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Vol. 1 No. 8 - November 2, 2001


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December hearing planned for controversial Forest Lakes project

The Schuck Corporation has submitted to the El Paso County Planning Department an application for the Forest Lakes Residential Project. The proposal, based on a sketch plan approved about 15 years ago, calls for 467 dwelling units on approximately 990 acres located at the western end of West Baptist Road, primarily on the former Beaver Creek Ranch. The land is currently zoned for five-acre parcels. The proposed Preliminary Plan and Rezoning request calls for a clustered design with areas of urban density coupled with open space and recreational use of two lakes.

This development was first proposed in 1984 and a Sketch Plan was considered and approved the same year with the provision that the Preliminary Plan was to be submitted and approved within two years. An extension of that Sketch Plan approval was granted in 1986. Reportedly, no further extensions were submitted.

The 990 acres includes two lakes, mouse habitat, roads and utilities areas, and substantial acreage declared unsuitable for construction by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

The project is now expected to come before the County Planning Commission on December 18, 9 am, County Building, 27 E. Vermijo, 3rd Floor Hearing Room. If the Planning Commission arrives at a recommendation for approval or denial at that hearing, the Board of County Commissioners will then hold a hearing and make a final decision. Opinions and comments concerning this project should be sent to the El Paso County Planning Department (Attn: Carl Schueler), 27 East Vermijo Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80903.

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Resident’s View

By Jacques Adnet

The new sketch plan widely differs from the original one, as it includes an additional 80 acres in an adjacent property not previously covered, and no longer includes the construction of two additional artificial lakes. The identification of large areas of Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse habitat also alters the original Sketch Plan. Nevertheless, a memorandum from the County Planning Department states, “the Planning Department has made the interpretation that the existing Sketch Plan is adequate to use as a basis for consideration of this rezoning action, despite the significant departures from the original plan caused mostly by changed conditions (lakes, mouse, desire for more of a mix of densities).” The Planning Department does not refer to the change in total acreage and other major considerations, including recent major impacts on the aquifers underlying the whole area and declining water levels in wells monitored by the US Geological Survey.

This administrative interpretation by the Planning Department was made without the benefit of a public hearing and without consulting adjacent property owners.

Under the provisions of the 2000 Tri-Lakes Comprehensive Plan, this area “should remain primarily rural residential with lot sizes averaging five acres, exclusive of roads and tracts not devoted to open space areas. Large lot clustering options, utilizing minimum 2 ½ acre lots would be considered only if there is a strict adherence to this overall density approach and if adequate mechanisms for implementation are available.”

By comparison, the new 2001 Sketch Plan includes the following:

163 Patio Homes, each on a 4,050 square-foot Minimum Lot Size,

46 Patio Homes, each on a 3,200 square-foot Minimum Lot Size,

79 Single-Family Homes, each on a 9,600 square-foot Minimum Lot Size,

179 Single-Family Homes, each on a 20,000 square-foot Minimum Lot Size.

Clearly, the proposed development violates the intent of the Comprehensive Plan compiled and prepared by residents of the Tri-Lakes Area and also the specific limitations of that plan. The El Paso County Planning Commission approved the Comprehensive Plan toward the end of 1999.

In the opinion of adjacent property owners and of the residents north and south of the proposed development, approval of the Sketch Plan, the Rezoning Application, and the Preliminary Plan would permanently change the character of that large portion of the Tri-Lakes Area and would contradict the intent and the specifics of the Tri-Lakes Comprehensive Plan.

During several meetings with the developer, suggestions were made by nearby residents but the developer has chosen to ignore most of them, taking little or no action to minimize the impact of the development on the way of life of nearby residents and on the value of their homes.

Opponents of the project also feel that the original zoning should have been automatically applied by the County, particularly in view of the fact that the single two-year extension was granted more than 15 years ago, far beyond the original two-year limitation.

This development will also impact traffic on West Baptist Road and side roads. Further, it may require the construction of a major overpass over Monument Creek and the BN & SF railroad crossing on Baptist Road, and will open the Pine Hills development to through traffic.

Citizens interested in the Tri-Lakes area are encouraged to attend the hearings, as it is crucial to the future of the development of one of the few remaining rural areas in the northwestern section of the County.

 

Jacques Adnet
481-2887
adnet@divide.net  

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Developer’s View

By Tim Siebert

I would like to address Jacques Adnet’s letter. He mentions that the application is widely different from the original sketch plan for the property that was approved in 1984 that permitted 466 homes for the property. The County has determined that it is not substantially different. I believe they have determined this to be true because the basic developable areas of the plan are still the same. Two additional lakes were proposed which would not have allowed development on those areas of the property. Now we have Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse habitat that does not allow development on the property.

