Kudos to the Independent for addressing Banning Lewis (“Growing plains,” cover story, Jan. 31). Regarding the new Banning Lewis annexation agreement, I have concerns about the agreement stemming from both the Independent article and the old/new agreements comparison chart posted on the City Council working session agenda.
I did email questions and concerns to members of City Council and the mayor on Jan. 9. To date no response has been received, even from my District 2 representative. The lack of response from our elected representatives is a concern.
Council minutes show a propensity toward cutting the previous agreement to such an extent that taxpayers will pay a hefty price for Banning Lewis development. I need to say that I am not against development per se (developers should be allowed to develop their property within reason), but I believe that taxpayer-funded development should be limited, sprawl should be limited, infrastructure created by developers needs to be built to quality standards so we don’t have to replace it every 10 to 15 years, and we need better city planning and inspection.
Some councilors appear to want less developer costs ultimately at Colorado Springs taxpayer expense based upon projected revenue that may not materialize. Banning Lewis was absorbed based upon an agreement that developers/owners at the time agreed to. The courts upheld it. If councilors truly represent the people, they will stick to it. Taxpayers just had to bail out the city because developers got away with not building the needed stormwater infrastructure. Sticking it to citizens so BLR developers get more profit is not in the best interests of taxpayers or the city.
— Neil L. Talbott, Colorado Springs
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