MONUMENT • Land originally zoned for a church site at Sanctuary Pointe became the subject of debate when a potential for 12 new residential lots was proposed instead.
At a May 3 hearing, the board considered an order to approve a Fourth Amendment to the Planned Sanctuary Pointe Phase 1 Development Site Plan and the First Amendment to the Development Sketch Plan.
The plan’s proposed site involved 5.11 acres north of Baptist Road and west of Fox Run Regional Park which was originally approved in 2006 to be the site of a church. However, the diocese no longer needs a church there, city planner Debbie Flynn said. Classic Development applied for the site plan amendment hoping to create 12 lots for single family homes.
The amendment would increase the density of Sanctuary Pointe development from 600 to 612 lots.
Neighborhood meetings between Classic Development and NES Inc. and current residents of Sanctuary Pointe were held in January and February. During these meetings, 15 lots were initially proposed, but the development was quickly changed to 12 after hearing residents’ concerns about lot size. According to those involved, the developer reduced the proposed number of adjacent lots to the boundary of the parcel, allowing them to look like adjacent lots.
The Landmarks Planning Commission approved the amendment in April after also hearing residents’ concerns.
Andrea Barlow of NES Inc. was on hand to further discuss aspects of the amendment, during which she noted that the increased traffic from the 12 lots would be significantly less than what would have been created by having a church on the site.
Several current residents of Sanctuary Pointe were present (and online) at the meeting to voice their objection to the ordinance. Again, some were concerned that the 12 lots would not match the size of adjacent lots. Some owners have expressed the situation as a “bait and switch” from what they were told by their sales representative when buying a house in the development.
It should be noted that this plot is offered by Classic Development, while Vantage Homes and Saddletree Homes have also sold products in adjacent lots.
One owner expressed concern that too many trees had to be felled to accommodate the lots and that the density on the lot along Baptist Road at the entrance to Sanctuary Pointe would be unsightly. Additionally, a pathway that residents use to access their mailboxes would need to be removed for the proposed lots.
Barlow said there would still be a substantial buffer of around 180 feet from Baptist Road.
Loren Moreland, vice president of classic development and project manager who also resides in Sanctuary Pointe, also spoke to the board about the concerns. He noted that many residents were not there to witness what Classic Development needed to do to get the existing lots in the development approved. Even then, he said, the developer couldn’t get everything it wanted.
“We’ve invested $70 million in infrastructure on this,” Moreland said. “It’s a huge risk. …I would say this is the highest quality community, perhaps, in Monument.
Moreland said the required grading on the parcel for eight homes would be the same for 12. Trail Residents Fear Lost was never part of the site plan, but rather created by TriView Metropolitan District, which manages services for water and sewer development, to spruce up some of its sewer line infrastructure, Moreland said.
Administrator Jim Romanello said that although the trail cannot be recovered because it was never part of the site plan, he was not comfortable voting on the ordinances after hearing the issues that surrounded him.
Trustee Laurie Clark said she sees no reason to deny approval of the ordinance because it falls within the guidelines required by the city. “I see nothing more than [Classic] can concede something other than what they already have,” she said. “At this point, our concern is whether they meet the required legal guidelines, and I am of the opinion that they do.”
Trustee Ron Stephens said while he agreed the ordinance meets the legal criteria, he would like to see any documentation from residents of Classic Development sales representatives making hints or guarantees about the future of the plot. He said Classic should not be held liable for anything Vanguard or Saddle Tree sales reps might have promised.
Moreland said members of the Classic sales team remained consistent throughout development and never made such hints. “These are not fun conversations,” he said. “It’s the part of my job that I don’t like.”
Moreland continued, “Do I think this is responsible land use? Absoutely. We did everything right – and as a landowner, what more could we do? We are not trying to blind people. We are not trying to bait and trade. These 12 grounds are 10 times more responsible than a church.
Mayor Don Wilson said while he understands the concerns expressed by community members, he believes the developer has come a long way to make adjustments to accommodate them.
“I think it’s reached a point where nobody’s going to be entirely happy,” Wilson said.
Clark moved to approve the order, which was approved 5-2. Stephens and Mayor Pro Tem Kelly Elliott voted against.