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Sterling Ranch plans move forward

On May 26, the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners approved the preliminary plan for the first phase of development in Sterling Ranch, which is east of Vollmer Road, north of Woodmen Road and west of Meridian Road.Andrea Barlow, with N.E.S. Inc., said the BOCC approved the original sketch plan in November 2008 for the entire 1,444-acre property. Of that, 243 acres were rezoned to residential suburban, meaning lot sizes must be a minimum of 5,000 square feet, she said. Within that 243-acre plot, the commissioners approved the preliminary plan for 182 acres, which will include 427 houses, Barlow said.ìWe had to take a small chunk of the property out of the preliminary plans because we ran into additional issues that we had to resolve regarding access and easements,î Barlow said. ìWeíre proposing to submit the preliminary plan for the remaining portion of that 243 acres sometime late this summer, so that the whole area that was rezoned will have the preliminary plan approved.îBarlow said residents in the area will start seeing grading work on the property toward the end of summer. However, work along the northern boundary of the property, adjacent to Arroya Lane, will likely begin in July in order to place a water tank on the property. ìWe need that water tank in place before the other construction can begin,î Barlow said. The water lines and sewer lines will also be placed before homes are built, so the initial grading work throughout the approved area will be under way as well, she said.At the southern end of the property, Barlow said N.E.S. is proposing to build a lift station to bring water up from the Denver Aquifer to service the community throughout the Sterling Ranch Metropolitan District, which means a significant amount of excavation work, starting soon.Aside from the tank and lift station, plans include two neighborhood parks at 4 acres each and two neighborhood parks at 5 acres each, a 30-acre community park, trails and possibly a few schools, Barlow said. ìThe boundary between (Academy School) District 20 and (Falcon School) District 49 runs right through the middle of the site,î she said. ìSo far, we know that the first phase of construction will include an elementary school.î No decision about which district will get that elementary school has been made, Barlow said.Barlow said work on sorting out where utilities will be going, the grading, sorting out the drainage situation and developing a landscaping plan are ongoing processes. ìItíll be next year before houses start going up, though,î she said.

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