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Fight over Strawberry Hills land swap continues - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Fight over Strawberry Hills land swap continues

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COLORADO SPRINGS -

It's not difficult to find a "Save Strawberry Fields" signs as you drive up to North Cheyenne Canon Park.

"It used to be this quiet, serene, great place to live--and now it's slowly turning into a zoo," said Elizabeth Boerner, who grew up in the area.

The city agreed to a deal at the end of 2016, to exchange about 190 acres of what's known as the Strawberry Hill area--for more than 350 acres of various trail easements.

"The city, in my opinion, got a very good deal," Mayor John Suthers told News5 on Thursday.

The public would have access to all but about 8 1/2 acres of Strawberry Hills.  It's a seemingly small number--but a big deal to some community members.

"That's actually the most pristine portion of the property.  So they're really getting the creme de la creme of the property," said John Spengler.

More than that, though, Spengler worries about restricting access to any portion of public land.

He's part of a group called "Save Cheyenne," who continue to protest the transaction.

"Only patrons of the Broadmoor will be able to enter.  We shouldn't be excluding anyone from that.  It's 

a beautiful resource.  It's our resource.  Why give it up to private entities," he said.

But Mayor Suthers says the trade off is worth it.

"More people will take advantage of the land we've acquired next to the Incline probably in a week, than 

would take advantage of the small acreage we're giving up in a year's time," he told News5.

The state court of appeals upheld the land swap Thursday.

Members of "Save Cheyenne" are already consulting with legal counsel, and say they plan to file an appeal with the Colorado Supreme Court.

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