Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Denver Planning and Development

Denver residents, community groups and city leaders have been beating a steady drum for more neighborhood planning across the city, and Community Planning and Development is ready to deliver.

This afternoon, at the Denver Planning Board at 3 p.m. meeting, city planners will present the Neighborhood Planning Initiative (“NPI”) – a new commitment by the City and County of Denver to provide area plans for every neighborhood in the city. The board is reviewing the initiative’s strategic plan, which details a new approach to neighborhood planning, crafted with community input, that will make a more efficient use of available resources to achieve better, more equitable area plan coverage for all of Denver in less time (10 to 14 years) than our current approach would do (about 80 years).

What follows are highlights from the strategic plan as well as information on how to stay informed and get involved. Planning will begin in earnest next year, and we look forward to working with all of you to address your community’s unique opportunities and challenges according to its own history, character and vision for the future!

·         Why do we need more neighborhood planning?
Currently, only about 20 percent of Denver has an up-to-date area plan. The rest of the city either has a plan that predates 2002’s Blueprint Denver land use and transportation plan, or has no plan at all.

·         How will it work?

o   To plan efficiently, neighborhoods will be grouped together to create planning areas that share similar characteristics and challenges, thereby reducing the total number of plans that must be produced.

o   Area planning will occur in phases, with planning taking place in three areas of the city at a time and each plan taking 18-24 months. 

o   The order in which area plans are rolled out will be based on factors including planning need (as measured by various metrics), opportunities to draw on additional resources such as grant funding, input from elected officials and community leaders, and efforts to maximize staff and other resources.

·         What will the planning process be like?

o   Like the Denveright citywide planning effort, area planning will be community-driven, drawing from the input and expertise of residents, local leaders, business owners and neighborhood groups, guided by a multi-pronged outreach and communications strategy.

o   The content and scope for all plans will include some standard topics and will follow a standard process for the selection of neighborhood-specific focus topics.

o   The process will also focus on implementation, with all plans identifying metrics to track progress.

·         When and where does it start?

o   Phase I of the Neighborhood Planning Initiative will begin in early 2017 with a plan kickoff for the Far Northeast area, which encompasses the Montbello, Gateway and Green Valley Ranch neighborhoods. These areas have outdated plans and lack access to goods and services.

o   Later in 2017, Phase I will continue with plans for the East Central and East planning areas, which encompass the East Colfax corridor from Capitol Hill to the city’s eastern city limit. The plans will benefit from a 2017 Urban Center planning grant from the Denver Regional Council of Governments and a Federal Transit Administration grant for transit-oriented development planning on Colfax.

o   Phase II, which will begin once Phase I is complete, will address the West, Near Northwest and Near Southeast planning areas. Those areas encompass the following neighborhoods: West Colfax, Villa Park, Sun Valley, Barnum, Barnum West and Valverde (West); Jefferson Park, Highland, Sunnyside, and Chaffee Park (Near Northwest), and Washington Virginia Vale, Virginia Village, Indian Creek, and Goldsmith (Near Southeast).

·         How do I learn more and get involved?

o   CLICK HERE to read the Planning Board review draft of the Neighborhood Planning Initiative Strategic Plan (PDF).

o   CLICK HERE to submit comments and questions on the draft.

o   CLICK HERE to sign up for updates on the Neighborhood Planning Initiative.

o   For information on today’s Planning Board meeting, visit The meeting will be broadcast on Denver’s Channel 8 and online at starting at 3 p.m.

For more detailed information on the Neighborhood Planning Initiative, including the planning areas, phasing, analysis of planning need, the planning process, and what you can do to prepare before planning begins in our area, visit More opportunities for involvement will be available once planning starts next year, so be sure to check back.

Alexandra O. Foster | Communications Program Manager
Community Planning and Development | City and County of Denver
p: (720) 865-2969 |