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West Area Plan Virtual Community Event

 
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Get started: Read each section and complete each accompanying survey at your own pace, share with your neighbors and friends, and let us know if you have any questions. 

 

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Opportunities in Land Use

Land use refers to how buildings and property are used.

From our planning glossary:

A phrase that refers to how people use public and private property. For example, residential land use refers to use of land or property where people live and where residential structures may be built. Commercial land use refers to use of property intended for commercial enterprise that may range from office space to restaurants and retail.

  

What you told us and what we've  learned

Guiding principles

About where to grow

Growth is most appropriate where infrastructure, amenities and services are present.

Direct future growth to areas near transit, along major corridors, and around gulches—while making sure future development benefits the existing community and enhances the quality of life for all residents.

About where to adapt

Industrial areas have opportunities (e.g., jobs) and challenges (e.g., truck traffic and noise). More discussion is needed on how these areas can better serve community needs.

Enhance existing industrial areas to better serve the neighborhood. Incorporate a broader mix of uses to expand services to residents and improve streets to increase safety and create better connections.

About where to expand

Residents want more housing options that are diverse and affordable for families and people in different phases of life (e.g., townhomes, condominiums, and accessory dwelling units, not just apartments or single-family homes).

Expand housing options that are affordable for residents at all income levels and lifestyles. This includes offering more housing choices than apartments and single-family homes—by encouraging affordable duplex, triplex, tandem homes and accessory dwelling units.

About where to nurture

Local retail areas like 10th Avenue and Knox need support and investment to create neighborhood businesses and services and to create places for people to gather.

Support existing shopping areas inside neighborhoods by encouraging community-desired uses and design that contributes to the character of the surrounding neighborhoods. 

About where to preserve

The community wants to keep and encourage high-quality design in residential areas to protect the existing character and community identity.

Preserve existing housing that is already more affordable to residents (i.e., smaller, original homes) and encourage great design in new development.

 

Land use opportunities map

>> Download West Area Land Use Opportunities Map (PDF)

Corridors provide direct connections through neighborhoods and to surrounding communities and may accommodate high-frequency transit. Primary corridors serve mostly commercial and business areas. Secondary corridors serve mostly residential areas with some commercial activity and businesses. Primary and Secondary corridors should absorb much of Denver’s future growth. A third type of corridor, "neighborhood corridors," are predominately residential and may include some small-scale commercial storefronts.

RTD station areas should accommodate a mix of uses that support frequent transit services. Local Stations (Perry and Knox) are intended to have lower-scale development compared with Regional Station Areas (Sheridan and Decatur), which should be destinations with mid-to higher-level developments.

Neighborhood centers are small commercial areas that are centrally located in neighborhoods and should be active places where residents socialize and shop.

Neighborhood areas are where most residents live. The types of housing (e.g., single-unit, duplex, apartments) in West Denver vary by geography and neighborhood. Generally, the current housing stock north of Dry Gulch is more diverse than the south.

Industrial areas in West Denver are major employment centers for Denver and the region. The businesses located here offer stable, good paying jobs in important job sectors.

Opportunities in Economy

Economy refers to jobs, housing and small businesses.

What you told us and what we've learned

Guiding principles

About where to grow

Transit-oriented development (TOD) could be a valuable neighborhood asset and provide community benefits. Transit corridors could be good locations to accommodate growth within the West Area.

Direct growth to areas along major corridors, centers and in industrial areas that are integrated with public transit to preserve neighborhood character and encourage new community benefits.

About where to adapt

The industrial areas of Valverde and Sun Valley are strong job centers with good paying jobs. There is an opportunity to employ more West Area residents.

 

Strengthen ties between local businesses and residents – increase opportunities for residents to have local, well-paying jobs that don’t require long commutes.

About where to expand

Local retail centers (e.g., First Avenue and Knox) are valuable places for the neighborhoods.  Community members have asked to see more retail shops and local businesses in all six neighborhoods.

Explore places within the planning area that might be suitable for small-scale mixed-use retail and job centers.

About where to nurture

Job growth in the West Area has been strong along commercial corridors such as Federal and Alameda and in the industrial areas near the Platte River. These are places where more local jobs should be established.

