Blodgett Open Space Master Plan Appeal Denied | Outside

After hours of deliberations with stakeholders, the Colorado Springs City Council voted Monday to reject an appeal to Blodgett Open Space’s master plan, but added an amendment that put the number of new parking lots at the site more in the hands public.

Opposition to the city’s new open space management plan came to a head at the meeting, after the 108-page plan was adopted by both the Parks Advisory Board and the City Trails, Open Spaces and Parks Committee.

The petition submitted as part of the appeal claimed the new plan, which includes increased parking, a new network of trails shared by hikers and mountain bikers and two launch points for paragliding, puts recreation ahead of conservation in this 384-acre space.


Following approvals from the Colorado Springs Parks Board and the committee overseeing spending on trails and open space, the fight continues over a master plan that has been in the works for more than a year.

Sarah Spiller, speaking on behalf of the appeal, said the plan prioritized special interests, “active leisure activities”, such as cycling and paragliding, over less polluting activities such as hiking. The plan would provide 10.4 miles of shared use between hikers and bikers, 2.3 miles dedicated to downhill mountain biking and 1.5 miles for foot-only recreation.

The appeal also asserted that the maximum number of parking lots planned on a phased construction would exceed all other local car open spaces per acre of land.

Half the crowd at the meeting was also there to advocate for the project, many of whom were from the local mountain biking community.

David Deitemeyer, senior landscape architect for the city Parks Department, said the plan contains two new wildlife corridors and would eliminate so-called “social trails” that have sprung up illegally in city-owned space.

He also said the public comment period was thorough, denying the appeal’s claims that special interests governed the planning process.

“We recognize that there are different opinions and we are not going to make everyone happy,” he said.


In the foothills of northwest Colorado Springs, along the Pikeview Quarry scar seen from afar over the past century, two men knelt down to pose…

City council members deliberated on several motions, including one to send the plan back to the parks advisory committee to rework the relationship between hiking and biking trails.

The final decision addressed concerns about parking on the open space, which in the new plan would begin a phased construction of 180 new parking spaces on the “Quarry Lot” along Woodmen Road.

The amendment, which passed 5-2, requires a new approval process for each phase of parking lot construction, with a public comment period, review by the Parks Advisory Board and TOPS, and a potential appeal to the city council.

The appeal itself was later rejected 6-1, which approved the rest of the master plan as is.


The future of a new open space in Colorado Springs, Fishers Canyon, will be discussed at an upcoming meeting