An additional 80 acres was added to the original sketch plan but only one lot was added. These 80 acres are zoned for five-acre lots and could have had 16 lots all on well water and septic systems. We have reduced the lot potential for the area by 15 lots. Also, by adding it to the Forest Lakes plan we are clustering the homes and they are all on central water and sewer rather than drawing on a water source that is a major concern to all area residents.

Regarding the Tri-Lakes Comprehensive Plan, first it is our belief that the plan did not acknowledge the approvals that exist for the Forest Lakes area when the plan was developed. The Letter of Intent included in the County application has a lengthy discussion about the comprehensive plan and this development. [The letter is available at www.coalitiontlc.org/forest_lakes.htm.]

We have had many meetings with some of the surrounding property owners and one large overall neighborhood meeting. Jacques mentions that several suggestions were made to us and were ignored. Most of the requests were involving traffic/road issues. We cannot make decisions on the roadways without discussion with the County Department of Transportation and we have not received any comments yet. However, I did learn just this morning (10/26/01) that the County will agree to an emergency only connection to Hay Creek Road on the southwest corner of the development. We will be making those changes on our plans immediately. Many of the other issues are still undetermined.

Thanks for the opportunity to respond. We feel that this is a high quality development that is planned to be sensitive to the existing site conditions; that provides transitions to the adjoining large lot development while providing clustering of smaller lots to the interior of the site, and provides amenities to the larger community. Some of those amenities are a new 10-acre elementary school site, a public trail connection through the property to the Pike National Forest on the west, additional recreational opportunities with active parks, and preservation of habitat for a threatened species.

 

Tim Seibert
Senior Project Planner
N.E.S. Inc.
1040 South 8th Street # 201
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
471-0073
tseibert@nescolorado.com 

Above are views of the Forest Lakes property looking to the north-west (left) and east (right).

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Judge rules against proposed road through Black Forest Park

By John Heiser

On October 12th, Fourth Judicial District Court Judge Kirk S. Samelson issued a ruling on the suit brought against El Paso County by the Friends of Black Forest Regional Park to block the extension of Milam Road through the park to provide access to the 161-lot Cathedral Pines project proposed by King’s Deer developer Dan Potter.

The Judge ruled, “The proposed extension of Milam Road through the park property for access to the King’s Deer development ... is prohibited.”

In 1999, the County acquired an 80-acre tract of land from the federal government subject to a federal law called the Sisk Act, that allows federal land to be conveyed to state, county or city government only if its use doesn’t change. The deed required the County to use the property as a recreational park. Judge Samelson concluded that, “…the primary purpose for the proposed Milam Road extension through the park property would be for access to the King’s Deer development. As such, the proposed road would not be utilizing the park property for purposes for which the park was being used prior to ... 1999.”

The Friends of Black Forest Regional Park may seek $100,000 in legal fees. The King’s Deer developer, Dan Potter, and the County are considering possible appeals of the Judge’s ruling.

In earlier findings in the case, the Judge ruled that no road easements exist along the section line on the western edge of the park. Potter had claimed that if the road through the park was denied he could use existing easements to build a road straight up the section line near several residences.

According to Ken Rowberg, Director of the County Planning Department, at this point, the only way to obtain road easements along the section line would be for the County Commissioners to use eminent domain to purchase them from the owners of the adjacent land.

Unless an appeal is filed and the Judge’s ruling is overturned, the Cathedral Pines project must be redesigned to use available access points to several surrounding roads. Many of those roads are in poor repair and in need of design improvements. Area residents are concerned that the additional traffic generated by the subdivision would create a hazardous situation on those roads and diminish their quality of life. Improvements to those roads would likely be a condition for approval of the redesigned project.

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Baptist Road and Leather Chaps: An accident waiting to happen

“It's better to spend $50,000 now than to pay a judgment resulting from a multimillion dollar lawsuit after someone is killed at that intersection. It would be horrible if someone was killed there."

- Trustee Glenn

By Judy Barnes

The housing development of Jackson Creek opened in April 1999. It soon became apparent to residents of Jackson Creek and to others who drive on Baptist Road that the intersection of Baptist Road and Leather Chaps, one of two routes into the development, is very hazardous.

