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New evacuation ordinance passed by Colorado Springs City Council

Posted at 7:43 AM, Jul 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-05 18:49:53-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs City Council voted this week to codify revised and updated emergency evacuation plans for the city.

It passed by a seven to one vote.

The vote comes after months of debate. A group of westside Colorado Springs residents has been actively lobbying for changes to the plan.

“The proposed ordinance does not address the critical elements of the citizen's concerns,” said one citizen commenting before the vote.

The opposition group wanted the ordinance to include specific mapping of evacuation routes. They also pushed for a required evaluation of the potential impact of new development on evacuation times.

Mayor John Suthers told council members he supports the plan. He said he appointed and the City Council approved the Fire Chief, Police Chief and Emergency Managers because they are qualified for their jobs. “I will tell you I’m going to listen to them as to how we ought to proceed,” said Suthers. Several council members expressed similar thoughts about trusting public safety leaders.

Now, the community needs to get on board for the plan to work.

An important element is the division of the city into evacuation zones. “Each person in our community, in our city will have a specific zone for their area where they go to the map and look at that, they’ll see listed the roads they can use to get out of that zone,” said Colorado Springs Fire Chief Randy Royal.

A community-wide public safety campaign called “Know Your Zone” is in the works. It will launch late summer.


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