What is a City Plan?


The City Plan, which will be an update to the City’s existing comprehensive plan, should articulate the community’s vision for the next 20 years, establish shared values, and identify priorities for the future. It should also provide direction on issues such as what land uses go where, how people get around, access to housing, and supporting the local economy. The City Plan should provide the framework for many decisions for years to come, guiding the actions of property owners, residents, elected and appointed officials, City staff, and others. Getting involved in this planning process and sharing your views helps to shape the future of Wheat Ridge.


There will be four phases of engagement where community members will have the opportunity to provide input, both in person or online. Engagement will culminate in the finalization and adoption of the plan in the spring of 2025.Project timeline graphic from April 2024 to March 2025 showing key events and implementation stages for the City Plan project.

A community-driven process

The Wheat Ridge City Plan process is informed and guided by the Wheat Ridge community through several methods of engagement.

An 18-member steering committee of local stakeholders is working closely with city staff and project consultants throughout the process.

The project webpage on What’s Up Wheat Ridge will be updated regularly. This site is a consistent place for the community to gather information, and contribute ideas and feedback through periodic online surveys.

Open houses in April, June, September and February will provide an opportunity for the community to learn about the planning process and have in-depth conversations about issues important to them.

What’s behind a great city plan?

A City Plan, the blueprint for a community’s future, should provide guidance on where and how the community will invest and change over the next 20 years. To do this effectively, it must accomplish the following three things:

It plans for what is known.

A great plan identifies trends and issues allowing a community to make well-informed choices that are likely to achieve desired outcomes.

It gets the ‘Big Things’ right.

A great plan identifies a few issues that are so important to a community’s future that they require focused attention and resources to ensure they are handled correctly

It creates a decision-making framework for what is unknown.

A great plan even provides direction for the unknown by creating a decision-making framework (tied to core values) for circumstances that cannot be predicted.

How does a plan become reality?

If the City Council and other community leaders make decisions consistent with the comprehensive plan, it will be reflected in the following:

Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) - CIPs involve the annual allocation of resources to pay for improvements to public facilities, equipment, and infrastructure. The City Plan should provide significant direction for CIPs.

Land Use and Design Regulations - The City Plan is the legal basis for the zoning code, which determines land use, density, and other characteristics of the built environment. After the plan is adopted, the code may need to be updated to reflect the plan.

Housing and Neighborhood Policy - Goals related to housing can be realized through the zoning code, as well as the allocation of resources to encourage specific types of investments in new or existing housing.

Economic Development Policy - Actions to promote economic activity of specific types and in specific places—to create jobs, build the tax base, or provide desired services— can be molded to reflect goals, trends, and conditions described in the plan.

Transportation and Infrastructure - The City Plan should influence how federal, state, and local transportation and infrastructure dollars are allocated to improve conditions, boost capacity, or change how infrastructure is used.

Parks and Recreation - The CIPs, general fund, and zoning code can all be used to support investment in or expansion of parks and recreational facilities to implement the plan.

Small Area Plans - The City Plan cannot provide detailed direction for what should happen on every block. But subsequent plans or updated plans for specific neighborhoods, corridors, and communities can be developed to apply the overall goals of the City Plan at a more granular level.

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