SAVE THE PIKE NATIONAL FOREST!!!
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Help save the land adjacent to the Pike National Forest, at the base of the foothills in Monument, Colorado. A mass home development partnership, Classic Homes and N.E.S. Inc., Land Development / Architects, are pushing another high density housing development. They are ignorantly moving forward with this development, violating the Tri Lakes Comprehensive Plan of 2000 (lots were zoned RR3 and RR5).
In addition, the environmental effects of a house can reach far beyond its immediate site, leading to biodiversity declines and biotic homogenization. Thus, housing growth both within protected areas (i.e., on private inholdings) and in their immediate vicinity has direct negative effects (National Academy of Sciences).
Such development and accompanying landscape fragmentation pose substantial challenges for the management and conservation of the ecosys- tem services and amenity resources of National Forest System lands, including access by the public. Research such as this can help planners, managers, and communities consider the impacts of local land use decisions (US Department of Agriculture).
This property is a vast stretch of land that is home to Elk, the endangered Preble Jumping Mouse, Bear, Mountain Lion, Deer, Coyote, and Migrating Birds. If developed, the dramatic effects will be felt by all residents and visitors to the Pike National Forest. This type of development will alter the beauty and the reason that people choose to live/visit Colorado.
Equally as important as the wildlife are the water supply and eminent fire danger:
Water is a Colorado relic, which is leading El Paso County down a road to families without water. Many developers are touting that they have enough water, for these mass developments, because it says so on paper. We live in the marginal zone and thus we will lose water prior to the other areas who live over the deeper parts of the aquifers. Of course in the Forest Lake plan, there is alternate source of water, but it will come at a steep cost.
FACT: Forest Lakes is built on a premise that it would be a “renewal water resource development". The reservoirs would supply water for 467 homes in the final build out. The wells in place would only be used to supplement any potable water required by homes if the reservoirs could not maintain enough water. How can this be guaranteed when it has not been tested?
FACT: Residents of Forest Lakes were sold properties with the implied promise that the lake was for beautification and recreation only. Current residents were told recently that it could go dry, but they had enough well water to keep the lake at a an acceptable level and if not they could drill more wells.
FACT: To date the reservoir at Forest lake has not been used supply potable water to any of the existing homes. Per the 1986 contract with Colorado Springs, the renewable water source is being supplied by 660 af of return flow water which was purchased from Las Vegas Wastewater Treatment Facility (located down stream in Colorado Springs). But in this contract there is a stipulation that if the flow from the creek drops below 5 cfps that Forest Lakes would have to pay for the water or supplement it from the existing wells. It has not been proven to date that this plan will work.
FACT: Drilling more wells into the deeper aquifers is expensive and the need to treat the water is expensive. Water to fill the lakes is lost to evaporation and to seepage that is not addressed. In addition, more wells in close proximity will decrease the amount of water from surrounding wells.
FACT: In 2002 a plan was put forth and passed for the development called Forest Lakes... Many people fought this large development. The aquifers are being depleted and less development is far better for those who have no other means of water, except from existing private wells. It is wrong to penalize the current residents for wanting to protect a very precious resource.
Wild Fire Danger
After lengthy conversation with the Tri Lakes Fire Department District, Chief Truty, the ONLY involvement the fire department has with the developer is in proposing road widths and exits. The Tri Lakes Fire Department District doesn't even have ability to request fire hydrants, locations, or volume of flow.
Additionally, but with no authority, the Tri County Fire Chief is VERY concerned about the urban wild-land interface, and the proximity of the newly proposed houses to the forest/ forest service land.
Currently, the expected response time is 7-10 minutes in this development... IF the response team is NOT on a prior call. The Tri Lakes Fire Department District is quite understaffed for the expanse and growing population of the district. The Tri Lakes Fire Department District paid Denver-based BBC Researching & Consulting about $10,000 to prepare a study, which was presented to commissioners. The report suggests charging builders $777 for each new single-family home and $0.24 per square foot of commercial development. The study attempted to determine what it costs the districts to serve each home and business. The commissioners voted against this proposal.
Sign this petition now... Save the Pike National Forest!
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