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Colorado Springs carport amendment narrowly passes Planning Commission, now awaits final OK from City Council

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- In a close 4-3 vote Thursday, the Colorado Springs Planning Commission approved changes to the city ordinance regulating carports, bringing the controversial issue one step closer to a final resolution.

"Several of the citizens are having either physical disabilities, are senior citizens or had financial problems during the pandemic that made it difficult for them to comply with removing the carports," said Commissioner John Almy, who voted against the proposed changes and expressed his concern.

The matter now goes before the City Council next month for final action. Earlier this year, the council sent the matter back to the commission, after several carport owners appealed the commission's initial approval of an amendment to the existing ordinance.

The amendment would allow existing carports within a 25-foot setback area between a home and a public sidewalk or curb, to remain as long as they are at least five feet from the sidewalk or curb, to avoid creating safety issues that would block views of passing traffic or approaching pedestrians.

Nearly 90 homeowners were cited for violating the carport ordinance and faced the possibility of removing the structures -- which led to the public outcry against the proposed changes.

The city's Neighborhood Services office, which drafted the amendment after meeting with carport owners, said it will work with the cited owners to see that the structures meet city requirements.

"This is a much more complicated issue than it initially appears," said director Mitch Hammes. "In trying to balance architectural and safety issues with costs to construct these, it's a difficult situation."

Under the proposed amendment, new carports would have to meet the same requirements and in some cases may require a permit or inspection.

The amendment also would, for the first time, allow carports to exist at homes with two-door garages.

According to Neighborhood Services, if the council approves the changes, Colorado Springs would join the few cities across the country that legally allow carports.

At next week's meeting, the council expects to extend a 60-day moratorium on citing violators and installing new carports, allowing council members enough time to consider and vote on the issue.

Colette Cook, a neighborhood activist and carport owner, said Thursday that the council's approval would mean many carports would have to be shortened or otherwise altered to meet the new requirements.

"I'm considering a metal cutter so that I can shorten my carport myself," she said. "Some people would have to hire someone to do it. I'm not sure how many people can afford it. Some people would have to remove their carports if they can't meet the requirements. But I think that most carport owners are in favor of the changes because they'll still get to keep their carports, and they've invested a lot of money in them."

Carports are commonly used by homeowners who don't have room in their garages to park vehicles; to protect vehicles from hail damage and other extreme weather; and to provide shelter for elderly and disabled residents getting in and out of vehicles.

Critics said that carports can be eyesores inconsistent with the look of a house or a neighborhood. The city enforces its carport ordinance only after receiving complaints from neighbors, so it's unclear whether the proposed carport amendment would change that trend.

Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.

Comments

15 Comments

  1. wow, I wouldn’t want my neighbor building such a monstrosity. I guess there are some benefits of an HOA.

    1. Why do you thinj what your neighbor does is really your business? As long as it isn’t dangerous I say mind your own business.
      I am thankful we do jot have an HOA. We also do not have a car port and Technically are outside the city limits in Security so we only follow County rules. With that said sure if it is actually impeding the view of traffic that is one thing but simply a “Karen” for a neighbor is petty.
      I do however find it odd that in an area that is so conservative that they would want even more over reach against people’s freedoms.

      #mineyourbusiness

      1. It is not an over reach on freedom. If you take that stance then there is a number of things many people will do that is wrong and say it is their freedom. When you move into a neighborhood you should strive to become one of the community. So many great benefits to community, but everyone has to do their part. If everyone was selfish and just did what they pleased then it would no longer be a good place to live. Why follow speed limits or traffic signs, that is limiting your freedom in driving or do you do it because it keeps the community and yourself safe if everyone follows the same rules. I am not against carports, I am against shoddy carports that are not safe from personal experience. See below. They just need to be regulated to be safe for the community.

  2. Another issue is typically insurance companies do not cover car ports on the home owners policy. So if someone has one and does not or did not properly anchor it and weather picks it up and it damages a house or another car they are not covered. So then you have to sue the homeowner personally to get reimbursed for the damages. I use to live in a neighborhood where they had several and this happened to the guy down the street. The lady next door tried to dodge it saying she was poor and can’t afford the extra insurance for the car port and she has no money if taken to court. So what happened…… his car insurance company paid for the repair and sued the lady and won.
    So I am all for inspections, permits and regulations for everyone’s sake. Especially making it a requirement to show it is a insured structure in order to have it.

    1. And if sued, you could end up losing your house if you own it. Or those cars you valued so much that you put them under a car port.

  3. I have a family member that has one. It was professionally installed so it is very safe. They installed it after lots of hail damage to a vehicle. Theirs meets all the requirements so they are good. The funny thing is the ones complaining are the ones that have 4-5 vehicles parked in the yard…they don’t run and it makes the neighborhood look like a salvage or junk yard. Or they have weeds and trash piled up in the yards. I think it’s time people mind their business and get out and clean up their yards!

  4. As long as the carport is not blocking the view of traffic or to far out on the sidewalk, what’s the problem?

  5. I’d much rather see big trailers and RVs be required to be parked off the street (driveways) rather than on the curb of residential streets where such parking can narrow visibility and traffic to one lane if trailers are parked on either side of the street in the same area. Safety hazard via viability and access. Car ports an issue? If they helicopter yup but the trailers are a far more constant isse.

      1. It is against the law, they don’t enforce it, because there is no room in the impound lots to store these vehicles once the 72 hour tag expires. Hence why they don’t hardly ever 72 hour tag any vehicles. Which is why the drag racing impounding is so funny because the threat they use is already knowingly hollow.

  6. “Carports are commonly used by homeowners who don’t have room in their garages to park vehicles”
    .
    So many people buy homes with garages just to use them as additional storage for all their stuff. Garages are for sheltering cars. Get rid of all your unnecessary crap or put in into a storage unit, which is meant for exactly that purpose. That way, you’ll soon find out how little of it you really need to keep.

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