Reconnecting America People * Places * Possibility

Resource Center

Transit-Oriented Development Strategic Plan

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Strategic Plan is a guide for prioritizing the planning and implementation activities of the City and County of Denver related to transit planning and transit-oriented development. City Council, Planning Board, departmental management, staff, and others will use it to:

  • Set priorities for where City resources should be directed in the short, mid and long-term;
  • Identify effective implementation tools, policies and strategies to facilitate transit oriented development where appropriate; and
  • Ensure close coordination among City departments, staff and others as they undertake planning and implementation activities related to transit and transit-oriented development.

Community Planning and Development (CPD) worked with the Center for Transit Oriented Development (CTOD), a non-profit organization, on the strategic planning effort. To prepare this plan, CTOD staff met with key members of each City department that has a role in planning for and implementing transit and transit-oriented development, including Community Planning and Development, Public Works, Economic Development, Parks and Recreation, the City Attorney’s office, Council members, the Mayor’s Office and the Denver Urban Renewal Agency. CTOD also met with key stakeholders from other agencies and entities, including RTD, the Denver Housing Authority, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Urban Land Institute and Housing Denver. In addition to these stakeholder interviews, CTOD reviewed available data and policies pertaining to TOD and visited each existing and future station area.

The TOD Strategic Plan contains:

  • Definition of Transit-Oriented Development: TOD is more than simply development near transit, successful TOD creates beautiful, vital, and walkable neighborhoods; provides housing, shopping and transportation choices; generates lasting value for citizens and public and private stakeholders; and provides access to the region’s jobs, government centers, healthcare facilities and cultural and recreational destinations.
  • Context For TOD: A snapshot of the trends creating a demand for development within walking distance of transit stations across the nation and in Denver.
  • TOD Typology: A framework to help distinguish the types of places that will be linked by the transit system and frame expectations about the mix and intensity of development at specific stations.
  • Current Policies and Programs: An inventory of policies and activities within the City and County that currently focus on TOD and an assessment of Denver’s readiness to support TOD.
  • City-Wide Recommendations: A set of recommended activities of city•wide significance that would help prepare for TOD:
    • Defining roles and responsibilities with RTD
    • Adopting TOD typology and encouraging regional TOD vocabulary
    • Conducting proactive regulatory and implementation activities
    • Adopting a package of TOD and parking management strategies
    • Creating new funding tools
    • Preparing an affordable and mixed-income housing strategy
    • Developing a public housing renewal strategy
  • Specific Station Recommendations: A set of recommended activities for the specific station areas. The criteria used to address phasing priority and level of effort are:
    • Frequency of transit service
    • Existing land use, parcelizaton, and ownership patterns
    • Real estate market trends in Denver, the transit corridor, and current market activity around each specific station
    • Physical barriers that limit connectivity to the station
    • Current or future significant public investment in the station area other than the transit investment
    • Community support

Staff will be working on all of the transit corridors and station areas. However, using the above criteria, the report identifies the following stations as those that warrant immediate City action:

  • Colorado (Southeast, T-REX)
  • Southmoor (Southeast, T-REX)
  • Decatur (West Line)
  • Sheridan (West Line)
  • Inca & 38th (Gold Line)
  • 40th & 40th (East Corridor)
  • 10th & Osage (Central Corridor)
  • Alameda (Central Corridor)

Who should use the Plan?

The TOD Strategic Plan is intended to be a guidance document for Denver staff of all departments to identify issues where additional work is needed to ensure that TOD in Denver is implemented in a way that fits with the community’s long-term vision. It also identifies locations where focused efforts are either needed to set the table for high quality results or where sufficient policies and programs are in place now to let the market function.

The TOD Strategic Plan can also provide guidance for elected and appointed officials, developers and community leaders seeking answers to what kinds of change can be expected in their communities and the likely timeframe for these changes.

How should the Plan be used?

The TOD Strategic Plan will be consulted in annual budget reviews, as development proposals are brought forward for specific transit districts, and as Denver staff work with neighboring communities, regional agencies and other stakeholders to plan for the FasTracks program and implement Denver’s TOD vision.