NewsCovering Colorado


City Council denies appeal to The Launchpad apartments in 6-3 vote, complex will go on as scheduled

Posted at 10:48 PM, Aug 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-09 00:48:47-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — After more than seven hours of debate, the Colorado Springs City Council voted 6-3 to deny an appeal to a controversial apartment complex planned for the city's west side.

The vote means The Launchpad apartment complex will move forward as originally planned along 19th Street near the intersection with Dale Street.

It will offer 50 units of permanent supportive housing to at-risk young adults over the age of 18 to mid-twenties. The building is planned to be four stories tall and will offer tenants one and two-bedroom units. It was awarded Low-Income Housing Tax Credits from the Colorado Housing Finance Authority last May.

The city delayed the vote to approve it in July after neighbors filed an appeal.

The group appealing the decision argued the height and density of the building would violate the recommendations of the West Side Master Plan. They have also shared concerns about the stability of the soil at the property.

Scott Hiller, a resident and co-appellant, said many of his neighbors have experienced land shifting on their property. He said a geological hazard report that was required for the project was not thorough enough. The appellants asked the city council to have the Colorado Geological Survey review the report, which is not a required part of the procedure.

"I do not believe that the geological hazards were correctly identified and, therefore, I don't think the mitigations are sufficient. Not enough investigation was done and certainly not enough to make me comfortable with the idea of cutting into the hill," said Hiller.

The project developer told the Colorado Springs Planning Commission last month that the proposal meets all of the city's zoning and development requirements. The planning commission voted unanimously in favor of the development.

Other residents had concerns about the complex's planned location next to the Ruth Washburn Cooperative Nursery School. However, Kelly Perry, a mother with two children at the school, said she fully supports the project being built there.

"Having it next to my son's preschool is selfishly ideal because I believe in teaching by example. So my children are at Ruth Washburn they're going to be able to look next door and see that everybody has value, everybody has worth. They're going to see kindness in action," said Perry.

Several council members ultimately agreed that sending the geohazard report to another agency could set a standard of mistrusting city officials tasked to conduct similar reports. Others brought up that delaying the Launchpad complex once again would do a disservice to at-risk youth needing housing.

Councilmembers Lynette Crow-Iverson, Dave Donelson, and Mike O'Malley voted no to deny the appeal. Council President Randy Helms and Councilmembers Michelle Talarico, Yolanda Avila, Nancy Henjum, David Leinweber, and Brian Risley all voted to approve the motion to deny the appeal.

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