City, residents respond to ongoing Hughes Stadium redevelopment project

Dorina Vida

Hughes Stadium and the land surrounding it is up for redevelopment by the City of Fort Collins after Colorado State University sold it to a developer, but the development process is still ongoing. 

CSU sold the 161-acre property to Lennar Colorado LLC, a national developer that specializes in home construction and mortgage financing, for $10 million with the intention of utilizing the land to develop affordable-housing communities, The Collegian previously reported in February, following the Board of Governors’ announcement of the land being sold. 

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At a total of 161 acres including surrounding land, the area is planned to support 600 to 700 homes, all varying in design and capacity, according to a Board of Governors’ press release sent to The Collegian

“The former Hughes Stadium site has been annexed into the City, and the applicant/developer will submit an application for Development Review with the City,” said Sylvia Tatman-Burruss, a specialist on public engagement for the City of Fort Collins. “The details of that process are not yet known, as the applicant has not yet submitted a formal application to the City.”

Tatman-Burruss said once the developer submits the application, multiple variations of the development plan will undergo review prior to being allowed to proceed and go before the Planning and Zoning Board.

The land also needs to be re-zoned prior to development, which includes multiple public hearings with the Planning and Zoning Board and the City Council, Tatman-Burruss said. These dates have not yet been set.

During a neighborhood meeting April 4 at the Drake Center, the City invited individuals who live in that area and would be affected by the development to hear from the potential developers as well as representatives for the City. At this meeting, details were presented on the situation as well as answers to questions and comments made by citizens on the topic of land use and plans for development.

For more information, to get involved in the conversation and to stay up to date on the Hughes Stadium Redevelopment project, go to fcgov.com/developmentreview.

According to the press release issued by the Board of Governors, Lennar has proposed to pursue building the homes with designs from standalone to multigenerational homes and is planning to price the homes below the market median. In following the required public process with the City of Fort Collins, Lennar will have opportunities for public input, like public comment and information sessions, in order to share their ideas on how the property can best be used, according to the release.

According to the meeting notes found on the City of Fort Collins’ website, many concerns were voiced at the neighborhood meeting by local residents.

“Why can’t the whole site be open space?” and “How will this project impact traffic on (West Drake Road), Prospect (Road) and Elizabeth (Street)?” were some of the many critical questions asked by concerned residents attending the neighborhood meeting, along with others about the land’s potential housing development and overall use, according to the recorded meeting notes.

In response to some of these questions, a representative for the developer stated that approximately 40% of the land will remain open space. A City representative also stated that the transaction of land is primarily between CSU and the developer, with limited involvement by the City.

While City staff attempted to answer these questions, the preliminary status of the situation made it difficult for many of the questions to be answered, said Cameron Gloss, the City project manager. Gloss said that much of the necessary information required to address these concerns has yet to be collected, making it difficult for the right information to be given to the general public.

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“They hire a traffic engineer to conduct a traffic study, which is a very important part of their application. They have not done that yet,” Gloss said. “So, until they have that, it’s difficult to talk about traffic at meetings without having done some of that analysis.” 

Gloss said future neighborhood meetings and public information sessions are being planned, but dates have yet to be assigned.

“You really have to have the voice of citizens working collaboratively,” Gloss said. “You know, I just cannot stress it enough that it’s so early in the process that people should be encouraged to be involved every step of the way.”

Dorina Vida can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @simply_she_.