COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The City Council voted 8-1 Tuesday in favor of a proposed ordinance regulating carports in neighborhoods.
The proposal has been revised several times but the latest version seems agreeable to many carport owners who have contributed with city staff in the decision-making process.
Under the proposal, the city -- for safety and aesthetic reasons -- would restrict where a carport can be placed in a front yard, and set building requirements that would prevent the views of sidewalks and streets from being blocked by vehicles backing out of carports.
With council passing the proposal Tuesday, it would become official after a second vote in two weeks.
Carports became a controversy late last year, and in January the council enacted a moratorium on citations and appeals until the matter is resolved.
The moratorium has been extended several times and expires at the end of the year.
Some carport owners are worried that the latest version of the proposal, which sets architectural standards allowing carports to naturally blend into surrounding neighborhoods, may force them to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to comply.
The vote came after an hourlong discussion late Tuesday afternoon; Councilman Mike O'Malley was the only member to vote against it.
Carport owners who can't or won't comply with the ordinance can take the structures down, pay a fine for violations or appeal a citation to the city.
Tuesday's vote may not end the controversy, however; the council said it will monitor how the ordinance works and consider future amendments, if needed.
The council spent most of Tuesday's meeting talking about the outgoing chairman of the Pikes Peak Library Board of Trustees.
The chairman is to be replaced at the end of the year by a new volunteer despite strong public support that included former Councilwoman Jill Gaebler.
Two council members and two El Paso County commissioners reviewed applications and selected two new board members; critics of the decision felt that it was politically motivated.
A motion to have the council review the selection process was narrowly defeated, and the council upheld the appointment of the board members, but the matter will be discussed again at a meeting next month.
Finally, the council approved allocating $2.3 million to acquire the former Stratton Park property in the southwest corner of the city.
The Parks and Recreation Department will partner with the nonprofit Golden Lotus Foundation to develop the 8.5-acre parcel into a modern park that will include an Asian cultural and heritage center similar to attractions in Denver and Seattle.