Thriving Economy: Goals and Policies

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Brand As the Best

Goal TE-1: Build on our quality of place and existing competitive advantages.

Policy TE-1.A: Preserve and strengthen key economic sectors and strive to grow medium and high-wage jobs in targeted industry clusters.

  • Strategy TE-1.A-1: Provide an adequate supply of varied, development-ready sites that are appropriate for new investments in existing industry and targeted clusters.
  • Strategy TE-1.A-2: Prioritize growth in regional targeted industry clusters ⎯ sports medicine and related health services; professional, scientific and technical services; and aviation and specialty manufacturing ⎯ when allocating available economic development incentives.
  • Strategy TE-1.A-3: Expand business development in the Commercial Aeronautical Zone and Airport Business Park to provide a new economic base of aeronautical and related businesses, and expand business opportunities and employment.
  • Strategy TE-1.A-4: Prioritize Downtown redevelopment to establish it as the region’s employment center, hub of commerce, governing, innovation, tourism, entertainment, art and culture.
  • Strategy TE-1.A-5: Target, create, and promote incentives for businesses and industries that foster growth and retention of jobs offering wages higher than the county average.

Policy TE-1.B: Build on our emerging sports, recreation, and outdoors economy. This includes the Olympic Training Center, Olympic Museum sports and recreation organizations and other related businesses and industries.

  • Strategy TE-1.B-1: Integrate the sports, recreation, and outdoors economy and Olympic City USA brand into other areas of focus and citywide initiatives, such as tourism, education, and arts and culture.
  • Strategy TE-1.B-2: Invest in infrastructure and facilities to accelerate emerging economic sub-sectors.
  • Strategy TE-1.B-3: Pursue opportunities for building additional sports venues throughout the city, including in or near Downtown.
  • Strategy TE-1.B-4: Ensure sports, recreation, and outdoors-related venues and facilities are walkable and well-connected through wayfinding, connectivity, and other streetscape enhancements.

Policy TE-1.C: Leverage the city’s livability as a workforce and economic driver.

  • Strategy TE-1.C-1: Improve access to parks, trails, nature and the outdoors from employment centers.
  • Strategy TE-1.C-2: Support and leverage projects and initiatives with mixed uses, transit supported and walkable attributes to attract and retain a skilled workforce and business investment
  • Strategy TE-1.C-3: Ensure an adequate supply of attainable housingAttainable housing means decent, attractive, safe, and sanitary accommodation that is affordable for the full spectrum of the city's residents. While a cost of no more than 30% of gross household income is a good rule of thumb for affordability, there will be some circumstances where higher or lower thresholds may be more applicable. for the workforce across all industries, and that it is conveniently located near hubs of employment and/or public transportation.
  • Strategy TE-1.C-4: Support and encourage projects and built environments that meet the need for workforce and business development targeted toward lower income and other populations and areas with limited access to jobs and business opportunities .
  • Strategy TE-1.C-5: Provide for convenient access to quality goods and services that support major employment areas, through a combination of proactive and responsive planning, zoning, and development approval actions.

Policy TE-1.D: Enhance our Cornerstone Institutions (Typology 1) campuses, while also integrating them into the surrounding community.

  • Strategy TE-1.D-1: Encourage the development of spinoff and startup businesses that build upon the research and development strengths of our major institutions, and locate on or adjacent to these campuses.
  • Strategy TE-1.D-2: Support Cornerstone Institutions (Typology 1) campus developments that provide amenities, services, and cultural assets to nearby residents.
  • Strategy TE-1.D-3: Provide a mix of uses that are both neighborhood and institutional campus-serving to help integrate them into the community.
  • Strategy TE-1.D-4: Work with institutions to adjust zoning and land use regulations that allow them to densify and expand while also managing impacts on surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Strategy TE-1.D-5: Support the growth and adaptation of Colorado Springs Airport to maintain its economic value as an air service provider for the city and region, and to strengthen its role as an integrated hub for economic development.
  • Strategy TE-1.D-6: Ensure that these employment and activity nodes are pedestrian-oriented and easily accessible by existing or future alternative modes of transportation.


Application: Update Zoning: Enables tools such as small lot mixed-use and cluster development, added options for accessory dwelling units, and more form based Transit Orientated Development (TOD) options. 

Expand Our Base

Goal TE-2: Diversify the local economy by fostering a range of business types and sizes.

Policy TE-2.A: Preserve and strengthen the city’s Industry Icons Typology (Typology 5).

