apartment complex planned. There is even a billboard advertising medical office space.
“Being that this property was zoned commercial, there is maybe a sort of logical connection that likely commercial uses would be developed on the site, but that does not preclude other uses from being proposed or developed on that property should they comply with the zoning criteria,” said Katelynn Wintz, Colorado Springs Planning Supervisor.
City Development officials say the land is already zoned to allow multifamily residential uses such as apartment complexes. The city intends to issue up to $40 million in private activity bonds to build the complex.
“Private activity bonds have been used on a number of projects in the city that have been developed or are in the process of being developed,” Wintz explained.
Parrish and his neighbors have created the Preserve Pine Creek Village LLC and are prepared to appeal the proposal should it receive administrative approval.
In the meantime, city officials say public involvement is important and valued by city staff and encourage the public to reach out to them with any changes or modifications to the proposed plan to better support the concerns of those living in the area.