Gold Hill Mesa & The "Mini-downtown" Coming

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In existing Gold Hill Mesa, there are 627 total homes. Several are under construction right now and 6 are yet to begin construction.  Filing 11 and 12 adds 212 more homes for a total of 839 homes.  Apartments, hotel, amphitheater and high traffic commercial is planned for the "Mini-downtown".

 

In regards to the future filings, the traffic analysis approved with the Concept Plan includes the following:

  1. 250 Detached Single-Family Homes

  2. 260 Duplex Single-Family Homes

  3. 240 Apartment Units

  4. 120 Hotel Rooms

  5. 6,600 Sq. Ft. of Retail

  6. 31,600 Sq. Ft. of Fast Casual Restaurant

  7. 44,200 Sq. Ft. of High Turnover Restaurant

  8. 5,600 Sq. Ft. of Fast Foot with Drive Thru

  9. 1,800 Sq. Ft. of Coffee/ Donut Restaurant

On June 1st, 2022, several Westside Watch board members held a conference call with Peter Wysocki (Director of City Planning & Development), Todd Frisbee (City Traffic Engineer), Michael Tassi (Planning Supervisor), Caleb Jackson (City Planner),  Katie Carleo (City Planning), and Fire Marshall Brett Lacey.  Several Westside Watchers had expressed concern about the massive ground grading occurring near Gold Hill Mesa (Highway 24 & 21st street).  This was connected to the February 21s. 2022 CONO hosted meeting with Peter Wysocki, Councilmember Stephannie Fortune and others to promote CONO and PlanCOS where it was revealed that there was a "Mini-downtown" being planned for that location.  After the fire near Red Rocks Canyon when Manitou Fire shut down Highway 24, we realized what a problem this could pose for evacuation of BOTH the north and south side of Highway 24 areas (i.e. Skyway, Broadmoor, Old Colorado City, Cedar Heights, Kissing Camels, Pleasant Valley and Manitou neighborhoods) which is why we reached out to Peter Wysocki for answers.  The most disturbing part of this call was when two simple questions were posed:

1.  What is the current evacuation time for Skyway/Broadmoor residents today, and what will it be after this Mini-downtown is developed?

City Traffic Engineer Todd Frisbee responded that he didn't know and cannot know because "too many variables" exist to do evacuation modeling.  We strongly objected as not only did our own city used to do evacuation modeling in 2010, but we brought in world experts in evacuation modeling to present studies for two WUI areas (the Broadmoor area and Garden of the Gods/Mountain Shadows areas).  Additionally, cities across the country use evacuation modeling for all kinds of hazards, including and especially fire, and have for over half a century.  For example, Marin County/Mill Valley use several tools like Google, FLEET and just commissioned for a road scoring software to score every road in their county for evacuation times so they can mitigate problems to their road networks which they have already started.  It's utterly disturbing that these claims that you cannot evacuation model because of too many variables like "wind" is absurd.  It's static inputs, road network and cars on the road.  We believe they do not want the public to know their clearance evacuation times because developers are afraid it will stop development and the public will be horrified at how bad they are and demand action -- which is EXACTLY what needs to happen.  Identify the problem and fix it, in advance of the next big fire so we minimize loss of life and implement standards for future development which is what the Clearance Evacuation Time - Public & Life Safety Ordinance does, and why we wrote it and presented it -- and also why the City is ignoring it.

2.  To Todd Frisbee, the question was asked, "Have you ever denied a single development?"

The answer was no. While we all support responsible growth and development of Colorado Springs, we believe that our City leadership ALWAYS approving every development without analyzing the impact to critical public and life safety issues has created the obscenely long evacuation times that the software is showing and evacuation experts presented.  The public safety and concerns of the residents and voters should be the FIRST box checked in evaluating all future developments, and we should fix the current problems and develop road infrastructure BEFORE we approve future developments.  Basic common sense, isn't it?  

What can you do regarding the Gold Hill Mesa Mini-downtown?  Below are all the documents we have secured for both the two new additions, Filing 11 and 12, to Gold Hill Mesa you are seeing all the work for as well as vague plans for the Mini-downtown.  We cannot do much about the Filing 11 and 12 as those are already approved, but you can email Caleb Jackson (please copy us for transparency) with your concerns about these two new additions.  Caleb's email is:  Caleb.Jackson@coloradosprings.gov.  Our email is:  westsidewatchcos@gmail.com.  Regarding the Mini-downtown, we have numerous concerns about what is being visualized not the least of which are:​

  • 21st Street is one of three primary egresses out of the Broadmoor/Skyway area and dumps onto Highway 24 which is a critical egress for everything from Manitou/Green Mountain Falls/Cedar Heights to Old Colorado City/Kissing Camels, WHAT IS THE CURRENT EVACUATION TIME AND WHAT WILL IT BE WHEN THIS MINI-DOWNTOWN IS DEVELOPED?

  • One road in and out of the Mini-downtown

  • An music amphitheater in Gold Hill Mesa that is only accessible via the surrounding neighborhood or via the Mini-downtown.

Presentations/Materials Regarding Gold Hill Mesa and/or the Mini-downtown