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Policy Directions, Focus on Longmont

photo of community members at a recent meeting

Introduction

November 2005, Focus on Longmont: Share your vision, Create our legacy is a community-wide planning project about our city’s future as we approach build-out of the Longmont Planning Area. The purpose of Focus on Longmont is to develop widely-supported strategic policies that, if implemented, will help Longmont remain a distinct community with adequate resources to sustain the kind of life residents want to enjoy for decades into the future.

Since January 2005, Longmont community members have helped develop strategic policy directions that reflect the community’s priorities and vision for the future. We are in the homestretch of what has been a creative and engaging process. Whether you participated in the 20 different Focus on Longmont forums or not, we hope you will take the time to review and share your views on the Draft Policy Directions.

This information bulletin includes:

 

What is Build-out and Why is it Important to our Future?

Build-out is the point in time when there’s no more new land available inside the Longmont Comprehensive Planning Area. From now until build-out of the planning area, the amount of undeveloped property in Longmont will be increasingly limited. If we want to sustain our community’s quality of life, we need to start making the best choices right now about how to use that property. The type, timing, and location of residential, industrial and commercial development that occurs between now and build-out will affect every aspect of life in Longmont, such as types and levels of city services, mix of business opportunities, number and variety of jobs and our community’s character and visual appeal.

 

Focus on Longmont Policy Directions

How were the Policy Directions developed?

In Phase 1, community members participated in developing the future vision depicted in the graphic below that is built on Longmont’s strengths. In Phase 2, the community planning focused on strategic priorities for achieving the vision and remaining a sustainable, free-standing community at build-out. The five draft Policy Directions listed here address the common themes that surfaced in the community discussions in Phase 2.

How will they be implemented?

Examples of possible actions to implement each policy direction are presented below. The Focus on Longmont Report will include recommended actions for Council to consider in plan implementation. Early in 2006, after receiving results from a fiscal impact analysis, Council will set priorities for actions to pursue to implement the Focus on Longmont strategic policies.

graphic representaion of the Longmont Vision
arrow arrow arrow arrow arrow
Focus on Downtown Promote a Sense of Community Identity
and Cultural Inclusion
Enhance the Natural Environment Promote a Healthy Business Climate Support Education as a Community-Wide Value

a. Promote the downtown area as the cornerstone of Longmont’s identity, serving as a community-wide destination and gathering place for civic, retail, and entertainment uses.

b. Encourage a mixed-use development pattern with emphasis on incorporating residential uses, so that downtown can prosper in a safe environment.

c. Foster balanced economic development opportunities that encourage economically viable businesses to locate and prosper in the downtown area and the greater Central Business District.

d. Continue to strengthen downtown’s role as the civic center of the community so that everyone in Longmont feels welcomed and included in civic activities.

e. Focus downtown physical improvements to achieve a greater degree of accessibility, and pedestrian orientation, and historic awareness.

a. Strengthen and connect existing neighborhood groups, and encourage the formation of new groups in additional neighborhoods.
• City to serve as a catalyst for forming new neighborhood groups
•Connect existing groups
•Connect with fire and police force
•Establish a communication forum – newsletter, regular neighborhood articles.

b. Involve youth in planning and conducting new and revitalized youth programs and activities.

c. Create an environment where youth feel valued in the community.

d. Continue to promote meaningful, purposeful citizen involvement and engagement opportunities to hear many voices in City programs and initiatives.

e. Support and encourage culturally inclusive community gatherings and events.

a. Improve the City’s trail system to achieve a city-wide grid system that strengthens community connections for non-recreational as well as recreational purposes, and explore a dedicated funding source to achieve implementation on an annual, ongoing basis.

b. Promote usable open space by exploring multiple-use opportunities; extend the city’s open space tax, and allocate c. fixed percentage of funding for both accessible as well as non-accessible (community separator) open space.

c. Require and incentivize “green” building standards for all public as well as private development, with an emphasis on quality, energy-efficient materials, quality architecture, and generous landscaping that reinforces community and the environment.

