44th Avenue Subarea Plan
About the Project
West 44th Avenue is one of the City's primary east-west corridors, and the 44th Avenue Subarea Plan will provide a long-range planning document for the western portion. The City of Wheat Ridge has hired a planning consultant, MIG Inc, to assist with the W. 44th Avenue Subarea Plan throughout 2022.
The plan will focus on W. 44th Avenue between Youngfield Street and Clear Creek (near Field Street) and will more broadly include the portion of the City between Clear Creek and I-70. This western end of W. 44th Avenue is not simply a corridor; it is the connection between the eastern and western portions of the City, for the transit-oriented development (TOD) at Wheat Ridge · Ward Station, for Clear Creek Trail, for the Clear Creek Crossing development at the City’s far western edge, and for numerous adjacent residential neighborhoods. The Envision Wheat Ridge Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 2009, classifies W. 44th Avenue as a Neighborhood Commercial Corridor and the primary east/west corridor for the City.
Per the community input gathered through the recently updated Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy and the ongoing Let’s Talk resident engagement program, the community wants to see improvements made to the aesthetic of its primary corridors, and W. 44th is a priority among those. Today, W. 44th Avenue has a mix of conditions that create a unique context for future planning and redevelopment. Although the sidewalks, curbs, pavement, and lighting in the public right of way are in fairly good condition, there is, broadly speaking, inconsistency in private property investment and maintenance that undermines the overall visual appeal of the corridor. The City has taken some important steps, such as updating the Streetscape Design Manual to require trees along the street behind the curb, among other improvements, to enhance the overall user experience along the corridor, and enhancing the corridor will be a key part of this subarea plan.
What's New?This project is underway! Here are a few ways you can get involved:
The subarea planning process will combine public input with technical analysis to establish a long-range vision and guiding principles for the W. 44th Avenue corridor which will guide future development decisions. The plan will include an assessment of land use, transportation circulation, neighborhood connections, and redevelopment standards to ensure they are appropriate for the corridor. The subarea plan will focus on revitalization and reinvestment in the W. 44th Avenue corridor, including businesses, neighborhoods, key economic drivers, and community assets. The goal is to create a vision and redevelopment strategy for the W. 44th Avenue corridor and to identify priority actions that will help achieve the vision and visibly improve the community.
The 44th Avenue Subarea Plan will update and replace the 2007 Fruitdale Subarea Plan. The Fruitdale plan covered a smaller geographic area and pre-dates many existing conditions including the current I-70 ramps, RTD's Wheat Ridge · Ward commuter rail station, investments in Anderson Park, and the Clear Creek Crossing development. City Council originally approved the project budget and contract award in 2019, and a kickoff was planned for early 2020, but the project was put on hold at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It will take about a years to complete the subarea plan, and that time frame allows for extensive input from the
community including virtual and in-person events, surveys, and other activities. Like the City's other subarea plans, it will be adopted as an update or amendment to the City's comprehensive plan.
What is a Subarea Plan?
A subarea plan is a long-range planning document that articulates a vision for a specific geographic area. Unlike the City's comprehensive plan which outlines a vision for the entire City, a subarea plan describes more specific goals for the land use, design and transportation for a specific area. A subarea plan is sometimes called a master plan, small area plan, or station area plan.
The image at the right (click to enlarge) explains how a subarea plan fits into the processes of planning and development and how it relates to the the more general comprehensive plan and more specific development approvals.
How to Get Involved
We expect the public engagement process for the 44th Avenue Subarea Plan to begin in February 2022 and extend through the entire year. The City is committed to ensuring as many stakeholders as possible are included in the planning process.
In the coming months, project updates and engagement opportunities will be announced on the City's social media platforms, in the monthly Mayor’s Matters e-newsletter, provided here on the City website, and on the interactive project site What's Up Wheat Ridge where you can register to engage and subscribe for updates.