West Area Plan

Latest News

City Council adopts West Area Plan on unanimous vote

After three years of work by residents, business owners and community leaders, along with city staff, the Denver City Council voted to adopt the West Area Plan at its meeting Tuesday, March 28. The plan breaks new ground as it lays out a vision to guide growth and city decision-making over the next two decades, while helping residents and local businesses stay in their neighborhoods. The West Area Plan covers Barnum, Barnum West, Sun Valley, Valverde, Villa Park and West Colfax. 

Read the press release

Read the adopted West Area Plan(PDF, 52MB)

About the plan and how it came together

This final version of the plan was refined and strengthened thanks to input from residents, the plan steering committee and the Denver Planning Board, which approved it Wednesday, February 15. City Council's Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure (LUTI) Committee reviewed the plan and voted to advance it to the full council Tuesday, February 28.

In a first for neighborhood plans in Denver, the plan acknowledges the historic inequities the area has faced as well as their roots in past public policy decisions. Through partnerships with local organizations, virtual discussions, online surveys and intentional engagement of the West Area’s Latino, Asian and Jewish communities, the West Area planning process prioritized previously marginalized voices. Community members identified the following priorities and challenges for the plan to address:

  • Helping residents and local businesses stay in their neighborhoods
  • Making it easier for residents to access healthy food
  • Improving transportation options and street safety so locals can get around easily and comfortably no matter how they travel
  • Supporting the culture and diversity of West Area neighborhoods

Overview of the vision for the West Area

The draft plan presents a vision for the West Area that:

  • reflects the community’s priorities and address its concerns
  • honors the history and diversity of the West Area
  • recommends strategies to address challenges identified by residents and stakeholders through the planning process
  • guides growth in a way that aligns with and balances city and neighborhood goals


What the Plan Will Do: Community Priorities Addressed by Plan Recommendations

  • Help residents and local businesses stay in their neighborhoods.
  • Make it easier for residents to access healthy food.
  • Improve transportation options and street safety so locals can get around easily and comfortably no matter how they travel.
  • Support the culture and diversity of West Area neighborhoods.

Key recommendations

Quality of life

  • Quality of Life is the backbone of the plan and driving force of the other content
  • First ever section devoted to water
  • Expansive content on healthy food access and production
  • Environmental justice emphasized in multiple subsections
  • Celebrating and building community around the diverse cultures of West

Economy and Housing

  • Recommendations focus on helping residents and local businesses stay in their neighborhoods.
  • The Housing section focuses on affordable housing, missing middle, and support for unhoused community members
  • Economic Vitality highlights ways to support local business staying in place, new businesses, and workforce development


  • Improving transportation options and street safety so locals can get around easily and comfortably no matter how they travel.
  • Improving Connectivity
  • Mobility is focused on alternatives to transportation by personal automobile
  • Balanced corridors are a key priority

Land Use and Built Form

  • Provides key guidance for West’s growth strategy, including the future places map, height map, and more
  • Provides design guidance for various uses and contexts, focusing on growth that is consistent with neighborhood character

Innovations in the plan

  • centers quality of life issues, including food access 
  • provides an in depth understanding of the history of West Area neighborhoods and the impact of harmful policies like redlining
  • provides a clear path for the city and community partners to begin to bring this vision to life through thoughtful implementation of plan recommendations 
  • strengthens equity:
    • first ever section in an NPI plan about past planning inequities
    • Historic timeline tells the community’s story
  • addresses document complexity
    • plan navigation improved with recommendation summaries added to each main section of plan

How community input shaped the plan

Download an overview of our intentional community engagement(PDF, 261KB)

Feedback themes What the plan reflects

Quality of Life

  • Quality of life section as the foundation
  • Environmental justice
  • Community space to grow food
  • Park safety
  • Homelessness and drug use
  • Affordable daycare
  • Translation assistance
  • Rec Centers and outside courts

Reflected in and guided at least 5 of the recommendations for quality of life including:

  • Q20: Expand local food production, urban farming, food processing and manufacturing to serve the needs of West Denver residents.
  • Q22: Increase community safety and security though energy efficient street lighting for increased safety and comfort. Prioritize gathering spaces, parks and open space, trails, transit facilities, etc.


