Repositioning Wheat Ridge - Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy (NRS)

2018-2019 Update of the NRS

About the Update

In 2005, City Council adopted the Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy (NRS) Report, Repositioning Wheat Ridge, and adopted its findings and recommendations as guiding principles for revitalizing the City. (Scroll down for more historical information about the report.)

The strategies and recommendations contained in the NRS were focused on leveraging the City’s strengths and addressing its challenges to assist in returning the City to a vibrant community with a healthy housing market and the thriving commercial centers needed to generate fiscal stability. The NRS represented a community conversation, and consensus, about the City’s competitiveness in the early 2000s and what to do about it. Most would acknowledge that Wheat Ridge has changed after 13 years and continues to do so, even if feelings about the nature of the City’s development are not uniformly shared. In early 2018, City Council agreed that it is time to update the NRS to determine what the City wants to be today and into the future.

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  • This Draft Interim Report was presented to City Council and Planning Commission on November 5, 2018.
  • Sign up for small group meetings with the citizen Steering Committee which are taking place throughout November.  In this round of meetings, discussion will be focused on two hypothetical scenarios as a means to understanding what the community values.
  • Save the date for a public open house on Wednesday, December 12 at the Wheat Ridge Recreation Center from 5:30 to 7:30pm.
Between 2005 and 2018, a number of things transpired which now place Wheat Ridge in a very different position:
  • The City took seriously the recommendation of the NRS and faithfully pursued its implementation.
  • The metro area went through a historically exceptional period of demographic and economic growth, which had spillover effects in Wheat Ridge.
  • The City experienced half a generation of demographic turnover, with some households leaving and new ones arriving.
In many ways, the central question in a Wheat Ridge revitalization strategy today is less “how do we compete?” than “how do we make the most of the assets we have resurrected, nurtured, invested in, grown, and must now optimize?”

To work on answering that question, and many others, the City has retained czb, one of the firms that partnered in writing the 2005 Repositioning Wheat Ridge report. The City Council has also appointed a project Steering Committee to oversee the effort. Working together, the consultant team and the Steering Committee will pursue a mixed method approach of data analysis and community engagement to develop a strategy for the continued vibrancy of Wheat Ridge and its neighborhoods.

The project began in July of 2018 and is scheduled to conclude in May of 2019. Project updates will be posted here as they happen.


Public Engagement Process


The Committee has met three times with czb and staff since July. They have self-organized into five teams and have convened small group “kitchen table” meetings to engage the public in peer-to-peer community conversations. The idea behind these meetings is that they are small, honest, and open discussions like a family or group of friends or neighbors might have around a kitchen table. In the first round of engagement, these meetings asked participants, "What would you change and what would you keep the same in Wheat Ridge?"

The process is currently heading into the second round of engagement. The citizen Steering Committee is hosting additional small group meetings to hear public input on two hypothetical scenarios as a means to understanding what the community values about Wheat Ridge and how it weighs costs and benefits of public decision making.

To participate in this round of engagement, use the link below to sign up for a small group meeting facilitated by the Citizen Steering Committee. If these meetings fill up, future engagement opportunities will be available. A larger format public open house will be held on the evening of December 12, the details of which will soon be posted here.

What Kind of Engagement Opportunities Exist in the NRS Process?


The NRS uses a mixed-method approach to solicit public input on issues critical to the future of Wheat Ridge neighborhoods. As these opportunities are scheduled and made available, details will be posted here on this page. Some examples are:

Small Group Discussions (sometimes called "kitchen table conversations")
These conversations amongst perhaps a dozen people are set up and facilitated by members of the steering committee. They reflect the types of discussion that might occur at a backyard barbecue or between neighbors over coffee in somebody's kitchen. The small size and informal nature allow for a deeper level of discussion amongst participants. Sometimes they are set up by invitation, sometimes as "pop-up" events in local gathering places, and sometimes they are open to the general public on a sign-up basis. Despite their informal nature, small group discussions may be highly structured to keep participants focused on the kind of feedback that committee members are seeking. The focus is not engagement of the greatest number of people, but rather quality of input. This is only one stream of input.

Public Open Houses
Open Houses are a good opportunity for members of the public to gather information about the project basics, including the project's background, its overall goals, the process used, and any work completed to date. It is also a chance for attendees to share their thoughts directly with the City's consultant and members of the steering committee. The open house format allows attendees to browse information and ask questions at their own pace. There are usually a number of stations focused on key project components and issues, and attendees can provide written comments as well. Open Houses are an important tool in reaching large numbers of people and gathering a wide array of feedback. This is only one stream of input.

Surveys
Surveys are important for getting solid and clear input from participants. They offer a chance for residents and stakeholders to respond to specific questions in a way where the collective response can be easily quantified and reported. Surveys are most often offered online, but hard copies are made available as well. Surveys provide an opportunity for both quantity and quality of public feedback. Because surveys can be completed at any time, day or night, they allow for broad participation. And because of the highly detailed possibilities of both survey questions and answers, deep and insightful responses are obtainable. Surveys are only one stream of input.

2005 Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy

Recommendations

The three recommendations of the 2005 report are:

Revitalization Process Objectives


The City's objectives in the 2005 revitalization process were:
  • Strong households
  • More homeowners
  • Growing existing businesses
  • Adding new businesses
  • Attracting shoppers

Revitalization Resources