Residents of the Rawles Open Space Neighborhood fought developer Kristine Hembre, below, and her plans to build five houses on a five-acre parcel in the tiny community along Mesa Road north of Uintah Street.
But she satisfied the Colorado Springs Planning Commission and city staff with her plans, forcing neighbors to appeal to the City Council.
There, in April, they argued the city had an obligation to protect the character of historic neighborhoods from incompatible developments.
They said five modern houses, as Hembre proposed, on the parcel seen below from FlashEarth would ruin the Rawles neighborhood character with its rustic feel.
Rawles residents cherish their rustic neighborhood, which was built around a 7.6-acre open space named for the property’s original owner.
Here’s a historic photo of the property:
Here’s a look at the property on a map from the El Paso County Assessor’s Web site:
Here are blueprints Hembre’s Elle Development Co. created for the property. Her plan included installing 2,000 feet of sewer and water lines to serve her subdivision, called Horizon View.
Hembre had to be frustrated after spending three years and hundreds of thousands of dollars on her subdivision only to be told by the City Council in April to work with neighborhood opponents on a compromise.
Despite that frustration, it was surprising when she dropped the project a couple weeks ago, just a day before she was to appear before the Council again to get her new plans approved.
But neighbors might not want to celebrate. She told city staff her project isn’t quite dead. She’s just going to sit on it a while. Not a lot of new homes are being built in today’s economy.
And who knows. After what happened on election day, she might have a whole new City Council to deal with in the near future and the outcome might be much different.