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Pushback from Briargate neighborhood on proposed 232-unit affordable housing apartment complex

Posted at 11:36 PM, Jul 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-06 01:36:39-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — The proposed 232-unit Royal Pines Apartment complex is stirring up controversy in one neighborhood in north Colorado Springs.

The developer, DBG Properties out of Portland, Oregon, is proposing the complex at the intersection of North Union Boulevard and North Powers Boulevard. Steve Posey, the Chief Housing Officer for the City of Colorado Springs, said the complex will be marketed toward working families. He said the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom will be $1,115, a two-bedroom unit will be $1,336, and a three-bedroom unit will be priced at $1,539.

"Multi-family has always been an allowed use for that particular piece of property," said Posey. "These are really important members of our community and they need to have affordable places that they can live and call home here in Colorado Springs."

He said the units will be offered to individuals and families making a range between 30% and 70% of the area median income or AMI.

Some residents of the nearby Pine Creek neighborhood said the area is not fit for a 200-unit apartment complex. They said they have concerns about additional traffic and safety issues. Some residents said they are more frustrated with how the City of Colorado Springs has handled the development planning process.

Stephen Parrish, whose home backs up to the proposed development site, said he received two notices in the mail in June from the city about a proposed project nearby. He said the first notice was sent notifying residents of a project named "The Market at Pine Creek" near the intersection of Royal Pine Drive and North Union Boulevard. He said he received a second notice in the same month about a project named "Royal Pine" in the same area. The second paper said it was a corrected notice because the first notice identified the incorrect property address.

Parrish said none of the notices mentioned an apartment complex.

"We did not find out about it from the city. We found out about it from a Facebook post from one of the neighbors," he said. "Five hundred plus cars that are going to now be in the area and it's just a concern, there's a lot of aspects to that, that are alarming and I think the biggest one is the fact that it was a surprise."

Susan Forget and Nathalie Ingram are also residents of the Pine Creek neighborhood. They said they are not concerned about the apartment being offered to lower-income individuals. They said they are more frustrated because they felt they should have been involved in the planning process from the start.

"The critique is on the process and the communication with the neighborhood," said Forget.

"It just seems like they're putting apartment upon apartment and we're going to become a cement jungle real soon," said Ingram.

The two notices sent in the mail to neighbors give residents the chance to provide public comment. Posey said the city is still in the early stages of planning for the development. He said residents are entitled to a public meeting process when there is more information to give about the proposed complex. Posey said this is not the first time a neighborhood has raised concerns over proposed affordable housing nearby.

"It is a challenge that we run into. Ideally, we would like to see a good mix of housing everywhere in Colorado Springs," he said.

DBG Properties has planned a community meeting to talk about the proposed property with residents on Thursday, July 6 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Library 21c on Chapel Hills Drive.

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