Draft West Area Plan centers quality of life issues

Published on February 14, 2023

West Area Plan PB draft cover

After three years of work with residents, business owners and community leaders, a draft of the West Area Plan will get a hearing and vote before the Denver Planning Board tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 15. The draft 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.

Planning Board Public Hearing
3 p.m., Wednesday, February 15
Visit www.DenverGov.org/planningboard for information on virtual and in person participation

The draft plan reflects community priorities, honors the history and diversity of the West Area, and aims to guide growth in a way that aligns with and balances city and neighborhood goals. In a first for neighborhood plans in Denver, the draft also acknowledges the historic inequities the area has faced as well as their roots in past public policy decisions. It provides strategies to address these challenges, which residents and stakeholders identified through the planning process. It also brings the recommendations that address quality of life issues associated with systemic inequality—such as food access, tree canopy, sidewalks and others—to the document’s forefront, using them as an overarching guide for the rest of the document, as requested by the project’s community steering committee.

“West Denver residents have always taken an active role in their community, and this planning process has honored that history both in its intent and its resulting recommendations,” said Laura E. Aldrete, executive director of Denver Community Planning and Development. “Our urban planners continue to do great work looking for ways to make our engagement with the community better and more meaningful, and this draft plan is a reflection of that.”

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
  • Directing future growth along high-capacity transit corridors and centers, and ensuring future development results in neighborhoods that are more complete with mobility, quality of life enhancements, and access to opportunities for all residents.

Visit www.DenverGov.org/westplan for more on the plan and the planning process.

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BUILDING COMMUNITY: Denver Community Planning and Development (CPD) is responsible for visionary city planning and ensuring safe, responsible, sustainable building. CPD regulates planning, zoning, development and maintenance of private property in Denver. We're working hard to make Denver a great place to live, work and play! Visit DenverGov.org/CPD, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @DenverCPD.