September 30, 2018

New trees for the neighborhood

Willamette Street

Fall is a great time to think about adding a tree to your yard. Do you have space for a street tree or a tree in your yard? Are you longing for some fall color or spring flowers? Would you like a large shade tree or small ornamental tree? We will have a tree for you during our spring tree sale.

MSRNA has brought over 120 trees into the neighborhood since 2012 with the goal of expanding and diversifying our urban forest. MSRNA is committed to replacing the many street trees we have lost over recent years and we share the cost of those trees with homeowners.

Our 2019 tree order will include oak, catalpa, Tatarian maple, fruitless  white crabapple, Kentucky coffeetree, and redbud. All trees are well-rooted and hardy species adapted to our climate and soils. Trees cost between $35 and $65 depending on variety and planting location.

The tree sale will begin in earnest in January, but early reservations are accepted at any time. If you are interested in more information, send us an email at info@msrna.org

Creek Week Cleanup

Thanks to everyone who participated in the September 29 creek cleanup. Neighborhood volunteers pulled out trash from Pikes Peak to Platte and from Willamette to Uintah. Trash included a TV, fire extinguisher, a tire, a mattress, a chair, and plenty of plastic, paper, and more.

Concrete Couch is creating giant letters spelling out INSPIRE and filling each letter with trash — the Litter Letter  Project. Dedication will be October 3, 12 pm on the NW corner of Hwy 24 and 21st Street. The installation will be there for the month of October–Arts Month.

September 5, 2018

Creek Cleanup — Saturday, Sept 29

Be Part of Creek Week!

Saturday Sept 29
9:00am to 12:00pm
>From Uintah St. to Pikes Peak Ave

Many hands make light work! Be part of Creek Week and keep our neighborhood creek clean and safe. It’s also a great way to connect with others in our community. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes and bring gloves. Come spend an hour or two in the great outdoors. Register and get trash bags at one of these locations:

John “Prairie Dog” O’Byrne Park at Bijou and Corona

North Shooks Run Park on Franklin just north of Willamette

Questions? Contact us at info@msrna.org
 

Bicycle Parade & Carnival

Saturday, Sept 15
11:00am to 2:00pm
North Shooks Run Park

Kids on Bikes (a local non-profit) presents a special family bicycle event starting from any of six locations that all end at Shooks Run Park (or ride directly there). Dress up as your choice of ride theme and we’ll see you at the park!

Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy time with family, friends and everything bikes! Family games and music. Free! Register at https://www.facebook.com/events/416602995445796/.

August 15, 2018

Neighborhood Ice Cream Social

Fun was had by all at “Prairie Dog” O’Byrne Park!

August 7, 2018

August news

Join Us for a neighborhood Ice Cream Social!

Sunday, August 12
1:00PM to 3:00PM
“Prairie Dog” O’Byrne Park (505 E. Bijou Street)

Everyone in the neighborhood is invited to stop by, enjoy some ice cream, and get to know their neighbors. MSRNA provides the ice cream.

If you’d like, you can bring a lawn chair, outdoor game, or cookies to share. Enjoy this old-time get-together, laid-back, just folks event. Put it on your calendar and don’t forget to come!

Turf Conversion in Shooks Run Park

The Colorado Springs Parks Operations and Maintenance folks notified MSRNA that Shooks Run Park  between Boulder Street and Willamette will be the next area for the Turf Conversion starting August 6. The 8-week project is part of an ongoing effort to replace underutilized, high-maintenance Kentucky bluegrass with more sustainable (low-water) native grasses that require less water and mowing, yet has an appearance similar to Kentucky bluegrass.

