Have You Seen The Signs?


Photo by Amaya Taylor

A row of houses in Willow Springs Ranch.

Has it been harder for you to get to school lately? A lot of traffic creating long lines into either the academic or athletic lots? Or, maybe it’s even hard for you to get out of your own neighborhood without getting stuck behind a construction truck or seeing a “New Houses Coming Soon” sign. If your answer was “yes” to any of these questions then you have seen the signs of vast construction and expansion developing in Monument’s community, especially near Palmer Ridge High School.

Monument Town Manager, Mike Foreman is the perfect representative to speak on these “signs” we’ve all been noticing as he is involved in “all of the operations that the Town of Monument does.”

A “New Homes” sign at the Willow Springs Ranch neighborhood. Photo by Amaya Taylor.

Moving from Texas to Colorado to become a city manager, Foreman is dedicated to seeing Monument thrive and grow as safely and efficiently as possible. In fact, this is exactly what’s happening as new construction has been developing in almost all fronts in Monument; these areas include “Willow Springs along Baptist Road west of I-25, Homeplace Ranch which is near Higby and Jackson Creek, Monument Junction which is [near] Jackson Creek and 105. And then, Monument Edge which is near Palmer Ridge,” Foreman said. “There’s also a couple of developments on Old Denver Highway. Other areas are looking at building also just south of the YMCA and north of the Walmart, you’ll see a lot of dirt moving there also. So, there’s a lot of areas in Monument that are starting to build.”

With so many different locations in Monument starting to expand, you might be wondering what is causing all of this new growth? Well, according to Foreman, most of the growth is “market-driven.” “We’ve got about 500 or 600 acres that have sat here for 30 or 40 years and have been waiting on the market to turn to where they could find something that would work and fit in the town of Monument. Not only for the people of Monument, but also for the property owners,” he said.

Along with this, Monument is experiencing a period of population increase from the influx of people moving into Colorado. In fact, Colorado’s population increased almost by 28,000 people between 2020 and 2021. So Monument, “having a small town feel” as well as “a lot of recreational opportunities with Black Forest and Mt. Herman,” is very appealing to those new to Colorado. And according to Foreman, this demographic is “a lot of families, but also a lot of retirees love to retire in this area as well.”

With these increased numbers of families and retirees, “there’s more need for housing, more need for retail, more need for restaurants, and services like that,” he said.

Believe it or not, there is actually quite a few people construction plans have to go through in order to get approved here in Monument: “A landowner developer makes the application to the planning department, then it’s reviewed by the development review team, and then … the planning commission gets the first shot at it and they get to review it and make comments on it. From there it’s presented to the Board of Trustees, and the final vote is done then,” said Foreman.

So many eyes reviewing and looking over construction plans creates reassurance for citizens that Monument can expand while still keeping its character and safety. Despite this, there are still concerns among residents about a number of things that come with town expansion.”There’s quite a bit of concern about smart growth. We have to make sure that we can continue to provide for public safety, transportation, water, and also for the growth needs of our community,” said Foreman.

A house undergoing construction in the Willow Springs Ranch neighborhood. Photo by Amaya Taylor.

Palmer Ridge’s Rachel Zarkovacki (12), expresses her concerns over school traffic which has impeded on her arrival time to school, even after leaving early. “Monument is not equipped to have so many cars driving on the roads at once, because in many areas there is only a one-way road,” she said. “Traffic in Monument has increased tremendously the last few years since so many more people moved here.”

While the problem may seem large now, there is no need to worry for the long-term, as Foreman reassures that the Town of Monument is “looking at how traffic is handled around the schools so that we can provide better and more safe traffic patterns in those areas. We want to ensure that when we do allow more apartments and more houses, that we work with the school district to ensure that the they are growing at the same rate that our town is so they can handle the number of students that are coming in,” he said.

Monument’s town officials are even cautious of our school’s safety with all of the new citizenry. “One thing that we have to ensure ourselves of is that we’re also providing real public safety for our students. One thing that our police chief has been talking to the superintendent about is the use of School Resource Officers.”

Ultimately, all the new signs around town suggest that we are growing bigger and bigger at a fast rate. But, not to worry because Monument’s town officials are still nothing but concerned with your safety and efficiency in your school commute. While it may seem crowded now, Foreman reassures that Monument’s board is working to create more developments and solutions.
So, the next time you are late for school because of road closures or “new developments coming,” just remember that it won’t be long until our town is more efficiently run, with the opportunity to welcome even more people!