Controversial 2424 Garden of the Gods development is back on — for now

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2424 Garden of the Gods Road (Photo by Helen Lewis)

A year after being rejected by City Council, a proposal for a mixed-use development at 2424 Garden of the Gods Road is back in play.

The city Planning Commission on Feb. 8 approved developer 2424 GOTG LLC’s request for rezoning and a concept plan for a project that would include commercial space, apartments and townhomes. The vote was 6-3, with Commissioners Scott Hente, Marty Rickett and John Almy dissenting.

Hente said he was voting against the proposal because he still has concerns about additional vehicles creating chokepoints during emergency evacuations. Commissioners who voted in support said they didn’t view the project as a threat to public safety and believed it would add much-needed housing.

2424 GOTG LCC scaled down its new proposal for the 125-acre parcel, reducing to 320 the number of residential units it wants to build. In the new concept plan, some of the units will be townhomes rather than apartments. The proposal now automatically goes to City Council.

The original proposal, which included 420 residential units, was approved by the Planning Commission in March 2021. City Council greenlighted the plan on first reading, but after hearing input from neighbors, overturned the commission’s decision and rejected the proposal in a final vote on Aug. 21, 2021.

Per the city code, developers can submit a new application one year after denial, which is then “reviewed objectively as a new project,” Principal Planner Dan Sexton told us in December.

More than 200 neighbors asked to speak in person or by phone at the Feb. 8 hearing, expressing concerns about traffic congestion, school overcrowding, evacuation safety, threats to bighorn sheep and incompatibility with the surroundings.

Some of those who testified stated on their Facebook page, Rezoning of 2424 Garden of the Gods Rd, that they were disappointed with the decision but vowed to continue fighting the proposal at City Council.

A challenge in District Court by the developer to overturn the Council’s 2021 decision to reject the rezoning request is still pending.

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