Cherry Creek Officials Moving Forward with new Area Plan

While some are excited about working on a new Cherry Creek Area Plan in order to determine new guidelines for making changes in the future, others are asking why a new plan is being developed when the previous plan still hasn’t been set completely into action.

“We’re grateful that an area plan was done in 2000, but the criticism is that all of this great vision is done, but it’s sitting in the plan,” said Barbara Metzger, who is a resident of Cherry Creek East. “We want to make sure that the conversations are implemented.”

According to Metzger and other residents of Cherry Creek, all of whom gathered at the first Cherry Creek Area Plan’s public workshop that took place earlier this month, the same concerns being discussed today are the same ones residents had 10 years ago when the previous plan was developed. For example, the residents would like to see more defined gateways welcoming visitors to the city, improved connectivity for pedestrians, bikers and motorists and an increase in the amount of pedestrian lighting.

“We’re Cherry Creek, and we can’t get to the creek,” said Metzger as she discusses the need for improvements to be made on the Cherry Creek bike path, which currently requires going through the South Madison Street and East Alameda Avenue intersection.

Despite these concerns, Community Planning and Development Department officials maintained that it is time for a new plan, as numerous redevelopment projects have occurred since the previous plan was developed. Furthermore, more major projects are expected in the near future. According to Chris Gleissner, who is the co-project manager for the Cherry Creek Area Plan, the previous plan has served its purpose well and will continue to do so. For example, thanks to the previous plan, developers had guidelines in place for development along East First Avenue as well as the redevelopment in Cherry Creek North and Cherry Creek East. On the other hand, the previous plan only makes recommendations for land use, development and mobility, but it falls short of actually making any changes.

Despite the protests, officials are moving forward with a draft plan, which is slated to be complete in February. Adoption of the new plan is expected to take place in the spring, though more public workshops will be hosted before the draft and adoption of the new plan is completed.

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