Montrose, CO — During a pair of public kickoff meetings this week, city planners and administrators began gathering citizen input as the City of Montrose embarks on a community engagement process that is essential to creating the city’s revised Comprehensive Plan.
The purpose of the Comprehensive Plan is to develop a 20-year community vision and to set goals and opportunities for growth and development with a 10-year focus.
The Plan serves as the city's guide for local decision-making on long-range planning, land use, development, policy, and capital improvements. The City of Montrose adopted its first Comprehensive Plan in 1961, with revisions in 1978, 1998, and 2008, with map revisions in 2012 and 2016. Municipalities typically update comprehensive plans every ten years.
Public discussions hosted on Tuesday and Thursday evenings this week allowed city planners to gather community members’ ideas on vision and values. City administrators also informed the public about the implementation process, which is slated to begin following the completion of the Comprehensive Plan in 2020.
Residents who were not able to attend the initial public meetings can take an online survey to give feedback at www.surveymonkey.com/r/W67H9JD.
Following the community kickoff meeting Tuesday, the same meeting was held in Spanish on Thursday. Both meetings ran for about two hours. Former Montrose resident and City Councilor Noelle Hagan, a current resident of Fort Collins, moderated the Tuesday meeting. Melissa Burkhart from Futuro Sólido moderated the Spanish workshop.
The community engagement process provides an opportunity to re-evaluate the community’s vision, goals, and priorities and address current conditions and needs. The meetings examined current growth trends and existing conditions of the city. Attendees were divided into smaller groups where they collectively brainstormed three things they wanted to improve and/or create in Montrose in the coming years.
Attendees were divided into smaller groups where they collectively brainstormed three things they wanted to improve and/or create in Montrose in the coming years. Attendees were also given pennies to place in glass jars labeled with various community values that they support the most.
According to data by the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the population of the City of Montrose is expected to rise from 20,090 in 2018 to 32,420 in 2050. In comparison, the overall population of Montrose County is projected at 68,780 in 2050, up from 43,336 in 2018.
Questions city administrators want to answer are; how should the city manage growth and what kind of city will future generations inherit?
“A comprehensive plan is a plan for the future, and that might sound a little intangible, but it really is important because that’s the future that we’re all going to live in," Senior City Planner Gary Baker said. "I personally have lived in Montrose for 20 years and I’ve seen how the community has changed over 20 years—it’s huge. Maybe the most important thing for people to remember is that this is the community they are planning for their children. So 20 years out, what kind of a town do you want in place for when you’re older, but also what kind of town are your children going to live in."
Following a period of time to gather input from the online survey, the city will prepare an initial existing conditions report in July. The city will then host a series of public workshops at City Hall in the Centennial Room on July 22 and 25, August 5, 12, 13, and 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
A Spanish workshop is scheduled for August 22 at City Hall in the Centennial Room from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Topics to be discussed at these workshops may include land use and growth, transportation, housing, economic development, recreation and tourism, parks and open space, and the environment.
The Comprehensive Plan is developed through community meetings, online surveys, stakeholder interviews, and community workshops. City staff will conduct the Comprehensive Plan process with active involvement from the Montrose City Council, Planning Commission, and a Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee.
The City Council will review and adopt the final plan and will provide guidance to city staff regarding the public outreach process.
More information about the Comprehensive Plan can be found at www.CityofMontrose.org/CompPlan.
For more city news visit CityOfMontrose.org.