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Falcon/Peyton plan … it’s history

Since the 1970s, the first step toward a comprehensive plan in El Paso County involved identifying sub-areas that contained unique environments or lifestyles. Planners then developed small-area plans for those regions.According to the El Paso County Web site, the comprehensive plan’s goal “protected and enhanced the unique and individual qualities that exist in El Paso County through identifying and articulating (small area plans) for all unincorporated and urbanizing areas within its boundaries.” Black Forest fit the picture of a distinct environment. In 1974, the county created its first small-area plan for that region.In 1990, when county planners decided to create a plan for Falcon and Peyton, they also focused on the lifestyle of the area.Over the next three years, a group of eight citizens met with officials from the planning department and put together a plan they hoped would guide future growth in the area. According to the plan, those citizens emphasized the rural lifestyle and its values. At the time, the population density around Falcon and Peyton averaged 21 people per square mile. But shortly after the plan was completed, Falcon experienced rapid growth.Bev Ordon, the chairperson of the citizen’s action committee that wrote the plan, said while growth was anticipated, no one could have predicted how quickly development would occur, which is reflected in a statement from the 1993 study: “Although the committee recognized that any development will bring some degree of change with it, we are vitally concerned with preservation of both the physical and more intangible values associated with a rural or semi-rural lifestyle. Residents value a sense of openness, neighborliness and more of a direct tie to the land found in the planning area.”While both Woodmen Hills and Santa Fe Springs were on the drawing board during the planning stages, the high density residential lots in Woodmen Hills were listed as one-half acre each. Within a few years after it was written, the Falcon/Peyton plan was outdated for planning purposes.Bob Null, El Paso County planning commissioner, said if the plan is referenced today, the board might say a development is in “overall general compliance with the plan,” but most often planners and the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners disregard the study or acknowledge the need to update the plan.At a recent Falcon Business League meeting, Carl Schueler, manager of El Paso County Development Services Long Range Planning Division, said the county will soon create a citizens’ committee to revise the Falcon/Peyton plan. He said the county wants to work with a small group of citizens who have a commitment to the region, and volunteers should expect to devote about three hours a week over an 18-month period.Null said business owners would be ideal candidates for the committee because they understand the importance of infrastructure and planning for future growth. Schueler added that business owners, along with people who are associated with the school and fire department, should be represented on the committee because they understand the needs of the area.Ordon said work on the plan takes time and effort, but there is a need to create a plan that will reflect the reality of growth in Falcon, while also planning for future development throughout the region.An exact date to begin revising the Falcon/Peyton plan has not been established, but Schueler said he would like to begin compiling a list of citizens interested in serving on the committee. People who are interested in volunteering should call El Paso County Development Services at 520-6300 or send an e-mail to

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