On Baptist Road at Leather Chaps, there is one through lane and a left-turn lane in each direction. The source of the problem is that there is no right-turn lane onto Leather Chaps for westbound traffic. If westbound cars are turning right at Leather Chaps, they slow or stop westbound traffic. This intersection is on a steep grade that limits visibility. Westbound drivers on Baptist Road cannot see oncoming cars as they approach the intersection until the oncoming cars are almost at the intersection. Occasionally, an impatient driver pulls into the left-turn lane to pass the right-turning car(s), risking a head-on collision with an eastbound vehicle. Add winter ice to this already treacherous situation, and the danger is even greater.

The problem at this intersection has been compounded by a great increase in traffic this year due to completion of additional houses in Jackson Creek and opening of Creekside Middle School, located on Leather Chaps. A traffic light is scheduled for the end of 2003. The need for an immediate solution to the traffic hazard spurred newly elected Monument Trustee Byron Glenn into action. Glenn is a resident of Jackson Creek and a former member of the Monument Planning Commission. As soon as he took office as Trustee, Glenn asked to be appointed to the Baptist Road Rural Transportation Authority, or BRRTA. At a meeting on Friday, October 12, BRRTA designated $20,000 to build a right-turn lane for westbound vehicles on Baptist Road to turn onto Leather Chaps. Since Baptist Road is a County road, it is the responsibility of El Paso County to build the right-turn lane. The job must be completed by early December, since asphalt plants close for the winter. If the County can’t get the job done in time, then Glenn intends to contact Jackson Creek Vision Development Company or Classic Homes to do the job. BRRTA can then pay for the work from the $20,000 fund.

Jackson Creek homebuilders pay $500 per house to the BRRTA fund for road improvements, a small amount by today’s standards. The Regency Park Annexation, Master Plan, and Zoning Agreement did not identify any required improvements for the development. Even though the developer is aware of the hazard at Leather Chaps and Baptist, at a Planning Commission meeting, a representative for the developer insisted that a signal is not warranted because traffic counts are not high enough. The Commission responded by saying that it is not a traffic count problem; it is a problem of vertical curve and sight distance that makes this intersection such a hazard. The Commission imposed as a condition for approval of plats for planned subdivisions that building permits not be issued until the intersection is fixed. The developer’s response was that they would not do anything until they knew if BRRTA or the County would reimburse them.

“I am very disappointed that [Classic Homes] couldn’t be a good neighbor, that they haven’t shown concern for the safety of the homeowners,” said Glenn. “The issue for Classic Homes is the funds, and they’re making plenty. If they were truly concerned about the residents who buy within their communities, they would have come up with some type of temporary improvements. They could have taken the initiative to build the right turn lane and then tried to get reimbursed later from the County or from BRRTA. It’s better to spend $50,000 now than to pay a judgment resulting from a multimillion dollar lawsuit after someone is killed at that intersection. It would be horrible if someone was killed there.”

Other towns and cities such as Colorado Springs, Denver, and Castle Rock require developers to improve the roadways adjacent to their property, according to Glenn. “I have strong opinions regarding a developer’s obligation to a town if they want to develop and make a profit within that town. The town also has responsibilities to the residents and the developer in outlining the requirements the town expects for development. Right now, the Town of Monument’s requirements are very vague at best and need some updating. The Comprehensive Plan that is currently being created will enable the Planning Commission and Board of Trustees to develop, with the help of staff, revised and updated development standards that will include minimum landscape standards, architectural standards, and typical construction requirements. We need everyone’s input into the Comprehensive Plan in order to develop a plan that will help the Town excel with quality development and open space.”

What lies ahead for the intersection of Baptist Road and Leather Chaps? Trustee Glenn has been in daily contact with the El Paso County Department of Transportation. On Friday, October 19, he found out that the County was scheduled to begin surveying the area on Monday, October 22. This process should take a couple of days, after which the County will design the turn lane, which will take about three weeks. The turn lane will be designed for a 5-year life and the design should be complete by November 19. Next, the County’s highway department will review the plans and begin preparing the earthwork and subgrade for the roadway. The County would then contract the asphalt paving with Rocky Mountain Asphalt.

Now, the County has told Glenn that the survey was held up because they wanted to have underground utilities located prior to the survey. Glenn says he can’t tell if this work has been done yet, so he plans to call John Clack at the County to see where the work schedule lies. “I don’t think having the developer build the turn lane is an option,” says Glenn. “The County pretty much stated that they would do the work. And, quite frankly, I don’t think the developer could do it any faster, now that the wheels are turning at the County. My only concern is the proposed time it will take the County to design the turn lane. They told me three weeks; I believe it could be done in one. I may need to call County Commissioner Duncan Bremer to push the design time. It will be close, but with a little luck, the turn lane will be constructed by winter.” Meanwhile, we urge all drivers on Baptist Road to be patient and cautious; the life you save could be your own!

