Lutheran Legacy Campus

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The Lutheran Medical Campus is located at 8300 W. 38th Avenue in the heart of Wheat Ridge, and it has operated as a medical use since 1905. A new Lutheran hospital is currently being constructed at the Clear Creek Crossing development, and the hospital’s move presents a rare opportunity to reimagine the future of the Lutheran Legacy Campus. Learn more about past planning efforts and next steps below.


The hospital is moving.

The Lutheran Medical Campus is located at 8300 W. 38th Avenue in the heart of the community. On August 3rd of this year, Lutheran Medical Center will move to Clear Creek Crossing.

West Pines Behavioral Hospital is planning to move to a larger facility in Westminster in early 2025. Most hospital and affiliated clinics will relocate to the Medical Office Building on the new Clear Creek Crossing campus this fall.   Lutheran Hospice will continue to operate at its current location.

Map of current location at 8300 W 38th Ave and future location at 12911 W 40th Ave


We have a community-created, council-adopted master plan.

The City began preparing for the hospital’s departure from the Legacy Campus in early 2021 by facilitating a master planning process. From April 2021 to October 2021, community members were asked to share their vision for the future of the Legacy Campus.

Lutheran Legacy Campus Master Plan

  • The master plan was formally adopted by City Council in October 2021.
  • The plan outlines a framework for future development and describes community expectations and goals.
  • The plan doesn’t identify specific uses or site plans. Instead, it identifies critical elements of redevelopment; these reflect public input and retain reasonable flexibility for future owners.

The framework map illustrates the plan’s key expectations. The yellow shows lower density and lower intensity uses on the perimeter of the site, and the purple shading represents a mix of uses that can be taller and more dense in the interior of the site.

Development Framework Map and Land Use Suitability Maps from the Lutheran Legacy Campus Master Plan(At left) This development framework map illustrates the plan’s key expectations. The yellow shows lower density and lower intensity uses on the perimeter of the site, and the purple shading represents a mix of uses that can be taller and more dense in the interior of the site. (At right) These suitability maps show where certain land uses would be appropriate if they are proposed in the future. Again, lower intensity uses are shown at the perimeter with a mix of uses at the interior of the site.


The master plan describes three key expectations which represent the central tradeoff associated with future redevelopment:

  1. The perimeter should serve as a buffer and transition between the campus and existing adjacent neighborhoods,
  1. Future development should integrate existing assets to the greatest extent possible (such as the chapel, blue house, and trail along the Rocky Mountain Ditch), and in exchange,
  1. The interior will be afforded more flexibility in terms of land use and height.


Planning informs zoning which shapes our City.

If zoning rules align with City plans, then (over time) the built environment reflects our desired character—we get the homes, businesses, corridors and open space we want to see.


What is it?What does it mean for the Legacy Campus?
PlanningPlanning for the future means we adopt long-range documents that communicate what we want our City
to look and feel like.
The Lutheran Legacy Campus Master Plan is our vision document for the site.
ZoningZoning dictates how property can be developed, and is the link between planning and the real world built environment you see around you.A zone change will allow our vision to become a reality, and it will provide appropriate guardrails for future development.
Built
Environment
If zoning rules are aligned with adopted plans, then property owners develop buildings and sites that align with our vision.The City will not redevelop the site, instead, a developer will eventually use the Master Plan and the updated zoning to redevelop the Legacy Campus in a way that honors our vision.


Image of chapel, thumbnail of master plan cover, and aerial view of campus looking northwest


The City is taking action to implement the adopted master plan.

While the master plan was adopted 2.5 years ago, not much has happened since then and the hospital will vacate the legacy campus soon. In early April, the property owner (Intermountain Health) took their next step to gauge developer interest in the property. The City is also taking action to implement the adopted plan by advancing a City-initiated zone change and charter change. This was discussed with Council on April 8 and May 13 and was introduced to the community at the April 16 Let's Talk public open house.

The City is proactively implementing the Master Plan, taking the initial steps required to convert the vision to action:

Urban Renewal Plan

  • Urban renewal can help fund projects from the master plan that provide a community benefit.
  • An urban renewal plan has been drafted and was presented to City Council in March 2024.
We've done this before!
We have several urban renewal plans, including for areas along Wadsworth, 38th Avenue, Kipling, I-70, Wheat Ridge Ward Station and Clear Creek Crossing.