  • Pedestrian and cyclist safety
  • Better connections to bus, trains, etc.
  • Support with transportation for youth and elderly to and from activities.
  • Easy access to alternate forms of transportation
  • Support wheelchair access along paths and routes, especially during winter
  • Sidewalk maintenance and connectivity

Reflected in and guided at least 9 of the recommendations around mobility including:

  • M2: Install safety Improvements to improve, repair or complete existing crossings.
  • M10: Establish new balanced corridor connections that improve local connectivity, increase user comfort and overall safety.


  • Options for affordability
  • Too expensive for average family
  • Growing too fast
  • Need houses that fit the neighborhood
  • A wide variety of comments related to either increasing or maintaining the density and height allowances in West

Reflected in and guided at least 10 of the recommendations around housing including:

  • L4: Ensure compatible redevelopment and/or repurposing of sites within neighborhoods.
  • L5: Expand mixing middle housing within residential areas

Business and Economy

  • Incentives for local businesses to stay and get new customers
  • Healthy stores that are closer or connected to residents in need
  • Opportunities for business development
  • Increase in local jobs
  • Mixed-use development

Reflected in and guided at least 4 of the recommendations around business, jobs and neighborhood economics including:

  • E7: Strengthen the economic vitality of corridors to create opportunities for small-business development to stabilize small businesses at risk of involuntary displacement and provide community-serving retail.
  • E10: Stabilize residents at risk of involuntary displacement.


Feedback back on previous drafts

  • Feedback themes on Draft 1, posted in March 2022 and reviewed by the West Area Steering Committee:
    • Reinforce Quality of Life as the heart of the plan and integrate it throughout all other sections.
    • Address the inter-relationships of plan recommendations across different topics
    • Structure the plan narrative so that it’s clear what problems recommendations are solving
    • Incorporate equity in a more meaningful way
    • Address ecological planning and regenerative development
  • Feedback themes on Draft 2, posted for public review in November 2022   
    • What participants liked:
      • Traffic calming
      • Increased tree canopy
      • Improved lighting
      • Food access
      • Improved mobility options for pedestrians and bikes
      • Trail enhancements
    • What participants wanted to see more of:
      • Improved public facilities (parks, schools, rec centers)
      • Lower crime
      • Address homelessness issue
      • More protected bike lanes
      • More community-serving retail
      • Increased housing options and more residential density



Area Information and Resources

The West Planning Area is made up of these six neighborhoods: Barnum, Barnum West, Sun Valley, Valverde, Villa Park and West Colfax. The area was selected to lead Phase II of the Neighborhood Planning Initiative because it has some of the oldest neighborhood plans and has experienced rapidly increasing housing costs. There are also several important city-led efforts underway in the area.  

Current Zoning Context

  • Commercial - 12%
  • Former Chapter 59 - 7%
  • Industrial - 14%
  • Residential - 58%
  • Open space - 9%

Planning Need Indicator Scores

West Area planning need map  

To help inform the neighborhood planning process, the city developed data-based indicators of planning need at the neighborhood scale. 

The map shows planning need for each of the West Area Plan neighborhoods according to five categories: livability, investment, policy and regulations, economy and community demographics. Based on data in these categories, West Colfax and Sun Valley show high planning need, Villa Park and Valverde show medium-high planning need, and Barnum and Barnum West show medium-low planning need. 

Read more about the indicators and scoring

Previous Plans and Projects

Area Statistics and Other Information


  • Area: 5.09 square miles
  • 2018 Population: 41,007
  • Housing units: 12,560   
Regional destinations
  • Broncos Stadium at Mile High
Natural features
  • Lakewood Gulch
  • Dry Gulch
  • Weir Gulch Park
  • Martinez Park
  • South Platte River
  • Barnum Water Park   
Key corridors
  • Sheridan Blvd.
  • Federal Blvd.
  • Colfax Ave.
  • 10th Ave.
  • 6th Ave.
  • 1st Ave.
  • Alameda Ave.