In the coming weeks, the bluegrass and weeds in  the park between Boulder Street and Willamette will be removed via a non-selective herbicide (glyphosate). Glyphosate works by blocking an enzyme essential for plant growth. Two applications spaced two weeks apart will begin when conditions are favorable. The applicator will be Commercially Certified through the Colorado Department of Agriculture and will follow all state, federal, and EPA guidelines. The application will take place early in the morning using a properly calibrated sprayer at a low psi which will reduce drift. When the product is applied correctly and in accordance with the label it is safe for the public to reenter once the product has dried on the leaf blade. Please stay on the sidewalks along with your pets and children, and off the turf areas.

The glyphosate application is the first step in the turf-to-native conversion process and is intended to eliminate the existing grass/weeds prior to establishing a stand of native grass. The Parks Department has completed this conversion process in numerous other parks and medians with a high degree of success. For example, the area along Shooks Run between Bijou and Boulder was converted two years ago.

Project signage has been in place for a week that refers to “Poco Shooks Run” which is the park between Boulder Street and Willamette. Additional signage will notify the public when the application of glyphosate will be applied so you can avoid the area if you choose.  At the request of Pikes Peak Urban Gardens, Parks personnel will create a buffer zone around the gardens located on the south end of the park where no glyphosate will be applied.

For project questions, please contact Jarod Clayton, Water Conservation Specialist, at (719) 385-6507 or email jclayton@springsgov.com.

Vacation Rental by Owner (VRBO) Ordinance

Public Meeting:
Tuesday, August 7
5:30PM-7:00PM
Colorado Springs City Auditorium
221 E. Kiowa St.

Do short-term home rentals already affect you and your neighbors? What might be unforeseen effects of VRBO’s in our neighborhood? Share your thoughts and questions at this meeting after the presentation.

At this public meeting, we will hear from City of Colorado Springs Assistant Director of Planning, Meggan Herington, about the the proposed City Ordinance for Vacation Home Rentals. Format of the meeting will be a short briefing of the process, stakeholder input, and changes made, and then facilitation by CONO for Q & A and feedback.

Next steps and Planning Commission dates will be provided at the meeting.  Please attend if you are a VRBO owner or interested neighbor. Questions? Contact Council of Neighbors and Organizations (CONO) info@cscono.org or (719) 471-3105

Soil Cycle turns food waste into compost

Colorado Springs Food Rescue is excited to announce the launch of a new social enterprise: Soil Cycle — the bike-powered hauling service that turns household food waste into compost. Just separate your scraps and they will do the rest. Colorado Springs Food Rescue is starting this service in a limited area from Uintah to Boulder, Hancock to Wahsatch.

“Soil Cycle is designed for impact,” says Nat Stein at CSFR. “Not only does composting reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it also rebalances carbon from the atmosphere into the soil, mitigating against climate crises while improving fertility for growing seasons to come. That’s better than sustainable — it’s regenerative. Plus, proceeds benefit our charitable mission, so, by using Soil Cycle, you’re investing in a local food system that works better for everyone. Early adopters have an outsized effect on the future of composting in Colorado Springs, and it’d be so cool if you were one of them. Visit our website to learn more. And, please, spread the word!”

http://www.coloradospringsfoodrescue.org/soilcycle-land/

Contact Nat Stein, Compost Queen at Colorado Springs Food Rescue, 720-695-2343

June 18, 2018

Public Hearing on Lil Market June 21

Message from City Planner Mike Schultz:

I just wanted to follow up to clarify a few things before Thursday’s public hearing at the City Planning Commission meeting.

I provided the City Planning Commission at the scheduled work session on Thursday, June 14th, email comments (both in support and opposition) that I had received before Tuesday (June 12th) regarding the Land Use applications (see attached, PDF’s #1 and #2) for the Willamette Market.  Earlier today I sent another round of emails to the Commissioners for their consideration in this matter (see attached, PDF’s #3 and #4).  The City Planning Commission will take all comments into consideration, along with all other information presented to them within the Staff report, along with resident applicant comments heard at the public hearing.  The Commissioners will also need to consider the review criteria for each application as well as taking into consideration the City’s Comprehensive Plan and Infill Supplement.  The Commissioners, after considering all information presented to them, will forward a recommendation to City Council, either to approve or deny the applications as presented, or they could modify staff’s recommendations.

