The Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN) will host a Future of Old Colorado City Focus Group from 6:30 – 8 p.m. Oct. 22 at Westside Community Center, 1628 W. Bijou St. This focus group effort intends to address all potential developments in and around the OCC area.

“This type of endeavor has not been attempted before, and we are cutting new ground,” said Welling Clark, president of OWN, in a news release. “If this works, it could be used as a template for other areas of the city experiencing similar issues.”

The review panel includes an architect, developers, business owners, and representatives from Old Colorado City Associates, OCC Special Improvement Maintenance District, City Planning Department, Discover Goodwill, and the two developers who have expressed interest in the Goodwill property on West Colorado Avenue.

According to the news release, objectives of the focus group include:

  • Solicit public input for compilation in characterizing what residents and businesses deem adds stability and synergy to the OCC environment.
  • Establish a “here’s what we want” recommendation for any developer looking at buying the Goodwill property or developing near the OCC area.
  • Have City Planning Department staff present to provide information on what can be done and how things are done, in case the public wishes to initiate an effort.
  • OWN has been asked by a developer to lead the effort to make Westside Plan much stricter; almost to a form based code standard. Should this be done?
  • To get all concerned about OCC’s future on the same page.
  • Let them know what is going on, get input, and how to stay in touch.
  • Invite the media to attend and to see how the Westside is trying to help.
  • Identify project characteristics that add to OCC stability and provide synergy.
  • Make it financially viable for a developer.
  • Help Goodwill get the same/more amount of payment Kum & Go offered.
  • Fill out two surveys of the public’s vision for the future: Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments’ multi-modal traffic survey and Aging in the Westside.

OWN will also host a town-hall meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 17 at Westside Community Center, to provide updates on area efforts with Westside Avenue Action Plan, Colorado Springs Police Department, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, and school district candidates.

For more information, visit the Westside Community Center website.

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