Background & Community Outreach
The Comprehensive Master Plan is a guide that is used when making land use decisions, such as rezoning, special use and site approval cases. The recommendations in the plan are not mandatory; however, they do carry weight regarding the quality, type, amount and location of future development. Jefferson County's Planning & Zoning Division evaluates the Comprehensive Master Plan every 5-10 years for the need to update, with the goal of keeping the plan current.
In late 2018, Planning & Zoning surveyed citizens to get input about housing availability, land use, transportation options and other topics, which helped in developing changes to the Comprehensive Master Plan.
Thanks to receiving more than 1,500 survey responses, there was quite a bit of citizen input to consider. Planning & Zoning staff reviewed these results along with other factors that influence Comprehensive Master Plan updates.
- Age of the Area Plan
- Amount and location of development
- Consistency of development proposals with the Plan’s recommendations
- Feedback from other agencies and jurisdictions
After considering all of the information, Planning & Zoning staff developed a report of their findings. You can read the full staff report here.
This process included community outreach. 101 citizens attended four public meetings held to solicit input and to provide information about land use. Updates to the Water policies were frequently mentioned at these meetings.
In addition to community meetings an on-line survey was created to solicit community feedback. 22 questions were presented relating to the update plus some demographic information about the survey takers. More than 1,500 survey results were received.
The main question was whether a geographic area or a general element of the Plan should be updated. Overall, more citizens thought that a land use type should be reviewed rather than a geographic area. One of the highest responses was Mixed Use policies.
Age of the Area Plans
We also reviewed the age of the Plans based on its adoption date. The oldest Area Plans are in the plains and would be given preference over a newer plan. The table lists each Area Plan from oldest to newest.
Age of the plan was correlated with the amount of development the area has seen using information and analysis through our Geographic Information System (GIS). Land Development Pattern Maps were created showing areas of the County that had “hot spots” where more intense development occurred. The South Plains Area had the highest level of activity in unincorporated Jeffco.
Land Development Patterns
Two different interactive Story Maps were created using ArcGIS.
Consistency of Approved Proposals with the Plan Recommendations
We reviewed consistency of recent development proposals with the Plan’s Land Use recommendation. The South Plains Area plan recommendations were least consistent with staff and Planning Commission recommendations and Board of County Commissioners decisions. This may indicate that land uses in that area need to be reviewed.
Current and Future Projects
We contacted many internal and external entities about what issues they saw or plans they will be updating in the future. Opportunities for coordinating on water and mixed use policies were discovered.
Input from other internal and external agencies
- City of Arvada
- City of Golden
- City of Lakewood
- City of Westminster
- City of Wheat Ridge
- Colorado Department of Transportation
- Colorado Parks and Wildlife
- Conifer Chamber of Commerce
- Downtown Evergreen Economic District
- Evergreen Chamber of Commerce
- Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation
- Jefferson County Open Space
- Jefferson County Public Health
- Jefferson County Transportation and Engineering
- Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport
- Town of Morrison
After analyzing all factors, Water and Mixed Use were identified for the focus for general policies.
Review of water policies would include policies both for areas served by water and sanitation districts and those served by a well and on-site wastewater treatment systems.
Mixed Use policies would focus on Activity Centers throughout the County and the mix of uses in those Centers, not just mixed uses within a building.
After updating general policies, the South Plains Area would make the most sense for the first geographic update. This recommendation is due to the large amount of new development in the South Plains portion of the County, the high number of proposals that do not comply with the Plan recommendation, yet are supported by Staff, and citizen comments about updating the Plan in the Littleton/Lakewood area.
Please see our website for more information and access to the full findings.