Neighborhood meeting scheduled for controversial Midland commercial use

       A neighborhood meeting on a proposed resumption of a commercial use at Market and Broadway streets in the Midland area is scheduled Monday, Oct. 3 at 6 p.m. at Midland Elementary, 2110 W. Broadway.
       Colorado Springs Planning scheduled the meeting following Planning Commission's split-vote denial of an application by Affordable Plumbing and Heating to use the warehouse at 1304 Market St. for offices, storage and a garage. Affordable owners Greg and Heidi Smith, who previously bought the property, have since appealed the matter to City Council's Tuesday, Oct. 11 meeting.
       The Oct. 3 neighborhood meeting was scheduled at the request of the Smiths, according to City Planner Rachel Teixeira. Typically, such gatherings are scheduled well before Planning Commission, but she said the city had not expected the plan to become controversial.
       Planning Commission was swayed by comments from three people (one Midland resident and two members of the Organization of Westside Neighbors) who came to the meeting in opposition.
       Located in a predominantly residential area, the roughly half-acre property holds a 3,200-square foot warehouse that had been used by an auto repair business as far back as 1961; however, it has been vacant for some years. Opponents have argued that it would go against the Westside Plan to put a business back in there. However, another Midland resident, Pam Staley, who knows the Smiths, said this week she would prefer a responsible commercial operation to a vacant building that invites criminal activity, or to tearing it down and replacing it with modular homes that might reduce property values.

Westside Pioneer article