Colorado Springs Real Estate Briefs March 9, 2001

Filed under: Real Estate |

Spring is in the air and so is change in the real estate community.

The Southern section of the Colorado Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects had its monthly meeting March 1. The group pondered pursuing the opportunity for licensure. In 1979, Colorado legislation eliminated licensure requirements for landscape architects, said Ronald Evans, state chapter president for CCASLA.

Licenses were previously required of landscape contractors, but legislation changed the definition of “landscape contractor” to include the selling of nursery stock, said Mitch Yergert, chief of the plant and insects section for the state Department of Agriculture.

Legislators wanted nurseries to be held responsible for what they sold, so license applicability was narrowed, and the new definition squeezed out landscape architects.

“Landscape architects can specify an 8-foot crab tree, but they aren’t selling the tree,” said Yergert. “They are just designing where the tree goes and what type of tree it is.”

But the history of licensing runs deep into the soil here, affecting many, and CCASLA wants to strengthen its roots before attacking the issue.

“Before we get serious, we want to work with our allied professionals to see if we want to pursue it,” said Evans.

Within the next month, Evans said the CCASLA will be contacting its members and everyone in the state involved with landscape architecture.

Time is of the essence, he said, because if there is an agreement to reinstate licensing, the application must be submitted to the Department of Regulatory Agencies by July 1.

Forty-six U.S. states require licensure for landscape architects, including all of Colorado’s neighboring states. There is a standard national licensing exam, and individual states can require an additional exam for knowledge of state rules and regulations.

Fever for the flavor

Like Muhammad Ali, the developers of Colorado Springs’ comprehensive can shout, “I’m the greatest.” After three-and-a-half years the final draft of the comp plan is done, and will be presented at the March 13 City Council meeting. But the plan is worth the wait, said John Maynard, a member of the comp plan steering committee, and not just because he has extra time to spend with his family. The plan’s two major changes are what’s making Maynard happy.

One change was the addition of a vision map and a land-use map. In the past no maps existed in the plan to limit the comprehensive policies to specific areas of land. The vision map is more general and directional than the land-use map.

“If you don’t read the policies and look at the map, you won’t get the full flavor,” said Maynard. “And in my opinion, the policies are worth more than the maps.”

Another change is the significant emphasis on mixed-use development.

“The major reason for that is trying to reduce traffic so residents don’t have to travel far from home for shopping and other necessities.

“(The comprehensive plan) has a more urban flavor than (previous) plans,” he said.

Angels a-calling

It took the First Presbyterian Church two years, but it bought the 4,750 square feet of the northernmost section of the Udick property, for $71,250 from the city. The money from the sale of the 25-foot by 190-foot lot will go toward the Old City Hall project. The sale will also reduce the amount the parking system must pay for development of associated parking. The church, at 219 E. Bijou St., plans to expand its playground facility at the location near the corner of Nevada Avenue and Bijou Street.