Draft Policy Recommendations

Before you begin 

The draft recommendations are not the final plan. They can and will be updated and adjusted according to public feedback, so it is important that we hear from as many community members as possible on their level of support for the draft recommendations. Once you have reviewed the draft recommendations, please share the information with your friends and neighbors and encourage them to do the same.

The draft recommendations are not about specific building or development projects. Once adopted, the plan would, in turn, serve as community-supported policy guidance for city agencies and leaders when they are making those decisions.   

Land Use and Economy Recommendations

Building Form and Compatibility

  • Consider modifications to zoning code standards so new construction is more consistent with the existing surrounding neighborhood context.
  • Expand the development of missing middle housing (e.g., duplexes, triplexes, garden court homes, accessory dwelling units) in neighborhoods by pursuing strategies that meet the unique needs and market conditions of West neighborhoods.
  • Develop policies that encourage the retention of existing buildings (rather than demolishing them), so new development is more consistent with the scale of existing buildings and homes to preserve affordability.
  • Encourage high-quality design and neighborhood compatibility:
    • along corridors and within centers
    • at transit station areas
    • along neighborhood natural areas (gulches, trails, the river, open space)
    • existing and transitioning industrial areas

Development and Community Benefits

  • Support existing commercial areas inside neighborhoods by promoting community-desired uses and enhancing the physical environment to create quality gathering places for residents.
  • Direct future growth to major corridors, centers, transit station areas, and ensure future development results in increased community benefits and quality of life enhancements for all residents.

Building Preservation and Reuse

  • Ensure compatible redevelopment and/or repurposing of institutional sites within neighborhoods.
  • Encourage reuse of older commercial buildings and make it easier to develop lower-scale buildings on small lots.
  • Preserve historic and culturally significant buildings in the West Area.
  • Identify and promote friendlier land use and transportation in areas where the need for better transitions from industrial to commercial and residential land uses has been identified.

Housing Affordability

  • Preserve existing housing affordability and housing quality through incentives that encourage the reuse of existing buildings.
  • Ensure affordable housing is available everywhere by implementing strategies that promote a diversity of affordable housing options within all neighborhoods and developments.
  • Expand diversity of housing types and affordability to support households of different sizes, ages, and incomes in all neighborhoods. 

Economic Vitality – Places

  • Strengthen the economic vitality of major centers and corridors to create opportunities for small-business development and community-serving retail.
  • Preserve and expand the employment base of the existing West Area Manufacturing Districts (i.e., Heavy Production and Value Manufacturing).
  • Proactively preserve and maintain industrial land uses to provide and enhance sustainable economic development and job growth in the West Area.

Economic Vitality – People

  • Stabilize residents and small businesses at risk of involuntary displacement.
  • Promote employment opportunities for local area residents of all skill and education levels.

Quality of Life Recommendations

Health Equity and Environmental Resiliency

  • Identify opportunities for West Denver residents to thrive and live their healthiest lives through inclusive policies that address historic inequity and other barriers. Inclusion, in all forms, should be a critical part of every conversation.
  • Improve systems, policies, and practices that sustain racial and social equity in support of citywide efforts on:
    • Access to Healthcare
    • Housing and Transportation
    • Improving Health Outcomes
    • Access to Food and Nutrition
    • Green Infrastructure
    • Culture and History
  • Utilize the policies and recommendations in the Denver Climate Action and similar plans to improve environmental performance and climate resilience within West Denver neighborhoods.
    • Require energy efficiency and green building practices.
    • Promote the use of renewable energy technologies.
    • Invest in low-and-no emitting mobility options.
    • Improve waste management practices.
    • Protect, preserve, and expand the urban forest tree canopy in all redevelopment efforts, and increase tree canopy coverage within public rights-of way.
    • Require climate appropriate tree species and plantings in all new developments.
    • Promote tree planting programs on private property and in new redevelopment projects.
    • Increase tree canopy coverage in public rights-of way with an emphasis on industrial areas.
  • Create a system of green streets and connected alleys that unite open spaces, reduce pollution, improve stormwater management and beautify neighborhoods, and reduce urban heat island effects. 


