The New Year has brought a wealth of change for Monument’s planning commission.

The commission swore in newly appointed members Jan. 8. Among those to take the oath of office as commissioners were Mitchell LaKind, Joshua Thomas, Eric Light and Steve King. In addition, the committee’s longest-tenured commissioners Melanie Strop and Danny Ours were appointed to serve as chairman and co-chair respectively, succeeding Michelle Glover and John Dick.

LaKind is an IT management professional who has served on the town’s Board of Adjustment. His appointment is a two-year term.

Thomas is regional vice president of operations for Bethesda Senior Living Communities. He will serve a one-year term ending in December.

King owns of SK Consultants LLC and CapStone Home Renovations. He previously served as an alternate for Monument’s Planning Commission as well as eight years on the planning commission for the City of Englewood. His appointment is for two years.

Light is new to the commission and was appointed to a two-year term.

Rounding out the commission is Chris Wilhelmi, along with Strop and Ours. All three have a year remaining of their two-year terms.

After being appointed chairman, Strop stated the commission is still accepting applications for alternate commissioners. Anyone interested in serving that capacity can apply on the Town of Monument’s website, townofmonument.org.

In its first action of 2020, the refaced commission held a public hearing regarding the review and approval of Phase 3 of the Sanctuary Pointe Land Development preliminary/final project development site plan. Phase 3 of the development is divided into Sub-Phase A, which is south of Sanctuary Rim Drive, and Sub-Phase B, which is north. The plan for this phase includes 72 units on 117 acres, reaching the total 600 units allowed for the development.

Andrea Barlow, a principal with NES Inc., a Colorado Springs landscape architecture firm, presented Phase 3 details to the commission. She said with the completion of Sanctuary Pointe, the developer has either met or exceeded sketch plan requirements including a dedication of at least 20% of the land to parks, trails and open space. Barlow said the entire development would have 30% dedicated after completion of Phase 3. Joe Loidolt, president of Classic Homes, assisted with fielding questions from the commissioners and during public comment.

Prior to the commission’s unanimous approval of the Phase 3 plan, King said he wanted to go on record regarding how the commission should keep a watchful eye on the amount of land development it approves moving forward, feeling it may come at the cost of the forestry within town limits.

“Sketch plans don’t expire. When we have a 10- or 15-year-old sketch plan, I think that should be revisited,” King said. “One of Colorado’s treasures is its forests. … I’d just hate to see 50% of the trees evaporated, just like that.”

King praised the representatives of NES Inc. and Classic Homes for their coherence to every requirement asked of them. Barlow said it has been a priority during the first and second phases of developing Sanctuary Pointe to ensure the land has many trees remaining while still meeting fire mitigation requirements.

The Planning Department will hold a Land Development Code Update Open House from 3 to 7 p.m. Jan. 30 at town hall. The Town is updating its land development regulations and consolidate all land use regulations into one document for ease of reference. The LDC Project is expected to be completed in March 2021.

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