Colorado Springs hired Muegge and Associates Inc. to review land assessments for the properties considered in a land exchange between the city and the Broadmoor hotel.

The Broadmoor wants to swap various pieces of land — including access to the Manitou Springs Incline — for 182 acres known as Strawberry Fields. The proposal has drawn opposition from neighbors and from open space advocates.

The city has held nine open meetings about the proposal, according to a press release from Colorado Springs.

“Public input has been an important part of developing this proposal,” said Karen Palus, the City’s Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services in the release. “We are committed to transparency around not only land values, but also proposed land use, zoning, and regulation. This is another step in the process to ensure our reviews are thorough, our communication complete, and all stakeholders and professionals adhere strictly to best practices.”

Determining the fair market value of the properties involved is one of the factors under consideration in deciding to go through with the proposal, the release said. Appraisers determine the total value by deciding  about conservation, trail connection, wildlife habitat, number of users, public access, operational efficiencies and fair market value. The city’s “Procedure Manual for the Acquisition and Disposition of Real Property Interest” (the “Real Estate Manual”) requires an appraisal to determine the fair market value of property proposed for exchange, the release said. 

 Both the city and the Broadmoor have obtained approaisals for the property and all appraisals have been submitted for an review by a third party appraiser to determine if the reports conform to the law, regulations and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices. The review is expected to be complete by end of April 2016.

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