Encourage a variety of local jobs, growth and innovation along major corridors, centers and in the existing industrial areas.

About where to preserve

Affordable commercial spaces along major corridors, in local retail centers and industrial areas should be maintained and expanded to draw quality, local businesses that provide a diverse array of goods and services.

Promote investment in existing local small businesses and use tools and programs that preserve existing affordable commercial spaces.

 

economic opportunities map

>> Download economic opportunities map (PDF)

Legend:

A - Transit-oriented development areas - RTD station areas that should accommodate a mix of uses that support frequent transit services. 

The RTD West Line is a major transit asset running through the West Area, and there are many opportunities around the Decatur-Federal, Knox, Perry, and Sheridan stations for transit-oriented development, which is development intentionally built to maximize its proximity to public transit. 

B - Industrial areas - major employment centers for Denver and the region and an economic asset to the community. These areas are not integrated into the residential areas surrounding them. Residents have suggested the plan “soften the edge” around the industrial areas, creating industrial/mixed-use development opportunities and better transitions. In addition, residents have also asked for stronger connections through the industrial areas to the Platte River and beyond.

C - Neighborhood centers
D - Commercial/mixed-use areas

These small commercial areas that are centrally located in neighborhoods and should be active places where residents socialize and shop. The plan could promote small-scale, "main street" style mixed-use development in limited locations in residential areas, such as along 1st and 10th avenues.

E - Commercial corridors - commercial areas that offer affordable rents and low vacancy rates. While there is strong demand for these spaces, residents suggest there are opportunities to enhance the public realm along these corridors to make it more welcoming for pedestrians (e.g. better landscaping, improved store facades, better pedestrian accessibility).

F - Transformative main street corridor - with its proximity to Dry Gulch, RTD light rail stations, and uninterrupted east/west connectivity from the South Platte River to Lakewood, 10th Avenue could be an important opportunity area for West Denver. There is potential to create a “main street” or “grand avenue” with community focused retail, bike and pedestrian improvements, transit improvements, etc. 

G - Cloverleaf/stadium area - the area around Broncos Stadium at Mile High and the neighboring cloverleaf at the intersection of Federal Boulevard and West Colfax Avenue. For information on planning in the Broncos Stadium at Mile High area, visit the Stadium District Master Plan Implementation page.

 

Opportunities in Mobility

Mobility refers to getting around by car, bike, walking or rolling.

From our planning glossary:

The ability of people to move around as part of their daily routines.

  • What does the city mean when we say we want to “increase or improve mobility?” We mean to offer residents more and better options for how to move around the city and making it easier/safer to use these options. 
What you told us and what we've learned

Guiding principles

About where to improve

Getting around by walking, rolling or bicycling should be safer.

Make walking more comfortable and accessible by improving sidewalks and crosswalks. Create more space for people walking, rolling, and biking and improve access to transit.

About where to adapt

Residents want to slow down speeding cars along major corridors (e.g., Federal, Colfax, Alameda) and along neighborhood streets (e.g., Knox Court, Perry Street, 14th Avenue, 10th Avenue, and 1st Avenue). Residents also want improvements at key intersections to help drivers see pedestrians.

Implement traffic-calming measures to slow down speeding cars and discourage outside traffic from traveling through neighborhoods.

About where to expand

Residents want to make biking safer. Responses to surveys also asked to make it easier to use transit. Completing sidewalks, bus stops and rail stations could increase transit use, which would support numerous citywide safety, mobility and environmental goals.

 

Improve connections between neighborhoods. Add safer bike lanes, improve intersections along important corridors and centers, make transit more accessible, and give residents more options beyond driving.

About where to nurture

Many residents asked to increase community connections and better integrate industrial areas with residential areas to provide a safer, more pedestrian-friendly environment.

 

Improve access to the South Platte River, Lakewood/Dry Gulch, and Weir Gulch trails and West area open spaces. Add new and improved crossings at busy intersections (e.g., crossing Colfax, 6th Avenue, Alameda, Sheridan and Federal Boulevards), and across railroad tracks and natural features (e.g., the South Platte River and gulches) to enhance safety and community character.

