Working together to build a future

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When Adams County staff began working on its Comprehensive Plan and started holding public meetings, one thing became clear — members of the Welby community wanted a say in the future of their neighborhood.

Many Welby residents attended — up to a 100 at some meetings — and county officials wanted to be sure to create a “subarea” plan that reflects the neighborhood’s wishes as it moved forward.

The purpose of the subarea plan is to complete a detailed analysis of the area, which includes an inventory of the agriculture, residential, commercial and industrial uses; infrastructure, such as roads, sidewalks, water, sewer; and to identify development trends. The plan will also demonstrate which land uses should be allowed in certain areas.

“We want to ensure we capture Welby’s unique history and its agricultural roots, which have a 100-year history,” said Abel Montoya, director of Adams County planning Development Department.

Welby has about 14,000 residents, and there are more than 441,600 residents in Adams County. Officials expect the county’s population will almost double by 2035.

For planning purposes, the county squared off the borders of the Welby area —from 88th Avenue to the north, Interstate 76 to the south, Interstate 25 to the west and the Platte River to the east. This area poses challenges because it has a heavy mixture of single and multifamily residences, commercial businesses, agriculture and industry.

“Within the last few decades, Welby saw an increase in industrial use and the agriculture and residential communities expressed concerns,” Montoya said. “We have to find the right balance for economic development with new business and future residential development.”

The county’s planning staff collaborated with graduate students at the University of Colorado Denver College of Architecture and Planning to work on a preliminary framework plan for the community.

Montoya said the collaboration was a productive way to help students with their education and an efficient way to save tax dollars.

He added the county’s last neighborhood subarea plan had approximately $150,000 in consultation fees.

Those students presented their ideas April 29 at Skyview Campus.

At this stage, students are just dreaming of what Welby could be, said CU instructor Korkut Onaran before the presentation.

“Some of this dreaming may be off base, some may be useful,” he said

The county will continue to gather ideas over the summer and start structuring a framework plan in the fall. Montoya said he will see if the university is interested in having more classes help with those stages of the subarea plan.

The goal is to have a plan adopted by March 2014.

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