Sunday, September 30, 2007
The metropolis that is Green Mountain Falls boasts a population of 915 full-time residents and is located on U.S. highway 24 between Colorado Springs and Woodland Park. Mayor Pro Tem Dick Bratton stated that “In the past, the town hasn’t looked outside its boundaries. We haven’t been concerned about what’s happening around us.” Now residents are looking to prevent growth and are willing to go to great means to do so. The threat of sprawl is a battle to be fought on two frontiers as Woodland Park and Colorado Springs threaten to grow in Green Mountain Falls direction at any moment. Woodland Park has a planning area extending three miles south into Crystola where it has annexed land. Colorado Springs is currently attempting to expand up the mountain pass as developers are planning to build 55 homes near Chipita Park and 67 in Cascade, both just south east of Green Mountain Falls on Highway 24.
Town officials are looking into ways in which they can stop sprawl before it starts. They have hired a planning consultant to help them deal with the problem and are looking into annexing land surrounding the town in order to establish growth boundaries. Another method being considered is an intergovernmental agreement with El Paso County and other nearby towns to address the problems with a group effort.
Green Mountain Falls needs to annex nearby land and establish growth boundaries if they want to win the war on sprawl. Woodland Park and Colorado Springs are both embracing their growth and even planning for more in the future. The Mayor and town board seem to believe that growth or sprawl (or whatever you’d like to call it) is not inevitable and that no one will ever take notice of their peaceful mountain dwelling. I would assert that there is a certain group of people that don’t want one of the numerous tract homes that cover the eastern side of Colorado Springs. Some individuals won’t want a house that is identical to every other on the block and will be intrigued by the mountain living so close to Colorado Springs. These individuals will look up the pass to Cascade, Woodland Park and even Green Mountain Falls. Growth is inevitable and sprawl is coming.
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