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Pine Creek neighborhood voices concerns over proposed 232-unit affordable housing complex

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - Residents of the Pine Creek neighborhood in Briargate made their voices heard at a community meeting in response to a proposal for a new affordable apartment complex.

The project is slated to go up at the corner of Royal Pine and Union, near Powers Boulevard, bringing 232 units and several hundred new residents to the area.

The meeting, which was held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on August 3 at the 21C Pikes Peak Library, brought DBG Properties, the developer of the property, as well spokespeople for the City of Colorado Springs, and residents together to hear one another out.

"This is really essential housing, it's been a priority for the city - there's such an acute need for this type of housing for these types of folks, making this type of income." said Eric Grodahl, a member of the "DBG Properties" development team, who sat with two other colleagues on stage at the meeting.

Dozens of residents waited in line for the microphone to share their displeasure with the proposed apartment complex.

Their complaints were mostly driven by the potential influx of people into the area, and how that will impact traffic, congestion, and school populations.

"I was limited to three minutes by the city council, I was limited to one minute on the Zoom call. Ya'll are going to hear it!" stated one frustrated resident, who spoke for over 10 minutes during the meeting.

Other residents believe the traffic is already bad enough due to a one-lane roundabout that is along the same road where the complex would be built, and that adding more people to the area would only make it worse.

"You know, it's not safe for the current community and it's not safe for the residents of the apartment complex," stated Timothy Lewin. "There's going to be hundreds of vehicles going through that roundabout every single day. And of course, the traffic study [the developers did] takes into account that they're only going to go through Union. But we know that the shorter route is going to be through the neighborhoods."

They also questioned if there was room for more students in the area, as D-20 schools are already facing a shortage in staff, with an excess of students.

"Right now on the D-20 website, there are 199 open positions." explained one concerned resident who has worked within the district.

Stephen Parrish another homeowner in the area and echoed the concerns about congestion, but emphasized that in the event of a wildfire, evacuations would become a traffic nightmare.

"Everybody in Pine Creek, including those 630 plus residents of those apartments, plus the five businesses, plus their patrons, are going to have to use that single lane roundabout to get out," said Parrish.

Grodahl defended the developing team, pointing out that the traffic plan they submitted, which residents were questioning -- goes above and beyond what is required by the city, but that the plan is still awaiting approval. 

He added that if all goes according to plan, they'd get administrative approval for the complex this Fall, and would break ground in February.

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Tyler Cunnington

Tyler is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about him here.


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