Trail route set for Uintah Bluffs, but years away for construction, developer says

       The Colorado Springs Parks Advisory Board reached agreement April 12 on a conceptual trail plan for the proposed 52-unit Uintah Bluffs townhome subdivision.

With the omission of a few hundred feet (not shown at lower left) along a Utilities right of way going east from Manitou Boulevard, the map shows the trail route in the future Uintah Bluffs subdivision. The north-south segment along the hill above Bristol Elementary School would include part of the still-visible El Paso Canal. The planned concentration of 52 townhomes is at left along what would be a new, private road.
Courtesy of Matt Craddock and Colorado Springs Parks

       The public trail is to go through the currently open 13-acre property, south of the townhomes. It will travel between Manitou Boulevard on the west and Bristol Park - next to Bristol School off Walnut Street - on the east. According to developer Matt Craddock, part of the trail will follow the shelf of what was once the El Paso Canal, a circuitous irrigation channel built in 1871 by William Palmer to bring water to his new Colorado Springs from Fountain Creek west of Colorado City.
       A key part of the Park Board decision was to eliminate a proposed trailhead at Manitou Boulevard near Monument Street. The removal was requested by Ivars Mankovs, the homeowner at Monument and Manitou, who has argued that a trailhead so near would result in excess traffic and noise.
       The board agreed with Mankovs that trail users could find sufficient on-street parking in the areas of Manitou Boulevard and Bristol Park, said Chris Lieber of City Parks.
       Craddock had agreed to fund the cost of a trailhead; now, instead, such money (amount to be determined) will be applied toward trail maintenance. He said he has no objection to the board's change.
       With older neighborhoods on three sides, the Uintah Bluffs property is a mostly flat, high location, offering views in multiple directions. Numerous social trails criss-cross it now. Craddock said the eventual plan is to “scarify” all those paths, leaving only the designated trail.
       The next step for Uintah Bluffs will be the City Planning Commission in either May or June.
       However, approval there will not mean Craddock rushing out to find a builder for the project's townhomes. “I think we've got a few more years of recovery before we're ready,” he said. “It's a shame, but the economy is just not there.”
       That also applies to the trail, he added, explaining that it won't be cut in until grading starts on the project itself.
       Uintah Bluffs has already been more than five years in the planning. Earlier proposals that included considerable work in property areas identified as geologically unstable were shown at neighborhood meetings, but never went further than that.

Westside Pioneer article