  • North: W. 17th Ave., Meade Street, W. 19th Ave. and Mile High Stadium Circle 
  • East: South Platte River
  • South: West Alameda Avenue
  • West: Sheridan Boulevard



Process and Timeline

Near Northwest Planning Process Timeline  

The Neighborhood Planning Initiative provides a model for area planning that is intentional, equitable and measurable. The planning process is guided by a multi-pronged outreach and communications strategy with an expected timeline of 18 to 24 months from kickoff to adoption. For a detailed overview, visit How We Plan. For details on how the planning process is being applied in the West Area, see below.   

Planning Process Stages

  • Understand the Area
  • Define the Issues and Develop Initial Recommendations
  • Refine Recommendations
  • Community Review of Draft Plan
  • Legislative Review and Adoption Process 

Current Phase: Legislative Review and Adoption Process

What the planning team is working on
  • Continuing to collect public input on the draft plan
  • Preparing presentations to Planning Board and City Council
What we're asking the community
  • Does the plan reflect your vision for the future of your neighborhood?
  • Do you support the vision in the plan?
How the public can participate
  • Attend the public hearings held by Planning Board and City Council
  • Encourage neighbors to get involved


Completed Phases

Understand the Area

What the planning team worked on
  • Existing conditions research 
  • Convening community steering committee (member listing available on this page under West Area Team)
  • Used multiple channels to get word out about plan launch
    • Project website and email list
    • Social media
    • Traditional media outreach
  • Went into the community to distribute flier to get the word out about the plan
    • Eagleton Elementary
    • Barnum Elementary
    • Newlon Elementary
    • Colfax Elementary
    • Cheltenham Elementary
    • Cowell Elementary
    • Fairview Elementary
    • Lake International Middle School
    • STRIVE Prep Lake Middle School
  • Hosted meetings and attended community events to share information and collect input   
  • Conducted intentional engagement to specific communities in the West Area:
    • Latino/Latina/Latinx communities
    • Vietnamese and Asian communities
    • Jewish community
    • Youth, in partnership with Denver Public Schools
What we asked the community 
  • What do you like or dislike about your neighborhood?
  • Where are the opportunities?
  • What are the areas of concern?
  • What do you want to see for the future of your neighborhood?
  • How do you want to get involved in the planning process?
How the public participated 
  • 560 people joined the email list (through March 2020)
  • 220 people attended two Phase 1 public meetings
  • 762 people took kickoff survey
  • Took Villa Park and West Colfax NTMP mobility survey
  • Talked with planners at 12 events in the community 
  • The steering committee held 8 meetings 
  • 92 people attended 4 topic specific focus group work sessions
  • Participated in 3 Facebook live events hosted by Council District 1
Results and resources 

Define the Issues and Develop Initial Recommendations

What the planning team worked on
  • Reviewing and analyzing community input from Phase 1 to identify themes and opportunities   
  • Reviewing Phase 1 community engagement and conducting proactive outreach to address gaps 
  • Working with area schools on youth-focused outreach
  • Working with local partners on addressing the issue of involuntary displacement in West Denver 
  • Continuing to work community steering committee
  • Continuing to collect input from community members  
What we asked the community 
  • How do you want to stay involved in the planning process?
  • What do you think about these guiding principles and opportunities? 
How the public participated 
  • 332 people joined email list 
  • 161 took land use opportunities survey
  • 108 took mobility opportunities survey
  • 109 took economy opportunities survey
  • 117 took quality of life opportunities survey 
  • 350 participants took the youth survey
  • 170 people participated in the Understanding Displacement webinar
  • Talked with planners at 9 community events and 10 office hours sessions  
  • Steering committee held 11 meetings 
Results and resources 

