Controversial development could double size of Franktown

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. -- A community in Douglas County is bracing for a possible population boom. The unincorporated area of Franktown could soon double in size, causing residents concern over potential growing pains.

Officials are working with developers on a project that could forever change the community of a few hundred people seven miles east of Castle Rock.

"There's a lot of concern on the part of the residents out here to try to keep this a rural environment," resident Bruce Merrill said.

The target for developers is prime real estate just south of where Highway 86 meets Highway 83. If plans are approved by the county, the area could see nearly 300 townhomes and a strip mall in a subdivision that would be called Franktown Village.

"The traffic that is going to be added to here is just going to be unreal," Andy Reinhardt said.

Reinhardt's home backs up to the proposed development site. He and his neighbors said water is one of their top concerns. Most everyone in Franktown uses wells and they believe the new development will suck them dry.

"Other people have had to redrill their wells into one of the lower aquifers to continue to get water," Merrill said. "One of the biggest issues in our mind is where is the water going to come from."

Developers said water for the new homes will come from a separate source, putting the entire community on an improved central water a sewer system. But those in Franktown are skeptical.

"We're not sure what's going to happen," Merrill said.

The development will push Franktown from rural status to more of a suburban feel -- something the developer says will be managed by traffic studies and community input.

Still, the development is seen by many in Franktown as something that belongs elsewhere in Douglas County.

"If we wanted to live in Castle Rock, we would've moved to Castle Rock," Reinhardt said. "If we wanted to live in Parker, we would've moved to Parker. But we didn't. We wanted to live in a small rural community -- and they're taking and destroying that."

The Douglas County Planing Commission was originally set to consider the project on Monday, but consideration was rescheduled for Dec. 5. If the planning commission approves the development, the project will move to the Douglas County Council for final consideration.