Because the zone change, development plan and non-use variance are considered quasi-judicial items, City Planning Commissioners and City Councilmembers cannot be contacted or lobbied by either citizens or the applicant; below is the section of the City Code regarding quasi-judicial applications.

City Code Section 7.5.105.B. Quasi-Judicial: After an application is submitted to the City, the staff reviews the application and accompanying information and prepares a report and recommendation for presentation at a public hearing. The decision is based completely on facts, evidence and testimony presented at the hearing and evaluated using this Zoning Code requirements and criteria. A decision is made at the hearing, or the matter is taken under advisement and a record of decision is released. Decision makers may not be contacted or lobbied.

Staff would like to clarify Staff’s recommendation on the rezoning, Staff is recommending that the rezoning to C-5 (Intermediate Business) carry certain conditions of record that will either restrict many uses or has changed other uses from permitted to conditional uses that Staff believed were inappropriate for this site and the neighborhood.  Staff is also recommending some operational parameters associated with the use of the property, those parameters are listed below and will be noted on the development plan (note that these operational parameters cannot be modified without a formal amendment request and notification to the neighborhood; this will not necessarily trigger a public hearing and decision by either City Planning Commission and/or City Council unless Staff refers the request or the decision is appealed).  The below parameters have been agreed to by the property owner and the current tenants.  Please keep in mind that there are no operational standards in place for the property other than the use of the property is considered legal non-conforming is not allowed to expand, either physically or that of the proposed liquor license (which is on hold until the rezoning is resolved).

  • Hours of Operation:
    • Sunday – Thursday: No earlier than 6 a.m. / no later than 8 p.m.
    • Friday and Saturday: No earlier than 6 a.m. / no later than 10 p.m.

(Note: Closing hours should not imply that customers would not be permitted to finish meal/drink and have vacated the building by that time.  Service to customers should end at or before required closing time; the owner/tenant should make efforts to ensure customers are off the premises within a reasonable amount of time after closing).

  • Outdoor Seating: Outdoor patio seating is limited to the west patio only.  The existing picnic tables located within the boulevard/tree lawn may remain.
  • Music: No amplified music, including speakers, may be used on the patio.
  • Smoking: No smoking allowed on the patio.
  • Signage: Illuminated signage is limited to backlit or internally lit signage.  Any exposed neon or excessively bright signage is prohibited anywhere on the building or displayed within a window.
  • Employee Parking: Employees should be encouraged to either use alternative transportation (i.e. walking, biking, motorcycle, moped, mass transit, etc.) or encouraged to park west along Willamette Ave.  (Note: Staff and the owner understand that the enforceability of this provision may be difficult; owner and tenant(s) should work with their staff and the neighborhood regarding on-street parking).
  • Amendments: Amendments to these provisions may be administratively reviewed and amended at any time, however, notification to property owners within 1,000-feet of the property and to the neighborhood organization must be given to allow citizen comment.

To view the entire Staff report you can visit the City Planning Commission website by clicking on either link below:

https://coloradosprings.gov/planning-and-development/page/planning-commission?mlid=9586

Scroll down and click on “City of Colorado Springs Planning Commission” link about halfway down the page.

Or

https://coloradosprings.legistar.com/DepartmentDetail.aspx?ID=26376&GUID=03445EB2-ADC0-4E1E-A73D-8A0FF5E35326

Click on the June 21st agenda link, find the Willamette Market agenda items and click on the staff report or the figures provided to the Commissioners.

