Gold Hill Mesa developer moving forward with build out

State geologists want to know more about the soil
Posted at 5:33 PM, Sep 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-24 23:33:54-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — News5 is getting answers from the developer of the Gold Hill Mesa neighborhood on the westside of Colorado Springs after questions were raised about the safety and stability of the soil those homes are built on. Gold Hill Mesa officials say work is being done to educate residents on the development process as they look to build more homes on the site.

Gold Hill Mesa officials say the build out of the rest of their available property continues to move forward with direction of consultants and experts using the best technology and methods to develop the land. Still, state geologists would like to see more testing and information because they have questions about the soil and its long-term stability.

The Gold Hill Mesa neighborhood is on the west side not too far from downtown. Developers say they are moving forward with plans to build more homes. The development sits on a hill of mill tailings from a former mill processing plant that was capped to prevent contamination from minerals and chemicals. For years state geologists have had concerns about the soil wanting to learn more about it's longterm stability.

In a press release sent to News5 Tuesday afternoon Stephanie Edwards, vice president and developer representative for Gold Hill Mesa is quoted saying "We welcome and encourage oversight. The project has always been under multiple layers of review and accountability, at the state and local level, and by multiple licensed technical experts. Given its unique history, careful attention has been given to both the aesthetic appeal and functional performance of the community, as well as to the environmental safety and stability of the site given its unique history."

Walter Clemens has been inspecting homes in Colorado for 30 years and says understanding the stability of the soil under these homes is crucial for homeowners.

"You're talking $400,000 and $500,000 houses that's a big investment," said Clemens.

News5 spoke with the El Paso County Assessor who says home values have gone up in the Gold Hill Mesa Neighborhood and none of the residents in Gold Hill Mesa have reached out to him to have their home values modified due to soil concerns.

Clemens says if any homeowner notices their home is sinking or shifting it should be addressed right away.

"It matters because where is it occurring and that few inches is going to affect the parts that aren't moving they are going to stay stable and if you have something that moves like that it's going to cause damage," said Clemens.

Trying to gather more information for this story News5 also reached out to state geologists who have studied Gold Hill Mesa and Colorado Springs City Council President Richard Skorman. We're still waiting on a response.

Gold Hill Mesa officials are hosting a seminar for residents this week to learn more about the property and its development.

Here is a look at what News5 received from Gold Hill Mesa officials Tuesday afternoon:
Gold Hill Mesa press release

Here is more information on the Gold Hill Mesa Seminar Series provided to us by Gold Hill Mesa Officials:

Building a Healthy Community From the Ground Up

Gold Hill Mesa has launched a series of seminars that will educate and inform about our redevelopment, from the ground up, quite literally.

The format will include a moderated presentation with an expert panel, followed by Q&A.

Seminar IV: Home Stable Home:

Gold Hill Mesa's Building Process

Join the owner of Vanguard Homes (and Gold Hill Mesa resident), Mark Long, this Thursday for insight on the building process at Gold Hill Mesa. Mark Long is a native of Colorado, former military officer, and a second-generation builder. Mark has been building semi-custom homes for more than 25 years in Colorado Springs. In his career, Mark has constructed over 1,000 housing units. He is also the past President of the Colorado Springs Housing and Building Association, and now serves on their Board of Directors.

Additionally, Adam Simmons, CEO of Midgard Raven, LLC, a company that conducts comprehensive Geospatial Analytics, will bring insights and answer question bout the Din-SAR report.

Seminar Series Lineup:

September 5: Gold Hill Mesa’s Environmental History and Purpose

September 12: Water Management and the Anatomy of a Drainage System

September 19: Geotechnically Speaking: Soil Composition, Stability, and Infrastructure

September 26: Home Stable Home: Gold Hill Mesa’s Building Process

October 3: The Power of a Community with People, Planet, and Purpose