Sentinel Ridge appeal before City Council Dec. 9

       Colorado Springs City Council has received a 25-page document from neighborhood groups appealing Planning Commission's approval of the Sentinel Ridge development proposal in September.
       Leading the effort are the Friendship-Crescent-Mesa Neighborhood Association (represented by Richard Serby) and Association of Mesa Neighborhoods (represented by George Maentz).
       The 88-home gated community is proposed on 28 acres southeast of Mesa Road and Fillmore Street.
       Scheduled to be heard at the Dec. 9 council meeting, the appeal questions the Planning Commission decision based in large part on the development's planned removal of the property's hillside overlay. This is seen as a bad precedent because the developer, Garden of the Gods LLC, plans future development proposals in the same rugged terrain southeast of Mesa and Fillmore, according to Maentz.
       The appeal quotes from city ordinances and the Comprehensive Plan, disputing whether the development meets the intent of city laws and policies.
       “Removing the Hillside Zone will allow for a much more aggressive grading and lot development plan on slopes greater than 25 percent with known geologic challenges,” the appeal charges.
       In defense of the overlay removal, Dirk Gosda of the LLC has said those slopes were previously “disturbed,” off-road vehicles drive on them now and there are no particularly significant hillside features there anyway.
       In arguing the case to Planning Commission, Gosda also said it was necessary to grade part of the property to allow the platting of lots for single-family homes at a lower density than the area's master plan would otherwise allow.
       The proposed development has access points off Grand Vista Circle and just north of Holmes. Other public impacts would be preservation of a public trail to Sondermann Park, sidewalks along parts of Fillmore Street and Mesa Road and a privacy wall along Fillmore adjacent to the project.
       The access near Holmes is also criticized in the appeal for adding traffic to an already-difficult situation (mainly during student pickup/drop-off times) without providing any “traffic calming or safety features.”
       Maentz elaborated that since the Planning Commission meeting the neighbors have met with the developer and City Planning representatives to look for better solutions to the traffic issue. A meeting with a Holmes representative is also planned.

Westside Pioneer article