Gold Hill Mesa
Planned Neighborhood Development
Location: Colorado Springs
Client: Gold Hill Mesa
Gold Hill Mesa is a traditional neighborhood development with its foundations entrenched in the history of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak Region. As the former Golden Cycle Mill, the project site was integral in the processing of gold ore from Cripple Creek. The processing of the ore created a sand/gravel by-product, called “tailings,” that contained some remnants of the chemicals used in the process of extracting the gold. The first step was the creation and approval of a Voluntary Cleanup Plan (VCUP) through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. This multi-year process required environmental experts to assess the current state of the tailings, determine if they posed any human risk, and provide a remedy to move the project forward. The ultimate solution was to cap the tailings under the proposed development. The cap consists of a thirty-inch mixed soil layer atopa synthetic identification barrier for all areas not already capped by roads, sidewalks, structures or other permanent structures. Once an acceptable environmental solution was achieved, the community took shape as a traditional neighborhood of alley-loaded homes with generous front porches, walkable streets, and community parks and features within walking distance. The xeriscape focused landscape principles ensure a vibrant community with pleasant streetscapes and open spaces. Innovative urban design features such as build-to-zones allow homes to stagger along the streetscape while ensuring proper pedestrian scale. A series of “green” streets and pleasant walkways link the community center with the surrounding neighborhoods. With the community center within a five minute walk for eighty percent of the homes, this mixed use center with cafes, offices, post office, and other amenities should truly provide the heart for Gold Hill Mesa.