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Courtyards West – retirement community?

The Courtyards West at the Woodmen Hills development in Falcon (also known as Park Avenue at Woodmen) could undergo a change of plans in the near future.The development’s new owner, Falcon Properties and Investments LLP, has submitted a request to El Paso County’s Development Services Department to modify the recorded plat, which was approved several years ago.Since then, just three houses have been built in the development, which is located about a quarter mile west of Meridian Road and included in the Woodmen Hills Metropolitan District.Rusty Green, consultant on the project, said the most important changes include reducing the number of houses that can be built from 227 to 197, increasing the size of some lots to accommodate ranch-style houses and eliminating two-story houses.A new marketing plan could be in the mix, too.Green said the owner is tentatively thinking of marketing the development to active adults over the age of 50.”It’s an idea we had and nobody else is doing it,” Green said.”There’s a hospital now at Powers and Woodmen, just 10 minutes away. There’s Wal-Mart across the street and the Safeway, too, so there’s shopping nearby. We’re close to the airport, and we have recreation facilities and the golf course.”Green said an age-restricted development will have less impact on Falcon than the already approved single-family development.”Instead of having five or six people in a home, with three or four cars, there will only be two,” he said. “A typical family of five uses 250 to 300 gallons of water a day, where a retired couple uses less than 150 gallons.” Green also said many of the water/sewer tap fees for the development have been paid.”There’re a lot of seniors living in Woodmen Hills now, and a senior club, so this is a natural extension of what already exists,” he said.Other benefits of a 50-plus development include decreased traffic and no impact on Falcon School District 49.”They’ll pay school taxes like everybody does, but they won’t add school-age children,” Green said.The housing market is still down, Green said. However, because seniors aren’t looking for housing to match their jobs, Green said he believes seniors will buy.Regardless of whether the rest of the housing market improves, Green said he is confident seniors will retire to Woodmen Hills, despite the cold winters.”It’s everything a senior community should be. We look pretty good in terms of weather to someone who lives in Oklahoma, where it gets to be 120 degrees in the summer,” he said. “If you live in Texas, it’s the same thing.”A lot of retired military have been through [the area] and just love the weather, and these folks still like to ski.”Green estimated that 95 percent of Coloradoans stay in Colorado when they retire, and he’s planning to lure some of them to Falcon. “They’ll be coming from Denver, I promise you,” he said.John Maynard of N.E.S. Inc. said other changes for the development include removing day care as a permitted use, changing lot coverage from 50 percent to 60 percent and reducing setbacks to accommodate ranch-style houses.Maynard said he’s already received a response from the Development Services Department indicating no objection to the proposed plat changes.As for the three houses that have already been built in the development, Green said “We’re working with those folks,” but declined to comment further.

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