Mayor Bach denies Occupy Colorado Springs permit renewal
Mayor Steve Bach has denied the request of Occupy Colorado Springs to renew its revocable permit allowing the private use of the public right-of-way adjacent to Acacia Park, and has further ordered a 45-day City moratorium on issuing any new, similar permits.
For the past month, the Occupy group has staged a protest adjacent to Acacia Park, including erecting tents and canopies along the sidewalk. City Code requires that the permit site be kept safe, clean and orderly. This permit requirement, among others, has not been met.
In a letter to the group, the City detailed six specific reasons for the Mayor’s decision. During the moratorium, City staff will review the impact of such permits on public infrastructure, general City operations and the public interest, and recommend future policy to the Mayor.
“While protecting First Amendment rights, we must also ensure the public health, safety and welfare in our community,” said Mayor Bach. “ We have received many complaints, our public safety resources are being taxed, and Downtown is being negatively impacted.”
The Mayor’s decision may be appealed to the City Council. In the meantime, protestors may continue to protest, but must remove all structures, including, but not limited to, tents, tables, chairs, port-o-lets, and all free-standing signs, by 11:59pm, MST, Sunday, November 20, 2011.