The last Swansea/Elyria Neighborhood Plan was adopted in 1983. The River North Plan
(pdf, 6MB), adopted in July 2003, includes a sizeable area of Elyria between 38th Street, Interstate 70, York Street, and 40th Avenue.
Swansea/Elyria Charrette Report, issued in 1989, summarized a series of meetings that addressed various neighborhood issues with community leaders. This report updated the 1983 neighborhood plan in some needed respects such as its urban design analysis. An Economic Assessment of the Elyria/Swansea Neighborhoods was completed in 1999 by the Colorado Center
for Community Development at the University of Colorado Denver.
This report provided partial but significant new information about the area’s economic conditions.
The Elyria-Swansea Neighborhood Assessment
, completed in 2003, documented the current conditions in the Elyria/Swansea statistical neighborhood in terms proscribed by Denver’s Comprehensive Plan 2000
and Blueprint Denver
, which prioritize housing, mobility, land use, environmental sustainability, and historical legacies. The neighborhood assessment found many changing conditions, needs and opportunities, and recommended undertaking a new area plan
Several environmental impact statement (EIS) processes for major new transportation have been completed or are currently being conducted in the area by other parties:
The Elyria Neighborhood Association has created a vision plan
to reconnect adjacent neighborhoods, leverage transit-oriented development, promote sustainable infill development that increases livability, and encourage a walkable mixed-use community.
A new small area plan for the Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods was started in 2007 as part of a grant awarded by the US EPA to the Healthy Air for Northeast Denver (HAND) partnership, a collaboration between Groundwork Denver and the City. This funding was used to bring consulting assistance to the planning process to enhance public participation and to conduct analyses beyond the usual scope of the City’s small area plans.
NWSS Station Area Planning Effort:
The City and County of Denver began a process to plan for change in the areas surrounding future transit stations. In 2006, the city completed a Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Strategic Plan that identified a need for land use planning for the National Western Stock Show station area on RTD’s future North Metro commuter rail corridor. The City and County of Denver along with RTD examined the station location as part of the North Metro Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The City sought public input to help select the station location and as a result of this process, RTD is recommending the station be located at the National Western Stock Show. The City and County of Denver’s Community Planning and Development Department started a planning effort to develop a station area plan for the half-mile area surrounding the future NWSS station. Public input and concepts, linked below, from the NWSS station area planning effort will be integrated into the larger neighborhood planning effort.
Goals established during the NWSS planning effort:
- Define a community vision for the neighborhoods, and provide goals, objectives, and strategies for achieving the vision.
- Provide guidance on land use, density, and urban form for each study area. Maximize short- and long-term land-use opportunities presented by the station.
- Address access and circulation within the study area for all modes of transportation, including pedestrian and bicycle access between the study area and adjacent neighborhoods.
- Establish a framework for a comfortable, attractive and vibrant public realm.
- Establish an identity for the transit-oriented district.
- Engage stakeholders in a planning process with public support.
- Enhance the ridership base for the expanded transit system.
- Guide and inform future policy decisions, including redevelopment, infill, and infrastructure improvements.
- Address local market challenges and opportunities and issues relevant to the study area, including social services, public health, and access to open space and other public amenities.