Kiowa foreclosure looms
News of bank interest emerges at neighborhood meeting on latest request for controversial project

       Property owners Rick and Pat Shannon were not at the neighborhood meeting Oct. 27 to discuss a subdivision request to the city for their partially completed, controversial development in the 3300 block of West Kiowa Street.

Steve Tuck of City Land Use Review displays an aerial map of the project area during a neighborhood meeting on a request to subdivide four lots in the partially completed development in the 3300 block of West Kiowa Street (mid-area of map).
Westside Pioneer photo

       The reason? They may not be the property owners much longer. Rick Squires, a Monument contractor, revealed at the meeting that Colorado Capital Bank, which holds the paper on the property, plans to start foreclosure action in “30 to 45 days.”
       As a result, he suggested that neighborhood residents opposing the project look kindly on the subdivision plan, saying it would make the property more attractive to buyers and the units on it more likely to be owned rather than rented. Otherwise, the property might just sit there and the two existing duplexes could even end up being abandoned, Squires said.
       This new scenario did not exactly pacify the 50 or so at the meeting. Living in the older, mostly single-family neighborhood around the project, several of them described numerous issues during the development work - particularly previous builder Jeff Shada's use of heavy equipment to chip away the lower parts of a Garden of the Gods-style rock formation on an adjoining Shannon lot without a building permit. Other charges, some of them reiterated at the meeting, have included drainage issues, unpermitted alley work, utilities work that may not be finished, survey uncertainties, no reseeding of graded areas, chopped-down trees at the start of the project, and a seeming disregard for the property's hillside overlay zone.
       Shada is no longer involved with the project, Squires said.
       Richard White, who lives just south of the development, reported collecting 101 signatures on a petition against the subdivision request.
       The request is to subdivide the four interior lots (5-8) of the property's six lots. All are now 7,000 square feet. Lots 7 and 8 are the two with duplexes already built. The result would be 3,500-square-foot lots, thus allowing each duplex “side” to be owned separately.
       Under the current layout, the existing duplexes each sit on a single lot, so that the owner has to rent one or both of the units.
       Left out of the request are Lot 9 (which has the rock formation) and Lot 4 (which has a survey dispute).
       The original Shannon plan, using the 1889 plat, called for duplexes on Lots 4-8 and a single house on Lot 9. The Shannons even planned to live in that house, they said at a 2007 neighborhood meeting.
       Responding to the neighborhood concerns about the rock, Squires said he could ask the bank about holding Lot 9 back from development, but he didn't know what the answer would be.
       There currently are no building permit applications for the unbuilt lots, but original concept plans from the Shannons had shown duplexes on Lots 4-8, with a house on Lot 9 that would have risen higher than the rock formation.
       The meeting was run by Steve Tuck of City Land Use Review, who can either make an administrative decision on the request or refer it directly to City Planning Commission. Noting that he is new to the project, he called it “ugly” and “very unfortunate” and said there is “reason for the neighborhood to be upset.” However, he said he has no legal grounds to require that a plan be submitted for the property as a whole before he would approve one that addresses just part of it.
       Jan Doran, representing the Council of Neighbors and Organizations (CONO), said she knows of times that city staffers have referred land-use requests to the commission because of “contention” from neighborhoods. “This would reinstate a little bit of trust from the neighbors,” she told Tuck.
       The planner said he “would sure consider” a direct referral, but “it would have to be related to city codes” and at this time he does not see that being the case. Otherwise, he noted, assuming he approves the bank request, the neighborhood could appeal his decision to Planning Commission at a cost of $175. Another possibility would be for the neighborhood to apply for a city rezoning of their area from R-2 to R-1 (which would disallow duplexes), he said.
       One resident at the meeting defended the project, saying she believed it constituted an upgrade from the way it was before, when it had “ugly shacks” and multiple drug busts.
       Jenna Saunders, who lives next to the development, said she also “didn't like what was there before” and does not oppose the concept of duplexes being built on the property. She elaborated that her opposition is “not a NIMBY thing,” just that she “would like the builders to follow the rules. I think this is a worthy cause for the neighborhood.”

Westside Pioneer article