Broadmoor pulls back, Utilities loses court case, runoff ballots get mailed, more 


Broadmoor pulls back

The Broadmoor resort's controversial proposal to build a horse stable across from Bear Creek Regional Park ("Rein check," News, March 11) has been postponed but not withdrawn, according to city planner Mike Schultz. The application sought to rezone roughly eight acres from residential to agricultural, a request due before the Planning Commission next month.

"They've requested to postpone the process for the time being to allow them to re-evaluate its proposal and use of the property," Schultz says via email.

The decision has delighted some nearby residents who oppose the project, arguing it would delay traffic on 21st Street, draw flies, interfere with other users, and cause horse manure to build up on park trails.

The Broadmoor has inked a 20-year agreement with El Paso County to pay $18,000 a year to use the park.

"We are so relieved," resident Cyndy Kulp says. And Leigh Westin, who's kept residents informed about the process, sent an email saying, "Neighbors, together we did it! What a team."

The Broadmoor's board chairman, Steve Bartolin, said in an email to Schultz last week that market research showed guests and event planners didn't view the rides in the park as "authentic" and that a wilderness experience was preferred. The resort will evaluate alternatives, Bartolin wrote. — PZ

Jury awards $4.6 million

A Pueblo County jury awarded rancher Gary Walker $4.6 million in damages caused by Colorado Springs Utilities' Southern Delivery System water pipeline project crossing his property, the Pueblo Chieftain reported Saturday.

Walker alleged during the trial that conditions of the pipeline easement jeopardized a $25 million conservation easement with the Nature Conservancy, brought invasive species to his property, and caused erosion at the pipeline site.

Utilities expressed disappointment and said in a statement, "We do not believe the result was supported by the evidence presented," which might suggest an appeal is pending. — PZ

Ballots are in the mail

Ballots for the May 19 Colorado Springs mayoral runoff election between Mary Lou Makepeace and John Suthers have been mailed.

If you don't receive a ballot by Monday, May 4, and you believe you qualify to vote, call the City Clerk's Office at 385-5901, option 4. Drop-off locations opened Monday. For more, coloradosprings.gov.

In 2011, 99,306 people voted in the runoff election, more than the 88,966 who cast ballots in the April 7 city general election this year. — PZ

Law tougher on harassment

Watch out, trolls: Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed a bill that adds cyber-bullying to the state's existing harassment law.

Starting on July 1, harassing someone online, by telephone, or through text messaging, instant messaging or another electronic medium is a Class 3 misdemeanor in Colorado, punishable with a term of up to six months in jail, a fine of $50 to $750, or both.

Harassment includes contacting people directly or indirectly and directing language at them that's intended to harass, including threatening to harm someone or their property or making obscene comments.

House Bill 1072 is also known as Kiana Arellano's law. It's named for a Douglas County high school student who was bullied on social media in 2013. She attempted suicide but lived, suffering brain damage. — JAS

Fort Lyon seeks writer

A homeless program is looking for a writer-in-residence.

The nonprofit literary center, Lighthouse Writers Workshop, is working with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs on a pilot program to bring a writer to the Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community.

Fort Lyon was transformed from a closed prison on the plains to a transitional housing and recovery program for the homeless in 2013 ("Last resort," cover story, Oct. 1, 2014). The writer-in-residence would be expected to work with the residents to help them tell their own stories.

"More and more, our culture is realizing that writing one's story has great power," Michael Henry, the executive director of Lighthouse, stated in a press release.

Interested writers can apply online through May 31 at bit.ly/1Ox7eY3. Acceptance letters will go out in early summer, and the program starts in fall. The writer will be given room and board for up to four weeks, and a $2,000 stipend. — JAS

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