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Old 01-17-2019, 05:09 PM
 
1 posts, read 169 times
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Hi all,

Apologies in advance for what might be a complicated and/or individualized question. I just accepted a job in Colorado Springs, and will be moving with my family (wife, two small kids, dogs, cats, and even a couple pet pigs) in the summer. We currently live in Durham, NC, which is a really cool medium-sized city that is currently undergoing tons of gentrification. We've both been in the southeast for the bulk of our lives, so this will be a big change for us. However, we're very excited about the opportunity to live in such a cool place. At present, we're trying to sort through where the best areas for us to consider living would be.

Important things for us:
1. Young children: We have one child in elementary school and another that will be entering elementary school shortly. I'm not a stickler for a school with the best test scores necessarily, but we want our kids to get a good education in a school system that is supportive. We've gotten a lot of "you HAVE to be in D12 or D20 for your kids to go to a good school", but that doesn't seem totally true. Would appreciate any input here.

2. Community: We're a left-leaning, pretty open-minded bunch and are pretty easy-going family. We're both a little apprehensive about moving cross-country, and I think it would help if we ended up in a neighborhood/area of town with similar folks as well as a decent amount of small kids. I'd like very much for my wife and kids to be able to easily make friends, as I think this will ease the pain of the move.

3. Surrounding area: It would be amazing to be near Garden of the Gods as well as local parks, trails for hiking/biking, etc. We'd very much prefer NOT to be in a cookie-cutter new neighborhood or stuck among a sea of strip malls.

4. Pigs / Lot size: It's odd, I know, but they're our pets and part of our family. This will be a difficult sell/no-go for certain areas of town or neighborhoods, so that's something we're factoring in. In an ideal world, I'd like as big a lot as I could get (i.e. a few acres), but I think anything >1/4 acre would probably work.

We have become enamored (to varying degrees) with the following areas of town:

a) Manitou Springs: Not technically Colorado Springs, I know, but the appealing part of Manitou is the "small town" feel, the proximity to Garden of the Gods, and the fact that it seems very eclectic/artsy. It also seems (to my naive mind) that the population of Manitou is small enough that you probably get to know fellow residents well. Downsides I've heard are the tourists and narrow roads. I've also heard various things about how good the schools are, so would appreciate any input.
b) Old North End: The upside of this area would be the cool/eclectic feel, proximity to downtown/restaurants/etc, and the nearby neighbors. Here again I've heard mixed things about D11 schools, so would love any input.
c) The Broadmoor Area: Great schools, pretty houses. I worry whether we'd fit in here, but I also don't know much about the neighborhood.
d) Old Colorado City: Haven't thought much about living here, but liked this part of town when we drove through.
e) Skyway: Again, good schools. The houses in the lower Skyway seemed more our style than upper Skyway, and it's near a park.
f) Black Forest: Totally different than the rest, but again has great schools (D20 if I'm not mistaken). Would hit the mark of more space/bigger lot, but I worry about being isolated a bit.

Thanks for any input you might have, we really appreciate it!
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Old 01-17-2019, 05:27 PM
 
20,539 posts, read 38,274,626 times
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Black Forest can be D20 or D38, both good districts. Other good districts are D12, D8, D49 and parts of D11. Others who still live in COLO SPGS can elaborate; we have some teachers who post on here.

If I had to paint with a broad brush then I'd say the further north you go the more conservative it can get but I never found it to be of the in-your-face variety. The central city and west side tend to be more progressive with Manitou probably the most liberal area. Overall the place is pretty much a live and let live kind of place. In 11 years there I never had anyone get nosy about my church or religion. Unlike the southern states I've never seen anyone put up 3 crosses on their land. A lot of religious groups have their HQ in the city but the members of these groups live all over the country, not in the city. There are tens of thousands of military personnel in the area, heavily on the south and eastern sides, though I had some up in D20/Pine Creek area. Plenty of retired military types there too.

Main area of Manitou is dense and a tourist mecca in the summer; narrow hilly streets that can be a challenge when snowy.

Old North End Neighborhood (ONEN) is beautiful and often a bit pricey. Flat, tree lined streets near downtown.

Old Colorado City (OCC) has a certain funky vibe to it with a lot of older homes and less pricey than ONEN.

