Update Feb 24, 2017: Public Meeting March 8 on the Strawberry Hill Master Plan
Citizens are invited to attend the first in a series of public meetings to learn about and give input on the Strawberry Hill Master Plan being prepared on behalf of The Broadmoor:
Date: Wednesday, March 8
Location: Cheyenne Mountain Jr. High School, 1200 W. Cheyenne Rd.
Time: 5 to 7 p.m.
Parking: available across the street, east side of the building, and in the front of the building
The purpose of a Park Master Plan is to develop a comprehensive vision for parkland in context with its location, natural resources, and visions of the community. This vision will be a framework for the park’s use and development for the next 10 to 20 years.
Public input during last year’s land exchange shaped many of the terms and conditions that ensure public access to Strawberry Hill. A Conservation Easement, South Canyon Trail Easement, Chamberlain Trail Easement, Hully Gully Easement, Old Stage Road Access Easement, an 8.5-acre Building Envelope, several utility easements, and other deed restrictions were recorded on the property by the City of Colorado Springs to ensure the public’s interests were legally protected and the terms of the land exchange would be upheld.
As required by the land transfer agreement, The Broadmoor is conducting a Master Plan process. The public has an opportunity to provide input that will help inform the plan. The easement requires that anything done in the park must preserve or enhance existing conservation values, and limits development to park-related improvements such as trails, trailheads, benches, etc. (See below for a link to the full text of the conservation easement).
Special ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accommodations can be made by calling 719/488-5908 at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.
See the Strawberry Hill Conservation Easement, filed December 2016.
More information and background:
See the status of TOSC’s conditions for support: TOSC Conditions for support – status update 2016-4-27.
Read our FAQs here: FAQs
Download the updated proposal map and overview here: Land Exchange overview_map
Download the map of the Broadmoor’s plan for Strawberry Hill. Broadmoor plan 2016-4
Update April 26, 2016
City Council has delayed a vote on the proposed land exchange between the Broadmoor and Colorado Springs. The new date is May 24th. Council will review the land appraisals during their May 9 work session, then hold a town hall at 6 o’clock that night and make the appraisals public. We will publicize the time and place of the town hall meeting when we have those details.
Update April 14, 2016
The City Parks Advisory board voted 6-3 today to approve and send the land exchange proposal to City Council for their consideration.
- A plan of the building envelope was presented showing where the stable and two pavilions will be placed, near Mesa road. The southern end of the meadow will remain intact. The Broadmoor has no plans to fence off the stable and picnic area.
- An independent (3rd party) appraiser has been hired to review the appraisals. When completed, all appraisals will be made public.
- TOSC requested that a conservation assessment of Strawberry Hill be completed and a baseline inventory performed. Council was told this week that the assessment is underway and with Council approval the baseline inventory will go forward.
Other information released this week:
- Requiring a vote on Strawberry Hill would not be following our own city code.
- There have been at least 15 exchanges of city park property on record.
- The Broadmoor has committed to bury power lines over the Strawberry hill meadow.
- The Master plan for the trails in SH would get underway in 2016 and work on the Chamberlain trail would begin this year too if the exchange is approved. The Master Plan will be a public process and require Parks Advisory Board approval.
Background information on the land exchange:
The Trails and Open Space Coalition’s Board of Directors has released its requirements for the Broadmoor Land Exchange, including preservation of Strawberry Hill by deed restrictions and conservation easement.
A conservation easement and deed restrictions on Strawberry Hill. The Broadmoor must put their commitments in writing, including their development plans. The development cannot degrade the adjacent park land.The Conservation Easement must guarantee that Strawberry Hill is protected in perpetuity.
The conditions the Board enumerated are strict and demanding. If the land exchange occurs in the way we have outlined, it will be an addition to our public spaces, not a subtraction.
Here is the text of the resolution:
The Trails and Open Space Coalition will support the proposed land exchange between Colorado Springs and the Broadmoor under the following conditions:
- Conservation: A Conservation Easement will be placed on the 189.5 acres known as Strawberry Hill, to guarantee that the property be protected and preserved for perpetuity. As part of the Conservation Easement process, a baseline inventory will be conducted to identify the existing conditions and conservation values of the property. The Conservation easement will define compatible sustainable uses for the “building envelope” that do not impact the conservation values of the property and respect the viewshed surrounding the property. The Broadmoor has agreed to a conservation easement. Details of the development plans for Strawberry Hills will be presented at the public meeting on March 30.
- Access: Strawberry Hill will remain open for public use. Non-motorized use includes hiking, bicycling and horseback riding. The Broadmoor, working with City Parks, will conduct a public planning process to determine where new sustainable trails are to be built on Strawberry Hill that have a neutral or positive impact on the conservation values of the property, and implement the trails plan. The Broadmoor has agreed to guarantee public access.
- Public process/transparency: Land appraisals for all the parcels included in the proposal will be completed. The Broadmoor will complete a preliminary site plan for the entire property including the restricted area of Strawberry Hill. Terms of a conservation easement and deed restrictions will be outlined in writing. All of these documents as well as any new information, will be made available to the public with adequate time for public review and comment. Upon fulfillment of those requirements, City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposal. If Council approves the exchange in concept, the Council will allow the exchange to progress, but withhold final approval pending receipt of final contracts and documents to include a conservation easement outlining stewardship and a final site plan. City Council will then hold a second public hearing prior to the final approval. Public comment will be taken and made available for public review throughout the process. The City has added two public meetings to its schedule to give the public the opportunity to comment.
The proposal with these conditions is compatible with our mission to preserve open space and parks. The proposal will lead to the additional protection of open space and parks and improve connectivity in our trail system.
We recognize that Colorado Springs Parks has a limited maintenance budget that is contributing to the ongoing degradation of Strawberry Hill. Predicted population growth and increased usage of our valuable park assets are going to require stepped up maintenance, additional funding and the ability to add open space. This proposal secures trail easements, valuable recreational assets and additional park property including critical trail easements to lengthen the Chamberlain trail and securing Barr trail and the Manitou Incline in public ownership.
The end result, if the process is carried out in the way we suggest, would be more conservation of open space, more protected acres, more trail connections and more public process.
Be assured that this decision was not taken lightly, nor precipitously. TOSC waited, and was heavily criticized for waiting, as details continued to emerge about the concessions the Broadmoor was willing to make to complete the land exchange. The TOSC Board wanted to be a part of the process and suggest a way to both preserve the land forever and make significant acquisitions to our open space and trails inventories.
The Board considered the possibility of purchasing land with TOPS funds, but the Broadmoor has stated categorically that it will not sell the properties in question, only trade for them.
Process: TOSC will present our resolution and conditions to the Parks Advisory Board and ask that they be adopted. We will present them to City Council and make the same request. We will ask that our members and partners support our position and advocate for its passage.
How the Proposal will go through the process:
March 10, Presentation at City Parks Advisory Board. No vote taken.
April 11th, Presented to City Council in Work Session.
April 14th, Parks Advisory Board vote.
City Council vote either late April or early May. TOSC is advocating for this to be a preliminary vote, with a final vote after the conservation easement and deed restriction documents are complete.
The original plan called for Advisory Board vote in March, City Council vote in April.
Upcoming Broadmoor Land Exchange meetings
Town Hall with Keith King, Councilman, District 3
Monday, March 14th, 6-8 pm
Broadmoor Community Church, 315 Lake Ave
Wed, March 30, 6-8 pm
Gold Camp Elementary School, 1805 Preserve Drive
Take the City’s survey.