Zone Change

  • Most of the current campus is zoned Planned Hospital District (PHD) which only allows medical-related uses and must be rezoned to allow for what the master plan calls for. The City will take the lead on a zone change to ensure alignment with the Master Plan.
  • A city-initiated rezoning puts the City in a proactive position to implement the community-driven, council adopted Master Plan instead of waiting to respond to a developer’s zone change proposal and to their interpretation of the Master Plan.
  • The City and community are concerned about the duration of time the campus may sit underutilized and a City-initiated zone change could reduce that amount of time. Because the campus is large and so close to people’s homes, minimizing the time that it can deteriorate sitting vacant is in the public interest.
  • City-initiated zone change allows for a community conversation about the future of the campus instead of limiting that conversation to public hearings.
  • The City will not develop or purchase the site, but the City does control the zoning and the rules that dictate future development. The purpose of the zoning is to establish rules that result in the built environment that the City wants to see, instead of a developer writing the rules for the City to respond to.
  • Vacant property doesn’t remain the same; it will either get better through investment, or it will get worse through remaining vacant. A City-initiated zone change can put rules into place to facilitate investment that aligns with the goals of the Master Plan.
  • A City-initiated zone change complements the potential Charter height amendment. If the Charter change passes and allows taller buildings in the middle of the property, the City will use the zone change to require shorter buildings (i.e., 2.5 stories) and open space adjacent to existing neighborhoods.
An image showing the upcoming process and timing of anticipated development at the Lutheran Legacy Campus.

*City-Initiated Rezoning

The process for crafting new zoning rules and completing a city-initiated zone change is a very public process. The vision for the campus and the master plan was informed by public input, and the process of rezoning the campus will remain a public process and community conversation.

Most of the current campus is zoned Planned Hospital District (PHD) which only allows medical-related uses. The City will take the lead on a zone change to ensure alignment with the Master Plan, rather than waiting for a developer to initiate a rezoning.

A zone change will allow our vision from the master plan to become a reality, and it will provide appropriate guardrails for future development. Zoning will establish permitted and prohibited uses, maximum heights, minimum setbacks, maximum densities, open space requirements, and architectural requirements. All of these standards will be informed by the Master Plan.

The rezoning will be an open public process offering multiple ways for you to stay informed, including a neighborhood meeting, study sessions, a Planning Commission public hearing, and a City Council public hearing. Staff is always available for questions or comments.

Up Next: Planning Commission and City Council study sessions will take place in the Summer/Fall of 2024 and the neighborhood meeting is anticipated to occur in Fall of 2024. Dates will be posted on the What’s Up Wheat Ridge project page as they are scheduled. Register and subscribe to the What’s Up Wheat Ridge project page to receive project updates.

Contact staff with any questions at 303-235-2846 or zoning@ci.wheatridge.co.us.

What is the Proposed Zoning?

Ideas for the proposed zoning at the Lutheran Legacy Campus

Ideas for the proposed zoning at the Lutheran Legacy Campus

We've done this before!
In 2012, the City legislatively rezoned nearby portions of Wadsworth and 38th Avenue to ensure that new development and businesses align with our adopted plans.


Charter Change

  • The City Charter limits height in most areas of the City to 35 feet for residential and 50 feet for non-residential.
  • The existing hospital is 91 feet in height.
  • The Charter needs to be amended (by a ballot question) to remove these height limits from the middle of the Lutheran Legacy Campus
  • The Master Plan outlines a critical tradeoff:
    • in order to achieve lower heights and open space on the perimeter of the site...
    • ...the middle of the site needs more flexibility in land use and height

A Charter amendment allowing an increase in height at the Lutheran Legacy Campus is critical to achieving many goals of the Lutheran Master Plan, including:

  • public open space and a good sidewalk network connecting a possible mix of civic, office, cultural, and retail uses;
  • leverage of existing assets like the blue house, the chapel, and the trail along the Rocky Mountain Ditch; and
  • the east and west sides be compatible with the established neighborhoods, including lower building heights.
  • a mixed-use campus with a diversity of housing types and a more attractive commercial district, allowing taller buildings and density at the core.

The Charter can only be amended by voters, so a question will likely appear on November’s ballot putting the future of the campus in the hands of Wheat Ridge voters.

The following language is a draft of what’s being considered for the ballot this fall:

THE BUILDING HEIGHT LIMITATIONS OF THE CHARTER SHALL NOT APPLY TO THAT AREA DESCRIBED AS MIXED USE IN THE LUTHERAN LEGACY CAMPUS MASTER PLAN, ADOPTED OCTOBER 25, 2021, SPECIFICALLY AS SHOWN ON PAGE 51 OF THE PLAN. THIS SHALL NOT MODIFY ANY CURRENT ZONING ON THE PROPERTY; UNLESS AND UNTIL MODIFIED THROUGH FUTURE ORDINANCES APPROVED BY CITY COUNCIL AFTER PUBLIC HEARINGS.


We've done this before, too!
In 2009, voters exempted several areas of the City from the Charter limitations. These areas include portions of Wadsworth, Kipling from 44th to I-70, the area near the Wheat Ridge Ward Station, and Clear Creek Crossing.


Stay informed and involved by checking this page often or subscribe for update.