  • Strategy TE-2.A-1: Identify, accommodate, and provide supportive zoning for key sites for industrial uses with good multimodalIncluding more than one mode of transportation. For example, a facility that accommodates lanes for motorized vehicles, bike lanes, sidewalks, and transit stops. access to highways, railroads, and the Airport.
  • Strategy TE-2.A-2: Provide attainable and conveniently located workforce housing for major concentrations of employees.
  • Strategy TE-2.A-3: Promote improvements that make industrial districts cleaner, energy efficient, and safer for integration with surrounding neighborhoods, including the implementation of cost-effective technologies and environmentally sensitive building and site design.
  • Strategy TE-2.A-4: Ensure screening or other mitigation around high impact industrial districts to reduce impacts on nearby residential areas.

Policy TE-2.B: Create a positive atmosphere for spinoffs, startups, and entrepreneurship.

  • Strategy TE-2.B-1: Support business growth in innovation, research, development, and emerging technologies by being nimble and responsive in the application and adaptation of City processes and requirements.
  • Strategy TE-2.B-2: Ensure that land regulations allow for a diverse mix of workplace types including non-traditional and flexible workspaces, such as co-workingA workspace used by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, allowing users to share equipment and ideas in a flexible office space. facilities.
  • Strategy TE-2.B-3: Retain or modify plans and regulations to allow for a complementary mix of industrial and commercial uses, workforce training, and business services in locations identified for commercial and business development.
  • Strategy TE-2.B-4: Allow for and promote the addition of facilities and such as incubators and maker spaces, to assist in the creation and growth of Innovation Districts.
  • Strategy TE-2.B-5: Partner with the K-12 school system, technical and community colleges, and universities on physical plans that support workforce training opportunities for jobs in sectors with the greatest need and growth potential, such as skilled nursing.

Policy TE-2.C: Enhance the physical environment by creating new amenities that help attract and retain new businesses and residents.

  • Strategy TE-2.C-1: Prioritize redevelopment and activation in Downtown and other urban activity centers in order to establish or enhance economic development.
  • Strategy TE-2.C-2: Support the redevelopment and adaptive re-use of functionally obsolete buildings, commercial centers, and office parks, as new mixed use employment centers.
  • Strategy TE-2.C-3: Identify and develop new and underutilized areas as opportunities for unique attraction of new retail, dining, entertainment, and housing development.
  • Strategy TE-2.C-4: Create street activationA combination of building design choices, streetscape treatments, and multimodal options that results in increased and enhanced use of and orientation towards the street, especially by pedestrians. The type and extent of desired and achievable street activation will be influenced by factors including the functional classification of the roadway and safety considerations. in the design of employment and business centers through the use of supportive zoning, design guidelines, and street standards.
  • Strategy TE-2.C-5: Incorporate street-activating uses in City- and County-owned facilities including parking garages, transit facilities, and service centers.
  • Strategy TE-2.C-6: Accommodate creative temporary uses such as food trucks, farmers markets, pop-up retailTemporary retail shops where business owners can test products and ideas without committing to a permanent location. Pop-up shops are often used to help activate vacant and underutilized spaces., and craft markets to help activate business and employment centers

Policy TE-2.D: Provide high-quality infrastructure and technology citywide.

  • Strategy TE-2.D-1: Support the city’s Cornerstone Institutions (Typology 1), manufacturing core, and other industries with continued quality infrastructure that meets the city’s needs.
  • Strategy TE-2.D-2: Enhance infrastructure, transportation, and communications connectivity near major cultural, hospitality, and entertainment venues.
  • Strategy TE-2.D-3: Collaborate with providers to expand internet capacity and speed throughout the city, including targeted development-ready sites.
  • Strategy TE-2.D-4: Provide for high quality and redundant utility services for manufacturing and industrial sites with the greatest economic development potential.
  • Strategy TE-2.D-5: Focus and adapt plans, regulations, and initiatives to assure that the city is successful as a cybersecurity industry leader.

Think and Act Regionally

Goal TE-3: Continue and initiate regional coordination and partnerships focused on economic development and shared fiscal sustainability.

Policy TE-3.A: Foster cross-jurisdictional collaboration and planning with other public agencies including El Paso County, City of Manitou Springs, City of Fountain, Town of Monument, Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments, Colorado Department of Transportation, and surrounding jurisdictions.

