Holy cross

New residential and commercial development could come to historic Holy Cross Abbey property in Cañon City

The historic St. Croix Abbey property on the east side of Cañon City could be the location for new residential and commercial development.

The 187-acre site once housed a monastery and a Catholic school. Currently there is a winery, event center and offices as well as other residential and commercial uses.

Cañon City City Council unanimously approved the preliminary rezoning plan that would add more than 850 new residences, as well as additional commercial, retail and open space, although council members asked for clarification and batch size analysis. It’s on the agenda again on Monday, December 6.

Council member Dolly Gonzales said they had to consider the density of houses and the character of Cañon City.

“We’ve heard from a lot of people who are frustrated with the future of what might happen next door to them,” she said.

The proposed Cañon City Commons in the Abbey Planned Development District, or PDD, calls 25 different planning zones, specifying housing options ranging from apartments to so-called estate houses on lots of approximately one acre. It also includes a variety of mixed-use spaces, including retail, offices, parks, trails and recreation areas.

The development plan calls for respecting the history, architecture and people of the area, including using historic structures and maintaining winery and event center operations. The existing monastery would be transformed into a hotel.