No show-stoppers seen in Gold Hill grading plan
City reviewing submittal; work could start in January
Initial grading for the Gold Hill Mesa development apparently will start as planned in early January, though it will cover a smaller
area than originally foreseen.
“I don't see anything that will hold him back,” said Steve Kuehster, who handles grading permits for the City of Colorado Springs. He was referring to developer Robert Willard, manager of the Gold Hill Mesa Town-ship LLC, an investment group that owns the 214-acre property and plans to create a commercial/residential development there.
In response to a grading application from the LLC, Kuehster said he has been meeting with Willard's engineers and has provided comments to them as part of his review process. He said he wants to make sure that stormwater won't cause an “issue with the tailings.” Barring any unexpected findings in that area of concern, he expects that a permit will be granted before New Year's, which would allow Willard to bring in fleets of grading equipment and water trucks (to keep the dust down) during the months of January and February.
There is one difference from the original grading plan that had been described by Willard after receiving Colorado Springs City Council approval for Phase 1 development of the property in October. At the time he was looking at grading all of the “top” (the roughly 140-acre, gently sloping area above the sharper slopes leading down to Fountain Creek). Now, however, he told the Westside Pioneer he has scaled the grading area back to mostly cover just Phase 1 - a roughly 56-acre area on the highest part of the property, just north of Lower Gold Camp Road.
This will make it more certain that the grading will be finished by the end of February. “We don't want to move dirt in the windy season,” Willard said, noting that his chief concern is blowing dust. “The winds are too strong in March-April-May.”
Once the city grants a grading permit, Willard said he would seek bids for a contractor to do the work. “Then I expect we'll start after the first of the year,” he said.
Westside Pioneer article