Banning Lewis Ranch represents the largest undeveloped section of our city. Unfortunately, an outdated annexation agreement has made developing this residential land prohibitive, contributing to affordability issues in the city. For the past several months, City Council and City staff have been working to bring the annexation agreement into consistency with City Code to encourage responsible development of this significant portion of our city.

In the interest of spurring economic development of the unused space, as well as to increase the inventory of available housing, The City of Colorado Springs proposed an amendment for City Council's approval of the original 1988 annexation agreement. City Council passed the proposal, April 24, 2018.    

View the Annexation Agreement

Watch the April 11 Town Hall Meeting

Where is Banning Lewis Ranch?

Banning Lewis Ranch is a 38 square mile/24,000 acre area which is almost ¼ of the City of Colorado Springs’ total 200-square miles. It makes up the eastern side of the city, stretching roughly from just south of Woodmen Road on the north to south of the Colorado Springs airport, from Marksheffel road on the west to the city boundary/unincorporated El Paso County to the east.  View larger map

Why do we need an amended agreement?

Lost economic benefit

  • Very little development has occurred in Banning Lewis Ranch since it was annexed into the City of Colorado Springs in 1988. A major factor deterring development activity has been the unusual requirements of the original Annexation Agreement.
  • Development has been leap-frogging the area and creating a donut effect, with business and residential development occurring in unincorporated El Paso County, rather than in Banning Lewis Ranch.
  • This has resulted in lost economic opportunity, lost municipal tax revenue and lost utility revenue. The city has lost more than 2,700 jobs and $4.5 billion in economic benefit as development has occurred outside of city limits.  This development is already impacting City services, without the benefit of additional City revenue.

Things look different 30 years later

  • The current obligations are not equitable with other annexations and other developments in the city, and methods of how development pays for itself have evolved since the 1980s.
  • The available 6,000 acres of land within City limits outside of Banning Lewis Ranch will only accommodate growth for less than 10 years.  A lower supply of land means increased prices, and Colorado Springs’ competitive market is already seeing increased housing costs.

What are the benefits of developing Banning Lewis Ranch?

Development in Banning Lewis Ranch will have several significant direct and indirect economic benefits. It will allow Colorado Springs to remain a competitive city in terms of economic development, quality of life, and housing affordability.

  • Modification of the annexation agreement would spur development and generate at least $49 million over and above the cost of developing and servicing the area over the next 30 years. Further, the Colorado Springs economy would grow by an estimated $41 billion and generate 35,000 new jobs over that time.  It would also bring in $434 Million in additional net revenue to Colorado Springs Utilities. *
  • The proposed amended agreement allows land use and zoning to be as flexible as possible. We don’t know what the market conditions will dictate in the future.  There is no proposal to re-master plan the ranch with this agreement. It will allow for smaller development plans to come forward, and to be adaptable as the ranch develops over the next three to five decades.
  • The agreement is subject to the Park Land Dedication Ordinance, and presents great opportunities for new parks, trails and open space.

*2016 TischlerBise Economic and Fiscal Impact Analysis | View the PowerPoint presentation

What are the requirements for developers – will they pay their share?

The new agreement still obligates developers to provide the required public improvement, dedications or pro-rata fees for infrastructure needed to serve the development, just like any other development in the city. The amended agreement is consistent current annexation practices, and will require developers to build and maintain infrastructure, as is required by City Code, Utilities Rules and Regulations, Utilities Tariffs, and Utilities’ Line Extension and Service Standards.

Banning Lewis Ranch should be developed in a manner that delivers a great quality of life for its residents and more than pays for itself in terms of city services and public infrastructure.  The analysis indicates that future development in Banning Lewis Ranch will more than pay for itself over the short, intermediate and long term and will create significant positive economic growth for the city.

View a summary comparison table of the 1988 agreement and the proposed amendment.


Public Meeting Schedule

  • Tuesday, May 8:  City Council Meeting, Second Reading of BLR Code Amendments Ordinance, City Council Chambers, 1:00 PM