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OWN column: Robbin Place appeal; WAAP, redistrict presentations

       By Welling Clark, President, Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN)

       OWN is assisting the residents off Chestnut, Boulder and St. Vrain streets with regard to the Robbin Place developer who wants to place three duplexes, each three stories high, on small lots. (See the Westside Pioneer article at this link.)
John Wise (standing, on guitar) leads his trio during the OWN-sponsored Westside Neighbors Picnic July 16. More than 100 people enjoyed a free barbecue lunch and live music during the annual two-hour event in the grassy area outside the Westside Community Center. No longer aided by city funds, OWN successfully fund-raised ahead of time to keep the annual event going.
Westside Pioneer photo

       The property has a severe slope, and OWN and 13 residents submitted letters of concern to the city.
       The City Planning Commission approved a subdivision waiver Aug. 18, allowing access by the alley for the future duplexes because there is none from a street.
       Under city regulations, the commission vote would end citizen input on this matter; the developer's building plans, including his landslide-prevention methods, would be handled administratively.
       Concerned that this is a public-process loophole with city-wide impact, OWN has joined the Council of Neighbors and Organizations (CONO) in appealing the Planning Commission decision to City Council.
       If you have a concern about a Westside development, OWN is here to help. Infill needs to match a neighborhood in terms of form (it looks like it belongs there) and function (its operation will add to the synergy of the area).

       Council redistrict briefing Sept. 7
       City Council District lines are being redrawn. OWN is hosting a briefing on what the proposed districts might mean for the Westside.
       The briefing, open to the public, will be held Wednesday, Sept. 7 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Westside Community Center, 1628 W. Bijou St.

       WAAP update Sept. 8
       An update of the Westside Avenue Action Plan (WAAP) will be presented by project engineers to the OWN board Thursday, Sept 8 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Community Center.
       All Westsiders are welcome to attend and get the latest information on this major project to upgrade Colorado Avenue west of 31st Street.
       WAAP updates are available on the project website, westsideavenueplan.com.
       Afterward, the OWN board will have its bimonthly planning meeting to discuss neighborhood concerns and issues.

       Shield 616
       Have you ever wondered how you could support local law enforcement? Shield 616 is an organization whose goals are to equip all Colorado Springs police officers with modern, armored vest packages.
       Shield 616 is mindful of limited department budgets. Not only will all of the gear be donated but replaced every five years at no cost.
       Shield 616 was formed with the vision of “sponsoring a cop” through local individuals, churches, Bible study groups, businesses, and foundations.
       The organization name comes from Ephesians 6:16 in the Bible: “Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
       For more information go to:shield616.org or call Jake at 719 640-0799.

       OWN contact info
       OWN is a volunteer advocacy group for the older Westside. For more information, call 471-4023 or e-mail info@westsideneighbors.org.

(Posted 9/1/16; Opinion: Guest Columns)

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