About where to preserve

Residents want to preserve and enhance connections to nature. Current access to trails and gulches is confusing.

Lighting, signage and sidewalk and trail repairs will make it easier for residents to walk, roll and bike around the gulches and trails.

 

mobility opportunities map

>> Download mobility opportunities map (PDF)

Map legend and definitions: 

Solid circles - Existing crossing to be improved
Dotted circles - New crossing

Based on public feedback, streets have been grouped into four different types.

1 - Red dotted lines - major roadways - Colfax Avenue, Alameda Avenue, Sheridan Boulevard, Federal Boulevard

These roads are established, wide, busy streets that serve the Denver region and have been designed to move vehicles. The strategies to improve them include the following:

  • Pedestrian improvements at major intersections 
  • Improve the overall pedestrian experience to increase safety
  • Add signage and elevate awareness of all users (e.g., people walking, rolling and biking, in addition to those in cars)
  • Improve transit access and enhance bus stops

2 - Orange dotted lines - busy corridors - 17th Avenue, 14th Avenue, 8th Avenue, Knox Street, Perry Street, Bryant/Decatur

The purpose of these streets is to connect local neighborhood streets to major corridors. They can serve all travel options (e.g., pedestrians, bicycles, transit and cars). Strategies to make these corridors feel more comfortable for all users include:

  • Traffic calming, reduced travel speeds, and narrow travel lanes
  • Sidewalks and bike lanes
  • Improved visibility at intersections
  • Signage and increased awareness of multiple modes of travel 
  • Enhanced crossings

3 - Solid light green lines - local neighborhood streets - Tennyson Street, 10th Avenue, Hazel Court, Bayaud Avenue, 2nd Avenue, 1st Avenue

These streets are designed to carry low amounts of traffic. Strategies to prioritize bikes and pedestrians include:

  • Making it more comfortable to walk (e.g., wider sidewalks, trees for shade, lighting, etc.)
  • Safer bicycle lanes 
  • Improved pedestrian and bicycle crossings at intersections
  • New pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure
    • Pedestrian bridge at Tennyson Avenue and 6th Avenue
    • Connection between 1st Avenue and Bryant Street
    • Connection along Bayaud Avenue between Zuni Street and the north side of West Bar Val Wood Park
  • Opportunities to install green infrastructure or plant more trees
  • Signage to help people get around

4 - Dark green lines - gulches and trails - Lakewood/Dry Gulch Trail, Weir Gulch Trail, South Platte River Trail

Gulches and trails are important assets, serving as the backbone for pedestrian and bicycle movement throughout the neighborhoods. Strategies for improvements include:

  • Complete gulch and trail networks
  • Improve access and crossings
  • Add new or missing crossings
    • Weir Gulch at Alameda
    • Lakewood Gulch at Sheridan
  • Improve the overall quality of the trails (e.g., trail surfaces, entrances, widths, etc.)
  • Upgrade signage 
  • Improve lighting 
  • Improve natural areas

The West Colfax - Villa Park Transportation Management Project launched in January 2020. It is part of the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure's Neighborhood Transportation Management Program (NTMP), and it complements the West Area Plan.

Broadly, the NTMP seeks to improve the movement of people within and between neighborhoods by working collaboratively to identify concrete actions that support safety, connectivity, and accessibility. 

The NTMP will work with statistical neighborhoods, one-on-one, to develop and implement projects and actions that:

  • Help reduce vehicle speeds
  • Improve comfort and accessibility for people walking and biking
  • Improve connection to transit
  • Improve safety and connectivity within and between neighborhoods
  • Support neighborhood-level priorities

Resources:

W. Colfax/Villa Park NTMP webpage
Learn more about the project ongoing in the West Colfax and Villa Park neighborhoods, view the project schedule, and sign up for updates

What we've heard so far (PDF)
Review a summary of community feedback received to date on transportation issues and challenges in the West Colfax - Villa Park area

NTMP Overview
Learn more about the NTMP for all neighborhoods

Opportunities in Quality of Life

Quality of life refers to parks, trails, open space and other types of infrastructure that helps makes neighborhoods livable.