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Letters to Our Community

A river runs through it

As I was sliding along Highway 105 – Oh wait – It didn’t snow today. Then what was that?

If you have driven near the intersection of Highway 105, Woodmoor Drive and Lake Woodmoor Drive, you may or may not have noticed the small stream that runs down the east side of Woodmoor Drive from Peoples Bank to Highway 105. In winter, it becomes more noticeable when it freezes over the concrete at the junction with Lake Woodmoor Drive.

If you are interested in the background, the stream became almost permanent after the Peoples Bank redid its landscaping. The flow varies with rainfall and other events but there is almost always some water flowing. The effects are quite wide ranging. The water causes ice to form (as I found out recently) at various places around these junctions and, as well as causing obvious hazards to driving and stopping at these junctions, the water has also got into the road and concrete and caused considerable damage.

So, you might ask – Why? Well, Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District (which serves this side of the freeway) doesn’t have a storm drain system and probably wouldn’t put one in just for the Bank. El Paso County isn’t much into drains either (although it does have a run-off problem that is quite severe in the damage that occurs south of Colorado Springs). So who is responsible for getting this fixed?

There is an interesting comparison. Steve and Bill Schuck, two local developers, needed improved access to their business park and needed a junction with I-25. We all know how long it has taken to not get the bridge over I-25 at Highway 105 rebuilt so the chances that CDOT would build it for them were close to nil.

So – they raised the money and built it themselves. So why doesn’t Peoples Bank just fix the problem themselves, work with the County and CDOT to determine an engineered solution with a culvert and put it in to save us the damage to our roads, vehicles, and even possibly people?

Chris Pollard

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In appreciation of our teens

On Friday evening, October 26, I was headed to Lewis Palmer High School. As I rounded the curve on Struthers there was a huge cloud of dust that stretched from the field to I-25. Peculiar, as there were no gusty winds.

A teenaged young man determinedly flagged me down for help. There was a mangled vehicle on it’s top in the field. “We need help,” he said, “there’s been a bad accident.” He and his girlfriend had not witnessed the accident, but immediately stopped to help. Moments later, another gentleman had stopped.

The four of us became an instantaneous unit of help, comfort, and assurance for the man trapped in his Land Rover. The two teens were the lead in the effort, having called 911, gathering help, and talking with the professionals at their arrival.

We all remain nameless to one another. In this emergency situation, personal introductions weren’t warranted. Yet, it was very personal.

I would like to acknowledge this teenage couple for their commitment to caring and their presence of mind. Let us all be reminded of the powerful contributions our youth can make to the world.

Name withheld by request

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Joe Beggs to Differ

Just how special are these districts?

Second in a Series by Joe Beggs

[Part one is at www.ourcommunitynews.org/v1n7.htm#taxes]

Last month, we left off talking about property taxes, user fees, and your last question was something like...

Q. What exactly are these districts that are getting all my [Property Tax] money?

A. When you live in a community, you are obviously going to need certain amenities. If you live far from a community, obviously you get your water from a well, your sewage goes into a septic tank, and you get gas from a propane tank. Too far away, and you’ll have to generate your own electricity.

Q. Fine, but I live in a fairly good-sized bunch of homes, and I seem to be included in several of those districts you mentioned in your last article, so will you get to the point?

A. Yessir. When your community is being built, the person who is developing the tracts of homes (and often business complexes) for the community has to figure a way to generate funds to build all the pipes, streets, and other things this new community needs. This development person (who, for some reason, is called a developer) usually gathers a group of people and they form a district with specified physical boundaries and this district begins to gather funds so that they can start building all the pipes and things (in general called infrastructure) the community needs.

Q. So how are these funds “gathered”?

A. Most of the time, the district sells bonds to the general public, and the money that’s generated from the bond sale is used by the district to finance the building of the infrastructure. If the new community looks like a good concept, and the developer is a good developer, these bonds are very attractive as an investment, and people are eager to buy them, because they are often tax-free in all respects, and they have a very low failure rate.

Q. Well, thanks for the information, glad I came...

A. Whoa, you’re not getting off that easy. This district must now actually BUILD the infrastructure and pay back the bonds WITH INTEREST to the bondholders. And after that, the residents of this community must be provided with the continuous services this infrastructure was built for.

Q. Wow, that’s a lot of payback. I suppose you’re going to tell me that collecting my property taxes is how the district pays for the infrastructure, pays the bondholders, AND provides the services?

