Unique Places: Goals and Policies

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Be a City of Places

Goal UP-1: Enrich the texture and livability of the city as a tapestry of unique, vibrant, and walkable places.

Policy UP-1.A: Emphasize placemaking throughout the city with design and programming that supports a distinctive identity and experience.

  • Strategy UP-1.A-1: Incorporate distinctive placemaking as an element of public and private development plans including privately initiated master plans, concept plans, and Planned Unit Development zoning. 
  • Strategy UP-1.A-2: Evaluate new and redeveloping land use related to enhancement and support of existing, transitioning, and new activity centers. 
  • Strategy UP-1.A-3: Activate identified community areas with events like regular farmers’ markets and concerts.
  • Strategy UP-1.A-4: Plan and design activity centers to be supportive of and well connected with multiple modes of transportation.
  • Strategy UP-1.A-5: Design urban activity centers to encourage walkability.
  • Strategy UP-1.A-6: Collaborate with the community, service providers, and stakeholders to plan a small business-supportive community hub in the southeast part of the city.

Policy UP-1.B: Establish a network of connections such as gateways, signature streets, festival streets, and trails to support, define, and provide context for our unique places.

  • Strategy UP-1.B-1: Support and promote a system of gateways and signature streets extending beyond Downtown to create unique, desirable, and identifiable entries to the overall city and the distinct places within it. 
  • Strategy UP-1.B-2: Integrate the design and location of existing and future transit stops within urban places. 
  • Strategy UP-1.B-3: Create connections between urban places and natural settings, especially through repurposing urban waterways.
  • Strategy UP-1.B-4: When feasible, integrate development with surrounding natural areas and maximize trail connectivity to enhance quality of life.

Policy UP-1.C: Locate and design new and repurposed civic facilities to make them highly visible focal points that express quality design, permanence, importance, and community identity.

  • Strategy UP-1.C-1: Locate and design public spaces and civic facilities at key locations throughout the city that set an example for quality design and integrate with surrounding private development.


Application: South Tejon Street Redevelopment: Tejon Street, around the repurposed Ivywild School, are being redeveloped with a particularly wide range of desired attributes. Tools and incentives including special districts and urban renewal are being used to support this redevelopment. The result is anticipated to be an especially unique, identifiable, and livable urban environment.

Embrace Creative 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., Adaptation, and Land Use Change

Goal UP-2: Embrace thoughtful, targeted, and forward-thinking changes in land use, infill, reinvestment, and redevelopment to respond to shifts in demographics, technology, and the market.

Policy UP-2.A: Support infill and land use investment throughout the mature and developed areas of the city. 

  • Strategy UP-2.A-1: Encourage the development or redevelopment of vacant properties in the core area of the city by using a combination of incentives, rezoning, and creative design solutions.
  • Strategy UP-2.A-2: Provide opportunities for redevelopment by identifying and supporting catalyst projects in underutilized locations such as disinvested shopping centers and business parks, former “big box” retail spaces, and no longer needed school buildings. 
  • Strategy UP-2.A-3: Continue to implement infill supportive Code changes including provisions tailored for older developed areas.
  • Strategy UP-2.A-4: Actively support ongoing and potential infill projects, employ problem-solving approaches and continue to implement process improvements in support of infill and redevelopment.
  • Strategy UP-2.A-5: Revise zoning and building regulations to be more streamlined and flexible regarding infill, redevelopment, and mixed-use developmentDevelopment that integrates two or more land uses, such as residential, commercial, and office, with a strong pedestrian orientation., especially in older, underutilized commercial areas.
  • Strategy UP-2.A-6: Consider adoption of zoning regulations and design guidelines for identified mature and developed areas to encourage building use and orientation towards the street and public realm. 

Grow the City’s Heart

Goal UP-3: Continue to grow and support Downtown as an inclusive, mixed use, cultural, and economic heart of the region.

Policy UP-3.A: Proactively participate and invest in the development of Downtown as the city’s premier urban activity center.

  • Strategy UP-3.A-1: Place a high priority on implementation of the City’s adopted Experience Downtown Master PlanA plan for the development of a portion of the city that contains proposed land uses, a generalized transportation system, and the relationship of the area included in the plan to surrounding property., including upgrades to festival streets, multimodalIncluding more than one mode of transportation. For example, a facility that accommodates lanes for motorized vehicles, bike lanes, sidewalks, and transit stops. transportation facilities, Southwest Downtown improvements, Downtown park enhancements, and alley and 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. projects. 
  • Strategy UP-3.A-2: Continue to refine, adapt, and expand the Downtown Form Based Zone District as Downtown develops and evolves. 
  • Strategy UP-3.A-3: Further strengthen city collaboration with Downtown organizations to implement Downtown initiatives.
  • Strategy UP-3.A-3: Construct Downtown multimodal transit hub and actively prioritize supportive development around it.

