As beautiful and amazing as Colorado Springs is, this region also has its risks when it comes to natural phenomenon. Landsides are one such risk which have plagued some neighborhoods, in particular west of Interstate 25. Over the last year, almost 30 homes have been destroyed due to landslides, and many have raised concerns that these incidents could have been less damaging if better safeguards had been in place. In an effort to save homes in the future, the Colorado Springs Council has passed a new ordinance.
As reported by the Gazette, the ordinance has been in the works for the last several months to address how home planning and developments should be improved. Geological surveys have shown there are several areas, primarily west of Interstate 25, which are susceptible to landslides in times of heavy rainfall, as was the case last year. Within these areas, homes need to be built with the risk of landslide kept in mind. The Colorado Geological Survey (CGS) can help builders determine different solutions to keep homes safe, but builders also need to put these solutions into practice.
With the new ordinance, a specific process must be followed before homes in landslide areas can be built. Builders must now get a geological hazard report from CGS, and follow recommendations to safeguard homes. There is an appeal and review process which can be requested at the cost of the applicants if a builder disagrees with the findings. Once a final site plan has been approved, the CGS will now be able to confirm if approved recommendations have been implemented. If they have, an improvement location certificate will be issued which will allow for a certificate of occupancy to be issued by the city as well.
The new ordinance covers homes being built within high-risk areas. These areas include 100-year floodplains, land mapped by the CGS which shows landslide susceptibility or mine subsidence, any hillside or streamside overlay zone. Also covered are potentially unstable slopes, areas with a history of landfill, documented or not, and any other geologic hazards which can’t be confirmed through standard building processes.
The new law also requires geographical hazard reports on individual property lots, not just for a development as a whole. This will help ensure any home susceptible to landslide risk won’t be left out. ColoradoSprings.gov also has an in-depth web page dedicated to information about landslides, what has been happening and what is being done to help protect homes. You can also find out if your home may be at a higher risk.
With the landslide ordinance, new homes around Colorado Springs will be better protected against the risk of landslides, and homeowners will be better informed. When you are ready to sell, or buy your home, working with a Realtor® who knows the region will give you an inside expert to help you through the process. We at Springs LifeStyles Real Estate are here to help you with all your real estate needs! Call Kathy Stenberg at (719) 963-4867 or you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also visit us at our website for available listings and additional information.