City Planning gets on board with Angler’s Covey

       Angler's Covey is off the hook at last.
       After months of back-and-forth with the city, principal owner Dave Leinweber expressed relief this week that Colorado Springs Planning will recommend approval of the Westside fishing store's proposed new site at the long-vacant northeast corner of Highway 24 and 21st Street.
       The necessary issues “have been resolved,” according to City Planner James Mayerl.
       The proposal is scheduled to go before City Planning Commission Thursday, Oct. 7. Approval by the commission - and later in the month by City Council - would bring what would be one of the region's largest fishing stores closer to reality.
       For 18 years, Angler's Covey has been a 1,200-square-foot facility in a converted house at 917 W. Colorado Ave. The new store would be 5,000 square feet in size, with a 30-foot-high ceiling that would allow indoor casting. In addition, its location next to Fountain Creek would potentially allow outdoor fishing on site.
       “Absolutely,” Leinweber told the Westside Pioneer, when asked if he was glad that the review process is evidently behind him. Although Regional Building must still approve the building itself, he said the structure “isn't really complicated” and that he is “confident enough” of final approval that he hopes to obtain a grading permit within two weeks so as to get a head start on construction.
       When he initially proposed the idea to the city, Leinweber had hoped to open for business last June. As issues rose, the date slipped to December. He now hopes for March.
       There has been no neighborhood opposition to the plan - in fact, the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) has supported him. However, city, state and/or federal issues have arisen regarding creek usage, state highway proximity, 21st Street access, geology and flood control.
       The latter issue set Leinweber against some government officials who believed the most certain flood control would be removing trees along the creek - as the city did with the trailer park near Eighth Street - and installing retaining walls. He said the final agreement calls for retaining 28 creekside cottonwood trees while removing some “trash trees,” thus preserving the natural look of the site.
       According to Leinweber and local historians, the site has never been built on. However, it has been used for debris. Pieces of an early-days hotel that burned are reportedly buried in the ground there, he said.
       Planning Commission and City Council approvals are required because Leinweber and co-owner Tom Perkins of Perkins Motor Company need a conditional use permit to run a retail business in the existing M-1 (manufacturing) zone.

Westside Pioneer article