Planning for Tomorrow: Creating and Launching Colorado Springs' Preservation Master Plan

A session by Stan Clauson AICP, ASLA, Roxanne Eflin, Patrick Rawley, Dan Sexton and Ron Sladek
Stan Clauson Associates, Inc., Roxanne Eflin Consulting, Stan Clauson Associates, Inc., City of Colorado Springs, Planning & Community Development Department and Tatanka Historical Associates

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About this session

Why are Historic Preservation Master Plans important and why should communities invest in developing a city-wide approach to preservation? In December 2019, Colorado Springs approved its new preservation plan known as HistoricCOS. This session will explore how the plan was envisioned, created and adopted through the work of passionate community members. Learn how city-wide support for the plan was achieved and how it will ensure incorporation of historic and cultural resources as a central part of the ongoing economic and community development strategy of Colorado Springs.

HistoricCOS represents the first new Historic Preservation Plan since 1993. One City Councilor summarized this three-year achievement with this statement, “I am proud of the immense work that went into creating this plan at this time. This is an incredible accomplishment for this City.” Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers supported this statement affirming that with HistoricCOS “the City is more than a collection of roads and buildings, it is a “palate of place” where the stories of those who came before us are appreciated and celebrated.” HistoricCOS celebrates the legacies of Colorado Springs' founders and those who followed. Through HistoricCOS, historic preservation in the City of Colorado Springs is best understood at the neighborhood level and influenced by willing and active members of the community. The acceptance and incorporation of historic and cultural resources is a central part of the ongoing economic and community development strategy of the City.

Four members of the master plan consulting team and the lead Senior Planner will discuss how Colorado’s second-largest city developed the plan, the types of collaboration that were required, the challenges facing its success and implementation, how funding for the plan was secured, and what key elements were considered in its adoption. This case study can be adapted to communities of all sizes and highlights the critical importance of updating already established plans.

Stan Clauson AICP, ASLA

American Institute of Certified Planners, American Society of Landscape Architects