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Building height limits on the agenda Monday in Colorado Springs

A proposed resolution in the work session agenda would send the issue to voters in November.
Building Height Colorado Springs
Posted at 3:08 PM, Jun 23, 2024

COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs City Council is set to discuss the future of building heights in the city.

On Monday, City Council members will meet for a work session to discuss sending the issue to city voters in November.

The debate over this issue started after a developer proposed a 36-story apartment complex for an area of downtown Colorado Springs that does not have zoning height limits.

Proposed 36-story Apartment Building Would Change Downtown Skyline

Councilmember Dave Donelson (District 1) first proposed the height restriction in December 2023. Organizers started a petition in April calling for the issue to be sent to the November ballot. That petition right now has over 5,000 signatures.

Currently, the tallest building in Colorado Springs is the Wells Fargo Tower. It was built in 1990 and is 247 feet tall. The proposed apartment complex would be significantly taller than that.

Tallest Buildings Under Zoning

While right now, there are no height restrictions for buildings in Colorado Springs, this was not always the case. As pointed out by the City Council, before 1960 a restriction was set at 50 feet for certain zoning areas.

In 1960, the city adopted a high-rise zone for an area in southwest downtown Colorado Springs. You can see that area in a slide from a City Council presentation below.

Downtown Building Height.png

Those who support the new apartment complex argue it would bring economic benefits as well as additional housing to the area.

At the end of May, News 5's Brett Forest did an in-depth analysis of what that economic benefit could look like. Brett spoke with Tatiana Bailey, a Colorado Springs-based economist and founder of Data-Driven Economic Strategies.

Bailey was responsible for the original analysis of the building created back in 2021, and while details have changed with the proposal it would have a significant economic impact.

Bailey projected the associated labor income would be $206 million, with an associated value add of $323 million towards the regional gross metropolitan product.

Analysis: High-rise buildings and their economic impact on communities

News5 plans to be at the work session and will bring you the latest on the City Council's decision on Monday.
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