Refine Recommendations

What the planning team worked on

  • Collected feedback from community members on draft recommendations
  • Reviewed and analyzed that feedback
  • Continued to work with community steering committee
  • Conducted intentional engagement with key partners:
    • Colorado Jobs for Justice
    • Denver Food Project & Casa de Rosal
    • Valverde Movement Project & Columbine Denver Housing Authority
    • Valverde Parent Teacher Leadership Team
    • Sun Valley Kitchen and Denver Housing Authority residents
    • Barnum West Community Co-Op at 1st
    • Congregation Zera Abraham
    • Denver Sustainable Food Policy Council
    • Food in Communities Regional Initiative
    • West Colfax Business Improvement District

What we asked the community

  • How do you feel about these draft policies?
  • Do they reflect what your priorities?
  • Do they reflect what you have told us about your area?
  • Are the recommendations on the right track?

How the public participated

  • 304 people joined email list
  • 237 took survey on draft recommendations
  • Talked with planners at 10 community events and 12 office hours sessions
  • Observed steering committee meetings

Results and resources


Community Review of Draft Plan

What the planning team worked on

  • Collected public input on the draft plan
  • Continued to work with the community steering committee
  • Continued to work with local community organizations to reach under represented populations
  • Continued to spread the word about the planning process

What we asked the community

  • Does the plan reflect your vision for the future of your neighborhood?
  • Do you support the vision in the plan?

How the public participated

  • Read and commented on the plan
    • Draft 1:
      • 4178 page views
    • Draft 2:
      • 2034 page views
  • 42 attended the community workshop
  • Submitted comments through comment form
  • Talked with planners at community 9 events and 13 office hours

Results and resources

Resources provided by the Steering Committee to aid in the review of the draft plan





West Area Team

Planning is a collaborative, community-driven process facilitated by city staff with the support of City Council offices, partner agencies and guided by a steering committee of residents, local businesses, neighborhood groups, community-serving organizations and other constituencies from every neighborhood in the planning area.

City Planners

Courtland Hyser
Principal City Planner

Fernando Abbud (Habla español)
Associate City Planner

Chelsea Bennouna
Associate City Planner

Becca Dierschow
Senior City Planner – Landmark Preservation

City Council Offices

Council District 1
Councilwoman Jamie Torres

Council District 3
Councilwoman Amanda Sandoval

Council District 7
Councilman Jolon Clark


Steering Committee

  • Jon Koneman, Barnum
  • Kaye Kavanagh, Barnum
  • Bree Davies, Barnum
  • RB Fast, Barnum West
  • Chala Mohr, Barnum West
  • Crystal Reed, Barnum West
  • Jeanne Granville, Sun Valley
  • Tamil Maldonado, Sun Valley
  • Lisa Saenz, Sun Valley
  • Maureen McCanna, Valverde
  • Dannie Dilonno, Valverde
  • Brien Darby, Valverde
  • Sean Brady, Villa Park
  • Jaime Aguilar, Villa Park
  • Korey Whitaker, Villa Park
  • Jessica Dominguez, West Colfax
  • Rabbi Tzvi Steinberg/Ephraim A. Bulow, West Colfax
  • Dan Shah, Small Business Retention and Development
  • Veronica Barela, Affordable Housing Development Expert
  • Adriana Peña, DPS Latinx Community Outreach Specialist





Project Archive

Previous Plan Drafts

  • Draft 1 (PDF) - Posted in March 2022 and reviewed by the West Area Steering Committee. 
  • Draft 2 (PDF) - Posted for public review in November 2022   
  • Draft 3 (PDF) - Posted for public review in January 2023 
  • Draft 4 (PDF) - Presented to the Denver Planning Board on February 15, 2023


Community Meetings and Office Hours

Below are listed all the community meetings, workshops, office hours and pop-up events hosted by the planning team.  

