Developer Randy Scholl wants to build 27 custom homes on 12 acres he owns a mile east of one of the busiest intersections in Colorado Springs: it’s the death trap known as Academy Boulevard and Austin Bluffs Parkway.
Here’s a look at the area from FlashEarth.com:
His land is part of a large unincorporated island, called an “enclave,” surrounded by dense city neighborhoods.
Ridge would be a small neighborhood of 27 custom homes on 12 acres if was allowed to build the project he proposed to El Paso County and to the planning department of Colorado Springs.
The homes would be on land newly annexed into the surrounding city.
Scholl wants the land annexed because he wants to provide the amenities offered by the city including sewer and water services as well as access to emergency services including police, fire and ambulance.
But Scholl is being opposed by neighbors in Park Vista Estates, which makes up the bulk of the enclave. It is 385 acres of homes on half-acre lots or larger.
When the neighborhood was laid out 50 years or so ago, it was far out in the county. Everyone was on well water along with septic tanks. Roads have no sidewalks, curbs and gutters.
Or course, the city grew up around the neighborhood and now residents enjoy a slice of rural life in the city. Most — about 200 — even enjoy city water. They converted because they were limited on how much well water they could use. Now they are free to water away on their landscaping!
They also get emergency services from the city — fire and ambulance — without the burden of city taxes. Lucky for them.
So the neighbors, led by Marilyn Morgan, howled when Scholl’s project surfaced. They always thought his 12 acres was landlocked. Some didn’t like the idea of losing their “open space” to houses, planned to be built on an extension of Cedarmere Drive to the east.
They became especially upset when the city wanted Scholl to create a second access point — for emergency services — and he proposed linking to Copper Drive to the south through Park Vista.
Scholl said he would improve the safety of Copper Drive by fixing a blind curve. And he’d make other improvements.
But he doesn’t want to fight. He’s redrawing his plans to build fewer homes — about 20 – on larger lots and only use Cedarmere. But he must convince the city to allow him a single access.
Scholl said he understand why some might be upset about a few more cars on their road. But he doesn’t believe the extra cars would create that much traffic. And any inconvenience would be outweighed by the increased safety – both improving the blind curve and for the 27 homes — created by the extra access.
Scholl said he intends to try to convince the city to let him build a smaller project and drop the second access point on Copper Drive.