City revocable permits coordinator to do fresh sweep of Colorado Avenue
Sue Matz, the revocable permits coordinator for Colorado Springs Planning, is planning another sweep along Colorado Avenue.
She said in an interview last week that she will perform this investigation to look for right of way encroachments - most typically business signs, awnings or merchandise on the sidewalk - after which she will send letters telling the encroachers that they need to apply for a permit from the city.
She had done the same thing last June - identifying 64 avenue violators between I-25 and the city limits - but did not follow up her initial letters because the issue wound up before City Council, which eventually overturned the part of the revocable permit rules that required proof of a $1 million insurance policy.
Permit costs vary, but signs or awnings run $40 a year.
Now that so much time has passed, Matz said she needs to look at the avenue again before sending out a fresh set of letters. In addition to different practices by businesses, “there have probably been some changes in tenants or property owners,” she said.
Her plan is to undertake this scrutiny soon, after which “we'll be getting letters out in the next month,” she said.
She added that a similar strategy will be followed in the downtown area, where she wrote up about 230 right of way violations last year.
In response to her previous letters to the 64 Colorado Avenue businesses (nearly all of whom were in Old Colorado City), Matz to date has received application requests from 12 to 15 of them, she said.
The council attention came about after an initial Westside Pioneer article last July (followed by a TV news story), which noted that one of the identified violations was the American flag display by Pikes Peak National Bank, out over the avenue. Matz has since announced that because the flags fall under a “public good” category, bank officials can display them at no cost, although they still need to apply for a permit.
The Pioneer article in July also revealed resentment from some Old Colorado City property owners that the city has allowed them to put up signs over the years - one dating back to 1972 - but never mentioned the revocable-permit requirement before. Matz said then that the city has received complaints about right of way violations, but previously lacked the necessary manpower to enforce them.
One complaint last year came from the Old Colorado City Security & Maintenance District, which wanted enforcement on neglected news boxes. Ironically, in her avenue scrutiny Matz could find no newsbox violations.
Westside Pioneer article