d. Encourage, enhance public transportation opportunities by working proactively to promote an increased level of transit service in Longmont.

a. Create opportunities for a continuum of appropriate jobs for all residents by attracting business through proactive marketing and a coordinated, citywide approach.

b. Ensure that both private and public development and redevelopment activities are in alignment with the community’s vision and values.

c. Work to create a “business-friendly” reputation for Longmont in the community, both locally and beyond.

d. Emphasize a balance between local and non-local businesses at a range of sizes and scales in our economic development policies and strategies.

a. Promote and support community activities to support education.

b. Promote partnerships between public and private sectors that enhance educational opportunities, from pre-school through college and beyond.

c. Promote community support through volunteerism and mentoring programs, and further explore opportunities to promote parental involvement in educational activities.

Possible Actions:

  • Build a downtown urban plaza
  • Downtown business recruitment

Possible Actions:

  • Expand the number of neighborhood associations
  • Continue to implement the City's Multicultural Plan

Possible Actions:

  • City-wide trail grid system
  • Adopt green building standards

Possible Actions:

  • Regional economic development coordination
  • Incentives for retail and employment uses.

Possible Actions:

  • Citywide annual education summit
  • Continued support of Front Range Community College

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What happens next?
Comments from the community will be used in developing the Policy Report for the Focus on Longmont project. The report will include refined policy directions coupled with an assessment of how each direction reflects what we learned from the community and how it will help Longmont be sustainable at build-out. Early in 2006, our consultants will conduct a fiscal impact analysis that will look at a range of potential economic scenarios at build-out. The results of this analysis will assist City Council in setting priorities for implementation of specific aspects of these strategic policies, which is scheduled to occur by the end of February, 2006.
How can I stay involved?

Fill in the contact information on the on-line Comment Form to let us know how you would like to be kept informed and involved as implementation moves forward.

Check the Focus on Longmont Homepage for progress updates on the project.

Contact one of the project leaders for more information:
Dale Rademacher (303.651.8355)
Carmen Ramirez (303.651.8445)
Karen Roney (303.651.8633)

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FOCUS ON LONGMONT MILESTONES

PHASE 1
January 2005
  • Focus on Longmont Launch
  • Coordinating Team Organized (35 people representing Longmont’s diversity)
February – March 2005
  • Interviews (80 individual interviews about Longmont at its best)
  • Community Conversations (140 organizations send members to 15 conversations)
April 2005
  • Community Summit (We create a vision of Longmont at its best)
May 2005
  • Phase 1 Interim Report Completed
PHASE 2
June 2005
  • Directions for the Future Guide Developed (The Guide asked citizens to consider what directions the City should emphasize in the future)
July
  • Two deliberative forums (two forums, one open to all and second with a random sample of our community)
August – September 2005
  • Deliberative Forum Report
October 2005
  • Community Workshop on Draft Policy Directions (Forum participants and City Council meet to refine policy directions)
November 2005
  • Publicity and Community Input on Policy Directions (Information Bulletin, Website postings, letters to organizations, small group dialogues)
December 2005
  • Policy directions presented to City Council
2006
January 2006
  • Conduct fiscal impact analysis and other assessments on policy implications
February 2006
  • Council action to prioritize implementation steps and schedule annual review of progress
March 2006
  • Continue implementation

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Thank you Coordinating Team!
Sara Beery Cindy Hoge Sue Mesch
Neil Bertrand Gregory Jaramillo Craig Ockers
Marty Block Keith Kanemoto Dave Palmisano
Mary Blue Anne Kear Gordon Pedrow
John Caldwell Joanne Kirves Carmen Ramirez
Erik Casynn Keith Langley David Rick
Michelle Cogswell Rigo Leal Karen Roney
Pam Ford Dean Lehman Fred Schotte
Pam Gibson Dave Macy Bruce Sessions
Marietta Gonzales Sarah Madrigal Leona Stoecker
Ed Green Hank McCarthy Mary Vigil
Froda Greenberg Abe Melendez Jim Wardell

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