Colorado Springs Drafts New Regional Annexation Plan

A regional planning proposal in El Paso County, Colorado calls for uniform standards for unincorporated developments, which would make it easier to receive city services if annexed in the future.

March 30, 2021, 10:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Colorado Springs, Colorado skyline

John Hoffman / Shutterstock

In an effort to let neighborhoods outside the city limits "more easily annex into city limits and receive city services, such as water, in the future," the city of Colorado Springs and El Paso County are encouraging "tighter building standards" in the region "through a new intergovernmental agreement and comprehensive annexation plan." Writing in The Gazette, Mary Shinn reports on the agreement, which stems from concerns that new developments will have a harder time receiving city services if they aren't built to the same standards from the start. "When developments don't meet city standards, as with Cimarron Hills, they can become county enclaves surrounded by the city but not receiving city services." The Colorado Springs City Council praised the move as "a step in the right direction, particularly because county neighborhoods may need to hook up to city water in the coming decades as groundwater supplies diminish."

The new plan isn't meant to reduce the autonomy of local communities, city officials said, but "is a move toward better regional planning that is meant to be collaborative not adversarial." According to Councilman Dave Geislinger, the agreement "allows for a more sustainable regional community." The proposal "will cover properties within three miles of the Colorado Springs limits and is expected to align with the areas of change the county outlined in its new master plan."

Monday, March 22, 2021 in The Gazette (Colorado Springs)

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