Friday, November 17, 2006

It was in the plans for Briargate and other developments to have well-maintained public areas

PUBLIC AREAS 1: We live on the southeast side of town, in a residential area not far from the airport. The public sidewalks and foliage areas are full of weeds and there are overgrown trees that cover most or all of the sidewalks in areas. There is no nice grass or trees and the city neglects caring for it. However, going to the north side of town, or other areas in Colorado Springs, (i.e. Briargate), there is beautiful landscaping. We pay the same rate of taxes here on the south end of town as do homeowners on the north end of town. Why do we not get the same kinds of landscaping and care for our public areas?
- Joni Brandom
PUBLIC AREAS 2: I live along Barnes Road with the back of my property facing Barnes just east of Peterson Road. This section of Barnes is mostly unlandscaped, not well maintained and an eyesore. I see new developments with beautifully landscaped streets occurring all over this city and wonder why this street is treated much like an orphan.
- Gordon Olson
PUBLIC AREAS 3: We live in Stetson Hills near Barnes and Marksheffel. The center island on Barnes is overrun with weeds from Peterson to Marksheffel. Trees fall over and die and are not replaced. Further west on Barnes, the center strip is well cared for. Why is our section left to go to pieces?
- Andrea Buehner

ANSWER: Developers in several northeastern areas of the city, including Briargate, Nor’wood, etc., wanted “improved streetscapes” for rights of way and medians, and there are seven special improvement maintenance districts set up for this purpose, according to Rick Geiman, SIMD administrator for the parks department. The developers installed the landscaping and other improvements and residents of those areas pay a tax levy for maintenance, which is done by the homeowners associations or the SIMD.

Not all developers did this. Developers did not put together resident-supported special districts in the southeast area referred to in the first letter, but, nevertheless, the proper city department should be notified if public parks and medians are in poor repair. Keeping sidewalks clear of obstructions is the responsibility of the owner or occupant.

It’s covered in city code 3.4.103: “Responsibility of real property owners and occupants,” which says the owner and occupant of property have a responsibility to keep sidewalks clean and clear of projections and obstructions, debris, litter or dangerous conditions. The city engineer’s office should be notified about structural damage to sidewalks. Property owners must remove weeds on their property. On the area of Barnes Road discussed, the developer did not complete the promised landscaping and the situation was such that “there was no leverage for the city to require the developer to finish it,” said Geiman said.
There’s a similar situation on Peterson Road south of Barnes, and Geiman must determine what can be done.


Anonymous Chris P. said...

Having lived here for 5 years, coming from Anaheim, CA and comparing OC in general to COS in regards to median and road greenbelts, this city in general does not value aesthetic roadways. Much of Colorado Springs roadways are an eyesore. Travel down Powers...Woodman, etc. and note weeds and barren dirt everywhere. Why can't our city plant trees and native shrubbery to green up our most traveled areas? I didn't pay any special taxes/levies in OC and yet, most cities HAVE PRIDE and try to make the roadways more appealing....not so with the Springs.

11:59 PM, December 28, 2006  

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