A referendum will be held on April 6 that may finally decide what to do with the 165-acre site of the former Hughes Stadium in southwest Fort Collins.
The ballot question is asking local voters to decide if the City of Fort Collins should move to purchase the land from the Colorado State University System, and in so doing, secure it as open land.
If the measure passes, the city would then attempt to purchase the site, which has previously been proposed for new housing and commercial development, at a fair market value.
The historic stadium was built in 1968 and demolished exactly 50 years later after Colorado State University moved its football team to the newly-built Canvas Stadium on the Fort Collins campus.
A subsequent move to sell the land for $10 million to a home developer sparked controversy among residents concerned about traffic and space issues.
Two months ago, Colorado State University proposed the construction of 462 single-family homes, duplexes, and town homes on the property, along with some 200 apartment units, a large segment of which would be designated as affordable housing.
That proposal, which would also see the construction of a transit center and day care facility, would designate 70 acres of the site as open space.
Proponents of the April 6 ballot question say keeping the Hughes site open would provide a space for wildlife migration as well as a number of plant species.
Those who are urging a “No” vote on the proposal say Fort Collins is in need of more hosing, especially of the affordable kind.
Both the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce and the Fort Collins Board of Realtors has come out against the proposal.
Those in favor of the question include the Friends of Hughes Open Space citizens group, and another organization called Planning Action to Transform Hughes Sustainably.
By Garry Boulard
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