Parks, Open Space and Recreational Facilities

  • Improve and increase accessibility to existing community parks, open spaces, and recreation facilities for all users, ages, and abilities.
  • Enhance existing facilities and programming at community parks, open spaces, and recreation facilities.
    • Incorporate universal design principles, including community-desired, culturally relevant design elements.
    • Update existing playground areas and park facilities for all ages and abilities.
  • Create new or expand existing community parks, open spaces, and recreation facilities to ensure all West Denver residents are within a 10-minute walk of an amenity.

Trails, Gulches and Waterways

  • Enhance and improve access to existing regional trails, waterways, and the South Platte River.
    • Recognize First Nations and Indigenous peoples in any South Platte enhancements, improvements and projects.
    • Fill gaps in gulch and trail networks for continuous, uninterrupted connectivity.
  • Enhance trail signage and wayfinding with an emphasis on at-grade street crossings, intersections, and high traffic corridors.
  • As proposed in the One Water Plan, implement a cohesive approach to development and infrastructure improvements that prioritizes the protection and enhancement of the South Platte River’s environmental, ecological, and recreational needs.
    • Elevate the importance of the river to First Nation and Indigenous West Denver residents as part of conversations with surrounding communities.
    • Support the river’s ability to provide natural benefits for water quality and ecosystem health.
    • Develop multidisciplinary approaches to guide the future of the river including environmental, stormwater, water quality, recreation, mobility and urban design.


Complete Food Environment

  • Build a more inclusive, healthier, resilient and vibrant community-focused food environment by supporting.
    • Community Centers, Hubs and Education
    • Local Entrepreneurships
    • Local Sources
    • Healthy Food Retail
    • Food and Nutrition Education
    • to Incentivize Retail and Service Expansions
    • to facilitate new opportunities
      • Mobile Markets
  • Increase fresh food access, availability, and affordability throughout the West Denver communities.
  • Support initiatives that address food insecurity, maintenance, and improvements to existing local businesses.
  • Use creative regulatory tools and solutions:
    • to streamline processes and close food access gaps.
      • Fast-track Permitting
      • Fee Waivers
  • Expand local food production, urban farming, food processing and manufacturing to serve the needs of West Denver residents.
  • Improve access to fresh and healthy food and nutrition through improved physical connections and multimodal networks.


Community Safety and Security Policies

  • Maintain energy-efficient streetlighting for increased safety and comfort.
    • Prioritize gathering spaces, parks, trails, transit facilities, commercial corridors, and centers.
    • Prioritize lighting that is pedestrian-scale.
    • Increase lighting along key corridors with an emphasis on Vision Zero High Injury Networks and Intersections.
    • Support energy-efficient lighting solutions on public and private property in alignment with Denver’s Climate Action Policies and Goals.
  • Encourage public and private agencies, and urban design and development partners to incorporate design principles that promote safety within the built environment with heightened attention for cultural biases,
  • Promote equity, diversity, community need and universal inclusion in design.

Community Art and Culture

  • Encourage and incentivize the inclusion of public art and culturally significant design elements in development projects, urban designs and landscapes that celebrates West Denver history and culture, and instills a sense of community pride and ownership.

Animal Protection and Control

  • Support ongoing funding for Denver Animal Protection (DAP) “Pets for Life” and similar programs that provide access to information, education and veterinary healthcare services for pet owners at low to no cost.
  • Provide pet education to West Area families and youth.
  • Develop pet owner referral, engagement and outreach programs to expand access and awareness of DAP programs and services.


