Aug 232011
Authors: Jason Pohl

Fort Collins City Hall was filled with members of CSU’s student government, former CSU professors and other concerned residents of all ages Tuesday night during a debate about the controversial Campus Crest Communities’ Grove student housing project.

The proposed 612-bed housing development would be constructed less than one mile south of the CSU campus near Spring Creek Trail along Centre Avenue. Representatives from both sides of the debate were present.

“It feels a little bit like the Civil War,” said Mayor Pro Tem Kelly Ohlson, addressing the divide down the aisle between supporters and opposition of the project.

Two major issues were up for discussion and voted on at the meeting.

Council members voted to uphold the decision made by the planning and zoning board that will enforce the 75-25 rule, which designates if the land –– owned by Colorado State University Research Foundation –– may be put into secondary or primary use.

Mayor Karen Weitkunat expressed concern about the process of establishing the figures in accordance with the floodplain, but explained it wasn’t the council‘s decision to establish how the land should be used.

“I think it’s the way an overall development plan works,” she said. “It hasn’t sacrificed the employment. We are not passing judgment on it.”

The second portion of the meeting was the more specific proposed development plan, or PDP.

The debate went late into the night, and featured criticism and support for the project. nities operates student housing around the country, including a complex in Greeley. Opponents expressed concern about parking, aesthetics and the overall size of the project.

“This project is too large for this complicated and constrained site,” said Rick Zier, an attorney representing those in opposition of the project.

Residents living near the proposed project site had been made aware many years ago about the potential development in the area for student housing.

“This is not what we agreed to,” said Dr. Valerie Assetto, a former CSU political science professor and 30-year Fort Collins resident.

Chase Eckerdt, ASCSU’s director of Government Affairs, said the Neighbors and Students United, a local group, has looked into the allegations against numerous Campus Crest communities around the country. However, he said that after looking at “reputable sources,” he supports the project.

“What this would bring in addition to 600 beds is affordable, quality green student housing.”

Eckerdt said in a follow-up interview with the Collegian Tuesday night. “That is something we direly need in Fort Collins.”

“A project like this is for the common good of Fort Collins,” said Doug Brobst, a community member and supporter of the project.

Senior Reporter Jason Pohl can be reached at

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