I'll have to rely on other posters to speak to other areas.

Plenty of cookie cutter areas especially in the newer areas. Newer houses tend to be on small lots these days to maximize land use for developers which helps in a way because it's rather expensive to water large lawns in the region's high and dry climate.

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Old 01-17-2019, 05:29 PM
 
5,111 posts, read 6,859,229 times
Reputation: 4680
Welcome!

1. I concur that you do not HAVE to be in D12 or D20.
2. If you're left leaning, Manitou/Old Colorado City/downtown areas might be a fit demographically.
3. Since you like Garden of the Gods area, that seems to be another reason you may want to focus on the West side. There are some nice neighborhoods in that area - look around 30th street maybe.
4. I don't know a lot about any restrictions re: having pigs - think that would mainly come up in rental policies and HOAs. I think your desired acreage will be harder to find in Manitou than elsewhere on the West side.

In your list, a and d tend to be more left-leaning, not sure on b, but the remainder tend to be more conservative, but the city as a whole is mixed about 60/40 ratio of R to D, with a lot of Independents ( I think they may be larger than the other two a bit, but I haven't looked it up lately).

As for D11 schools - I know a bit about them so will comment - In the North End area Steele Elementary has an excellent reputation last I heard, and on the West side, Chipeta and Trailblazer also seem to be well-liked by their families for the most part. West Elementary is older and small in a K-8 campus - pros and cons there. Steele I think mainly feeds into Palmer High School and the others I think mainly feed into Coronado. Both of those high schools have strong comprehensive programs - i.e. a range of offerings from very high academics (IB at Palmer, CU Gold (a college in high school program and AP/Pre-AP at Coronado) to a variety of career-oriented programs. Last year Coronado had the best test scores in D11, but Coronado, Doherty and Palmer seem to trade hats now and then in that regard. Doherty is more to the east and is very well liked, but also is rather crowded. Palmer is the original "Colorado Springs" high school at the heart of the city in a downtown area. Coronado sits on a hill near Garden of the Gods. An article came out today that dinged both Coronado and Palmer for lower graduation rates - I think what you see at both schools is a huge range and diversity of students in terms of mobility, economics, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6102301928698263 View Post
Hi all,

Apologies in advance for what might be a complicated and/or individualized question. I just accepted a job in Colorado Springs, and will be moving with my family (wife, two small kids, dogs, cats, and even a couple pet pigs) in the summer. We currently live in Durham, NC, which is a really cool medium-sized city that is currently undergoing tons of gentrification. We've both been in the southeast for the bulk of our lives, so this will be a big change for us. However, we're very excited about the opportunity to live in such a cool place. At present, we're trying to sort through where the best areas for us to consider living would be.

Important things for us:
1. Young children: We have one child in elementary school and another that will be entering elementary school shortly. I'm not a stickler for a school with the best test scores necessarily, but we want our kids to get a good education in a school system that is supportive. We've gotten a lot of "you HAVE to be in D12 or D20 for your kids to go to a good school", but that doesn't seem totally true. Would appreciate any input here.

2. Community: We're a left-leaning, pretty open-minded bunch and are pretty easy-going family. We're both a little apprehensive about moving cross-country, and I think it would help if we ended up in a neighborhood/area of town with similar folks as well as a decent amount of small kids. I'd like very much for my wife and kids to be able to easily make friends, as I think this will ease the pain of the move.

3. Surrounding area: It would be amazing to be near Garden of the Gods as well as local parks, trails for hiking/biking, etc. We'd very much prefer NOT to be in a cookie-cutter new neighborhood or stuck among a sea of strip malls.

4. Pigs / Lot size: It's odd, I know, but they're our pets and part of our family. This will be a difficult sell/no-go for certain areas of town or neighborhoods, so that's something we're factoring in. In an ideal world, I'd like as big a lot as I could get (i.e. a few acres), but I think anything >1/4 acre would probably work.

