COLORADO SPRINGS — It's a topic that's sparked a lot of controversy from residents over the last few years - redeveloping the Springs Ranch Golf Course which is going to be sold.
Now, those redevelopment plans are moving forward. News 5 spoke with residents and the city regarding a recent land exchange.
The Colorado Springs City Council unanimously approved a land swap that basically expands Coleman Community Park and allows for the zoning of parks on the golf course - a property that Classic Homes is under contract to purchase. The company says this vote allows them to move forward with their concept plan to build homes and townhomes. The land exchange gives the City of Colorado Springs 23.5 acres of the golf course for the same amount of property at the Tutt Sports Complex located nearby.
Britt Haley, parks and development manager for Colorado Springs, said, "I think there came a realization both on our side and the people who were purchasing the golf course that we could really augment our properties together by making that switch...I think what it does is it preserves green space in an area where people really let us know that they appreciated that."
Haley is right - preserving green space is exactly what residents like Lou Morales have been fighting for since learning that the golf course was going to be sold and redeveloped.
Morales said, "We wanted to ensure that somehow we kept open space and park land whether it was the golf course or not."
He shared that over the past year residents have looked at the different concepts Classic Homes was putting together.
"In the end, in their final concept after discussions with us, we got about 80% to 90% of what our request was regarding open space."
According to him, it's about 70 acres with the property connected to Coleman Community Park as well as other land.
"We still have some remaining concerns."
He's talking about drainage, traffic and wildlife impacts - all things he and other residents want the city to monitor as plans move forward. With this whole situation, Morales shared that there's mixed emotions. He said, "Nobody's 100% happy, but I think we found a good compromise, and we protected our part of the city and our environment."
Haley says there will be a master plan process later this year for people to share what they want to see for that community park.
As for Classic Homes - the company says right now it doesn't have exact numbers on how many homes will be built or when construction might start. We'll keep you updated.