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OWN meeting in restaurant/bar proves popular

       Despite cold weather and snowfall that morning, the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) attracted close to 30 people to its annual town hall the night of Jan. 23, on the first known occasion it has held a meeting in a restaurant/tavern.

A view from behind shows the layout of the OWN town hall in the lower floor of Meadow Muffins' back area Jan. 23. Speaking is business co-owner Selina Delahanty, with OWN President Welling Clark standing behind her.
Westside Pioneer photo

       OWN President Welling Clark and other board members expressed satisfaction with the arrangement during the meeting at Meadow Muffins in Old Colorado City, receiving a vocal affirmation from attendees when he asked if they preferred a similar venue again. Meetings in the past have been held in community rooms at the Westside Community Center or Gold Hill police station.
       The meeting's business included a question/answer with City Council President Keith King, whose district includes the OWN Neighborhood Strategy Area (NSA); as well as the filling of a vacancy on the OWN board.
       Among the subjects discussed by King was “form-based code,” a city construction-review strategy that was conceptually suggested for the older Westside five years ago but temporarily postponed. At that time, a city planner had defined it as a way of streamlining reviews by pre-establishing standards that are considered compatible with neighborhoods. A benefit to the Westside could be to address the current situation in which owners of older homes often find that existing construction does not comply with modern zoning.

City Council President Keith King answers a question from the audience during the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) town hall Jan. 23.
Westside Pioneer photo

       King said his idea is to establish form-based code along Colorado Avenue between the city limits with Manitou and around 23rd Street so as to establish a “consistent philosophy” for development.
       Clark expressed support, saying the strategy could provide “synergy” to that part of the avenue, which includes the west-of-31st area nicknamed “No Man's Land.”
       The public will get a chance to be involved in the form-based effort, although King said he did not think that would happen for “a month or so” because of the unavailability till then of the necessary city staff.
       The new OWN board member is John Whitmire, who said he has lived on the Westside for three and a half years and has a background in construction management. He was the only candidate for the vacancy, which has one year left on a three-year term.
       The OWN board has nine members in all. Unopposed and reaffirmed for three-year terms at the town hall were incumbents Clark, Vice President Mary Gallivan and Secretary Chris Baum.
       In other issues:       
  • King said he would look into a complaint by OWN board member Joel Beck about what he believes is chronically poor compaction on city street repairs.       
  • Clark said the Westside Avenue Action Plan study is continuing - particularly on the segment between the Adams Crossing bridge and Ridge Road - with a public meeting anticipated in March to consider different options. The study will direct $12 million in construction work (using funds allocated by voters for the city/county Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority), starting in 2015 along the avenue between 31st Street and Manitou's Highway 24 overpass.

    Westside Pioneer article
    (Posted 1/26/14)