NewsCovering Colorado


Colorado Springs Utilities appeals order to stop work on water tank

Citing city code, Colorado Springs Utilities has moved to appeal a stop-work order over a controversial water tank and will continue construction.
Posted at 6:44 PM, Sep 07, 2023

COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs Utilities will continue construction on a controversial water tank above Flying W Ranch after submitting an appeal of a city stop-work order.

Neighbors demanded the city step in after Colorado Springs Utilities told them a new water tank would be 40-45 feet tall. Instead, the Wilson Water tank was built above its permitted height at 60 feet tall.

However, Utilities will continue construction despite that stop-work order.

The appeal to the City Planning Department filed on September 7 states, "Under City Code, a perfected appeal operates as a stay of the stop-work order. Springs Utilities will continue work on the tank as permitted during the pendency of the appeal."

Larry Starr lives right behind the new tank in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood. He says originally, he was in support of the new water tank as it was approved by the city. But he was disappointed to watch construction grow taller and taller over time.

"My reaction to that was one of complete and utter surprise," said Starr. "This is a situation where something landed in my backyard and went out of control".

The new water tank will be built next to an older one that Utilities says is in need of an upgrade. The older water tower is 40 feet tall.

"Colorado Springs Utilities said right up until they couldn't say it anymore that the tank would be like the existing tank of similar height and that they would be putting trees around it," continued Starr. "It's not landscape-able at 60 feet."

In part of a statement sent to News5, Colorado Springs Utilities acknowledged the failure to communicate. "Unfortunately, we failed to communicate the accurate height to the neighborhood in a timely manner. The correct tank dimensions have been filed in an amended development plan submitted to City Planning on July 18, which follows the City’s process for approval."

The city submitted an amended development plan to the Zoning and Planning Committee. If approved, it will head to City Council for the final word moving forward.


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