Mobility Recommendations

Street Priorities and Connections

  • Create changes to the mobility system that repurpose, reimagine, and reprioritize street space to balance use for safe and accessible walking, biking, rolling and transit mobility options.
    • West Colfax, Federal, Alameda and Sheridan should prioritize pedestrians and transit
    • Decatur/Bryant, Knox, Perry, Tennyson, 13th, 8th, 2nd, and Bayaud Avenue should prioritize pedestrians, cyclists and micro-transit (scooters, bike share).
  • Establish new balanced corridor connections to increase local connectivity.
    • East-West across the S. Platte Rier and I-25 in the Sun Valley and Valverde neighborhoods (near 2nd or 3rd Avenue) and Valverde Neighborhood at Bayaud Avenue.
    • North-south across 6th Avenue in the Villa Park and Barnum West neighborhoods (near Tennyson or Wolf)


Traffic Demand Management

  • Implement Transportation Demand Management strategies and policies in development and redevelopment projects to shift travel behavior to align with city climate, land use and mobility goals and policies.



  • Implement the bike facilities as planned in Denver Moves: Bicycles. Study routes for upgrades and alternative route realignments and reconfigurations.
  • In West Denver, Denver Moves: Bicycles has new facilities planned for:
    • 19th, 17th, 10th, 8th, and 1st Avenues
    • Tennyson Street
    • Perry Street
    • Knox Court
    • Hazel Court/Grove Street
    • Irving/Julian Streets
    • Cedar/Byers Streets
  • Install new bikeways not previously identified in Denver Moves: Bicycles.
    • Tejon Street
    • Decatur Street/Canosa Court
    • Bryant Street
    • Clay Street
    • Bayaud Avenue
    • Perry Street (alternative alignment)
    • Tennyson Street/Wolff Street
    • Knox Court
    • 8th Avenue/7TH Avenue
    • Lipan Street/South Platte River Drive
    • Federal Blvd (between 1st & 2nd)


Pedestrian Comfort and Safety Priorities

  • Install new sidewalks along priority corridors following citywide prioritization guidance.
  • Improve the pedestrian realm by improving the quality, safety, width and comfort of pedestrian facilities following Denver’s citywide prioritization guidelines for sidewalks.
  • Install new safe, comfortable, and accessible pedestrian and bicycle crossings.
  • Install improvements at existing intersections to improve, repair, or complete crossings and increase safety, comfort, and overall mobility network connectivity.
  • Study measures to slow traffic along neighborhood streets directly surrounding schools, parks, hospitals, libraries, commercial areas and recreation centers.

Gulches and Trails

  • Improve the quality and comfort of trail facilities, improve the safety of crossings, and improve trail access, including trail access corridors listed below.
  • Install bicycle and pedestrian wayfinding along the right-of-way to improve access to the trails an along the bicycle and pedestrian networks, including trail access corridors listed below.
  • Trail Access Corridors
    • 13th Avenue
    • 14th Avenue
    • 10th Avenue
    • 2nd Avenue
    • Knox Court
    • Perry Street
    • Tennyson Street
    • Bayaud Avenue 


  • Advance planning and implementation of high-capacity and frequent transit along key West Area corridors:
    • Federal Boulevard - High capacity/Bus-rapid transit
    • West Colfax Avenue - High capacity/Bus-rapid transit
    • Alameda Avenue - Medium capacity/Bus-rapid transit
    • Sheridan Boulevard – Improve speed and reliability of service
    • 8th Avenue East of Federal Blvd - Improve speed and reliability of service
    • 10th Avenue – Improve local frequency/comfort of service
    • Knox Court - Improve local frequency/comfort of service
    • 1st Avenue - Improve local frequency/comfort of service
  • Study the feasibility of adding transit options in and through the West Area to provide residents with higher-frequency service that better meets their needs and facilitates increased transit usage.
  • Enhance transit stops and stations throughout the West Area. Provide amenities that improve access, increase comfort, safety, and provide real-time transit information for all users.
  • Improve access to transit by ensuring sidewalk infrastructure is present to all major transit facilities.



The maps below help illustrate the draft recommendations listed above and how they will be applied geographically across the West Area neighborhoods.