Updated City Plan details vision for future Fort Collins

Julia Trowbridge

Fort Collins has been gathering input and creating a plan for the City’s next 20 years.

The updated City Plan, with a supplemental Transit Master Plan, was presented to City Council on Tuesday. The City Plan is a vision for the next 10 to 20 years of Fort Collins, created with feedback from the community, in order to help guide the City in its core community values and policy plans, according to the Plan.

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With Fort Collins’ population changing in the last 20 years from 100,000 people to 170,000 people, the community values and the vision for the future should continuously be updated, City Planner Ryan Moore said.

“Think of all the changes in technology and society and culture and things like that, our preferences and our ideas and values might change over time, Moore said. “So periodically updating it allows us to take those potential changes into account and help us make changes for the future.” 

What we hearing from folks when we were going out and doing our community engagement was about being a welcoming, inclusive community that cares about equity and wants to actively take that into account when making decisions. So you’ll see more in this Plan than in previous versions about what equity means in terms of transportation and housing, and how we might think about that a little differently in the future.” – Meaghan Overton, City Planner

The first City Plan came about in 1997, with minor changes in 2004 and updates with integrating sustainability initiatives in 2011, said City Planner Meaghan Overton. In this updated version, the Plan focuses on the core values of liveability with affordable housing and transportation, community with equity and promoting art in the City and sustainability efforts.

“I would say, compared to the previous versions of the City Plan, we’re focusing in this iteration on topics that come up all the time and are really important to people’s quality of life in Fort Collins,” Overton said. “City Plan normally talks about those, but it’s been a long time since we really got into the details of how exactly we’re using the land we have left in Fort Collins and how does that overlap with our transportation system.”

The biggest topics that were important to the community were issues on housing and transportation, Mounce said. While residents were concerned with development projects in Fort Collins, residents also voiced a desire for more affordable housing options.

“It’s a discussion about trade-offs because there’s always going to be some pros and cons about any decision being made in the community, especially if it’s development related,” Moore said. “It might impact views on one side, but it might be providing some affordable or attainable housing on another, and so it’s about having people weigh these pros and cons and consider what’s good input.”

Maybe you take Uber or Lyft to a destination and then your plans change, so you take an e-scooter, or a car share or a bike share to your next destination, then transit back home. It’s about how do those all create a seamless experience because we’re seeing people use different modes and link them all together to get to where they want to go.” – Ryan Moore, City Planner

According to the City Plan, the future of Fort Collins is focused less on single family homes, but more attached family units, accessory dwelling units and multifamily units, like apartment complexes and duplexes. This decision comes from the amount of land left and interest from the community, Overton said.

The Transit Master Plan, which has additional projections on transportation growth, looks into expanding transit options from increasing the number of choices of transportation and expanding on rapid transit systems. The Transit Plan looks into rapid transit systems like the MAX, looking at West Elizabeth Street and Harmony Road going east and west, as well as increasing the MAX transit system farther north.

“Maybe you take Uber or Lyft to a destination and then your plans change, so you take an e-scooter, or a car share or a bike share to your next destination, then transit back home,” Moore said. “It’s about how do those all create a seamless experience because we’re seeing people use different modes and link them all together to get to where they want to go.”

From the community feedback, Overton said she heard more about wanting Fort Collins to be an equitable community in all facets of the City’s growth then previous plans have stated.

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“What we hearing from folks when we were going out and doing our community engagement was about being a welcoming, inclusive community that cares about equity and wants to actively take that into account when making decisions,” Overton said. “So you’ll see more in this Plan than in previous versions about what equity means in terms of transportation and housing, and how we might think about that a little differently in the future.”

Julia Trowbridge can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @chapin_jules.