What you told us and what we've learned

Guiding principles

About where to improve

West area residents have voiced a strong desire to strengthen overall quality of life. Improvements suggested include planting more trees, adding more community gathering spaces, beautification through green infrastructure (e.g., along the gulches, trails, South Platte), completing food and health systems, and making other neighborhood improvements through lighting, artwork, culture, heritage, and signage.

Encourage natural areas and green infrastructure in the communities where the need is great (e.g., Sun Valley and Valverde), and around existing park facilities, trails and gulches. Food systems, specifically production and distribution, should be emphasized to address food insecurity.

About where to adapt

Existing gulches, trails and the South Platte River provide opportunities for pedestrian activation and connection, and serve as natural backyard amenities. These areas should be studied, adapted and preserved in line with citywide priorities, goals and community values.

 

Enhance existing green infrastructure networks to serve neighborhood needs, including ways to increase mobility options and connections along gulches and trails.  

About where to expand

Residents expressed support for opportunities to expand access to healthy food, healthcare and local organizations providing these services.   

 

Plan policies should promote access to healthy food and healthcare, and support partnerships and collaboration among city agencies and community organizations to expand services to West Area residents.

About where to nurture

West Denver is a culturally rich and diverse area where important elements of history remain.  

Cultural identity should be nurtured and celebrated through art, murals and important community gathering spaces (e.g., recreation centers, sports fields, community co-ops, youth programs, plazas and natural open spaces).

About where to preserve

Cultural preservation and access to parks and open space natural areas are important values for West Area residents. These local values align with citywide environmental and sustainability goals and priorities. Preservation of cultural and historic areas are also priorities for the neighborhoods. 

Invest in parks, open spaces and culturally significant areas that are important to the neighborhoods that surround them. Maintain and encourage increased accessibility to family-oriented places and encourage activities that build on the existing sense of community. Create opportunities to enhance parks and recreation facilities and increase programming for youth and seniors. 

 

quality of life opportunities map

> Download the Quality of Life Opportunities map (PDF)

Descriptions of opportunities

Parks, gulches and trails:

  • Improve park, gulch and trail entrances with upgraded lighting, signage and improve the conditions of existing trails and sidewalks.
  • Create a network of “Green Streets” connecting parks, gulches and trails that may include a variety of design and safety enhancements that slow vehicle traffic and promote walking and biking. Examples of design and safety improvements include increased pedestrian visibility at crossings, better lighting, wayfinding, slower traffic and improved pedestrian and bicycle facilities. The streets should connect to existing parks, trails and gulches and help identify park entrances.
  • Establish a continuous, well-marked and safe multi-use trail along Weir Gulch from Alameda Avenue to the South Platte River. This improvement would address the many gaps in the Weir Gulch Trail and help connect neighborhoods to the river and Downtown.

Climate resilience and environment:

  • Encourage projects to incorporate sustainable practices (e.g., solar panels, green roofs/cool roofs, energy efficiency, renewable materials, etc.)
  • Creative incentives for projects to include more resilient components into the design such as more trees, native vegetation, natural storm water management, pervious surfaces, etc.
  • Create incentives for projects to include techniques that improve air quality (e.g., electric vehicle charging stations, bike maintenance stations, bike/vehicle sharing programs, green building guidelines, etc.)
  • Stormwater management and water quality practices can reduce environmental contamination and reduce risks while simultaneously slowing vehicle traffic and creating safer streets for walking, rolling and biking. These enhancements could become part of a “Green Streets” network.

Parks and open space activities:

  • Create community plazas and public open spaces for gatherings, events, festivals and celebrations
  • Add or complete sidewalk pathways around the perimeters of West Area parks
  • Incorporate shade and seating in parks to increase use and comfort for residents of all ages and abilities
  • Explore opportunities for community gardens and food production in parks and school facilities
  • Consider design changes to the South Platte River to create new community gathering spaces with better access to the river
  • Explore opportunities to create new neighborhood parks in areas that are currently further from a 10-minute walk from a park
  • Seek to expand more publicly-accessible open spaces (pocket parks or plazas) as part of redevelopment as it occurs, especially along major corridors such as West Colfax Avenue and Federal Boulevard