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El Paso County’s first tiny home community receiving push back

Public meeting scheduled to discuss community impacts, hear concerns
Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 10:49 AM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - El Paso County’s first tiny home community, which is a proposal in early stages, is already getting push back.

“Those people that I’ve spoke with have concerns about traffic, they have concerns about fire, and water sanitation,” said Nina Ruiz with El Paso County’s planning department. She added, “there’s been some misinformation about what’s being requested. They’ve heard that they’re proposing a mobile home park... various things like that, just general misinformation.”

The proposed tiny home community would be named Bonsai Village, located on Chipita Park Rd., east of Woodland Park. The county expects the developer, Life Size Tiny Communities, will apply by the end of the year. While the proposed community is in early stages, it’s already prompting questions from neighbors.

A common concern is the implications of septic tanks, which county leaders expect will be used for Bonsai Village’s wastewater. Neighbors wonder if sewage could seep into the area’s soil, contaminating neighboring water supplies. The county says, a public health study needs to be done on wastewater planning in order for Bonsai Village to advance.

“That report would be prepared by professional engineers and would have to identify that that the septic system would not create an unsafe situation for any of the surrounding wells.” Ruiz said. She added, many single family homes on more than two acres currently use septic systems in the county.

Another concern of neighbors is fire evacuation routes. Bonsai Village’s developer has to get an O.K. from the Green Mountain Falls fire department, saying it is confident it could serve the area.

That’s just the start of the re-zoning process. Ruiz explained, the process is meant to ensure no new development would go up with known issues falling back on the community.

“Any time that we are looking at a rezoning application, the county does a whole lot of work prior to that item even going to hearing. We will review all those various reports ... so that we don’t believe that there will be any negative impacts in that way.”

Application materials needed from the developer include a letter of intent, a landscape plan drawing, a lighting plan, drainage plans, a letter of approval from the fire department, a traffic study including hwy 24 impacts, a noise study, and a health department approved waste water plan.

Life Size Tiny Communities scheduled a meeting open to the public to discuss Bonsai Village:

  • When: Sunday, Sept. 26, 1-3 p.m.
  • Where: Sallie Bush Community Building (10795 El Paso Ave., Green Mountain Falls)

“They voiced to me that it’s really important to them that they are good neighbors to those people that live in the area, and they really want to hear from those people, and see how they feel, and how they can be partners with them,” Ruiz said referring to her conversations with the developer.

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