Woodland Park Master Plan Project Moving Full-Speed Ahead

Visionary blueprint to outline city challenges and future decisions

Bob Volpe

Woodland Park Planning Director Sally Riley recently  gave a brief update on a master plan project that could determine the town’s future direction for the next decade.

According to Riley, the comprehensive plan (commonly referred to as the master plan) process, conducted every 10 years, began last month. She said, “Meetings with Logan/Simpson staff (the consultants) and city staff, during the past four weeks have been putting together the stakeholder list. She said  Logan/Simpson is reaching out to about 50 key people in the community, and that they will begin interviews. Part of that interview process will be asking members what they like about Woodland Park and the main challenges they see for next decade, according to Riley.

The planning director also mentioned that the website for the project has been launched. The website will have a brief survey to begin to engage the general public. The website will be updated each month with survey questions. Also, in March, subcommittees will be organized.

Riley asked council members to choose a topic or subcommittee they would like to join. The hope is to have one planning commission member, one council member, one city staff member, as well as six or seven community members for each subcommittee. There will be eight subcommittees.

Each subcommittee will work on different chapters within the comprehensive plan.

Riley said, “The consultants are looking at the existing plan, from housing, wildfire prevention, and the various other 12 plans that are in place.” Logan/Simpson has also been provided with information on mapping, including zoning maps.

Logan/Simpson has done  master plan projects for many communities in Colorado, and was involved in a comp plan for Green Mountain Falls several years ago that featured much public comment and citizen workshops.

According to Riley, the community engagement plan has been drafted and will be finalized within the next couple of weeks.

Every 10 years, the city undergoes a review and update of the city’s comprehensive/master plan.

The project represents the culmination of countless hours of surveying, discussing, writing, debating, re-writing and refining Woodland Park’s long-term plan for the future. This plan articulates core community values and goals, and provides direction for achieving these goals. Just as pilots map their flight plan, the Woodland Park Comprehensive Plan is intended to help chart the course to follow for Woodland Park community leaders, city council, staff and the city’s many boards and committees.

The comprehensive plan is intended to be a living document that will serve the city for the next decade.

The purpose of the comprehensive plan is to help guide land-use decisions, help prioritize city actions, allocate limited resources, and foster public and private partnerships to confront common challenges. It will take a long-term, concerted effort to achieve this vision – it will not be achieved all at once.

However, if community members can work together to implement plan actions and apply the plan’s guiding principles to future land use proposals, Woodland Park will continue to be an exceptional place to work, learn, shop, recreate and call home, according to city officials.

But the kick-off of the upcoming master plan hasn’t occurred without debate.  Several council members have questioned the costs for the project and the overall arrangement with the contractors.