Five things to know about the Pine Canyon annexation

Proposal for 540-acre addition not ready for planning commission, town council

Posted 1/26/18

Castle Rock is reviewing the latest version of an annexation and zoning proposal for a 540-acre property located near Rock Park and Douglas County High School. The town first received an annexation …

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Five things to know about the Pine Canyon annexation

Proposal for 540-acre addition not ready for planning commission, town council

Posted

Castle Rock is reviewing the latest version of an annexation and zoning proposal for a 540-acre property located near Rock Park and Douglas County High School. The town first received an annexation application for Pine Canyon in 2013. In November, it received the ninth revision of the application.

Here are five things to know about the development proposal and its path toward possible annexation into Castle Rock.

A project timeline

The Pine Canyon annexation dates back more than a decade, when developers submitted the first sketch plans for the property to Castle Rock. The town didn't receive a formal annexation and zoning application until 2013.

“The town does not ask property owners to annex. The property owners initiate those actions,” Tara Vargish said, Castle Rock's assistant development services director. “Once they made an application to the town we are required to give them due process.”

Between then and now there have been numerous changes to the proposal. Staff could request the developer make more changes to the plan after reviewing the newest version. Or, staff could forward the application on to the next phase in the approval process.

What's proposed

Pine Canyon sits near Douglas County High School between Scott Boulevard and Founders Parkway and on both the east and west side of Interstate 25 in unincorporated Douglas County.

The developer hopes to annex Pine Canyon into Castle Rock and change the property's zoning from Agriculture One to zoning that would allow a mixture of single-family and multi-family housing, according to town documents.

The current zoning allows single-family homes on lots ranging from two to 35 acres, public and private schools and places of worship up to 350 seats. Changing the zoning could allow developers to create a more urban area than what the current zoning allows, Vargish said. By annexing, Pine Canyon would also have access to town utilities and services, although it would be responsible for building its own infrastructure.

What's changed

The key differences between earlier plans and the latest resubmittal are in the project's density, Vargish said. In its original application, developers proposed building 1,550 residential dwellings, keeping 128 acres of the land as open space and proposed more than double the square footage of commercial, retail and industrial development than what's proposed now.

The latest resubmittal proposes building up to 1,320 dwellings, both single and multi-family, and keeping 133 acres of open space. The proposal also includes 815,000 square feet of non-residential commercial development, and 57 acres would be reserved for “public use,” such as schools or parks.

A long process

In Pine Canyon's case, it's not unusual for the vetting process to be a years-long endeavor, Vargish said. There isn't an average timeline for how long it takes for an application to be approved or denied. Vargish explained the Pine Canyon application is complex because the property is so large.

Every change requested by the town impacts the numerous studies associated with the project, such as traffic studies or utility plans. Each needs to be reassessed with every resubmittal of the application, and that means people from several town departments getting involved.

“There's just a lot of elements and a lot of different people who look at all the different aspects of that change,” she said. “We're not ready yet to schedule Pine Canyon for public hearing.”

The path toward annexation

Once town staff and the developers are both happy with the proposal and all its revisions, Vargish said, the application would be turned over to the town's planning commission. The planning commission would then forward it to the town council with a recommendation to either approve or deny the application. Town council would review the application twice before officially deciding the issue.

The town averages about 2,000 new residents each year based on building permit counts, Vargish said, and she doesn't expect that pace of growth would immediately change should the town council approve annexing Pine Canyon.

“It would be quite some time,” she said, “before there was a lot available in this development.”

There will be an open house for this project on Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. at Castle Rock Town Hall, 100 N. Wilcox St.

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