Apr 7, 2014 11:24 PM by Maddie Garrett

Council Looking Ahead with Major Ordinances Being Proposed

Colorado Springs City Council is taking on more key issues than normal this week, with four proposed changes to the city ordinance. From keeping pets as goats, to water restrictions tariffs, eminent domain and funeral processions, many could be considered pro-active proposals by city council.

Thanks to plenty of snow and recent moisture, Colorado Springs probably won't need water restrictions this summer, but another drought could be in our future.

"It's just simply a mechanism in place depending on what's needed in future years," said CSU Chief Planning and Finance Officer, Bill Cherrier.

The City is proposing making water restriction tariffs a permanent fixture, easy to activate or de-activate without council having to vote on a new ordinance every year.

"If it is needed we can simply have the council take one of the actions under the water shortage ordinance," explained Cherrier.

Eminent domain is another that's looking ahead.

"I am bringing up an ordinance that would strengthen property rights for business owners and property owners in Colorado Springs," said Councilman Joel Miller.

Miller wants to make sure eminent domain is only used for traditional government functions, like streets, utilities and taking care of blighted property. He doesn't think it should be used for economic development or to increase tax revenues.

"You can invest in property as a business owner and not have to think that the city will come up with a better use for it," said Miller.

He said his proposal was spurred by a state and national up-tick in eminent domain use, not because of City for Champions. But Miller said the issue has come up.

"I actually have property owners in southwest downtown approach me concerned about architectural renderings drawn on their property," said Miller.

Another more unusual, but just as important ordinance is one that would make sure people can keep goats as pets, as long as they're under 100 pounds. It would be for people who want to be able to make and sustain their own food, like milk, cheese and yogurt.

"For people who are looking to be more self sufficient, who want to know where their food comes from, and who want the experience," said Lindsey Aparicio, who has several goats, chickens and her own garden.

Council member Jill Gaebler is supporting this ordinance. She added that by classifying goats as pets, it includes other rules such as cleaning up after them, noise control and keeping them under supervision.

"This is part of a much bigger picture of our community in trying to become a more food sustainable community," said Gaebler.

The fourth ordinance being proposed would allow private companies to get permits to escort funeral processions if police are not able to escort them. Several other cities, including Denver, already have similar ordinances.

City Council is set to meet tomorrow, Tuesday, at 1:00pm, to vote on some of these ordinances.



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