The Planning Commission meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. in the City Council Chambers (3rd floor) of City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Avenue.  Public comments are generally limited to 3 minutes per person unless there is designated speaker on behalf of a group of residents.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Thank you,

 

Mike Schultz

Principal Planner

Phone (719) 385-5089

Email mdschultz@springsgov.com

 

Land Use Review

Planning & Community Development

30 S. Nevada Ave, Suite #105

Colorado Springs, CO 80901

Office Main: (719)385-5905

May 30, 2018

Homelessness issues

The board of directors of Middle Shooks Run Neighborhood Association met with Andy Phelps, City Homeless Prevention and Response Coordinator and Middle Shooks Run resident, in May 2018. He outlined the problems of homelessness in our community and brought us up to date concerning progress made and future plans.

Andy invited anyone in the community to contact him at aphelps@springsgov.com regarding information and how individuals can help. Here is a 7-page brief on homelessness issues and approaches in Colorado Springs from Richard Skorman, City Council President, and Andy Phelps. Click here: Skorman-Phelps Homelessness Brief MAY 2018 UPDATE-1

The City of Colorado Springs will be launching a new approach: the “Better Way to Give” campaign aimed at educating residents about how they can effectively help by giving directly to service providers while discouraging giving to panhandlers. The campaign will include strategically placed signs at key panhandling spots in the City, setting up a text-to-give functionality and an informative website. Signage will also be offered to downtown businesses.

The next board of directors meeting for MSRNA is set for June 13, 2018. For more information please contact info@msrna.org.

 

March 15, 2018

Make Shooks Run Creek Cleaner!

Shooks Run Creek Cleanup
Saturday, April 21
9:00am-12:00pm

Celebrate Earth Day and the Great American Cleanup by helping clean up our neighborhood creek. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes and bring gloves. Register and pick up trash bags at one of these locations on Saturday morning: Prairie Dog O’Byrne Park (505 E. Bijou St) OR North Shooks Run Park on Franklin Street just north of Willamette.

“This is so much fun!”

We will be picking up trash in the creek from Uintah Street south to Pikes Peak Avenue. When our event ends at noon, the Sustain-a-Fest celebration starts at Boulder & El Paso Streets with food trucks, live music, informative booths.

Meet Your Neighbors April 11

MSRNA Annual Meeting
Wednesday, April 11
6:00-8:00pm
Community Prep School Gym, 332 E. Willamette

Everybody welcome!  Come learn what MSRNA did in 2017 and what’s in store for 2018. Find out how you can make a large or small difference in your neighborhood.

PLUS: it’s a pleasure and a privilege to hear a presentation from local historian Tim Scanlon who will talk about the origins and development of Middle Shooks Run neighborhood –learn what makes Middle Shooks Run unique!

Bring a dessert to share at 6:00pm. We will provide the coffee. The meeting officially runs 6:30 to 8:00pm.

January 15, 2018

2018 MSRNA Tree Sale

Neighborhood Tree program sold out for 2018!

UPDATE 3/15/18: We are sold out! You can get on the list for next year, if you like.

This is MSRNA’s fifth neighborhood tree planting project. How it works: MSRNA buys trees from Trees Across Colorado then offers them for sale to residents in our neighborhood. TAC is a program of the Colorado Tree Coalition (coloradotrees.org) and provides trees to towns and community groups all over the state.

Over the past six years more than 100 trees have been planted to replace the many trees lost to disease, old age, and drought. Our neighborhood tree program diversifies the trees shading our streets, yards, and homes with species suited to our climate. Since 2012, a portion of each MSRNA membership has gone to the Tree Fund. Our priority is to increase the number of hardy trees along our streets, between the sidewalk and the curb.

 

If you want to plant a street tree, you need to apply for a forestry permit at https://parks.coloradosprings.gov/parks-recreation-and-cultural-services/webform/forestry-permit-request. Under Work to be Done, select “plant.” Under Company Doing the Work, insert “homeowner;” planting does not need to be done by a licensed tree service. City Forestry will confirm the planting site after receipt of your application. If you need a stump removed, contact a private tree contractor to have this done.

Any questions, email us at info@msrna.org.

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