Natural Hazard Risk Reduction & Mitigation
The City of Manitou Springs conducted a Natural Hazard Risk Assessment and determined that flooding, geologic hazards, and wildfire are the natural hazards that pose the greatest risk to the City. These hazards can negatively affect people, property, infrastructure, and the City’s economy. The City developed a Hazard Mitigation Strategy to reduce and mitigate its risk.
The City employs a range of approaches to reduce and mitigate natural hazard risk, such as development regulations, educational resources and tools, and maintenance and infrastructure projects. The City recently adopted new ordinances to strengthen natural hazard-related requirements in Title 16, Subdivisions and Title 18, Zoning. Zoning Code Section 18.10, Natural Hazards Risk Reduction and Mitigation, defines standards to reduce risk from flooding, geologic hazards, and wildfire. This webpage includes resources to assist applicants with this process, as well as educational material for all residents to reduce their risk.
Development in the Floodplain
The Pikes Peak Regional Building Department (PPRBD) oversees Manitou Springs’ floodplain management program. PPRBD reviews development for compliance with federal and local floodplain regulations. You can learn about the floodplain permitting process and review floodplain maps on the organization's website (click on “Floodplain” in the top row of buttons). All proposed alterations or construction on properties located in floodplain areas must be reviewed by the Regional Floodplain Management Office, and most projects will require a Floodplain Development permit.
The City’s floodplain requirements are located in the Regional Building Code Section RBC303. In addition, the City reviews floodplain permit requests for compliance with Section 18.10.050 of the Municipal Code.
Manitou Springs Floodplain Review Submittal Requirements for Development
Geologic Hazards Review
The City requires geologic hazard evaluation for many development applications that involve impact to the land. The City has a tiered system for geologic hazard evaluation – consult Table one, below, to identify the appropriate tier for your application. The City’s geologic hazard review process and standards are defined in Zoning Code Section 18.10.060. Additional resources to assist applicants are provided below. Staff is also planning to develop educational material to assist residents to mitigate existing geologic hazards on their property.
Geologic Hazard Submittal Evaluation Manual for Development - underway
Manitou Springs Geologic Hazard maps: The Colorado Geological Survey prepared maps for three of the City’s geologic hazards: rockfall susceptibility, debris flow susceptibility, and erosion. These maps identify susceptibility to these geologic hazards, but additional investigation is required to identify hazards and risk at the parcel level.
- Rock Fall Susceptibility Map (PDF)
- Debris Flow Susceptibility Map (PDF)
- Erosion Susceptibility Map (PDF)
Additional geologic hazard resources
- Soil Survey of El Paso County Colorado - June 1981 (PDF)
- Soil Survey of Pike National Forest - Eastern Part - Colorado - Oct 1992 (PDF)
Colorado Geological Survey is the state agency that provides geologic advice to a variety of constituencies and helps to reduce the impact of geologic hazards on the citizens of Colorado. Visit the CGS site: http://coloradogeologicalsurvey.org/
All residents and property owners in the community are subject to wildfire risk and can take simple steps to reduce their risk. The City’s wildfire mitigation strategy includes wildfire mitigation standards for most new development, educational guidance, and ongoing efforts to manage vegetative fuels. The City’s wildfire mitigation standards are defined in Zoning Code Section 18.10.070. The City’s Fire Department staff is available to conduct site assessments for any property owners to assess their wildfire vulnerability and provide recommendations to reduce risk.
- Wildfire mitigation requirements for development - submittal material - underway
- Wildfire Mitigation Guidance for Manitou Springs Residents: Protect Your Property from Wildfire