City Council OK’s Gold Hill Mesa; grading seen in January-February

       With City Council's development-plan approval Oct. 26, Gold Hill Mesa developer Bob Willard is looking to begin grading the upper portion of the 210-acre property in January.
       As early as next spring, he said he hopes to start building homes in his 306-unit Phase 1, on 56-plus acres near Lower Gold Camp Road and 21st Street.
       Council OK'd the development plan without comment. Having been approved unanimously by Planning Commission Oct. 7, the proposal was part of the consent agenda, meaning it would only be discussed if one or more council members called it up. They did not.
       “I was ready,” a clearly pleased Willard said afterward, noting that he and his staff had brought themselves and their materials to council chambers just in case.
       Willard is the manager of Gold Hill Mesa Township, LLC, a group of investors which has moved the project forward over the past several years. His goal is to start grading the first week in January, mobilizing a large fleet of equipment working long hours, with the idea of grading the upper 143 acres by the end of February. The date is fairly important, because the idea is to grade when it's not windy - to avoid dust from the mill tailings flying around the Westside - and March and April are the windiest months of the year, Willard noted.
       Assuming February is achieved, utility connections would get installed in March and April, and paving would occur in May and June, “with houses starting in parallel with that,” he said.
       Willard said he will need to submit a grading plan for approval by the city and the state. Grading plans can be approved administratively. He said he expects to have the plans submitted “probably next week.”
       The upper 143 acres will represent one of three grading phases. During 2005, he expects to work on the second phase - cleaning up the erosion-scarred hillside above Fountain Creek that's readily visible between 8th and 21st streets south of Highway 24. A later phase would address grading near Fountain Creek.

Westside Pioneer Article