In 2018, the Colorado Water Conservation Board (the CWCB) published the current version of the State’s Drought Mitigation and Response Plan (the DMRP).  Originally prepared in accordance with the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-390), and adopted by the Office of the Governor, the DMRP is intended to provide State and local authorities with “effective and systematic” methods of combatting short- and long-term water shortages throughout Colorado.  The DMRP contemplates a three-phase Drought Plan Implementation Cycle, with Phase 3 of the cycle activated in times of extreme or exceptional drought.

On November 30, 2020, for only the second time in history, Governor Jared Polis initiated Phase 3 of the DMRP, and activated the Municipal Water Impact Task Force (MWITF). According to the CCWB, the MWITF’s current objective is to “coordinate with water providers across the state to prepare for anticipated water challenges into 2021.”

Governor Polis’ decision to activate the MWITF arrives in the face of persisting severe statewide drought conditions.  In August 2020, for the first time in eight years, federal officials designated 100% of Colorado as abnormally dry or in a state of drought, and as of November 3, 2020, drought conditions in nearly 25% of the State were classified as “extreme.”  Current federal forecasting models project that similar drought conditions will persist throughout Colorado well into 2021.  Coloradoans, as they so often do, will pray for increased snowfall throughout the remainder of the winter.  However, if forecasts hold true, a proactive approach by the MWITF, CWCB, and various local governmental officials may prove vital to guiding Coloradoans through a drought-ridden 2021.

Chaffee Park may become the first Denver neighborhood to be entirely rezoned for the sole purpose of allowing accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on all residential lots of at least 4,500 square feet.  The Denver Planning Board unanimously approved the community-generated proposal on September 16, 2020, and the rezoning proposal now awaits City Council review and adoption.  The proposed zone districts are the same as the current districts except that they allow the ADU use, either within the primary structure or in a detached structure.  The Chaffee Park neighborhood extends generally from 48th Avenue on the south to 52nd Avenue on the north, and from Federal Boulevard on the west to Kalamath Street on the east.

Continue Reading Chaffee Park Proposed Rezoning

Yesterday, Colorado Springs further solidified its standing as “Olympic City USA” with the grand opening of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum.  The 60,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility, soon to be connected to America the Beautiful Park via a 250-foot pedestrian bridge, cost $91 million to construct, and was aided by the Colorado Economic Development Commission’s 2013 dedication of up to $120.5 million of state sales tax revenue to Colorado Springs for its City for Champions initiative.  The initiative, designed to attract tourists to the City of Colorado Springs through the development of a host of unique destinations, includes the museum, the proposed Air Force Academy Gateway Visitor Center complex, a new downtown sports stadium, and the William J. Hybl Sports Medicine & Performance Center on the UCCS campus. Continue Reading Olympic City USA