Banning Lewis Ranch conservation acreage–weigh in!

Banning Lewis Ranch conservation acreage–weigh in!

UPDATE March 21, 2018

Re-scheduled meeting-Banning Lewis
Wed, April 11, 6-7:30 pm
PP Regional Development Center Hearing Room, 2880 International Cir
The meeting has been rescheduled to “allow sufficient time for members of the interested public to review the proposal.” The updated proposal is expected to be released by close of business Friday, March 30, via the city’s website. This post has been edited to correct the meeting schedule.

Colorado Springs City Council is being asked to revise the old Banning Lewis Ranch annexation agreement making it more affordable for developers to create neighborhoods.

The TOSC Advocacy Committee and Board of Directors unanimously passed the following two resolutions:

1) Colorado Springs should pursue TOPS Open Space Applications for preserving a large portion of Banning Lewis Ranch with important conservation values (@4-5,000 acres) PRIOR to amending the annexation agreement.

Norwood has publically stated that they are committed to building “a great city.” They’ve also said they will conduct an extensive master planning process before they decide the open space question. While it may not be possible to answer the open space question before council decides the annexation revision issue, we want council to support the Parks Master Plan goals created in 2014 that set aside a significant portion of BLR for open space and recreation.

2) The annexation agreement should include a provision requiring developers to dedicate land for parks, trails and open space AND be required to both construct and maintain them.

The second resolution addresses the problem of parks funding. Right now we have 20 neighborhood and community parks on a list waiting for funding. As developers build homes in Banning Lewis Ranch, more parks will be added to that list with no funding available to build and maintain them. City Parks Department reports a backlog of capital projects = $200 million dollars.

What can you do?

Let the Mayor and members of City Council know:

  • They should support the goals of the Parks Master Plan as they relate to Banning Lewis Ranch! The Master Plan is a community document that was created with a lot of public input.
  • Developers in Banning Lewis Ranch must be held responsible for dedicating the land for new parks and trails AND building and maintaining them, or general fund support for parks must be increased to cover those costs. Otherwise, there is no money for parks building and maintenance in an area that is expected to see major growth in the coming years.

Schedule of meetings where Banning Lewis Ranch will be considered:

Wednesday, Feb 21:  City Council Closed Session- Regarding BLR Annexation Amendment and Restatement Agreement, City Council Chambers (no public comment)

Monday, Mar 12:  City Council Work Session, BLR Annexation Amendment and Restatement Presentation and Proposed Code Amendments, City Council Chambers, 1:00 PM (no public comment)

Public Comment is invited at the following meetings:

Thursday, Mar 22: Town Hall w/ Public Comment, Pikes Peak Regional Development Center Hearing Room, 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM Meeting re-scheduled!

Wednesday, April 11: Town Hall w/ Public Comment, Pikes Peak Regional Development Center Hearing Room, 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM

Tuesday, Apr 10:  City Council Meeting, First Reading of BLR Code Amendments Ordinance, City Council Chambers, 1:00 PM

Tuesday, Apr 24:  City Council Meeting, Second Reading of BLR Code Amendments Ordinance, City Council Chambers, 1:00 PM

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