COLORADO SPRINGS — A virtual neighborhood meeting about the potential rezoning of property in Mountain Shadows had about 375 participants.
The property owner at 2424 W. Garden of the Gods has submitted a proposal to re-zone the area making several homeowners nearby frustrated.
Katelynn Wintz, a senior planner with the City of Colorado Springs said they received an application for a concept plan, zone change, and master plan amendment from industrial to office/commercial. Wintz described the plan as a basic, general design and said it is still under review by the city.
Right now the property is home to a large office complex.
Office/Commercial zones are generally located adjacent to residential developments and serve as a buffer to the more commercial zones, according to the city website.
Dozens of neighbors have reached out to the city and FOX21 to voice their opposition to this rezoning project, citing traffic, safety, and property value concerns. Some said if a large residential property is built, the infrastructure of fire, schools, and police response would be inadequate.
One of the main concerns was that all people who live in the neighborhood were not notified.
The City of Colorado Springs said they are only required to notify people within 1,000 feet of the property.
“City planning has completely failed every resident of mountain shadows in their notification process,” said resident James Rowland.
A representative of the developer, Andrea Barlow, spoke about the plans by saying there was some mis-information going around about their plans.
“The assumption was that we were going to put these uses across out entire property, our concept plan shows that’s not the case,” said Barlow. “We’re not touching the agriculture zone property, and were not touching the PUD zone property. It was identified as open space and that’s not going to change.”
Barlow said a majority of the property would remain the same. A 15-acre plot they proposed 250 standard market-rate apartment units and then in an 11-acre area they proposed 300 residential units.
A city traffic consultant — presented a traffic study that was done in 2020. and added they accounted for lower numbers due to COVID. However, community members believe the traffic data is deflated.
“This is poorly planned, it’s not thought out, and it’s sloppy math and you need to do a better job,” said community member Pam Wood.
Additionally, the developer brought up the building was at only 40 percent capacity and they wanted to re-zone to make full use of the building.
“I am very concerned about development like this, they are trying to make up a loss of what they are getting from their building, by putting in these residential developments. That’s a bank roll issue it is not a smart issue for our community,” said resident Chris Volberding.
This proposal will now head to the city planning commission.