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Mountain Shadows neighbors remain upset at proposed Garden of the Gods housing plan

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO)-- It's been a controversial plan for more than a year, but an end may be coming to the saga surrounding the rezoning of the 2424 Garden of the Gods property.

The developer proposed project would house 400 units, but neighbors say the area would be too dense and would be a disaster if a fire happened. Now, Mountain Shadows neighbors and the Westside Watch group are once again calling on the city to stop it, before a city council meeting on Tuesday.

"It's going to take over five hours to evacuate Mountain Shadows if an event like what happened with Waldo Canyon would happen again," said Mountain Shadows HOA president Bill Wysong.

Since the Waldo Canyon Fire, neighbors in the Mountain Shadow community have been on high alert. With more people moving west of I-25, they feel they'll be trapped if the housing project is built.

In May, the Colorado Springs City Council heard those concerns, directing city staff to re-evaluate a traffic study and address safety concerns about evacuation plans.

The neighbors say the city fire marshall has said the study, called FLEET, is not possible.

But Wysong believes the FLEET analysis would show that it would take far too long for Mountain Shadows residents to evacuate.

The Mountain Shadows neighbors aren't the only ones opposed. A group dubbed the 'Westside Watch' is dedicated to protecting communities in wildlife-heavy areas.

"These developments just keep continuing, and they're not using what we think are the proper approaches to evaluating the data," said Dana Duggan with Westside Watch.

"You're having a developer totally dictate, with the approval of the city planning that, 'oh, we're going to do it no matter what,'" Wysong adds.

The groups plan to hold a rally against the development on Monday morning.

An attempt to reach the Colorado Springs Fire Department for comment on FLEET was made, but a response was not received prior to the publishing of this article.

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Spencer Soicher

Spencer is the weekend evening anchor, and a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about him here.

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