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Do citizens value historic preservation? City survey seeks answers for plan

Feb. 14, 2018
       How important is historic preservation to Colorado Springs?
       Posing 20 questions on the subject, a survey looking for citizen feedback can be accessed from the city's HistoricCOS government website: coloradosprings.gov/historiccos.
A screen capture shows 3 of the 20 questions from the city's historic preservation survey.
Courtesy of Colorado Springs Planning

       According to Daniel Sexton of City Planning, the questionnaire will be posted until Thursday, March 15.
       Responses will feed into city efforts to update the current Historic Preservation Plan, approved in 1993.
       “The rapid growth of Colorado Springs is transforming the city, landscape, historically significant locations and our cultural identity,” the HistoricCOS website states. “We want to make sure these changes take place in a positive and sustainable way. The Historic Preservation Plan will provide a framework so that we, as a community, can maintain our wonderful historic resources as we grow.”
       The survey questions were made available to attendees at a recent HistoricCOS public meeting downtown; now all citizens are getting a chance to respond electronically.
       Most of the questions are multiple-choice (see screen example on this page), plus a couple of comment boxes.
       Anticipated benefits from a new plan include better coordination of preservation efforts, education about the city's historic resources, priortization of projects and
The cover page of the "Historic Westside Design Guidelines" book, published in December 2009 with advocacy by the Organization of Westside Neighbors and Old Colorado City Historical Society. The city, which is now planning a historic preservation plan update, helped fund the book, but city staffers do not use it because it was never formally approved by City Council.
Scanned from "Historic Westside Design Guidelines"
“development of effective regulatory processes and procedures,” the HistoricCOS website continues.
       The Westside experienced the city's current historic preservation system between 2003 and 2012, when the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) sought to establish a historic zoning overlay for an older area encompassing nearly 4,000 properties north of Highway 24.
       The effort stalled when OWN and the city disagreed over plan interpretations; it died altogether within two years after the city eliminated its half-time historic-planner position for budget reasons.
       One accomplishment from the OWN effort was the 2009 book, the “Historic Westside Design Guidelines,” co-funded by the city and state and aided by the Old Colorado City Historical Society. The book provides details for Westside property owners renovating older homes and, according to its lead writer, area architect Steve Obering, it could also give builders of new homes a sense of “the rhythm and style of the neighborhood.”
       However, Westside Pioneer interviews with City Planning in 2016 revealed that staffers ignore the book when working with developers because it was never formally approved by City Council.
       For more information on the historic preservation plan update, Sexton's e-mail is dsexton@springsgov.com.

Westside Pioneer article
(Community: Ongoing Issues)

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