The Lutheran Medical Campus is located at 8300 W. 38th Avenue in the heart of Wheat Ridge, and it has operated as a medical use since 1905. A new Lutheran hospital is currently being constructed at the Clear Creek Crossing development, and the hospital’s move presents a rare opportunity to reimagine the future of the Lutheran Legacy Campus. Learn more about past planning efforts and next steps below.


The hospital is moving.

The Lutheran Medical Campus is located at 8300 W. 38th Avenue in the heart of the community. On August 3rd of this year, Lutheran Medical Center will move to Clear Creek Crossing.

West Pines Behavioral Hospital is planning to move to a larger facility in Westminster in early 2025. Most hospital and affiliated clinics will relocate to the Medical Office Building on the new Clear Creek Crossing campus this fall.   Lutheran Hospice will continue to operate at its current location.

Map of current location at 8300 W 38th Ave and future location at 12911 W 40th Ave


We have a community-created, council-adopted master plan.

The City began preparing for the hospital’s departure from the Legacy Campus in early 2021 by facilitating a master planning process. From April 2021 to October 2021, community members were asked to share their vision for the future of the Legacy Campus.

Lutheran Legacy Campus Master Plan

  • The master plan was formally adopted by City Council in October 2021.
  • The plan outlines a framework for future development and describes community expectations and goals.
  • The plan doesn’t identify specific uses or site plans. Instead, it identifies critical elements of redevelopment; these reflect public input and retain reasonable flexibility for future owners.

The framework map illustrates the plan’s key expectations. The yellow shows lower density and lower intensity uses on the perimeter of the site, and the purple shading represents a mix of uses that can be taller and more dense in the interior of the site.

Development Framework Map and Land Use Suitability Maps from the Lutheran Legacy Campus Master Plan(At left) This development framework map illustrates the plan’s key expectations. The yellow shows lower density and lower intensity uses on the perimeter of the site, and the purple shading represents a mix of uses that can be taller and more dense in the interior of the site. (At right) These suitability maps show where certain land uses would be appropriate if they are proposed in the future. Again, lower intensity uses are shown at the perimeter with a mix of uses at the interior of the site.


The master plan describes three key expectations which represent the central tradeoff associated with future redevelopment:

  1. The perimeter should serve as a buffer and transition between the campus and existing adjacent neighborhoods,
  1. Future development should integrate existing assets to the greatest extent possible (such as the chapel, blue house, and trail along the Rocky Mountain Ditch), and in exchange,
  1. The interior will be afforded more flexibility in terms of land use and height.


Planning informs zoning which shapes our City.

If zoning rules align with City plans, then (over time) the built environment reflects our desired character—we get the homes, businesses, corridors and open space we want to see.


What is it?What does it mean for the Legacy Campus?
PlanningPlanning for the future means we adopt long-range documents that communicate what we want our City
to look and feel like.
The Lutheran Legacy Campus Master Plan is our vision document for the site.
ZoningZoning dictates how property can be developed, and is the link between planning and the real world built environment you see around you.A zone change will allow our vision to become a reality, and it will provide appropriate guardrails for future development.
Built
Environment
If zoning rules are aligned with adopted plans, then property owners develop buildings and sites that align with our vision.The City will not redevelop the site, instead, a developer will eventually use the Master Plan and the updated zoning to redevelop the Legacy Campus in a way that honors our vision.


Image of chapel, thumbnail of master plan cover, and aerial view of campus looking northwest


The City is taking action to implement the adopted master plan.

While the master plan was adopted 2.5 years ago, not much has happened since then and the hospital will vacate the legacy campus soon. In early April, the property owner (Intermountain Health) took their next step to gauge developer interest in the property. The City is also taking action to implement the adopted plan by advancing a City-initiated zone change and charter change. This was discussed with Council on April 8 and May 13 and was introduced to the community at the April 16 Let's Talk public open house.

The City is proactively implementing the Master Plan, taking the initial steps required to convert the vision to action:

Urban Renewal Plan

  • Urban renewal can help fund projects from the master plan that provide a community benefit.
  • An urban renewal plan has been drafted and was presented to City Council in March 2024.
We've done this before!
We have several urban renewal plans, including for areas along Wadsworth, 38th Avenue, Kipling, I-70, Wheat Ridge Ward Station and Clear Creek Crossing.


