A special city council public meeting was held Tuesday night to discuss the proposed annexation of over 3,000 acres southeast of Colorado Springs, known as the Amara Development.
It was a full house, as council members, locals, and developers met to discuss the proposed Amara annexation. Those in favor of the annexation say it will be an economic boost for the city and will provide more housing.
Those opposed to the annexation are worried about the same thing.
“As we live in the desert, we must live, plan, and act like it with our resources,” voiced one of the local residents in the room.
At the podium several local residents made the remarks that the drought across the Western United States should raise eyebrows. A region that is experiencing the worst drought in 1,200 years. The region Colorado Springs residents live in. And some local residents are very concerned.
“Colorado Springs is fast outgrowing its water supply,” said one local resident.
“My concern with the proposed development is mainly concerning water,” voiced another resident.
Residents aren’t the only people thinking about the city’s water supply.
Last week, Colorado Springs Utilities proposed a water rule that would limit annexations. This was another big discussion at the meeting. The Colorado River supplies 70% of the Colorado Springs Utilities water supply. As the river continues to run low, Colorado Springs Utilities is looking for ways to make sure the city acts sustainably.
“As we’re trying to make sure that we have enough water for the future, we are continuing to always acquire more rights for our customers. We have a sustainable water plan, so we have a goal of acquiring water rights for our customers to keep growing our water system,” said Lisa Barbato, Colorado Springs Utilities.
Right now, Colorado Springs Utilities says Colorado Springs has 26 percent more water than residents are using.
But the water rule would require that the city have at least 30 percent of additional water before annexing any additional land outside city limits. They call this a 130% target because it’s 30 percent more than the 100 percent of water being used by residents now.
“Really that target now is a preliminary target that we’ve established. Really having conversations with our board on what that right level is,” said Barbato.
I spoke with the developer after the meeting. He didn’t want to go on camera, but he said this will not cost the residents in Colorado Springs any money. This was the last meeting with public input. City Council will decide on this next month.
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