El Paso County commissioners on Tuesday granted a developer's request to resubmit a preliminary sketch plan proposing 450 new homes south of Black Forest that was denied by the county Planning Commission last month.
Neighbors have raised substantial concern that the Jaynes Property sketch plan, which details land designation for the single-family residential lots, commercial use and open space on 142 acres southwest of the intersection of Poco and Vollmer roads, does not integrate enough with the character of surrounding rural residential lots and threatens the local lifestyle and water supply.
On that basis, the Planning Commission on Feb. 16 voted 5-3 to not recommend approval of the sketch plan to county commissioners.
That pending development sketch would feature mixed residential lot sizes serving as a buffer in density transition between the 5-acre and 2.5-acre rural residential plots to the north and west and roughly 5,000 approved units in the Sterling Ranch subdivision to the east, Andrea Barlow of N.E.S. Inc., representing Classic Homes, said at the Feb. 16 meeting.
Barlow said the developer held a neighborhood meeting in October to seek compromise with residents’ concerns and ultimately revised its original sketch to include a buffer zone of 1-acre and half-acre lots, as well as setbacks up to 85 feet along the northern and western boundaries to protect mountain views.
But the Planning Commission still denied recommendation, with several members saying they wished to see more attempts to transition outer density to match the rural surroundings.
On Tuesday, Classic Homes CEO Doug Stimple asked for two additional weeks to revise the plan based on resident concern and resubmit it to the Planning Commission in hopes of an approval recommendation.
Stimple said that while residents publicly raised concerns at the February meeting that were "slightly different" from feedback provided during last fall's neighborhood meeting, the developer has "heard and listened" and is responding.
"We're not going to be able to accommodate them all, but we have made some changes to (the sketch plan)," Stimple said. "They're not terribly material, but I think that they're important."
County commissioners praised the request as an indication of private cooperation and voted unanimously to continue their final decision to April 18. The plan is scheduled to go back before the Planning Commission on April 6.
"I just really appreciate the good faith effort by the applicant to make those changes and take this back to the Planning Commission," said Commissioner Carrie Geitner, whose district encompasses the Jaynes Property.
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