Val and Brenda Baughman are lonely.
That is their Colorado Springs home, above. They have 20 acres in a new subdivision all to themselves. They have 360-degree views. Abundant wildlife. Access to trails and Ute Valley Park.
But they miss having two-legged neighbors.
Their problem? They were urban pioneers. They were the first people to buy a lot, build a house and move into the Crown Hill at Rockrimmon neighborhood.
That was more than a year ago. Sadly for them, the economy cratered and they found themselves all alone in Crown Hill.
Developer Charles Helenberg says he’s had plenty of interest in his project. But stringent new lending criteria imposed in the wake of the nationwide mortgage meltdown has made it impossible for anyone to get a construction loan.
So the Baughmans sit by themselves. It’s really not what they wanted. They envisioned Crown Hill at Rockrimmon becoming an intimate neighborhood, thanks to its design.
It is a pocket neighborhood, sandwiched by Eagleview Middle School to the west and the Village Center strip mall to the east. It backs up to the old Digital/HP complex and enjoys easy access to Ute Valley Park.
Here’s a look at it from FlashEarth.com taken during construction.
You can tell from the photo that extensive excavation was done prior to installation of sewers, water lines, electrical and other infrastructure.
Below is a look at the project shortly after the treated soil was replaced, streets paved and the Baughmans’ home was built. The photo is taken from the Crown Hill web site.
The entire Rockrimmon area was heavily undermined for coal for more than 50 years.
In addition, the soil contains a lot of clay, causing it to soak up water during wet years, making it subject to expansion. The heaving of the expansive soil has wrecked many foundations of homes in the area, especially in the Tamarron subdivision just to the east.
So Helenberg’s crews moved 400,000 cubic yards of soil in preparing the site. They excavated 20 feet on each home site and 10 feet below each road. They soaked the clay, added new dirt and reburied it.
Helenberg said crews building homes in Crown Hill will not need to do much excavation due to the prep work performed by his crews.
Below is a view of Crown Hill with its sidewalks, community mailbox and street lights, all awaiting neighbors.