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Superior votes on fire-prevention building codes for Sagamore neighborhood

The town board considered, but voted against, a town-wide change to planning codes earlier this summer.

SUPERIOR, Colo. — The town board of Superior voted Monday to add fire-prevention regulations to planning codes for a neighborhood that burned during the Marshall Fire.

The code modification will amend construction standards to require ignition-resistant and non-combustible building materials, with the aim of preventing fire from spreading from one house to the next as quickly as it did during the Marshall Fire.

Town of Superior Trustee Neal Shah said the board passed the resolution Monday night, with one change. They added a provision for the original homeowners who would like to opt out of the standards.

"The slower your house catches completely on fire, the more time you have to safely leave your house," said Joy Cassidy, who lost her home in the fire and said she lobbied town leaders to implement the changes.

The modifications also require a "five-foot defensible space" around homes where flammable landscaping and wooden fencing is prohibited. 

"They should’ve done this for the whole town, and a lot of us believe they should have done this years ago," Cassidy said. 

The regulations only apply to the Sagamore neighborhood, where Cassidy and 170 others lost their homes in the fire. The town board considered applying the code modification to all new buildings in May, but voted not to. 

The board said it consulted the two main architects rebuilding burned homes in Superior and determined the modified changes will cost an average of about $5,000 and add up to a month of construction time. 

"Not only are our communities vulnerable, the whole of the city is vulnerable," Cassidy said. 

She fears a chain reaction effect where other buildings not required to follow fire safety rules allow a blaze to spread into her neighborhood. 

"I want to make sure everyone is safe. I want to make sure my neighborhood is safe," she said.

Cassidy said she's so concerned, she's decided to sell the lot where her house once stood and leave Superior. She plans to buy a burned plot in Louisville and rebuild there.

"I want to move somewhere where I can feel safe and where people are doing enough," she said.

RELATED: Town of Superior historical commissioners hoping to reopen, rebuild old history museum

RELATED: Debris removal continues six months after Marshall Fire

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