COLORADO SPRINGS – An east side Colorado Springs neighborhood is fighting to preserve open space.
The Springs Ranch Golf Course is going to be sold and those who live nearby fear the land will be rezoned from an agricultural area to residential.
Currently, no rezoning application has been submitted to the city, but Classic Homes is interested in taking over the property and building houses there. The company is already holding public meetings to get community input. However, some homeowners say it’s premature as they haven’t been able to make their case to city leaders.
“Are the homeowners happy about this? No, we’re not,” said Sandy Medrano who has called the Springs Ranch neighborhood home for more than 20 years.
“I’m the original homeowner as far as my address.”
While he’s seen change over the years something major is now in the works. The Springs Ranch Golf Course is going to be sold and residents say the open space they’ve enjoyed for many years is now in jeopardy.
Resident Lou Morales said, “We’d been promised it would never go up for sale and so we were kind of enraged because a lot of people that live down there pay premiums to live there.”
In a letter sent to city officials Springs Ranch HOA leaders state that an agreement was made back in 1999 that gave a certain amount of acres to Springs Ranch LLC for the golf course on the condition that it remain open to the public.
They also claim that an amendment to that agreement was signed last year by Mayor John Suthers stating the owner’s intention to close the golf course (which would eliminate public access as originally agreed) and to sell it to an unnamed residential developer in exchange for payback for certain parcels of open space originally approved by the city. The HOA team writing that this paves the way for rezoning.
Morales said, “Once it’s rezoned to residential it just becomes a private matter between the property owner and whoever buys it. We have no say.”
On Thursday Morales said the city had not replied to the letter yet. He and other residents want to have a discussion with city officials before a rezoning application is submitted.
Another public meeting with Classic Homes will be held Friday night for residents south of North Carefree Circle. The meeting runs from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and will be held at Creekside Service Center at 3850 Pony Tracks Drive.
News 5 has reached out to the city and is working to get information about the homeowners’ claims.