The Monument Planning Commission on March 11 approved by a vote of 4-3 the rezoning of an 84-acre parcel just south of Highway 105 and split by Jackson Creek Parkway.
Proposed in 2015, The Village development plan has been reviewed multiple times since then. The latest version will create a mix of residential and commercial properties as well as parks and trails and over five acres. The sketch plan, also approved by the commission, calls for at most 715 residential units.
Andrea Barlow, a principal of NES Inc. landscape architects in Colorado Springs, was on hand to follow up planning department staff’s presentation of the proposed rezoning and sketch plan with her own presentation. As the widening of Jackson Creek Parkway was a point of interest for commissioners should new development happen on the site, Planning Director Larry Manning said the Town of Monument is already in the process of finding ways to accomplish the road widening because of its existing traffic.
Barlow noted new residential developments on the site would warrant widening Jackson Creek Parkway as well, and anticipated that the developer would be responsible for helping fund a portion of the remaining 20% the town is seeking for the project.
“We have quite a way to go just in the planning process before we even think about actual construction,” Barlow said.
The parcel has been zoned as Planned Commercial Development for 40 years but marketing it to developers has been unsuccessful. The change in zoning intended for mixed-use, including residential and small commercial properties, is supposed to give the landowner a better chance to market to developers, Barlow said.
The original 2015 proposal to rezone the parcel and a sketch plan was denied because it proposed a high-density residential-only development. Barlow said the plan went back to the planning staff, was reviewed during neighborhood meetings and gathered input of the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce over months to determine if a mixed-use development would be useful to the town.
“This plan has evolved over many meetings and discussions to become the plan we are presenting,” Barlow said.
Barlow said the need for additional traffic lights or roundabouts would be determined as phases of development planning begin along with traffic studies.
Barlow said the Lewis-Palmer School District has reviewed the plan and decided to accept fees in lieu of land dedication. Based on present calculations of the increase of students from the development being 85-155, split between middle- and high school ages, and based on present fees, the district could benefit between $172,000-318,000, she noted.
Barlow said the planning process could take a couple of years before building starts and that full build-out could take up to six years. It has not been decided if the land will be developed by one developer or multiple, as the rezoning was to help the landowner market a viable parcel for mixed-use.
Commissioner James King agreed the land was not conducive to a purely commercial site, but suggested it may be appropriate to wait on rezoning until Monument’s code change project has been completed.
“The problem I have is the density,” King said. “We have to balance somehow with our comprehensive plan to maintain a small-town feel and make good choices for our residents.”
Commission co-chairman Danny Ours said residential development would be more compatible with the surrounding areas rather than commercial.
“The people who enjoy their homes up there may not like what’s built,” he said. “Commercial developments have their proper place. People buy homes for peace and quiet and would much rather see another home built next to theirs than a commercial property.”