A. Actually, each district does things a little differently. Generally speaking, the bonds pay for the infrastructure; the property taxes pay for the bonds, their interest, and some continuing services; and fees charged to the eventual homeowners and businesses in the district pay for the remaining continuing services. There are also special fees, such as tap fees, that can be charged to the builder or homeowner, depending on the services rendered and/or the type of district.

Q. So you’re saying we get charged twice? Or maybe even three times?

A. Well, yeah, kind of. But you have to understand that some of these amenities don’t come cheap. Before a single-family dwelling is built, you have to have a lot of things in place so people will buy the house, or they might as well go out and live in Podunkville.

Q. All right, what “amenities” are you talking about?

A. There’s quite a list, and normally you don’t think of all of them at one time. For instance, there’s water, sewer, schools, fire, police, library, city services, county services, and certain “special” services, provided by special districts. The addition of each one of these services makes the above single-family dwelling more and more attractive.

Q. You know, I just realized that we don’t have ANY parks near my house. Can I get my neighborhood friends together and start a “Park District” if I wanted to?

A. Sure you can! But three weeks into the project, you’ll find out that it’s a very difficult undertaking. You and your friends would first have to announce publicly, then form a board of directors, then... . Oh, well, I don’t want to get you all tired just reading what has to be done. Usually people who start a District or Special District are fools or professionals; but the only effective districts, those that end up doing what they are supposed to do, are run by developers or contracted professionals. And we haven’t even discussed the political part. That can more than double the difficulty all by itself.

Q. So are you going to show me how this works, or are you going to keep writing “generally” this, and “most of the time” that?

A. If you insist. I guess the best way to show how a district works would be to use some local districts as examples. In the next three parts of this series, I’ll profile the Woodmoor Water District, the Tri-View Metropolitan District, and the Tri-Lakes Fire District. But it won’t be Question and Answer, so don’t let the swinging door hit you on the way out.

Q. Gee, thanks.

A. You’re certainly welcome. But you’re also welcome to tune in for PART 3: The Woodmoor Water District!

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Ben’s Friends raise funds

Friends of Ben Lomond and El Paso County Parks sponsored a fundraiser on Sat. Oct. 27 from 9-12 on the Santa Fe Trail between Palmer Lake and Monument. The event included activities for all ages along the 3 1/2 mile trail such as story-telling around a fire barrel, face painting, insect making, drawing Ben Lomond, viewing the mountain through telescopes, jewelry-making, and information on the flora and fauna of the area. Ben Lomond is the mesa on the north side of Highway 105 between Monument and Palmer Lake.

Fundraising came from sales of T-shirts bearing a photo of the mountain and “Some things are worth saving...save this!....Ben Lomond”, Tri-Lakes 2002 Calendars, Whistle Creek walking sticks, and survival kits that fit in a sardine can. FOBL raised $1,250 that will go toward the purchase of 190 acres on the top and northern side of the mountain. Among the 17 volunteers that helped run the activity tables were three high-school civics students who were fulfilling their required community service hours. The students were invaluable and also learned a lot about the project and the benefits of helping their community.

If you would like to support this project through a donation or purchasing any of the products that were for sale at the event, please contact Sue Buell at 719-481-2474, suebuell@earthlink.net, or Friends of Ben Lomond, PO Box 654, Monument, CO 80132.

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Commission recommends approval of Misty Acres plan

By John Heiser

On October 16, the El Paso County Planning Commission approved (7 to 2), the Preliminary Plan for Misty Acres Filing 1. The plan calls for 49 half-acres lots for single-family houses and five lots for higher densities on 94.4 acres east of Monument Hill Road, west of Doewood Estates, and south of County Line Road. Approximately 30 acres remain to be platted in Filing 2.

The developer is now anticipating a total of 444 dwelling units (128 single family and 316 multi-family). This exceeds the 407 dwelling units (137 single family and 270 multi-family) approved June 28, 2001 as part of the Planned Unit Development (PUD) rezoning but is less than the 507 dwelling units density approved December 14, 2000 with the sketch plan. A PUD rezoning will be required to change the number of dwelling units from 407 to 444.

More information on this project can be found at http://www.coalitiontlc.org/misty_acres.htm.

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LP school board candidates’ statements

Two candidates are vying for Director District 3 on the Lewis-Palmer District 38 School Board. Below are the statements they submitted.

Elizabeth Hacker

Qualifications

  • Project Manager for the 2000 Tri-Lakes Comprehensive Plan and the El Paso County Policy Plan.
  • PPACG: Represented Northern El Paso County from 1990-2001 and was successful in placing the I-25/SH-105 interchange in the 2010 Transportation Plan which then made it eligible for funding.
  • Governor’s Design Team.
  • Proven ability to lead a team and to represent the community.