  • Strategy TE-3.A-1: Consider regional and statewide market conditions and development trends when creating new land use regulations.
  • Strategy TE-3.A-2: Coordinate land use decisions of major economic impact with Colorado Springs Utilities and applicable economic organizations.
  • Strategy TE-3.A-3: Pursue intergovernmental agreements focused on mutually supportive fiscal sustainability.
  • Strategy TE-3.A-4: Coordinate with relevant agencies and other community partners in the identification, refinement, alignment and marketing of federal, state and locally designated opportunity zones and other investment areas in order to maximize their overall use and benefit to the City and region.

Policy TE-3.B: Coordinate and partner with regional military installations.

  • Strategy TE-3.B-1: Incorporate appropriate recommendations of the Joint Land Use Study into City plans and initiatives.
  • Strategy TE-3.B-2: Coordinate among military installations and other partners on public improvements and facilities that serve the city and installations.
  • Strategy TE-3.B-3: Provide attainable, diverse, attractive and convenient off-base housing options for active military, contractors, and military retirees.
  • Strategy TE-3.B-4: Encourage new land uses and business opportunities that help attract and integrate former service members and their families into the Colorado Springs community.
  • Strategy TE-3.B-5: Ensure development adjacent to military installations is consistent with their long-term and operational goals.

Embrace Sustainability

Goal TE-4: Focus on productively developing and redeveloping areas already in, nearby, or surrounded by the city in order to preserve open spaces, maximize investments in existing infrastructure, limit future maintenance costs, and reduce the impacts of disinvestment in blighted areas.

Policy TE-4.A: Prioritize development within the existing City boundaries and built environment (not in the periphery).

  • Strategy TE-4.A-1: Encourage revitalization and infillDevelopment of vacant land within previously built areas. These areas are already served by public infrastructures, such as transportation and utilities. Parks and open space are also considered infill, since they are permanent uses for vacant parcels. in underutilized urban places, as detailed in Chapter 3.
  • Strategy TE-4.A-2: Ensure land use regulations allow for increased density in areas identified for this, including Downtown, activity centers, and urban corridors.
  • Strategy TE-4.A-3: Support greenfield developmentDevelopment of previously undeveloped or vacant sites that are generally located outside or on the fringe of the city. that includes mixed-use, higher-density clusters, and quality design.
  • Strategy TE-4.A-4: Modify the City’s fiscal impact requirements for master plans and annexations to incorporate a longer (e.g. 30-year) forecast period. These reports should allow consideration of the fiscal context of the surrounding area.

Policy TE-4.B: Improve local funding mechanisms to better support economic development efforts.

  • Strategy TE-4.B-1: Tailor existing City incentives to target priority clusters in alignment with these and other non-city incentives to achieve the goals of this chapter.
  • Strategy TE-4.B-2: Regularly evaluate and reprioritize incentives for targeted industry clusters and other economic development efforts.
  • Strategy TE-4.B-3: Consider an increase in and modified allowable uses for the Lodgers and Automobile Rental Tax (LART).

Policy TE-4.C: Promote sustainable efforts and initiatives in the public and private sector.

  • Strategy TE-4.C-1: Encourage the integration of sustainable and cost effective best practices and technology into public infrastructure investments.
  • Strategy TE-4.C-2: Promote the development of businesses, jobs, and programs focused on renewable energy, clean technology, waste reduction, and recycling.
  • Strategy TE-4.C-3: Promote the city’s natural assets, infrastructure, and supportive policies to expand our green economy and attract additional green jobs.

Become a Smart Cities Leader

Goal TE-5: Become a Smart Cities leader in applying innovative technology in ways that enhance the City’s ability to better manage our facilities and services and improve our overall quality of life. (Also see Chapter 5: Strong Connections for additional direction on Smart Cities)

Policy TE-5.A: Create a plan for a Smart CitySmart Cities utilize technology and the Internet of Things to address challenges facing our community and improve the quality of life for our citizens, particularly in the areas of connectivity, energy, and resilience. Colorado Springs identified four organizational pillars to implement a vision for Smart Cities: Energy and utilities, transportation and mobility, City services, and buildings and sustainability. future.

  • Strategy TE-5.A-1: Regularly adapt, refine, and execute a SmartCOS implementation plan in coordination with private sector partners.
  • Strategy TE-5.A-2: In all City initiatives and decisions consider ways to implement innovative technology from SmartCOS.
  • Policy TE-5.B: Implement Smart City innovations and technology.
  • Strategy TE-5.B-1: Test prioritized Smart Cities ideas beginning with pilot projects.
  • Strategy TE-5.B-2: Implement proven and cost-effective Smart Cities applications and technology.
  • Strategy TE-5.B-3: Continue to incorporate adaptive, secure state-of-the-art technology as a part of new and redeveloped facilities, infrastructure, and services throughout the city.