Event and location Date Materials

West Area Plan Kickoff (Community meeting 1)
Newlon Elementary School
361 Vrain Street, Denver

10/5/2019 Presentation(PDF)
Community Meeting 2 and Housing Resource Fair

Lake Middle School
1820 Lowell Boulevard, Denver



Self-guided Online Open House 6/25/2020 - 8/21/2020

Virtual Information Sessions on ADUs

  • 10/20/2021
  • 10/23/2021
  • 10/27/2021
  • 10/30/2021
Community Workshop 3 
Barnum Elementary School, 85 Hooker St. 
 11/12/2022 Presentation(PDF, 6MB) 
In-person Office Hours
Locations varied
  • 11/1/2022
  • 11/8/2022
  • 11/15/2022
  • 12/6/2022
  • 12/13/2022



Planning Board Information Item
Webb Municipal Building, Room 4.F.6, 201 W. Colfax Ave.

  • 1/18/2023
 Meeting replay
Planning Board Public Hearing
Webb Municipal Building, Room 4.F.6, 201 W. Colfax Ave.
  • 2/15/2023
Land Use, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Meeting
City and County Building, 1437 Bannock St.  
  • 2/28/2023
City Council Public Hearing
City and County Building, 1437 Bannock St.
  • 3/28/2023


Virtual Community Office Hours
  • 10 a.m.- noon, 8/6/2020
  • 9-11 a.m., 8/8/2020
  • 8-10 a.m., 8/13/2020
  • 9-11 a.m., 8/15/2020
  • 3:30-5:30 p.m., 8/18/2020
  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m., 8/21/2020
  • Noon-2p.m., 8/25/2020
  • 3-5 p.m., 8/28/2020
  • 11:30-1:30 p.m., 9/2/2020
  • Noon-2 p.m., 9/9/2020
  • 1-2 p.m., 5/17/2021
  • 9-10 a.m., 5/22/2021
  • 4-5 p.m., 5/24/2021
  • Noon-1 p.m., 6/3/2021
  • 9-10 a.m., 6/5/2021
  • 4-5 p.m., 6/7/2021
  • Noon-1 p.m., 6/10/2021
  • 9-10 a.m., 6/12/2021
  • 4-5 p.m., 6/14/2021
  • Noon-1 p.m., 6/17/2021
  • 4-5 p.m., 6/21/2021
  • Noon-1 p.m., 6/24/2021
  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m., 11/09/2022
  • 2-4 p.m., 11/10/2022
  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m., 11/16/2022
  • 2-4 p.m., 11/17/2022
  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m., 11/30/2022
  • 2-4 p.m., 12/1/2022
  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m., 12/7/2022
  • 2-4 p.m., 12/8/2022

Steering Committee Meetings

Event Date Materials

Meeting #1

Meeting #2 10/17/2019
Meeting #3 11/21/2019
Meeting #4 12/19/19
Meeting #5 1/16/20
Meeting #6 2/20/20
Meeting #7 3/19/20
Meeting #8 4/16/20
Meeting #9 5/21/20
Meeting #10 6/18/20
Meeting #11 7/16/20
Meeting #12 8/20/20
Meeting #13 9/17/20
Meeting #14 10/15/20
Meeting #15 1/28/21
Meeting #16 2/18/21
Meeting #17 3/18/21
Meeting #18 4/15/21
Meeting #19 5/20/21
Meeting #20 6/17/21
Meeting #21


Meeting #22 8/20/21 
Meeting #23  9/17/21 
Meeting #24  10/21/21
Meeting #25 11/18/21
Meeting #26    
Meeting #27 


Meeting #28  3/15/22 
Meeting #29  4/9/22 
Meeting #30  5/17/22 
Draft Plan Working Group Meeting #1  6/8/22 
Draft Plan Working Group Meeting #2  6/15/22 
Draft Plan Working Group Meeting #3  6/22/22 
Meeting #31 6/22/22
Draft Plan Working Group Meeting #4  6/29/22 
Draft Plan Working Group Meeting #5 7/6/22 
Draft Plan Working Group Meeting #6  7/13/22 
Draft Plan Working Group Meeting #7  7/20/22 
Draft Plan Working Group Meeting #8 7/27/22 
Meeting #32 10/5/22
Meeting #33 10/19/22   
Meeting #34   12/7/22
Meeting #35 1/4/23 
Meeting #36 2/1/23

