backyard houses

Accessory dwelling unit above a detached garage.

Putting lives at unacceptable risk

In response to the July 8 article “Survey suggests ‘densification’ fears are overblown” by Conrad Swanson.

I completely disagree with your suggestion that fears are overblown. I worked as a military operations planner for New Orleans and vicinity Hurricane evacuation response for Joint Task Force (JTF) Katrina and Rita in 2005 and subsequent post-Katrina evacuation planning with the city of New Orleans and state of Louisiana in 2006. Later in 2012, I also was stuck in heavy stand-still traffic for the Waldo Canyon fire evacuation with 32,000 other Colorado Springs residents.

In my opinion, adding additional residents (ADUs) into a wildland fire zone west of I-25 without adding evacuation lanes (additional lanes and roads) places too many Colorado Springs residents lives at an unacceptable risk for those of us living west of I-25.

I agree with Councilman Andy Pico, single family zoning means a single family. Councilwoman Jill Gaebler, your opinion that “a few duplexes will not create a traffic problem” is not in touch with reality. You will be adding to the density of the population west of I-25 and placing residents lives at more risk.

The economic incentive to adding ADUs for permanent and temporary (AirBNB, VRBO, etc.) will likely cause more residents to choose ADUs.

LETTERS: We have lost our patriotism; shuttering the Martin Drake plant

If you want ADUs, place them in new neighborhoods outside Wildfire zones where additional roads and evacuation zones can handle the additional population not locked in by previous development. For the sake of saving lives, do not approve ADUs in existing neighborhoods!

Jim Zietlow

Colorado Springs

A nation of lawn mowers

In response to the Jerd Smith story about water in the San Luis Valley being “needed” on the Front Range, I would observe that there is a strong lesson here for the Colorado Springs area as well. To put it plainly, water availability is fast becoming the single most limiting factor on continued growth of our area as well as other front range areas — and therefore on our local economic development.

A very big reason for this problem is the notion that we must have a lawn.

For many centuries people living in cities built their houses very close to each other, often with common walls between dwellings, little or no “front yard,” and maybe a small open space in the back. Only public parks and grand estates could afford cultivated “lawns,” and most of that watering came from rain.

In America, we started as mostly an agricultural nation. When farmers moved into a city they still had green thumbs and wanted gardens — and grass. It gradually became fashionable to have enough land for part of it to be in grass. We became a nation of lawn mowers.

This worked pretty well in rainy areas, but it really is quite a stretch out here in semi-arid Colorado.

Some years ago our local utilities managers recognized this and began promoting the concept of “xeriscaping.” You can visit their demo area at the CSU Water Facility on Mesa Road. In my neighborhood, many home owners have rid themselves of lawns and installed xeriscape instead. It looks great, and sure is a lot less work.

There is a lot of attractive plant life that doesn’t require “watering,” and we have lots of rock around here. What we don’t have is an unlimited source of water.

James Strub

Colorado Springs

Extreme political correctness

Let me see if I have this right. Nike has taken the advice of a has been football quarterback and will not make sneakers with the Betsy Ross flag because he finds it offensive, he finds it offensive and because of his notoriety they acquiesce.

So, he can rewrite history. What is Nike thinking?

The guy makes millions per year because he kneeled during the national anthem, showing total disrespect to the flag and the country. This is this political correctness to the extreme.

As a Gold Star Father who lost a son in combat defending the flag and country, I am absolutely appalled at Nike and the rest of the so-called Americans who support their position. Shame on them!

Barry S. Oswell

Colorado Springs

Affording health insurance

My name is Louise and I live in Colorado Springs, I am a 60-year-old woman who has never been without insurance until a divorce. There are all kinds of reasons for one to need the ACA, my story is just one of them.

As I continue to fight in court over the financial end of my divorce I have a choice of food, a roof over my head, and everyday bills or health insurance and life-saving medications.

The ACA makes health care a little easier to obtain but it’s more like an emergency health coverage because the out of pocket cost really makes you feel as though you can’t use your insurance because of that out of pocket cost which is usually no less than $6,000-$7,000 and more.

Then the premiums and what they call the low-income range are also hurtful when they (the health insurance companies and the drug manufacturers) don’t deduct the cost of living even just the essentials before determining the amount of help you qualify for, which is another shortcoming in my opinion.

It is impossible for a lot of folks to afford health insurance without the ACA, it is impossible for too many of us to even obtain insurance if you take away the existing conditions. Please help us by making the ACA better/stronger for people like me who depend on that help it’s worth it.

We are worth it. Thank you.

Louise Zamudio

Colorado Springs

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