Zone Change

  • Most of the current campus is zoned Planned Hospital District (PHD) which only allows medical-related uses and must be rezoned to allow for what the master plan calls for. The City will take the lead on a zone change to ensure alignment with the Master Plan.
  • A city-initiated rezoning puts the City in a proactive position to implement the community-driven, council adopted Master Plan instead of waiting to respond to a developer’s zone change proposal and to their interpretation of the Master Plan.
  • The City and community are concerned about the duration of time the campus may sit underutilized and a City-initiated zone change could reduce that amount of time. Because the campus is large and so close to people’s homes, minimizing the time that it can deteriorate sitting vacant is in the public interest.
  • City-initiated zone change allows for a community conversation about the future of the campus instead of limiting that conversation to public hearings.
  • The City will not develop or purchase the site, but the City does control the zoning and the rules that dictate future development. The purpose of the zoning is to establish rules that result in the built environment that the City wants to see, instead of a developer writing the rules for the City to respond to.
  • Vacant property doesn’t remain the same; it will either get better through investment, or it will get worse through remaining vacant. A City-initiated zone change can put rules into place to facilitate investment that aligns with the goals of the Master Plan.
  • A City-initiated zone change complements the potential Charter height amendment. If the Charter change passes and allows taller buildings in the middle of the property, the City will use the zone change to require shorter buildings (i.e., 2.5 stories) and open space adjacent to existing neighborhoods.
An image showing the upcoming process and timing of anticipated development at the Lutheran Legacy Campus.

*City-Initiated Rezoning

The process for crafting new zoning rules and completing a city-initiated zone change is a very public process. The vision for the campus and the master plan was informed by public input, and the process of rezoning the campus will remain a public process and community conversation.

Most of the current campus is zoned Planned Hospital District (PHD) which only allows medical-related uses. The City will take the lead on a zone change to ensure alignment with the Master Plan, rather than waiting for a developer to initiate a rezoning.

A zone change will allow our vision from the master plan to become a reality, and it will provide appropriate guardrails for future development. Zoning will establish permitted and prohibited uses, maximum heights, minimum setbacks, maximum densities, open space requirements, and architectural requirements. All of these standards will be informed by the Master Plan.

The rezoning will be an open public process offering multiple ways for you to stay informed, including a neighborhood meeting, study sessions, a Planning Commission public hearing, and a City Council public hearing. Staff is always available for questions or comments.

Up Next: Planning Commission and City Council study sessions will take place in the Summer/Fall of 2024 and the neighborhood meeting is anticipated to occur in Fall of 2024. Dates will be posted on the What’s Up Wheat Ridge project page as they are scheduled. Register and subscribe to the What’s Up Wheat Ridge project page to receive project updates.

Contact staff with any questions at 303-235-2846 or zoning@ci.wheatridge.co.us.

What is the Proposed Zoning?

Ideas for the proposed zoning at the Lutheran Legacy Campus

Ideas for the proposed zoning at the Lutheran Legacy Campus

We've done this before!
In 2012, the City legislatively rezoned nearby portions of Wadsworth and 38th Avenue to ensure that new development and businesses align with our adopted plans.


Charter Change

  • The City Charter limits height in most areas of the City to 35 feet for residential and 50 feet for non-residential.
  • The existing hospital is 91 feet in height.
  • The Charter needs to be amended (by a ballot question) to remove these height limits from the middle of the Lutheran Legacy Campus
  • The Master Plan outlines a critical tradeoff:
    • in order to achieve lower heights and open space on the perimeter of the site...
    • ...the middle of the site needs more flexibility in land use and height

A Charter amendment allowing an increase in height at the Lutheran Legacy Campus is critical to achieving many goals of the Lutheran Master Plan, including:

  • public open space and a good sidewalk network connecting a possible mix of civic, office, cultural, and retail uses;
  • leverage of existing assets like the blue house, the chapel, and the trail along the Rocky Mountain Ditch; and
  • the east and west sides be compatible with the established neighborhoods, including lower building heights.
  • a mixed-use campus with a diversity of housing types and a more attractive commercial district, allowing taller buildings and density at the core.

The Charter can only be amended by voters, so a question will likely appear on November’s ballot putting the future of the campus in the hands of Wheat Ridge voters.

The following language is a draft of what’s being considered for the ballot this fall:

THE BUILDING HEIGHT LIMITATIONS OF THE CHARTER SHALL NOT APPLY TO THAT AREA DESCRIBED AS MIXED USE IN THE LUTHERAN LEGACY CAMPUS MASTER PLAN, ADOPTED OCTOBER 25, 2021, SPECIFICALLY AS SHOWN ON PAGE 51 OF THE PLAN. THIS SHALL NOT MODIFY ANY CURRENT ZONING ON THE PROPERTY; UNLESS AND UNTIL MODIFIED THROUGH FUTURE ORDINANCES APPROVED BY CITY COUNCIL AFTER PUBLIC HEARINGS.


We've done this before, too!
In 2009, voters exempted several areas of the City from the Charter limitations. These areas include portions of Wadsworth, Kipling from 44th to I-70, the area near the Wheat Ridge Ward Station, and Clear Creek Crossing.


Stay informed and involved by checking this page often or subscribe for update.

Page last updated: 06 Jun 2024, 03:36 PM