Palmer Ridge High School junior Abbigail Waters was honored by the Town of Monument last week.

Waters, a Young Marine sergeant major, resides in Monument and is a member of the Mountain View Young Marines in Centennial, was recognized by the Monument Board of Trustees June 15 as the 2020-2021 Young Marine of the Year.

The national recognition was announced at the annual Young Marines Adult Leaders’ virtual conference early last May.

The national honor tops a list of accolades Waters has received from her involvement with the Young Marines, which she joined at the age of 11. The Young Marines is a national nonprofit organization created as an education and service program for male and female youths between the ages of 8 through the completion of high school.

“I am truly honored to have you in our community and our school district,” Mayor Don Wilson, a former Marine himself, told Waters during the recognition. The mayor also presented Waters with Challenge Coins from the Monument Police Department, the Town of Monument and Wilson’s own Marine unit.

“It’s something I will take with me forever,” Waters said. “The Young Marines program, I’ve been in it for quite a while, and it’s something I’m very proud of.”

Lewis-Palmer School District superintendent Dr. KC Somers spoke about how fortunate the district is to have a student like Waters. He said he is excited to have the Young Marine at Palmer Ridge for her senior year.

Later in the meeting, the Board of Trustees held a public hearing to review an ordinance which would approve the rezoning of property north of Lewis-Palmer High School and south of Highway 105, between Interstate 25 and Knollwood. The ordinance would change the zoning of the land from Planned Commercial Development to Planned Development, and approve the sketch plan for The Village development.

THe Monument Planning Commission approved the application for rezoning and revised sketch plan in March. The 84-acre parcel has been unsuccessful attracting commercial development solely, NES Inc. representative Andrea Barlow explained during the meeting.

The most commonly voiced concern for the development was traffic, particularly the need to widen Jackson Creek Parkway between Higby Road and Highway 105. However, the widening of Jackson Creek and the possible warrant for a traffic light or roundabout would be determined through the planning process prior to drafting a final sketch plan. Barlow said the anticipated increase to traffic would be evaluated throughout the development process.

Town Manager Mike Foreman said the town is eyeballing a grant from the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments to partially fund the cost of widening the northern section of Jackson Creek Parkway. This grant would leave 20% of the project to be matched in funding, for which the town would look to The Village developers for assistance covering the cost.

Trustee Jim Romanello noted a concern for the ingress and egress of the development and was eager to see a service plan, but since the ordinance was purely for rezoning and not approving final plans, he voted in favor. “The devil will be in the details,” he said.

Trustee Laurie Clark asked for one or two traffic lights to be considered to aid safety concerns. Barlow said such additions are always added if the development process “triggers” any federal safety requirements.

The ordinance was passed 6-0. Trustee Jamy Unruh had to leave the meeting prior to the vote.

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