Date: October 1 – 6, 2006
Location: Commerce City, CO
Sponsor: City of Commerce City
Chair: Ray Brown
Subject Area: Regional Growth and Planning, Economic Development
Summary of Recommendations:
The panel convened at the invitation of Commerce City to evaluate development opportunities within the E-470 corridor as a supplement to the New Lands Plan created by the city. Under this plan, much of the study area was designated for mixed-use development, but the panel did not believe this to be the most beneficial type of development or land use in the long run. The panel proposed challenging and visionary ideas that suggested ways in which Commerce City could position itself to take advantage of its cultural, historical, and natural context plus the occurring growth trend at the time.
The warning that the panel gave to the civic leaders of Commerce City was to resist the enormous current market pressure to surrender long-term success for short-term gains. It would take vision, leadership, and willpower to achieve the success necessary to make Commerce City an economically sustainable municipality. The panel identified a development plan that was directly derivative of the regional positioning, the physical constraints, and the truly terrific opportunities of Commerce City’s Northern Range. This concept had four planning districts that were meant to complement existing uses while taking advantage of the large undeveloped parcels of land. These were: A Traditional Neighborhood District, Large-Scale Employment Opportunities District, Developments of National and Regional Significance, and the Urban Core. The public and private leaders of Commerce City would need to join in implementing a new vision for the future. The city management office would also need to be given the freedom and tools to aggressively seek out the best land use solutions to promote the needed change.