(COLORADO SPRINGS) — The Office of the City Attorney for Colorado Springs has issued an advisory ethics opinion in response to questions regarding whether City Council has a potential conflict of interest acting as the governing body for the controversial Wilson Ranch Water Tower.
The water tank is at issue because neighbors argue that the tank was built at a size much larger than was approved, and Springs Utilities argues that the City Planning Commission unlawfully denied its development plan modification.
According to the opinion, released by City Council, some councilmembers raised concerns about the propriety of the council acting as the governing body over the water tank decisions while also serving as the Board of Directors for Springs Utilities.
In response, the City Attorney issued the following opinion:
No, City Council is not conflicted. Because the Charter of the City of Colorado Springs (the ‘City Charter’) specifically assigns City Council dual duties as the Board of Directors and the appellate body for land use decisions, it cannot have a legal conflict. Further, even if a technical conflict were to exist, the ‘rule of necessity’ requires City Council to hear Utilities’ land use application or appeal because no other body has authority to decide the matter.Colorado Springs City Attorney
A public hearing is set for Tuesday, Nov. 14 before City Council on Springs Utilities’ appeal. FOX21 News will be at the hearing and will provide updates as this story develops.