A construction crew works on a home in the Bent Grass development, in unincorporated Falcon outside Colorado Springs. January was another strong month for Springs-area builders. The Pikes Peak Regional Building Department issued 459 permits for the construction of single-family, detached homes last month, the most for any month in nearly 15½ years. (RICH LADEN, THE GAZETTE)

The Colorado Springs City Council unanimously approved an annexation agreement with El Paso County Tuesday meant to help guide growth near the city boundaries and help protect the county's groundwater. 

Both city and county officials said they would like dense urban-level development to hook up to city water rather than have more developments drilling wells into the diminishing Denver aquifer. The new annexation agreement could also prevent large enclaves such as Cimarron Hills that are surrounded by the city.

Under the agreement, officials from both governments will talk with developers proposing dense neighborhoods in the county and those with projects that are good candidates for annexation and interested in it will be required to put in city infrastructure, such as curbs, gutters and sidewalks. Colorado Springs will not force new developments to annex. 

New annexation agreement could prevent enclaves, protect groundwater

The agreement also ensures the county and city will work together on fire and flood mitigation for property outside city limits that could be annexed in the future. 

City Chief of Staff Jeff Greene said the agreement is key because Colorado Springs is poised to become the largest city in the state and working with the county on annexations is just a first step in continuing to plan for the city's prosperity. The city added about 99 lane-miles of roaads and about 4,500 new homes last year, according to a city presentation Monday. 

"We are experiencing a renaissance here in Colorado Springs," Greene said.

The El Paso County commissioners approved the annexation agreement at the end of March. 

Contact the writer at mary.shinn@gazette.com or (719) 429-9264.

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