A dozen northern El Paso County residents spoke up against rezoning a nearly 14-acre plot of land during Tuesday's commissioners' meeting.
And the board obliged that group by voting unanimously to deny the request to allow the landowner to subdivide into lots as small as 2.5 acres.
The 12 neighbors of Greg Wolff, who sought the rezoning in order to sell up to five lots on his land, all live within about a half mile of the plot.
They cited concerns that included degrading well water, increased traffic, noise and disturbed views. But the biggest concern was that the county commissioners would set a precedent and change the minimum lot size in an area that has preserved at least 5-acre parcels.
Among those taking the microphone during public comment was Bill Louis, the former El Paso County attorney who spoke on behalf of Jack Holst. Holst lives directly across Rollercoaster Road from the Wolff property.
"You're going to let the first one in and others are going to logically follow," Louis said.
Several of those against the rezoning of the 13.66-acre lot echoed Louis' opinion. One man told the board that if Wolff was allowed to divide into 2.5-acre lots, they might as well rezone his land as well.
Most said that they moved into the area just north of the Colorado Springs line and the Flying Horse subdivision because they wanted the great views and peaceful country feel that comes with 5-acre lots. Brian Boles, who lives just north of Wolff, said he wouldn't have purchased his property if he knew there would be a rezoning nearby.
Phil Foster, who bought his property in 1952, said he was assured it would remain that way.
While commissioners Peggy Littleton and Amy Lathen each said they are on the board to "protect private property rights," they both voted with Darryl Glenn's motion to deny rezoning.
The board ultimately decided the change would not be "compatible" with the surrounding area.
"This keeps it within what I think the county had intended," commissioner Sallie Clark said.
Littleton recommended that Wolff continue to pursue subdividing his land. She reminded him that he can still go through the administrative process and divide the land into three four-acre lots.
Raimere Fitzpatrick, the county's project manager for the proposed plan, reinforced Littleton's recommendation saying that would be completely within the law. If Wolff goes that route, he could end up paying more than $5,000 in fees to the county.
Wolff addressed the Board of County Commissioners before they made their vote, saying that his wife's health issues led to the inability to maintain the land anymore. "If it weren't for my wife's health, I'd still be in that house," he said.