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St. Scholastica, historic school in Cañon City could be rezoned - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

St. Scholastica, historic school in Cañon City could be rezoned for apartments

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A Cañon City public meeting Tuesday was to discuss the future of a property first built in 1897.

There's a potential sale in the works for St. Scholastica which used to serve as an all girls academy, but it's been vacant for a decade.

It's not that people living around St. Scholastica don't want to see anything done with the land., and they don't mind if it's turned into housing; but they do disagree with rezoning the area especially when the potential buyer doesn't have a set plan for the land. 

Between the weeds and the asbestos warnings neighbors and the city agree something needs change at St. Scholastica. 

"We don't know what's going to happen," said Brenda Claflin who is speaking out for a group called 'Concerned Neighbors of the St. Scholastica Property.'

"We would really like for this prospective buyer to work with us the people who are going to be most impacted by this proposal," said Claflin.

The proposal, rezoning from R2 mid-density residential to R3 high-density. The neighbors fear if the seven acre property is rezoned, the buyer could change his plans.

"Conceptual plans are much different from defined plans," said Claflin.

The staff report by Cañon City will recommend to the planning commission and city council to rezone creating a hybrid R3 zone. 

"Any of the comments that have come in are presuming that the rezoning would allow the overall building height and total number of units that could be built under, sort of a, maximum condition under R3 and that's not what staff is recommending," said Cañon City Community Development Director Deana Swetlik.

Staff recommends three major conditions to rezoning:

-A cap on the number of living units

-A height restriction

-And once conceptual becomes definitive plans, another discussion with the city, "A much more detailed site planning and development scenario and has the ability to include some performance standards or development standards," said Swetlik.

Preliminary plans turn old dorms into senior living, and building townhomes. A historic building, Gym, pool and tennis courts could have public use, but still neighbors don't know the final plans.

"Anything could happen to this property, even with the conditions put on it," said Claflin, "The buyer might back out of the deal, then we are left with a vacant property zoned R3."

The original sale tag on the property was around $2.5 million. The prospective buyer could wrap it up for $890,000. After Tuesday's public meeting the recommendation will go in front of city council at their next meeting in August. People can still go to city council for public input. 

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