Goals

  • Comprehensively plan for and proactively respond to rapid growth.
  • Promote citizen participation in planning for a new high school.
  • Promote choices in educational programs.
  • Make computers accessible to all students.
  • Integrate technology into the curriculum.
  • Fiscal responsibility.
  • Safety for students in our schools and on our roads.

Personal

  • BLA - University of Minnesota with 30 years experience in planning and design.
  • BA Teaching with 2 years experience.
  • 11-year resident of Monument/Woodmoor.
  • Husband: Randy Hacker.
  • Children: Ariel and Westin Hacker (students at LPMS).

Elizabeth Hacker, (719) 481-3959
rhackr@qwest.net
 

Robert “Bob” Manning

I know, from my past four years, that Lewis-Palmer is very well administrated and needs to stay the course. This is crucial now because we will be making critical decisions in the next few years, such as, what is our educational vision at the high school? How are we going to continue to attract and maintain quality staff while facing a teacher shortage? It will take proven leadership on the Board of Education. I know that I am the right person to contribute to this process, hence the slogan ‘Looking to the future by building on the past.’ My parents taught me that we should leave the trail behind us in a little better shape than before we passed. Because of this, I believe in giving back to the community in which I live. I have done this through my volunteer work as a church choir director and as founder and co-director of the Tri-Lakes Music Association. Giving back is what I want to do and to teach my children—by my example.

Robert “Bob” Manning, (719) 481-3883 home, (719) 268-2612 work, (719) 268-2639 fax
rwm@cypress.com 

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All ballots must be received by 7 pm Tuesday

All ballots must be received by Tuesday, November 6th, 7 pm. For more information, go to www.elpasoco.com/clerkrcd/elemain.asp. The ballot must be mailed ($0.57 postage required) or dropped off at one of the following offices:

· Centennial Hall, 200 S. Cascade Ave., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

· Chapel Hills Mall, between JC Penney and Mervyns's, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

· Widefield branch, 115 Fontaine Blvd., in Widefield, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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Meet the new Monument trustees

At the Monument Town Council meeting October 15, the trustees interviewed nine applicants, with a tenth having been interviewed prior to the meeting. From these ten highly enthusiastic and qualified individuals, the trustees chose two to fill the vacancies left by the September 11 recall election. The new trustees are Katy Page and Christopher Perry. OCN posed some questions to the new trustees, and here are their replies.

Interview with Katy Page

Q. How long have you lived in this area?

A. My family moved to Palmer Lake in 1969. In 1981, I moved to Monument, where I’ve lived for 20 years.

Q. What experience have you had with Monument politics, or with the community in another role?

A. I served on the home rule charter committee and I have also served as public relations coordinator for the Empty Bowl dinner. I’ve been attending Town meetings for 5 years.

Q. What motivated you to seek the Trustee position?

A. I chose to seek the trustee position as a concerned citizen; and in honor of others dedicated to the best interests of the town, those who serve us now, and those who served in the past.

Q. What is your vision of what you will bring to the Board of Trustees?

A. I will bring an active listening for the facts, regarding any issue. I believe we have had that in a board; and that we can continue to have it. I am not impressed with rhetoric in and of itself. I value a person’s speaking ability; however, the content must be that of fact; backed by data.

Q. What is your vision for the future of Monument?

A. As we continue to grow we need to preserve the character and quality of life here, the very things that drew any and all of us to this area. I think most everyone can agree with that. These quality of life issues include traffic flow, water availability, and crime rate. Beyond that, there is no ‘I’ or ‘my’ vision. It needs to be OUR vision. But to accomplish this, we need consistent interest and involvement from the citizens of our community.

Q. What is our biggest challenge?

A. We affect our neighbors and our neighbors affect us. There is no single growth issue that stands alone. With Monument being the hub of the Tri-Lakes area, we need to expand our commercial tax base in a responsible manner that supports the community. We need the dollars to maintain and improve our quality of life here.

Q. What else do you want the readers to know about you?

A. Having lived in this community for decades; I have watched the various stages of growth and politics happen. I say “happen” because I only started going to town meetings and becoming involved about 5 years ago. We cannot have politics by demagoguery and expect to have the quality of life we all sought in choosing this area as our home. Historically, rumors and prejudices have been the guiding force in politics. We need the input and the listening for facts, from residents of all of the communities within Monument’s boundaries and beyond. All of this, with careful consideration that the Town of Monument is what “foots the bill” for a lot of the improvements that benefit us all.

