The Colorado Springs Planning Commission on Thursday approved the next phase of development for Gold Hill Mesa, a traditional neighborhood development on the southwest side of town, despite protests from homeowners in the neighboring residential development of Villa de Mesa.
Neighbors from Villa de Mesa said they wanted a wall the developer promised to build around the existing neighborhood to separate it from the new development and construction. And they want it now.
Gold Hill Mesa’s attorney, Tim Seibert, said the financial realty in today’s lending climate would prevent Gold Hill Mesa from constructing the wall immediately.
“I understand their desire,” Seibert told commissioners. “The best we can offer is what was proposed … there’s no financing right now, so developers have to use their own cash flow to fund projects and they’re building on a lot-by-lot basis.”
Jim Scheer, Villa de Mesa homeowners’ association president and the Brian Murphy, the association’s attorney, said that it’s been seven years since Gold Hill Mesa promised to construct the wall. Homeowners are concerned that it may never be completed, and while no timeline was on the original agreement, Villa de Mesa homeowners were led to believe it would happen soon.
Several of the commissioners said it wasn’t the commission’s business to litigate a civil dispute, and couldn’t require the developer the build the wall.
The commission passed the application for a new master plan and recommended the city council approve it as well.
The plan includes re-directing Villa de Mesa road to access Gold Hill Mesa from 21st Street.
The commission also approved some zoning changes that developers said would not change the neighborhood’s density. The new plan includes a significant commercial development along Highway 24 and the community’s frontage on 21st Street.
Developers also told commissioners that they have provisional approval from the Colorado Department of Transportation to create a right-turn entrance and exit to that commercial development from Highway 24 at 15th Street.