At this year’s annual city council retreat, my colleagues and I met to assess our progress on the 2035 Vision while looking ahead to build on what we have achieved and the accomplishments in which we can all take pride. As we renewed our focus on achieving the goals set forward in the Vision document, we established eight priorities to be implemented over the next two years. We have held a series of study sessions where staff presented information, work plans and ideas, and sought feedback from city council. Those eight priorities are:
1. New Efforts of Engagement in Government; Understanding City Processes
City council seeks to make its work more transparent and available for its constituents. This priority continues efforts to educate the community about how their local government works and to broaden community engagement in city processes.
2. Implement Bulk Plane in all Residential Zone Districts
City council adopted residential bulk plane standards in 2016 which apply to single-family homes in the Residential-One C and Residential-Three zone districts. This priority would expand these standards to apply in more residential areas.
3. Re-examine and Advance Sidewalks on 38th Avenue
West 38th Avenue has been identified as the city’s “Main Street” in various policy documents and through various community outreach efforts. This priority improves safety, walkability and connectivity along the full length of this primary Wheat Ridge corridor.
4. Review the Vision, Mission and Funding of Localworks
City council authorized the formation of Wheat Ridge 2020, now Localworks, in 2005 as a nonprofit corporation for the purpose of assisting the city in bringing about community revitalization by helping to direct and implement the revitalization strategies outlined in the initial NRS. This priority involves a review of current Localworks activities and its vision for the future.
5. Streamline Permit Processes
This priority focuses on improving the permitting and licensing processes for all businesses, with an emphasis on small business. This includes providing helpful educational materials to make expectations and processes clearer and more transparent and providing seamless internal handoffs.
6. Commercial Corridor Improvements
City council recognizes the crucial role that commercial corridors play in building healthy and vibrant communities. This priority includes a review of codes and programs that affect the vibrancy of commercial corridors. The goal of this priority is to support city businesses and enhance the look and feel of Wheat Ridge by improving the conditions of these corridors.
7. Policy on Non-conforming Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are secondary, independent housing units with a separate entrance, kitchen, bath and bed created within an existing home or on its lot. Existing city regulations do not address these units and, therefore, existing ADUs are non-conforming. This priority considers the creation of policy to address new and existing ADUs.
8. Develop Solutions and Work with Partners to Address Homelessness
The Homeless Navigation Program assists individuals experiencing homelessness in our city and throughout Jeffco. Navigators provide direct outreach to these individuals in the field and provide a wide range of resources including temporary shelter, permanent supportive housing, and connections to mental and physical health services, while seeking partnerships and opportunities to address these challenges on a larger scale.
There are many ways residents and business owners can get involved in our community and make a significant contribution to the success of these priorities. One of the most impactful may be to serve as a valued member of a city board or commission. These positions will open in the spring and I encourage everyone to take a closer look at how you can make a difference and contribute to the quality of life in Wheat Ridge.
Happy holidays to you all!
Contact Wheat Ridge Mayor Bud Starker at 303-235-2800 or email@example.com