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Affordable housing developers file complaint against NIMBY neighbors

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Developers of an affordable housing complex filed a complaint with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies Division of Civil Rights on March 9, alleging discrimination based on race, color, national origin, familial status and disability. The complaint accuses several neighborhood associations that opposed the project of discrimination against future residents of The Ridge, a 60-unit complex to be built at 4375 Broadmoor Bluffs Drive.

The developers are Broadmoor Bluffs Apartments LLC and Commonwealth Development Corp. of America, both of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Colorado Springs' Greccio Housing also is a partner in the project but isn't named in the complaint.

The homeowner groups appealed Planning Commission approval to City Council, arguing the site might sit in a landslide area and won't be ADA-compliant due to lack of sidewalks in some areas. Some supporters of The Ridge argued opponents should allow The Ridge to use their sidewalks, but opponents counter their homeowner associations would be liable if someone is injured on those walkways. Council voted on March 13 against the appeal. Some councilors suggested opponents were concerned only with the lower-income status of their prospective neighbors.

Cindy Grey, president of the Las Casas at Broadmoor Bluffs Condominium Owners Association, Inc., says the recent complaint was a total surprise. Calling claims of bias "ridiculous," Grey says it's "a typical maneuver of fear and intimidation to get us to back down." Instead, she says, opponents are exploring an appeal of Council's action in District Court.


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