White Acres developers begin process of annexing to city

       The first step in a developer's annexation request for the White Acres property is expected to go before Colorado Springs City Council Tuesday, Feb. 10.
       Approval will not mean the annexation is accepted - just that the developer's petition meets the basic legal criteria, after which the property owners can begin preparing an “official submittal,” explained David Litzelman of City Planning.
       The undeveloped, roughly 50-acre property borders two open areas - the city-owned Red Rock Canyon Open Space and the city-leased Section 16 west of 26th Street and Gold Camp Road. At a meeting in December, nearly 100 people (most of them opposed to the idea) turned out for a discussion of a conceptual plan for up to 47 housing units on White Acres. This was based on a city annexation of property; if the land remained in the county, its density could not be greater than five- acre lots.
       About 50 years ago, a Bethany Baptist Church family donated White Acres to the church for recreational uses. However, the church has a financial shortfall and needs to sell the land, church spokespeople have said. The church has partnered with the Infinity Land Corp., an area developer. An attempt to sell it to the city for open space failed when the city said it did not have the money.
       Litzelman does not anticipate council discussion on the annexation request, because of its preliminary nature of the White Acres submittal. However, he also has “never seen this level of concern this early,” said Litzelman, who has been with the city for 30 years. “Usually we uncover concerns as we go through the normal review process. This plan is unique in terms of the concern that exists before it really gets started.”
       A group that has formed with the slogan, “Save White Acres,” is encouraging people to speak out against the annexation at the Feb. 10 meeting. “This meeting can offer us a good opportunity to bring our concerns about the future of White Acres to City Council,” reads an e-mail from the group.

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