I am concerned that Mayor Suthers believes the request for public safety is unconstitutional. During his introduction of the city sponsored “Emergency Evacuation Plan and Procedures” ordinance at the City Council meeting on July 12th, the Mayor railed against the citizen recommendation for Clearance Evacuation Times (CET’s) ordinance claiming that it was “unconstitutional.” Westside Watch, the sponsor of CET proposed ordinance last November felt that their version of the ordinance should go in Chapter 7 of the city code within the planning section, since CET’s are impacted by the massive infill projects that the Mayor and his planning staff have been promoting all around the city.
The Mayor claimed that property rights are at risk if CET’s are required. However, let’s take a look at some existing ordinances that impact “property rights.” First and foremost, requesting a Zone change is a right, but only to ask, not receive. A Zone change must meet certain criteria. Public Safety is one criterion.
Second, think about the geological ordinance. The city and state can bar any development on an unstable piece of property. Recall the houses slipping down the hillside in the SW part of town, and the unstable ground at Gold Hill Mesa which halted development until it was addressed. Every property that applies for development must meet defined geological parameters. How is this any different from unsafe development density that impacts evacuation by citizens? Additionally, there are many Overlay ordinances that limit the type, size, and height of development. Are they unconstitutional as well?
After the shameful hit piece that the Gazette Editorial Board wrote on Monday July 11th, the developers must be nervous. Westside Watch and concerned neighborhoods all over the city are not anti-development, we only want responsible development. There is a huge difference between four to six units per acre and 30 plus units per acre. Density does matter and can be the difference between surviving a major catastrophe or burning up in your car like so many people in the Paradise California Fire did. It doesn’t matter if you are on the west side or out east. Keep in mind that the Marshall Fire in Boulder County was a prairie fire.
On Tuesday July 26th, City Council will cast their second vote on the emergency evacuation plan and procedures ordinance the city leadership presented. We feel that it this a feeble attempt to show that the city has taken action regarding the safety of the citizens in Colorado Springs. Unfortunately, it falls far short and does not include several key issues including CETs. I urge you to contact our City Council and let your voices be heard.
All citizens in Colorado Springs should know what is going on, and who is behind these monster development projects that threaten public safety. We will be electing a new Mayor and many City Council positions in April 2023.
Keep this in mind as the candidates ask for your vote.
2650 Rossmere St
Colorado Springs, Co. 80919
Westside Watch President
Mountain Shadows Community Association President
Waldo Canyon Fire evacuation survivor
719 338-0140 Cell / Text