We have become enamored (to varying degrees) with the following areas of town:

a) Manitou Springs: Not technically Colorado Springs, I know, but the appealing part of Manitou is the "small town" feel, the proximity to Garden of the Gods, and the fact that it seems very eclectic/artsy. It also seems (to my naive mind) that the population of Manitou is small enough that you probably get to know fellow residents well. Downsides I've heard are the tourists and narrow roads. I've also heard various things about how good the schools are, so would appreciate any input.
b) Old North End: The upside of this area would be the cool/eclectic feel, proximity to downtown/restaurants/etc, and the nearby neighbors. Here again I've heard mixed things about D11 schools, so would love any input.
c) The Broadmoor Area: Great schools, pretty houses. I worry whether we'd fit in here, but I also don't know much about the neighborhood.
d) Old Colorado City: Haven't thought much about living here, but liked this part of town when we drove through.
e) Skyway: Again, good schools. The houses in the lower Skyway seemed more our style than upper Skyway, and it's near a park.
f) Black Forest: Totally different than the rest, but again has great schools (D20 if I'm not mistaken). Would hit the mark of more space/bigger lot, but I worry about being isolated a bit.

Thanks for any input you might have, we really appreciate it!
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Old 01-18-2019, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
2,840 posts, read 1,824,977 times
Reputation: 3104
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6102301928698263 View Post
Hi all,

Apologies in advance for what might be a complicated and/or individualized question. I just accepted a job in Colorado Springs, and will be moving with my family (wife, two small kids, dogs, cats, and even a couple pet pigs) in the summer. We currently live in Durham, NC, which is a really cool medium-sized city that is currently undergoing tons of gentrification. We've both been in the southeast for the bulk of our lives, so this will be a big change for us. However, we're very excited about the opportunity to live in such a cool place. At present, we're trying to sort through where the best areas for us to consider living would be.
Agreed this will be a big change. The move from riparian to near desert/alpine will be dramtic. Population density is also quite different here. IIR, the Triangle area is an MSA over 2 million, while Durham its self is just over 200k. Cos is almost 500k in a 700k MSA and Denver is the only area over 2m. But, it also sounds like you have visited already and understand this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6102301928698263 View Post
Important things for us:
1. Young children: We have one child in elementary school and another that will be entering elementary school shortly. I'm not a stickler for a school with the best test scores necessarily, but we want our kids to get a good education in a school system that is supportive. We've gotten a lot of "you HAVE to be in D12 or D20 for your kids to go to a good school", but that doesn't seem totally true. Would appreciate any input here.
In my experience, what your kids get out of school is what they, and you, put into it, irrespective of your district. One of my kids play a sports club team with members from various districts. These are all relatively high academic performers and I've noticed there is very little difference in the work they are doing and they all exchange homework tips between them. D11, D12, D20, and D38 students are all members of this team. Otowi hits some very good points on this. D14 in Manitou is also good, but small, so that can color opinions of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6102301928698263 View Post
2. Community: We're a left-leaning, pretty open-minded bunch and are pretty easy-going family. We're both a little apprehensive about moving cross-country, and I think it would help if we ended up in a neighborhood/area of town with similar folks as well as a decent amount of small kids. I'd like very much for my wife and kids to be able to easily make friends, as I think this will ease the pain of the move.
The areas you are looking at do have some community sense to them. Manitou, west side, and Old North End have had to do this the longest so have the strongest feel to them. Black Forest used to, but its grown so much I'm not sure if that feel still exist there. Patty Jewett and Country Club may be other areas you want to look at.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6102301928698263 View Post
3. Surrounding area: It would be amazing to be near Garden of the Gods as well as local parks, trails for hiking/biking, etc. We'd very much prefer NOT to be in a cookie-cutter new neighborhood or stuck among a sea of strip malls.
Options for this could not only include the places you listed, but also Bott, Mesa Springs, Pleasant Valley, Holland Park, Mountain Shadows, Pinecliff. Keep in mind that Cos has extensive park networks within the city. 11% of the city is designated parkland, so odds are you will be within minutes of small neighborhood parks and probably 10 minutes from a wildland interface type of park. Cheyenne Canons, Ute Valley, Pulpit Rock, and Palmer Park are native style parks right inside the city limits that are some what less spectacular but also avoid the crowds of Garden of the Gods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6102301928698263 View Post
4. Pigs / Lot size: It's odd, I know, but they're our pets and part of our family. This will be a difficult sell/no-go for certain areas of town or neighborhoods, so that's something we're factoring in. In an ideal world, I'd like as big a lot as I could get (i.e. a few acres), but I think anything >1/4 acre would probably work.
Some of the areas I listed may have access to larger sized lots, larger being around 10,000 sq ft. Bigger than that may require Black Forest, east of the city, or possibly the Crystal Park area that is within the Manitou zip code but entirely separate from the town. You are just under the wire with the pigs. City regs for pets are here; https://coloradosprings.gov/page/cit...ations-animals County regs are different if you end up outside the city limits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6102301928698263 View Post
We have become enamored (to varying degrees) with the following areas of town:

