Golden Bell wins preliminary step

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With Teller County commissioners divided on the vote, Golden Bell Camp and Conference Center squeaked by in its application to amend the Divide Growth map.

While commission chair Dave Paul voted no, commissioners Marc Dettenrieder and Norm Steen voted to amend the map to grant the camp designation as a rural resort.

The approval was but the first step in a longer process to expand the camp on 156 acres currently zoned agriculture. From this point on, the camp, which is owned by9 Church of the Nazarene in Colorado Springs, must apply to the county for each step of the expansion.

In the first public hearing on the issue June 27, the three commissioners stipulated that they would rule on four criteria. In the second public hearing July 8, Dettenrieder and Steen agreed that the camp's future plans were consistent with the Teller County Master Plan and, in part, were the result of changed economic conditions.

In the first public hearing, the camp's director, Doug Pearson, cited the need to be competitive.

According to Teller County land-use regulations, any plans submitted for zoning change must consider the effect on the natural environment and meet a community need.