Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Winsome located?
Winsome is located in the Black Forest area of Colorado Springs at the intersection of Meridian Road and Hodgen Road
How are the homesites designed?
The proposed 2.5 to 5-acre development plan is designed using clustering concept that will allow for common area trails and approximately 145 acres of open space tracts that can be used by both residents and neighbors. The planned open space will preserve the natural drainage areas and will preserve wildlife corridors for local populations of elk, deer and antelope as well as allowing for Metropolitan District maintenance of the common areas to mitigate noxious weed growth and to maintain the native vegetation.
Will outbuildings be allowed?
Outbuildings will be allowed for uses such as large animal shelter, 4H-friendly projects, and recreational equipment storage. Accessory dwelling units may be allowed as long as they are approved and constructed pursuant to County rules and the restrictive covenants. Outbuildings will further be limited by size and number and are required to complement home design and architecture.
What public schools, services, and entities support Winsome?
As a part of the approval process, the developer has coordinated with the following entities:
Fire protection will be provided by the Falcon Fire District. The development proposal includes the addition of a water cistern to provide access to water in the event of a fire emergency and payment of fees to the District to help cover the costs of existing and new equipment. The improvements will enhance fire protection for the surrounding area.
Public education is provided by Falcon School District 49. The schools servicing this area are Bennett Ranch Elementary, Falcon Middle School and Falcon High School. There is sufficient space available at the elementary level to accommodate students generated from this development; both the Middle and High School are over capacity by 30% and 3% respectively. There is a plan to bring a ballot measure to the voters in the next couple of years to build a Middle School to provide relief at this level. The developer has paid school fees to District 49 as a condition of development to help assure that adequate land for schools is available, and they will be participating in the “Falcon Community Builders for Classrooms” non-profit organization.
The developer has also provided Regional Park Fees to El Paso County to enhance existing parks or otherwise provide new regional parks in the county.
Winsome is in the Mountain View Electric service area, and they are providing electric utility services for the project in line with existing approved tariffs and agreement.
The project is also located in the Black Hills Energy service area. Black Hills is to providing natural gas services to the development.
State of the art internet connections will be available within Winsome, enhancing the potential for surrounding neighbors to connect as well.
Communications with cellular phone service providers is also underway to enhance the existing relatively poor coverage in the area.
Is there a plan for trails and open space?
The proposed development sets aside approximately 145 acres for common open space. The proposed trails plan within the open space area has been reviewed by the Black Forest Trails Association. The goal is to have the trails connect with external trail systems that will be constructed in the future. Trails will be available for use by residents and neighbors alike. Good neighbor rules and regulations have been created, and residents will be expected to remove animal droppings from trails, maintain control of pets and animals, and adhere to common sense safety practices. There is no use of motorized vehicles on the trails. Open spaces include a community fire pit in the center of the project which is protected and maintained by the Winsome Metropolitan District and is available for use by residents. Maintenance will include fire mitigation practices in the common areas such as mowing vegetation, noxious weed management, revegetation and maintenance of the required detention ponds and parking areas.
Will there be any nearby stores or gas stations?
A proposal to set aside the southeast corner of the property for future neighborhood commercial uses has been made by the developer. Much of the area, and many of the existing trees on the 7.2-acre parcel will be preserved and will act as a screen to the surrounding neighbors and roadways. The commercial zoning designation allows for a wide variety of uses, however, the developer is proposing to impose more restrictive covenants to further limit the potential future uses on this site, including limiting the development to no more than 30,000 square feet of neighborhood-serving commercial facilities.
The site is intended to provide services for the community, but also for the surrounding area. The potential uses include a convenience store, a coffee shop, potential postal annex or post office, a feed store and other similar uses and conveniences appropriate to the rural location. The site would also be compliant with the dark sky requirements imposed on the overall development plan via restrictive covenants. A commercial node at this intersection has been proposed in the Black Forest Preservation Plan for exactly this sort of use since it was originally accepted.
What about streets and roads?
Winsome is required to make improvements to surrounding roadways at the direction of the El Paso County transportation department under their current rules. As with all new developments in the county, Winsome residents will pay traffic impact fees into the county fund that will be used to improve arterial roadways in the county. Winsome is compliant with all the requirements and conditions that are necessary for the development.
All new streets in the development will be public streets designed to meet county roadway design standards. These streets will be dedicated to El Paso County for ongoing ownership, maintenance, and snow removal.
Where will Winsome’s water come from?
Each home at Winsome will be served by an individual well providing water from the Dawson aquifer, subject to the provisions of a Replacement Plan as approved by the Colorado Ground Water Commission. Hydrological engineering and water rights investigations, and determinations of the Colorado Ground Water Commission demonstrate that there is more than adequate water available in the Dawson aquifer to serve the homes throughout the development, meeting not only the State of Colorado’s requirement that the Dawson aquifer be allocated on an aquifer life of a minimum of 100 years of use, but the more conservative land use rules of El Paso County, requiring demonstration of a 300 year water supply.
The terms and conditions of the Commission Replacement Plan allow for domestic uses of water at each home, which includes typical in-home uses, limited landscape irrigation and water for domestic animals. Water conservation measures are a part of the protective covenants and have been implemented into the development plan, and a lower than average actual water consumption is anticipated throughout the development.
The original landowner has determined to sell water in the remainder of the underlying Denver Basin aquifers to another party, and that groundwater is not part of this development plan.
What other environmental impact has been taken into account?
The consideration of the Endangered Species Act administered by US Fish and Wildlife Service is required in the development process. Experts have surveyed the property, identified potential species and provided proposals to enhance the natural environment to the extent possible.
Storm water management is required, and the development meets all applicable county and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requirements. The approval of the development hinged upon providing facilities that allow the safe crossings of drainage ways as well as managing the storm water runoff and water quality through a series of detention ponds. The storm water plan and future facility construction has been approved by the county, state and federal agencies.