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Interview with Christopher Perry

Q. How long have you lived in Monument?

A. My wife and I chose to move to Monument in January of 2000

Q. What experience have you had with Monument politics, or with the community in another role?

A. My experience with Monument politics was limited to voicing my feelings about the patio home community that was to be located to the north of Pastimes. My other community experience has been centered around being a firefighter and EMT in small communities for the last 8 years. Most recently, I am serving Black Forest Fire/Rescue as the Chairman of the Volunteer Membership, a Duty Officer, and Firefighter/EMT. My experience as Chairman was one of my motivating factors in seeking the Trustee position.

Q. What motivated you to seek the Trustee position?

A. I feel that I have something to give to this community. I value community service; it is what can make our community great. I felt that the new communities located in the southwest portion did not have adequate representation and that we deserve a voice. I saw an opportunity created by the recall and I felt that I had something to add to this community.

Q. What is your vision of what you can bring to the Board of Trustees?

A. I believe that I can bring the spirit of cooperation to the board. I believe in finding the best solution for the community. I believe that we should hear from all of the parties to a certain issue, ask many questions and then devise the best solution.

Q. What is your vision for the future of Monument?

A. I see Monument as the ideal family community with a good mix of residential, business, retail, and green space. We will preserve the small town charm in our neighborhoods and that will make this a premier community in southern Colorado.

Q. What do you see as the most compelling issue, at this time, for the Board of Trustees?

A. Obviously, the Monument Lake and Dam issues are very compelling issues.

Q. In the future?

A. Responsible, community-enhancing growth and business development.

Q. What else do you want the readers to know about you?

A. I want the readers to know that I am very happy to serve this community as a Trustee. I am honored that the existing Trustees chose me out of the very qualified field of candidates. I will evaluate each issue on how it relates to this community. I do not represent any special interest and I will listen to each side on an issue before voting. I desire to be fully informed on each issue before voting. I am aware that I represent the people of this community and that I am here to work for them, and no one else.

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USAFA security concerns impact interchange redesign

By Judy Barnes

The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has contracted P.B.S. & T as the design firm for the project to redesign the I-25 interchanges at Northgate Road and at Baptist Road. This firm has developed eight designs for the Baptist Road interchange but learned last week that the Air Force Academy has something different in mind.

Air Force Academy security planning following the horrific terrorist attacks September 11th dictates that the Northgate interchange redesign direct more traffic north to use the Baptist Road interchange.

As a result, the planned November 7th open house to review the proposals has been cancelled and will be rescheduled after the Air Force’s concerns have been addressed.

Information on I-25 corridor plans can be found on the web at www.interstate25.com.

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Come celebrate Historic Monument’s “Small Town Christmas”

Courtesy the Historic Monument Merchants
Association

Once again, the merchants of Historic Monument invite you and your family to join their annual celebration “Small Town Christmas.” This year, the day-long event will be Saturday, December 1.

As in past years, there will be activities held throughout the town at Limbach Park, Town Hall, and various shops and businesses. The spirit behind this event is to encourage the families of Monument and surrounding towns to come out and recapture the “warm and fuzzy” feeling of the Christmas season. All of the fun recreation taking place that day is meant to bring people together and keep the Tri-Lakes area a strong and unified community.

The festivities planned for this year range from storytelling to horse-drawn hayrides, craft making to tree lighting and sipping hot cider with your neighbors. Pictures with Santa Claus and strolling carolers singing your favorite holiday songs make for a perfect day. These activities are meant to reacquaint you with old-time Christmas fun and to excite you with something new that may become one of your favorite pastimes for Christmases to come.

It’s a community event and you’re sure to see faces you recognize, perhaps run into a neighbor you seldom see, or meet somebody new that day. Walk through Town, savor the ‘ole time feel of the past, and take in the historic part of your downtown.

At 10 am, capture the innocence in the air as the children laugh and eyes grow large as they anticipate the arrival of Santa Claus to Limbach Park via horse-drawn wagon. Santa passes out candies and greets the children with eagerness as he anticipates a busy Christmas Season. Then join Santa for pictures at the Town Hall and watch the children take part in craft making jollity.

There will be food throughout Town for a quick lunch between activities.

After lunch, join a storyteller at Toys 4 Fun for a great hour of tales about Christmas.

From 11 am to 2 pm climb aboard a horse-drawn hayride and take a tour of downtown Monument.

Book signings, entertainment, and family fun make this day a special one! To find out more about the local activities during Monument’s “Small Town Christmas” please call the Tri-Lakes Chamber of Commerce at 719-481-3282. Gather your family and come out to enjoy a day in Historic Monument.

