Kiowa project needed citizen review
I have been following with considerable astonishment your series of stories about the situation on West Kiowa Street. I recently moved to Colorado Springs from the town of Brighton, N.Y., a suburb of the city of Rochester. I can say that the situation you describe could not have happened there. Why? Because Brighton, like other New York State Towns, requires that plans for development have to pass scrutiny by boards consisting of citizen volunteers. These boards advise the Planning Board (which issues permits) on various aspects of the plan with respect to land use.
For several years, I was a member of the Conservation Board, which examined and reported on the environmental aspects of each developer's proposal. I can assure you that our reviews were thorough, and that our concerns were listened to. I can recall two proposals that were rejected, one on the basis that the plan envisioned encroachment on wetlands, and another because the plan called for building on steep slopes. Many other proposals were modified by the developers in response to our concerns.
From what I have read, the West Kiowa proposal should have been rejected for several environmental reasons. But the main issue that I want to raise is this: There should be a procedure for citizen review of a developer's plans BEFORE a permit is granted. I love Colorado, and I do not wish to return to New York. But with respect to land use planning, New York State is miles ahead of Colorado.