Get-acquainted meeting for study consultants, No Man’s Land denizens

       Property and business owners will have a chance to get acquainted Monday, April 10 with the consultants in the “No Man's Land” study that is just getting underway.
       The informal meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Manitou Springs City Hall, 606 Manitou Ave.
       The main consultant on the project is Nolte Associates Inc., which has subcontracted with the Leland Consulting Group for much of the field work. According to Mike Hussey, the project manager for Nolte, 82 postcards were mailed out April 4 to property and business owners, inviting them to the meeting.
       Because of the multiple jurisdictions (Manitou, Colorado Springs and El Paso County) and many years of public neglect - as exemplified by the lack of updated drainage structures, sidewalks, crosswalks and other amenities - some local officials have given the nickname, “No Man's Land,” to a 1 ˝-mile segment of Colorado and Manitou avenues roughly between 33rd Street and Manitou's Highway 24 interchange.
       Much of that area is under scrutiny now as the result of a grant obtained by Kitty Clemens, Manitou's economic development director. Nolte and Leland plan to work over the next several months to gather and analyze data along that corridor. The information could then be used to help plan any future public or private improvements.
       The meeting is intended to help explain what's happening. “We want a very open process and the people to be educated about the opportunities,” said Anne Ricker, who is coordinating the effort for the Leland Group.
       Hussey recently clarified the exact boundaries for the corridor's study area. On the north side of the avenue, it goes from the Manitou interchange to 33rd. On the south side, it goes from the interchange only to Ridge Road, with the south boundary being Highway 24. Going east, the north boundary zig-zags somewhat inside the Manitou city limits before including the Garden of the Gods Campground. The rest of the way to 33rd, the study area takes in just the properties fronting on the avenue.
       These boundaries will not necessarily be final. “It's better to initially expand the boundaries,” Hussey said. “It's easier to reduce them once we get more data and information.”

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