City kicks off RetoolCOS info sessions


Colorado Springs | by Helen Robinson

The city is inviting everyone to learn about RetoolCOS — an update to Colorado Springs’ zoning and subdivision ordinance — and how the community can get involved at an open house, 6-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 3.

The city’s zoning ordinance, which dictates how property owners can use their land, will be updated to carry out the vision of PlanCOS, a two-year community effort to establish the comprehensive plan for the physical development of Colorado Springs.

The ordinance includes regulations such as building height, setbacks between properties and rights-of-ways, what uses are permitted, and how many parking spaces must be provided for various development types.

The presentation and open house will be held at Pikes Peak Regional Building Department, 2880 International Circle (2nd floor).

City staff and the project team will share the goals of the project, basic land use and zoning issues and processes, and types of changes that may be made to the land use and zoning ordinance. They’ll discuss successes and shortcomings of the city’s current zoning and subdivision ordinance as it relates to implementing PlanCOS.

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According to a news release from the city, RetoolCOS will revise the Zoning and Subdivision Ordinance, Chapter 7 of City Code, which has not been comprehensively updated since the late 1990s, with the goal of establishing a new, modern and more user-friendly Unified Development Code.

RetoolCOS will focus on zoning topics such as site design and landscape standards, providing flexibility for mixed-use development and making the zoning code more user-friendly, according to the city, but will not focus on areas such as building and construction codes or sign regulations.

It won’t focus on short-term rentals and accessory dwelling units either — they’re being reviewed through a separate process.

At key points in the process, the public will have the chance to learn about the proposed technical updates, as well as provide input, before final adoption by City Council.

For more information about RetoolCOS and the update, visit


PlanCOS, the city’s guide for the physical development of Colorado Springs over the next 20 years, was adopted by City Council in January 2019. It is focused around six themes: vibrant neighborhoods, unique places, thriving economy, strong connections, renowned culture and majestic landscapes; PlanCOS establishes the City’s land-use vision and directs how the City will accommodate future growth and change while building upon the strengths of existing communities.