It’s too late for El Paso County
David Ramsey: Nice column on page A3, in Friday’s Gazette.
However, there is one serious error in facts. You wrote “a web of open space where Jefferson County meets El Paso County.”
Jefferson County does not connect to El Paso County in that area, which is in Douglas County. Spruce Mountain open space is in Douglas County. (It is frightening to think that Douglas County has authority over how the Greenland area will be developed.)
Thanks for your column bringing attention to this issue, but I agree with Nancy Bullis that it is too late for El Paso County.
Our pro development government has let the horse out of the barn, and it’s too late. But the same thing has happened throughout Colorado and the Rocky mountain West.
Thank goodness Nature Conservancy had the foresight to preserve Fishers Peak before the developers snapped it up this time.
Buying a home on Arsenic Hill
I would like to tell you why someone would buy a home on Arsenic Hill.
We looked at Gold Hill Mesa on a whim one evening. As we drove the streets, I marveled at how many residents were out walking their dogs; standing on sidewalks talking to each other; sitting on their front porch reading a book. I noticed the green spaces tucked in between houses. The beautiful tree-lined streets with the city as a backdrop in one direction, and the mountains as the backdrop in the other direction. Gold Hill Mesa was absolutely beautiful. However, “Gold Hill Mesa is Arsenic Hill!” I could hear my parents, who are longtime residents of Old Colorado City, exclaim in my mind.
Here are the facts as I see them:
• Yes, Gold Hill Mesa is a neighborhood built on what was once a gold processing plant in the early 1900’s. This processing plant left behind what is called ‘tailings’. The tailings are the consistency of sand. The tailings include metals and minerals, namely arsenic and lead. This is extremely alarming when you first read about it. However, once I understood that a) heavy metals are found up and down our beautiful front range not just in Gold Hill Mesa b) these metals are only harmful if either digested in large quantities and or breathed into one’s lungs and c) Gold Hill Mesa has remediated the area so that the people and the environment are not exposed to the metals, my fears were squelched.
• Buying anywhere else on the Front Range, I would not know what is in my soil. Buying at Gold Hill Mesa, I know exactly what is in my soil. In my yard, the developer and builder dug down until they hit the existing tailings. Once they identified the tailings, they placed a visual identification layer (think a bright orange netting) on top of the tailings. They then added 2 feet of a 60/40 mix of soil (60% new soil, 40% tailings) above the existing tailings left by the processing plant, and then an additional 2 feet of clean soil was placed on top.
• Any concerns I have regarding my drinking water, I will have elsewhere in the city as well since we all receive our drinking water from the Colorado Springs Utilities.
• I can plant a garden if I want. I could even plant trees that bear fruit. Gold Hill Mesa hired experts from Colorado State University to do research on produce grown in our soil. The experts found that the produce was safe.
• The once eyesore and environmental hazard to the communities that surround “Arsenic Hill” is now a beautiful neighborhood. Development on the hill has capped the mining trails, preventing erosion into Fountain Creek and preventing the mining trails from blowing in the wind into the surrounding neighborhoods.
• In recent weeks, news articles have given us reason to pause, and reevaluate our decision to build in Gold Hill Mesa. It was reported that 24 homes were having foundation issues due to soil quality. After a moment of panic, we spoke to our builder, read letters and emails written by the developer and sent out in response to the news articles, and attended community functions where we spoke with experts again and also residents that are living in the community. What we found was that the statement of 24 homes having foundation issues was a false statement. The City Council minutes that this was taken from was misconstrued to look as if all 24 homes came from GHM, which was not the case. Yes, there have been a handful of issues with foundations in GHM, but they were not due to the soil quality but rather due to builder errors … all which can happen in any new build communities.
• There have been rumors that there may be articles published in the future regarding health concerns in the area. We once again, talked to the developer, the experts that have tested the area, our builder, and current residents. All squelched worries I may have had regarding whether the area was healthy to live in.
Enlightening information on quotes
There was a very interesting and enlightening piece in the Tuesday Sept. 10 edition of The Gazette. That was the Gazette’s Viewpoint piece. It is concerning immigration and the president’s taking of $3.6 billion from the defense budget for use on the construction of the border wall. Most interesting were the many quotes in the piece such as. “Do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they’ll get sent back.” “Our border fencing, unmanned aircraft surveillance systems have more than doubled.” “The additional boots on the ground, technology, and resources provided represent the most serious and sustained effort to secure our border in our nation’s history.” “Strengthen our ability to remove criminals and apprehend and prosecute threats to our national security.” Also “funding chain link detention facilities on the border itself.” And, “if the border patrol suddenly begins encountering a surge of illegal border crossers from El Salvador with identical tattoos on their arm it’s important they provide this information to state and local enforcement on the ground so we can immediately begin sharing intelligence to determine whether individuals with this description have been arrested.”
I am sure that at this point you are certain that this talks to what President Donald Trump is doing. And, that is so ‘racist’ and ‘inhumane’. These are about half of the quotes in the Gazette piece. You might be shocked to hear that these are quotes from former President Barack Obama and Sen. Chuck Schumer about 2008.
Suddenly now, that president has taken on the same mission, he is denigrated and is so outrageous that we must impeach him.
Stephen R Odrobina