Events

The Historic Monument Merchants Association sponsors the following events:

10:00 a.m. - Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at Limbach Park, corner of Second and Front Streets, to greet all the good little girls and boys. They will be handing out treat bags full of goodies. When Santa is finished there, he and Mrs. Claus will head over to the Monument Town Hall, 166 Second Street, for pictures with Santa. There is no charge, however donations will be gratefully accepted.

10:00 - 12:00 - Throwing on a potter’s wheel demonstration by Richard Pankratz, Pankratz Studios & Gallery, 366 Second Street. 24 Limited edition Raku Holiday platters will be available; this year’s scene is the Palmer Lake Star. 20% of all proceeds from these platters will be donated to T.E.S.S.A. (The Center for the Prevention of Domestic Violence).

10:00 - 5:00 - Stone Mountain Trading Post, 213 Washington Street, will be accepting entries for the “Santa Coloring Contest” for children aged 5-7, 8-10, and 11-13. Entry forms, which may be picked up from the Trading Post during November, will be judged and $15, $10, and $5 gift certificates will be awarded to the first, second, and third prizewinners in each age group.

10:30 - 11:30 - Craft hour for kids of all ages will begin at Monument Town Hall, 166 Second Street.

11:00 - Hayride on a horse-drawn wagon will be at High Country Feed & Garden, 243 Washington Street. This annual hayride is always a family favorite and will run from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

11:00 - Joseph Bohler arrives at Folk Art Gallery, 251 Front Street to play all of your favorite tunes on his piano. Lots of Fun!

11:00 - 2:00 - Visit Expectations Salon and Day Spa and enter to win a gift basket filled with face and body care products, jewelry, bath salts and cosmetics.

11:00 - 1:30 - Colorado Springs author & photographer, Jim Keen will be at Covered Treasures Bookstore, Corner of Second and Washington St., signing his book Colorado; Rocky Mountain Wide - Panographic Images.

1:00 - 2:00 p.m. - Christmas Storytelling by a master storyteller at Toys 4 Fun, 155 N. Jefferson.

2:30 - 4:00 p.m. - Joseph Bohler moves his piano on over to Covered Treasures Bookstore, Corner of Second and Washington, to play live ragtime music.

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Welcome to Our Community News

By Roth Hyland, Publisher

Even though we have been publishing OCN for five months and this is our eighth issue, some of you may have never seen OCN before, so some explanation is in order.

Our Community News was launched in June 2001 by a group of Tri-Lakes area residents after concerns arose regarding coverage of Tri-Lakes area news. Many stories including the proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter project and the Monument Recall were being given biased or scant coverage by the local media. While the primary local newspaper covered service clubs, etc., it didn’t publish a calendar of upcoming public meetings. Residents only heard about major decisions after the meetings had been held. We concluded there was an urgent need to provide residents information so they could get involved in the public process of addressing the significant issues facing the Tri-Lakes area.

Unlike the major local newspaper that is staffed almost exclusively by people who live outside the Tri-Lakes area, everyone at Our Community News lives or owns a business in the Tri-Lakes area.

Our mission is to give Tri-Lakes area residents:

Accurate, objective community-based and area-wide news to help them reach sound conclusions and contribute to a successful future for our area

A forum for the free exchange of ideas and opportunities that may impact their daily lives

A guide to Tri-Lakes area shopping through Tri-Lakes-focused classified and commercial advertising

We ask that you take the time to go to public meetings and get the facts first-hand.

We want to hear from you. Send your thoughts to our_community_news@hotmail.com or P.O. Box 1742, Monument, CO 80132-1742.

This is your community and your voice matters. You can make a difference by working to ensure that we hold on to the things we love about living here.

And, we ask that you support our advertisers. Their willingness to advertise in Our Community News makes free distribution of this newspaper possible.

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Opportunity knocks

Our goal is to distribute this free newspaper door-to-door throughout the Tri-Lakes area. To meet that goal, we need your help to expand our distribution network. Here is that paper route you always wanted. No experience necessary, just a willingness to get out, get some exercise, and meet your neighbors.

If you like to write, here is your chance to have your work seen by thousands of Tri-Lakes area residents. Maybe you have an idea for an article or a column.

Like to take pictures? Want to justify to your spouse that fancy new digital camera? We need digital or print photos to illustrate future articles.

So don’t just sit there, opportunity is knocking. Give us a call, drop us a note, send us an e-mail, and did I mention carrier pigeons?

Susan Hindman, Editor
481-8511
P.O. Box 1742
Monument, Colorado 80132-1742
editor@ourcommunitynews.org
 

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