Focus on Corridors and Centers

Goal UP-4: Strengthen our overall community identity and better serve the needs of residents and businesses within our large metropolitan area by developing active, unique, and connected centers and corridors.

Policy UP-4.A: Actively plan and encourage a development pattern consisting of unique centers located along new and redeveloped corridors and at other designated areas throughout the city. 

  • Strategy UP-4.A-1: Revise City Code to support and allow for onsite parking, limited parking lot areas between the public right-of-way and buildings, design elements that enhance visual impressions from the street, multimodal access, and the safety and enjoyment of the onsite pedestrian experience.
  • Strategy UP-4.A-2: Focus area-specific planning attention and capital improvements prioritization on mature corridors and centers with a potential and need for redevelopment.
  • Strategy UP-4.A-3: In conjunction with committed transit improvements, create and adopt new transit-oriented development and mixed use-supportive base zoning or overlays to support the continued development and redevelopment of key corridors and centers.
  • Strategy UP-4.A-4: Encourage new and redeveloped buildings to activate street life and support multimodal access. 

Policy UP-4.B: Within unique centers, incorporate density and mixed uses along with higher standards of design, attention to the public realm, and design for multimodal access including transit.

  • Strategy UP-4.B-1: Evaluate development applications in and around unique centers with particular attention to their contribution to the integration and mixing of uses, orientation to the public realm, and their support of connections with multimodal transportation.
  • Strategy UP-4.B-2: Develop and implement design standards to support the vision for identified, prioritized, and redeveloping corridors and centers that lack density and mixed uses.

Policy UP-4.C: Ensure that the City Zoning Code supports the intent of unique places.

  • Strategy UP-4.C-1: Support additional mixing and integration of land uses as zoning use-by-right or administrative approval. 
  • Strategy UP-4.C-2: Complete an overall update of the City Zoning Code to support regulations, standards, or guidelines that encourage a unique character for unique place typologies.

Policy UP-4.D: Leverage funding tools, partnerships, and policies to fund and maintain redevelopment centers, corridors, and gateways.

  • Strategy UP-4.D-1: Continue to utilize special area designations, such as Economic Opportunity Zones, to highlight and prioritize the importance of areas targeted for redevelopment as unique urban places and centers (e.g. South Academy Blvd. and North Nevada Ave.). 
  • Strategy UP-4.D-2: Consider the impact on infill and redevelopment as a criterion for decisions on public improvement project choices and priorities (e.g. as a criterion for project selection for a possible extension of Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority funding).
  • Strategy UP-4.D-3: Proactively involve the Urban Renewal Authority in identifying infill and redevelopment opportunities and targeting public infrastructure investments.
  • Strategy UP-4.D-4: Aggressively pursue and leverage public, non-profit and private grants, and matching funds to support public/private redevelopment in designated areas such as Southeast Colorado Springs.

Create Sustainable and Resilient Places

Goal UP-5: Develop and support unique places and centers as models of resilience and sustainability.

Policy UP-5.A: Actively evaluate plans for existing, new, and redeveloping urban places and corridors from the perspective of fiscal and environmental sustainability.

  • Strategy UP-5.A-1: Consider fiscal and environmental sustainability in the preparation of small area and corridor plans. 
  • Strategy UP-5.A-2: Proactively plan for the closure, repurposing, and redevelopment of the Martin Drake Power Plant.
  • Strategy UP-5.A-3: Encourage creation of a City recognition program for excellence in sustainable and resilient urban development and local business practice.

Policy UP-5.B: Encourage cost-effective development that promotes the wise use of resources.

  • Strategy UP-5.B-1: Promote development that results in the efficient use of energy and water through the revision and adaptation of codes, criteria, and procedures. 
  • Strategy UP-5.B-2: Examine and consider zero-waste standards, policies, and practices for City projects as well as private development receiving special City incentives.
  • Strategy UP-5.B-3: Revise, adapt, and apply codes and requirements to encourage landscape design and maintenance that uses water efficiently and effectively.
  • Strategy UP-5.B-4: Provide City, Pikes Peak Regional Building Department, and other code flexibility to allow projects that incorporate elements of energy and water efficient building and development.