Colorado Springs City Council approved a new subdivision June 9 in a growing northeastern area of town over objections from neighbors who say the road layout is inadequate and will funnel traffic into their neighborhood.
The council voted 7 to 2 to allow Pulpit Rock Investments to build 151 homes in the Flying Horse subdivision northeast of the Voyager and Interquest Parkways. Some residents of the new Palermo subdivision will have to drive west through Deer Creek at Northgate, another subdivision, to get to Voyager Parkway, putting pressure on residential roads, said Rick White, treasurer for the Deer Creek Homeowners Association.
However, the council sided with the developer and decided that roads are sufficient for drivers to leave the development headed north or west.
The mayor’s chief of staff, Jeff Greene, spoke up on behalf of the developer, pointing out that fewer homes will be built in Palmero than originally planned and arguing that the city should not delay construction.
“They have provided the infrastructure to address a higher density,” he said.
But members of the Deer Creek HOA don’t believe enough roads are planned and say the developer has fallen short of building a connection to Colorado 83, as required under the annexation agreement.
Deer Creek residents asked the city to do a traffic study when the Palermo project was proposed to them in October, White said in an interview.
The city declined, citing concerns that the study would be skewed by state orders requiring residents to stay at home to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, city traffic engineer Todd Frisbie said.
Instead, Frisbie created a mathematical model to see how much traffic would pass through the two Deer Creek neighborhood roads that will connect with Palermo to determine if the new traffic levels would abide by city guidelines for residential roads.
The city’s standard for the average number of average daily car trips acceptable on a residential road is 1,500, he said.
The western end of Snowflake Drive in the Deer Creek neighborhood is expected to slightly exceed the standard, with 1,508 average daily trips based on the model, he said. The other road expected to see an increase in traffic, Silver Creek Drive, could see 1,009 average daily car trips, he said.
White disputed Frisbie’s math on behalf of the homeowners association during the meeting.
The HOA calculated the existing and future homes would generate 2,013 average daily car trips on Snowflake Drive, 34% above the standard. The HOA expects 1,450 cars per day on average on Silver Creek Drive.
“Don’t make Deer Creek the doormat to Palermo,” White said.
The HOA asked the city to make the developer build a road from the neighborhood to Colorado 83, since a road from the neighborhood to a future extension of Powers Boulevard is no longer planned, White said. A road out of the neighborhood to the east could help alleviate the traffic that might otherwise flow down residential roads, he said.
When the property was annexed, the developer committed to building a connection to Colorado 83 and Shoup Road, White said.
However, Greene told the council that the annexation agreement had been met.
White said he was disappointed that the review process had culminated in a decision that will create greater traffic congestion.
“This is a wonderful neighborhood; now they are going to sack it,” he said.
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