Petition drive against Kum & Go in 2300 block of Colo. Ave. nears 600 signatures
An online petition had gathered more than 550 signatures (as of press deadline) in opposition to the proposed Kum & Go in the south side of the 2300 block of West Colorado Avenue.
Also, an effort to find alternative developers has started, and at least two letters have gone to the mayor in response to the convenience store/gas station plan.
The alternative is being sought by the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN), which agreed on the idea at its board meeting July 11. Board President Welling Clark said he will be forming a “property solutions team to bring people together to talk about what we can do and can't do.” Contrary to what Goodwill representatives said at the neighborhood meeting June 27, Clark said he is not convinced that all the redevelopment options had been exhausted before the nonprofit agreed to work with Kum & Go.
Also at its meeting, the Westside residential advocacy group voted to support the Iowa-based company's separate submittal to the city for a store at 21st and Broadway streets, agreeing that the location would not conflict with the existing strip-commercial activity along that part of 21st.
One of the letters to the mayor, from long-time Westside advocate Dave Hughes, suggests working with the company. In it, he unveils a plan to “turn the entire [new] 400-foot wall that fronts the avenue into a large, colorful, wall-art 'historical attraction narrative' that tells the entire 150 year time-line story of Colorado City from its gold rush founding in 1859, through the Civil War, its railroad and gold mill, saloon and streetcar days, to its modern era.”
Hughes also touted this plan personally to Mayor Steve Bach when the mayor presented him with a “Spirit of the Springs” award July 1.
Bach's response to Hughes' e-mail reads, “Dave, thank you for your continuing tremendous, inspirational leadership. Your willingness to embrace change in Old Colorado City while honoring its very important rich history should be an example to all who cherish its past.”
An opposition letter to the mayor, from Westside resident Joyce Cheney, argues that a Kum & Go in the 2300 block would not only be detrimental to Old Colorado City but to the city as a whole. (See a condensed version in Letters, Page 5).
The online petition was started by Westside resident/business owner Sue Spengler after the June 27 meeting. She said she hopes to eventually have 1,000 signatures that she can present to the city.
The meeting attracted about 75 people, nearly all of whom were opposed, based on a straw poll led by Cheney. Speakers' main complaints involved potential disruptive impacts to the surrounding residential neighborhood and to the historical appeal of Old Colorado City a block to the west.
Not yet formally submitted, the OCC Kum & Go plan calls for demolishing the existing Goodwill buildings on the south side of the 2300 block and infilling with a 5,000-square-foot building and 10 gas pumps, open around the clock.
Company spokespersons at the meeting said they were open to community ideas on how to make the facility compatible.
Despite the negative meeting response, they have also confirmed since the meeting that they are moving forward with their plans.
In an e-mail, Ryan Tefertiller of City Land Use Review told the Westside Pioneer that “it will probably be a few weeks at least” before the company formally submits a proposal to the city.
The process would include Planning Commis-sion and City Council, he has previously explained.
The chain has been expanding into the Colorado Springs market, with 10 stores citywide since last year.
Westside Pioneer article