Other Neighborhood Meetings and Events

Listed below are (1) meetings hosted by West Area neighborhood groups and organizations, or other City of Denver departments or teams that West Area Plan team members attended, (2) community events at which the plan had a booth/table or was part of a larger booth or table representing the City of Denver, and (3) stakeholder conversations convened or hosted by West Area organizations. 

  • 9/11/2019 - Valverde Elementary Parent Teacher Leadership Team
  • 10/8/2019 - WeCAN RNO Meeting
  • 10/23/2019 - West Colfax BID Cloverleaf Community Meeting
  • 11/12/2019 - Barnum RNO Meeting
  • 11/12/2019 - Commander Advisory Board Meeting District 4 PD
  • 11/13/2019 - Sloan's Lake Citizen Group Meeting
  • 11/13/2019 - Community Meeting at Congregation Zera Avraham
  • 11/22/2019 - Presentation to Seniors at Casa de Rosal
  • 12/14/2019 - West Area Plan "Community Conversations" Existing Conditions Digital Survey 
  • 12/17/2019 - Westridge Community Meeting
  • 1/25/2020 - Far East Center Chinese New Year Celebration 
  • 2/13/2020 - Work Session #1 Housing and Land Use
  • 3/3/2020 – Mobility Work Session
  • 3/5/2020 - West Mobility/NTMP Work Session
  • 3/31/2020 - Food/Food Systems Work Session
  • 7/30/2020 - Recommendations Workshop (North and South of 6th)
  • 8/4/2020 - Sun Valley RNO Presentation on NPI West
  • 8/13/2020 - Recommendations Workshop (North and South of 6th)
  • 8/27/2020 - Stadium Development Master Plan Meeting
  • 9/21/2020 - WDCLC Quarterly Meeting Update
  • 10/7/2020 - CPD West Area Plan Understanding Displacement Panel
  • 6/26/2021 - Valverde Neighborhood Park Clean up and Storytelling Event
  • 7/24/2021 - Valverde Movement Project: Youth Activities Pop-Up
  • 7/31/2021 – Co-Op at 1st Ave Farmer’s Market Event & Resource Fair
  • 8/7/2021 - Valverde Movement Project "Getting Around" (aka Mobility) Pop-Up
  • 8/24/2021 - Athmar Park Neighborhood Association Meeting
  • 8/25/2021 - Villa Park Neighborhood Association Meeting
  • 8/28/2021 - Villa Park Movie Night
  • 8/30/2021 - Congregation Zera Abraham
  • 9/7/2021 - Sun Valley Coalition Meeting
  • 9/10/2021 - Sun Valley Farmers Market Block Party 
  • 10/16/2021 - Valverde Neighborhood Association
  • 11/9/2021 - West Colfax  Association of Neighbors
  • 2/2/2021 - Denver Planning Board information item
  • 3/3/2022 - Historic and Cultural Preservation Walking Tour with Council District 1
  • 3/9/2022 - Valverde Neighborhood Association 
  • 4/23/2022 - Joseph Martinez Park Cleanup in Villa Park
  • 9/1/2022 – West Area CAG Public Meeting
  • 10/26/2022 – Villa Park RNO Meeting
  • 11/03/2022 – West Area Community Advisory Group
  • 11/10/2022 – Valverde Elementary PTLT
  • 11/28/2022 – Denver Public Schools
  • 12/06/2022 – Sun Valley RNO Meeting
  • 12/09/2022 – Valverde RNO Meeting
  • 12/13/2022 – Barnum RNO Meeting
  • 1/26/2023 – Latino Cultural Arts Center Meeting


Past survey information