SCHREIVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
The City of Colorado Springs, along with City Council, began the process of updating the city comprehensive plan and is looking for input from residents, particularly those in the military.
“It’s important that the plan represents the broader interest of the military community, the bases, retirees, contractors and the businesses associated with the military,” said Carl Schueler, Colorado Springs city planner. “We want the plan to say more about the military. If there are things particularly important to military members, we want to make sure that is included.”
Even those members who know they won’t be in the area to see the plan come to fruition can still provide valuable input.
“First impressions and impressions of folks here for a short duration are important,” Schueler said. “Just because you’re only here for three years at one point doesn’t mean you won’t come back.”
While Schriever Air Force Base isn’t within city limits, Schueler said having Schriever members provide input is important since most live in or near the city.
“We definitely want to involve you in this process because you’re a part of the community,” he said.
Those members wishing to provide input can do so in a number of ways. There is a survey available at www.coloradosprings.gov/plancos, suggestions can be shared via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by using #PlanCOS or by calling 719-385-PLAN (7526).
Those looking to take a more active role in the process may request to be a co-creator.
“(Co-creators) come to meetings and organize things. They don’t just take the survey and maybe come to one meeting,” Schueler said. “They sign on to pay attention to (the process).”
City Council Member and PlanCOS Steering Committee Vice Chairwoman, Jill Gaebler, explained why the plan is a two-year process.
“If you shorten the process, it tends to favor special interests—and that doesn’t just mean developers,” she recently told The Colorado Springs Business Journal. “We need to hear from everybody and give people a direct, unfiltered voice.”
Schueler said the online survey will periodically change as the steering committee begins to see trends and other data points.
“We’re looking for folks to check-in at various points in the process,” he said. “It’s going to evolve and become more specific as we go forward.”
This is the first update to the comprehensive plan since 2001, and much has changed within the city during the last 15 years.
“Since 2001, when we completed the last (plan), 150,000 people were added to the city,” Schueler said.
According to the PlanCOS website, the plan-building process is taking place in six phases, with the final draft of the comprehensive plan scheduled for a spring 2018 release.
“The ‘PlanCOS’ campaign is a two-year process that asks citizens, ‘What do you want Colorado Springs to be in 10 years,’” the website said.
When finalized, the comprehensive plan will give city leadership a guide for how and where residents want to see money spent for development, revitalization, recreation and housing.