EDITORíS DESK: Sentinel Ridge: Worrisome precedents

       So far, the proposed Sentinel Ridge subdivision has attracted nowhere near the scrutiny of other housing developments, such as Gold Hill Mesa (which might as well have a bullseye for its logo). Probably it's because Sentinel lacks anything with sound-bite scariness, such as a gold-mill cyanide, to generate frenzy among big media types. And besides, in the big picture, why should a lot of people care? It's just another in-fill development, like so many others that are approved throughout Colorado Springs every year. Out in the east part of town, they build 88-lot subdivisions for breakfast.
       But I think we Westsiders ought to care about this development proposal, which now has the blessing of Planning Commission and, saving an appeal from the nearby Mesa Road-area associations, would already be getting measured for building permits. We ought to care because this project represents a significant change in a very visible location of the Westside. Yes, the developer will put in sidewalks, but frankly there is a usable dirt trail in front of the school now, and how many desire a sidewalk on the other side? What we will lose, because of a subdivision-protective sight and sound barrier, is the view we once had over the rugged terrain south toward Sondermann Park.
       But even if we can no longer see it, we can care about what's happening on it. The hillside overlay removal seems all too casual - the developer found the zone restrictive and convinced the city planner, and then Planning Commission, with no experts to the contrary, went along with it. Then there's this high density master plan that's being used as a bargaining chip. No neighbors recall being included in that density-setting process. Futhermore, why has no one at the city shown concern before about Holmes Middle School's traffic circus?
       It's not just this project. The Sunrise Company is planning other gated communities on the Mesa. We should be watchful of the precedents we set.

- K.J.