Neighborhood meeting on latest Victorian Heights plan scheduled downtown July 12

       A new plan for the Victorian Heights subdivision will be presented at a neighborhood meeting Wednesday, July 12.
       The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the City Administration Building, 30 S. Nevada Ave., Room 102.
       The meeting marks the first public return of the six-duplex proposal on 3 acres north of Uintah Street since last February, when the discovery of a city zoning- documentation error nullified plat-plan approval by the Colorado Springs Planning Commission.
       The new plan will offer lower building heights and staggered street setbacks. According to property owner/developer Ted Cox, these changes should diminish the “wall” effect along Wilhelmia Avenue, which neighborhood spokesperson Larry Hudson had told the Planning Commission the row of duplexes would look like.
       The city goof was in overlooking a special legal condition it had placed on the property's R-2 zone in the mid-1990s, requiring that any subdivision there needed to have a development plan. In approving the plat plan, several commission members asked Cox to consider Hudson's design suggestions; they could have required them for a development plan, which is more demanding than a plat plan.
       Cox said the new plan cuts 10 to 12 feet from the buildings' previously planned 30 to 35 feet by eliminating the garage that would have gone under an upper floor on each of the duplexes. Each unit will have a two-vehicle driveway, he added.
       Cox said he is also trying for a “variation in setbacks” by staggering them between 20 and 25 feet back from the street.
       Part of the submittal includes a request for a variance to allow 20-foot setbacks (25 is the allowed minimum in that zone) and 48 percent driveway coverage (45 percent minimum).
       He declined to say how much it cost him to create a development plan in response to the recently discovered city requirement. The main expense, he said, was hiring a contractor to create a landscaping plan. Otherwise, “Our concept plan was 90 percent of a development plan,” said Cox, who has been seeking since 1999 to develop the property for Habitat for Humanity homes. “Pretty much all the information was there.”
       City Planner Larry Larsen is recommending in favor of the new proposal. “They will be good-looking homes,” he said.
       The duplexes would be built at the base of a slope that would need to be shored up with strategically placed caissons, according to city requirements.

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