Manitou Springs has been locked in battles with neighbors over development for years. Three prominent cases recently went in different directions.
The town’s fight with Bruce Brian is over. Brian paid $20,000 in 1992 for three acres within the city where he wanted to build a house. The city blocked him and in 2005 Brian gave up and sued for an illegal taking. He won at trial in 2007. Rather than let a jury set the selling price, the city bought Brian’s property for $113,ooo. Here is a map from www.FlashEarth.com showing the location of Brian’s property:
Tom McGee angered the town in 1989 when he bought 99 acres extending from the south city limits to the summit of Iron Mountain and asked to be annexed and provided with utilities so he could develop his land. The city blocked him and fought him in court. He retaliated in 1991 by building a house on the tip top of Iron Mountain. But now the two sides are talking to see if they can settle their differences.
Here is a photo of McGee’s house:
No progress is evident in the dispute between Manitou and Stephen and Wendy Beisel, who own 70 acres adjacent ot McGee. The Beisels have similar desires to develop their land and has been equally frustrated in their efforts.
Here is a map of the area and the approximate property boundaries:
Here is a 2006 photo of Stephen and Wendy Beisel on their property.
Beisel is due in municipal court Tuesday, June 17, on charges he illegally drilled a well on his land without a permit from the city of Manitou. Beisel argues the city doesn’t have jurisdiction to regulate drilling outside its city limits. And he said he had a valid well permit from the state engineer. Manitou enacted a watershed ordinance in 2003 which attempts to regulate wells drilled in its watershed. The ordinance is designed to protect the flows of its historic spring waters.