a) Manitou Springs: Not technically Colorado Springs, I know, but the appealing part of Manitou is the "small town" feel, the proximity to Garden of the Gods, and the fact that it seems very eclectic/artsy. It also seems (to my naive mind) that the population of Manitou is small enough that you probably get to know fellow residents well. Downsides I've heard are the tourists and narrow roads. I've also heard various things about how good the schools are, so would appreciate any input.
b) Old North End: The upside of this area would be the cool/eclectic feel, proximity to downtown/restaurants/etc, and the nearby neighbors. Here again I've heard mixed things about D11 schools, so would love any input.
c) The Broadmoor Area: Great schools, pretty houses. I worry whether we'd fit in here, but I also don't know much about the neighborhood.
d) Old Colorado City: Haven't thought much about living here, but liked this part of town when we drove through.
e) Skyway: Again, good schools. The houses in the lower Skyway seemed more our style than upper Skyway, and it's near a park.
f) Black Forest: Totally different than the rest, but again has great schools (D20 if I'm not mistaken). Would hit the mark of more space/bigger lot, but I worry about being isolated a bit.

Thanks for any input you might have, we really appreciate it!
All these areas have pros/cons associated with them and are certainly desirable areas to live in. Your perceptions are not radically off, but the community within each area does vary.
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Old 01-18-2019, 01:53 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
2,840 posts, read 1,824,977 times
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Couple other thoughts regarding community...

Westside Pioneer is a small bi-weekly newspaper that covers nearly everything west of I-25. This is obviously a broad swath of territory, so the paper does tend to concentrate its attention on things south of Garden of the Gods Rd. Territory days is a multi day event centered in Old Colo City celebrating is pioneer history.

Old North End has a web site with multiple committees functions and events they host and sponsor. Summer parades, garden parties and winter home tours along with some fairly active political members can be found here.

Mesa Springs has an informal neighborhood committee and a summer block party. No sites or links that I'm aware of. This neighborhood is along the west side of I-25 across from Old North End.

Gold Hill Mesa is a new development on top of an old mill site on the west side. They are creating a fairly engaging and involved community area. Its location south of highway 24 and west of I25 is primo real estate with views, but as a former mill site has some environmental concerns you may want to investigate further.

Patty Jewett area is home to the city's own historic golf club and is a separate neighborhood from ONEN, Shooks Run and downtown. They have an annual summer event called Porchfest, which is a travelling party that involves designated stops, bands and eat/drinks.

Links:
Home Page - Visit Old Colorado City
The Old North End Neighborhood
Patty Jewett Bar & Grill
https://www.facebook.com/events/176336259711129/
https://www.goldhillmesa.com/
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Old 01-18-2019, 02:23 PM
Status: "Please snow ... or rain, either would be good." (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Manitou Springs
964 posts, read 1,065,765 times
Reputation: 838
To add to TCHP's links, Westside Pioneer has a site as well: https://www.westsidepioneer.com/ (never really sure what links are allowed, so this may go poof).

It's a great little paper that will give you some insight about this part of Colorado Springs.
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Old 01-18-2019, 03:49 PM
 
1,277 posts, read 1,670,109 times
Reputation: 1569
Having moved here from a large and liberal leaning city, I would recommend Patty Jewett, Mid Shooks Run or Old North End. They are the only places here that feel remotely like home to me. Central city, established neighborhoods with large trees and architecturally distinctive and/or traditional homes, friendly folk. Perhaps parts of westside. Bit of a culture shock otherwise. Not sure about the pig issue but no doubt some have larger lots. Liked the Country Club area too but our realtor advised that there might be structural issues in some houses due to old mines.
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Old Today, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Colorado
755 posts, read 393,500 times
Reputation: 871
Read the thread on landslide areas.
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