Hello Bigger Pockets Community, looking for some help advice on a potential 1031 deal. Getting down to the wire on the identification deadline and came across an off market deal for 10 + acres in Colorado Springs. It's quite rural and undeveloped but the previous owner got it PUD zoned (commercially for restaurant and entertainment). The opportunity has that has been presented involves rezoning to multifamily R-2-5.
Has anyone had any experience with the planning and development department in Colorado Springs? How lofty of a goal is this? Kind of nervous because being in something as illiquid as land always strikes me as risky. The seller has presented this as a tremendous opportunity as long as I can complete the zoning process. Any insights are always appreciated. Grateful for all the help!
Hey @Account Closed . Colorado Springs can be a pain to work with and this process will likely take 4-6 months minimum. Unfortunately this process does not bode well with a 1031 as it can take 1-2 weeks but... I would recommend getting on the Colorado Springs City Planning website. Look for the "Pre Application Meeting Request" button on their main page. Fill in their user form and wait for a response. It can sometimes take a week to hear back and another week to get on their schedule. This meeting is free but I have always found them to be very informative.
They are going to want to see that your rezoning fits with the neighborhood. Meaning you're not going to be able to get R5 zoning in an area that is strictly R1. If there are other R5 lots in the area then you have a high chance of making it happen.
I hope this helps!
@Colin Smith Thanks for pointing this out, just found section online, have you gone through this process already; what's it like? is the City looking for opportunity to allow rezoning or are they super strict? Thanks in advance.
Hey @Account Closed . I know we have a call scheduled soon but thought I would go ahead and add a quick response here as more people may have the same questions.
I have always found Colorado Springs City Planning folks great to work with. They are super knowledgeable and always happy to help but they do have to follow their guidelines to the T. Every meeting they will tell you if what you're looking to do is allowable and if so the steps you'll need to take to get there. Take that with a grain of salt as they can only legally offer some much help and you can expect to need to hire Engineers, Surveyors, and Consultants to truly accomplish what it is you're going after. Colorado Springs is pro-development but know the building code requirements are getting tougher and tougher. I've seen project spend two years in planning before they ever break ground and some investors run out of money before they ever pull a permit. As long as you go into this understanding that you're playing by their rules expect it to take longer than they anticipate then it can be easier to make it through!
I think it is definitely wise to look at what is around it. If there are no multi family complexes around the area, it may be a hard sell.
You're in good hands with @Colin Smith . I thought I'd chime in about rezoning more broadly. It seems that Colorado Springs is following the trajectory of Denver. That is to say that both are leaning toward more density.
In Denver, you have the Blueprint Denver, a 20-year plan for growth born out of numerous meetings with community stakeholders, city planner and elected officials. It really promotes density in a number of ways. For instance, it advocated for opening up more areas to ADUs or carriage houses. Likewise, Colorado Springs just passed two ordinances to promote ADUs in the city. If you like doing Airbnb or house hacking, these moves by both cities are exciting.
This is all to say that when the city -- be it Denver or Colorado Springs -- is presented with a request to rezone to allow more density, they will be looking at it through the prism of strategic goals set out by city officials. Those goals point toward allowing such uses.
That's by no means an easy win for you. Like Colin said, there has to be some continuity with surrounding areas, but in a 50:50 tossup, the city may look favorably on your request.
Just put in the application with the city after @Colin Smith suggested. @James Carlson is right. Seems like Colorado Springs is onboard with the strategic goal of adding housing to the city overall. Going to update this post once we complete our first meeting so that the community has stronger insight into the development tolerance on that corner. Thanks again to both of you guys!