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Responding to Changing Conditions

In order for the Comprehensive Plan to be a useful and relevant document, it must be regularly referred to, applied, and implemented. The most fundamental way in which PlanCOS can be implemented is through an adaptable but systematic approach that aligns key City decisions, processes, regulations, and standards with the objectives of this Plan and its overall vision. In this manner, the day-to-day decisions regarding development will effectively result in a physical environment that becomes an expression of our planning objectives. PlanCOS has been created and is expected to be used in ways that are adaptable to future trends, conditions, and choices that are not entirely predictable. Alignment with the overall vision of this Plan is the most important goal and outcome.

Equally important is the need for a process of monitoring the implementation of PlanCOS. This effort will provide information on how well the policy objectives are working, where there are opportunities for additional modification, and whether certain elements are not working at all. This monitoring process should also provide meaningful information for decision-makers to ensure that the Plan remains an effective and useful tool.

This chapter also summarizes key projects and tools that should be implemented to achieve the PlanCOS vision and goals. These recommended projects and tasks represent high priority efforts that will significantly improve the link between policy objectives and real-world implementation.

Using this Plan

We expect this Plan to be used for three primary purposes:

  1. To review larger and discretionary land use applications for alignment with our overall land use vision and applicable goals and policies in conjunction with the City Zoning Code and any applicable topical or sub-area plans of the City. 
  2. As a source of direction for City initiatives pertaining to the physical development of the city, including but not limited to the following:
    1. Priorities and areas of focus for small area and topical plans of the City;
    2. Direction for changes to our Zoning and other sections of our City Code;
    3. A consideration in development of the capital improvement priorities of the City and region including proposals for new or extended voter initiatives such as Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA) and Trails Open Space and Parks Sales Tax (TOPS);
    4. Support for grant applications and community partnerships; and
    5. A source of recommendations for prioritization within ongoing City Strategic Plans.
  3. To monitor the success of the Plan and adapt where necessary to ensure that we are always making our city better.


Over the next 20 years, PlanCOS envisions limited but strategic additional outward expansion of city limits, and a focus on developing and re-developing property currently within city boundaries while becoming more proactive in working to incorporate existing enclaves and near enclaves into the city. Additional strategic annexations around the periphery of the city may be considered if they will have a fiscal benefit to the city, will be well aligned with existing and planned city infrastructure, or will support the primary economic development objectives of the city and regional partners. The City’s 2006 Annexation Plan should be systematically evaluated and updated, consistent with this overall vision.

Annexation policies should be evaluated in coordination with Colorado Springs Utilities. To fully realize the City’s goal for more fiscally sustainable and resilient land use, communication should be opened with El Paso County and surrounding municipalities about potential inter-governmental agreements focused on the shared benefits of inter-jurisdictional land use, service, and revenue sharing coordination.