Gold Hill Mesa keeping word on wall for neighboring townhomes
In keeping with an agreement last fall, Gold Hill Mesa has resumed building a perimeter wall around Villa de Mesa, and lead developer Bob Willard is confident that crews will be done with the portion that's promised for June 1.
“We're doing it where it's supposed to be done, and we're ahead of schedule,” he said this week.
The project is separate from other work that Gold Hill started this spring on a new access from 21st Street for both the 210-acre development and the 25-townhome enclave. The dual projects have kept crews busy near Villa de Mesa's southwest corner, where the access work is occuring, and its east and northeast boundaries, where the wall construction is continuing.
Mike Reeg, vice president of the VDM homeowner's association, lauded Gold Hill for being a “good neighbor” in the way it's handling the current work. “I think everyone here is very happy to see the wall go up and have been very accepting of the construction,” he said. “I sent an e-mail to the other residents that we may have construction for the next three months. I haven't heard any complaints. If they had any, they'd be calling me.”
One reason Gold Hill Mesa may be popular right now is it's doing extra work. Reeg said the development crews have been improving drainage, planting trees and moving big boulders within the townhome property. “These are things they didn't have to do,” he said.
Built in the 1970s, Villa de Mesa had once been all by itself on a small part of the old Golden Cycle gold mill property east of 21st, north of Lower Gold Camp Road and south of Highway 24. When Willard and his partners bought the larger property around it, they offered the existing residents a chance to be integrated into the new project. However, the HOA insisted on staying separate, and seven years ago GHM agreed to build a privacy wall around the enclave.
The segments on its south side and most of its west side were built in 2006. But the VDM residents became upset at seeing the development move forward after that without new walls going up. Finally, after the HOA complained to the city, Gold Hill agreed to a timetable last fall. Under the plan, the east wall and 170 feet of the north wall are to be built by June 1, with the remainder of the north wall (and the last segment of the west wall) by 2014.
Most of the north/northwest end needs to stay open for now to allow Gold Hill Mesa flexibility in planning how it will grade from that point downhill to its envisioned commercial area north of VDM, explained Barry Brinton, the GHM development manager. “That's still being looked at,” he said.
The VDM HOA has helped out its larger neighbor in that regard, giving up a 700-by-35-foot strip of land at the north end that GHM can use for grading (but not building).
The new wall is being built to last, Brinton asserted. Like the previous sections, the new segments are made of prefabricated concrete with the pier for each section built two feet wide and set three feet into the ground. “It's a good anchor and will withstand wind and earth movement,” Brinton said.
The new walls will eventually be painted so their color matches the existing south and west walls, he added.
The contractor is Schanel Construction.
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