Despite learning more than three years ago that perhaps dozens of homes in Gold Hill Mesa were slowly sinking, heaving and flooding, Colorado Springs city planners and regional building staff allowed development to continue uninterrupted, a Gazette investigation has found.

Here's how Gazette readers reacted to the news:

Ben

Think about all the trainwrecks in this town related to planning. Code enforcement is ineffective. New development is allowed despite serious geologic, transportation, and safety shortfalls. Taxpayers are already on the hook for numerous homes that should have never been allowed, and yet it's obvious that this department just keeps rubber stamping developer's wishes with zero concern for the outcomes. What's the common link? Peter Wysocki. It's time for him to go before our city's taxpayers are on the hook for hundreds of other uninhabitable homes.

Druck

It seems incomprehensible to me that elected officials and senior City planning/building staff at the earliest phases only focused on the potential toxicity and its effects. I consider myself rather ignorant of the construction arena, but a novice like me with some measure of common sense (and not blinded by self-interest or in-fill mania) is going to recognize that building on that hill requires some intense scrutiny for geological stability. Thank you, Gazette, for listing the names of those who dropped the ball—another example of public malfeasance.

Tim Fotinos

One thing is certain, there has been plenty of news about failing Westside hillsides in recent years, and the risks of building in such places. Our house is on flat, non-tailing land and still required major foundation work, as have several neighbors.

Common sense would say make the slumping tailings into open space, but where “developers rule” they see plats and profits. So people built and bought on the hope they’d dodge the slippery slope.

Cate N

This comes as no surprise to me, sadly. Having grown up in the Springs, I have watched the hills rut away when it rains, (this is not stable ground). Watched them try to seed and get grass to grow, which took years. You couldn't give me a house up there. The gold is extracted with cyanid, which doesn't magically disappear. I feel for the homeowners, whom I am guessing are not long time residents of the Springs.

Donna Strom

Kudos to Conrad Swanson and the Gazette news department for engaging in careful and thorough investigative journalism. I'm a retired toxicologist and know the history of that area well. Back in the day I often walked my dogs in the area up from 21st and around the smokestack, but I never allowed myself more that one hour there, twice a week. "Dosis sola facit venenum - dose alone determines the poison". I've often wondered why any responsible builder would invest in that site.

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Timeline: Gold Hill Mesa
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