By Lisa Crockett
Developer Chris Fellows of HF Holdings, LLC, is nearing a final agreement with HOA1 regarding his plans to develop the open land in Castle Pines North (CPN) known as Lagae Ranch. He met with HOA1 members in December to discuss the latest changes to the plan.
The property, which is on the south side of Castle Pines Parkway, straddling Lagae Road, will contain multi-family, single-family, and civic use developments. The development is seen as a crucial component in CPN’s plan to obtain a renewable water source, since the tap fees it would assess could provide a much-needed infusion of cash to the CPN Metro District.
Fellows described the most recent plan as “iterative,” and declined to release the drawings to the general public. He noted that the plan in its current form is roughly the twentieth plan to date, and said that releasing the plan might lead to confusion later as more changes are made. However, he did make hard copies available to HOA1 board members to be viewed by residents upon request.
The most significant changes to the plan include the re-routing of Monarch Boulevard; there will be no direct access from Monarch to the proposed school or ball fields. Streets will have a more circuitous flow than the original proposal as well, to discourage through traffic. This proposed change will have to be approved by the school district and fire district, but residents seemed satisfied with Fellows’ efforts to minimize traffic impact to HOA1.
The plan also called for a buffer zone of 200 feet between HOA 1 and the new development, which may include walking paths and benches. The proposed ball fields would abut most of the open space, adding further distance between existing homes and new ones.
The proposed Catholic Church and School structure at the north end of the ball fields was of particular concern to some residents at the meeting, since there is less of a height difference between HOA1 and the new development at the north end of the property.
“I’m worried that residents on Clare Court and Brixham Court will be looking at the back of buildings if the Archdiocese decides to make the building two stories,” said one resident.
In response to these concerns, Fellows met with the leadership of the Archdiocese of Colorado Springs (the organization who would have jurisdiction over the parish), who agreed to construct a one-story building on the plot.
“I’ve been pleased with how things have worked,” said HOA1 Vice President Eva Mitchell, who has taken a lead role in the negotiations with HF Holdings. “Chris previously worked with the Writer Corporation, which has won several awards for outstanding communities. I feel we’ve come to an agreement here, where the developer can make a profit while still making a good place for people to live.”
Fellows has been similarly complimentary to the leadership of HOA1, noting that its professionalism and patience has led to a good outcome for all parties.
Fellows’ next step will be to sign a letter of intent and begin the process of getting the land re-zoned; the land is currently designated for agricultural use.
In regard to the possible impact of incorporation of Castle Pines North, Fellows said it is impossible to know what would happen to the plan. “Right now, the best case scenario would be that we get the land re-zoned in 2007, platted in 2008, and begin construction in 2008,” said Fellows. “I’m sure that if we were in the City of Castle Pines North, that process would take much less time.”