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Thursday, August 10, 2017

City looking to improve Growth Management Program

At the City Council Study Session on Monday, Aug. 7, council directed staff to proceed with proposed improvements to the city’s Growth Management Program. The proposed improvements are aimed at ensuring quality development while providing greater clarity, certainty, and expediency in the city’s development process. 

The city will eliminate the annual Service Award competition and replace it with a program that allows developers to submit proposals that are compliant with the Comprehensive Plan at any time of the year. A minimum number of incentive points will be required with each application. 

Over the next several months, the city will pursue focused updates to design standards to promote mobility and sustainability.  In October, the city will gather feedback from residential developers and then engage the Planning and Zoning Commission. 

Development submissions that do not comply with the Comprehensive Plan will be assembled and reviewed in an annual process to better analyze impacts and potential changes to the city's water supply plan, infrastructure and services. This will provide a more efficient method of managing growth. 

This new system will be rolled out in early 2018. A second phase of this effort will follow and occur over the course of the next year. Phase two will pursue significant revisions to the city’s design guidelines.  The second phase of changes will move away from “points and incentives” and shift to clearly-articulated minimum standards. These standards will emphasize requirements most critical to achieving quality development that support city goals on affordability, sustainability and mobility.

Phase two will provide greater clarity and certainty to developers with respect to the city's updated and enhanced development standards while allowing the city to be more nimble and responsive in reviews.

This effort to improve the city’s Growth Management Process supports findings and recommendations from the Community Development Department audit.  For questions, please contact Senior Planner Amy Johnson at 303-658-2098 or ajohnson@cityofwestminster.us.

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