For more than four decades, the 34,000-seat Hughes Stadium, home to the Colorado State University Rams, was one of the largest football stadiums in Colorado.
After the construction of a newer Rams stadium and the demolition of the Hughes structure in the spring of 2018, speculation was rampant regarding the future of the now-vacant 161-acre Hughes site on the west side of Fort Collins.
Earlier this year, CSU’s Board of Governors voted in favor of having the site redeveloped as a subdivision that would see the eventual construction of up to seven hundred homes ranging in size from 1,400 square feet to around 3,000 square feet.
In so doing, the board also approved CSU entering into a contract with the company Lennar Colorado LLC to serve as master developer of the site.
Although the company has not yet submitted an official development plan to the City of Fort Collins, talks between Lennar Colorado and the city’s planning department have taken place regarding that plan.
Now a group of neighbors and community activists have announced their opposition to the redevelopment project as initially proposed by CSU and Lennar.
Members of Planning Actions to Transform Hughes Sustainably, otherwise known as PATHS, are urging the school to cancel its contract with Lennar, arguing that the plan as generally outlined is all wrong for the area.
PATHS contends that the proposed new development lacks sustainability and would greatly increase vehicular traffic in west Fort Collins.
A website for PATHS also says that the development would create water use and erosion issues, while potentially harming area wildlife.
An online petition set up by PATHS has so far attracted more than 2,500 signatures, while the group has also sent a letter to the Board of Governors requesting that it find a new developer.
A CSU spokesman has said that the school cannot unilaterally cancel its contract with Lennar, but did acknowledge that the company, with conditions, could exit its agreement with CSU.
Public input on the project is expected to be heard when it goes before the city’s Planning and Zoning Board, perhaps later this summer or fall.
By Garry Boulard
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