Opponents make final pitch before City Council land swap vote

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City Councilor Bill Murray's town hall meeting drew a full house Thursday night. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • City Councilor Bill Murray's town hall meeting drew a full house Thursday night.
Momentum appears to be building against the city's proposed land swap with The Broadmoor, at the center of which is the city's 189-acre Strawberry Fields open space.

Thursday, the opposition group Save Cheyenne posted on Facebook this comment from John Fielder, open space advocate, famed photographer and one of the original board members of Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund: "Open space is important for people and wildlife. I am always suspicious of land swaps that have been initiated by commercial interests vs. open space organizations. I think the residents of Colorado Springs should be too."

City Councilor Bill Murray's town hall meeting Thursday night to hear out those who oppose the swap drew a room full of people, as well as Councilors Helen Collins, Tom Strand, Don Knight and Larry Bagley.
Richard Skorman speaks, as Councilor Murray listens in the background. - PAM ZUBECK
  • Pam Zubeck
  • Richard Skorman speaks, as Councilor Murray listens in the background.
As Murray noted, past public meetings about the exchange have led off with a presentation by the city Parks Department, followed by The Broadmoor, both of which support the swap, and last were the opponents. At some meetings, opponents left after they became tired of waiting for two hours or more to have their say.

Commentary after Murray's opening remarks came from former vice mayor and open space advocate Richard Skorman, who serves as chairman of the Save Cheyenne effort, Sierra Club local chapter spokesman Jim Lockhart, Save Cheyenne's attorney Bill Louis, who said he believes the land can't be traded away without a vote of the people, and several citizens.

On Tuesday, City Council is slated to vote on the exchange. It's item 11C.

While Council chambers hold 100+ people, an overflow room in the basement is usually made available for big crowds, who are able to watch the meeting on TV.

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