Douglas County commissioners gave preliminary approval Wednesday night to the Sterling Ranch development, despite concerns by some about water, traffic and how the massive project will affect the quality of life in the Chatfield Basin. The vote all but ends several years of meetings, public input and revisions by the developer.
When complete, Sterling Ranch, south of Chatfield State Park and east of Roxborough State Park, would be home to 31,000 people and include 12,050 housing units on 3,400 acres.
The approval is subject to technical corrections in the plan, which will be ratified at a meeting May 31. Sterling Ranch officials hope to start moving dirt by next year and building homes in 2013.
The amount of regulatory work necessary to win approval for this plan, already within the density guidelines of the existing urban plan, suggests that conservative distaste for government regulation does not extend to urban planning by local governments.