Behind the Boom: Windsor Planning Department strives for smart growth
June 6, 2017
Planning for Windsor’s future
For more information about the Windsor Planning Department, visit windsorgov.com/planning.
The Planning Commission is responsible for the preparation and maintenance of the Master Plan, and the recommendation and implementation of zoning classifications, subdivision ordinances, and annexations. The commission meets at 7 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday each month in Town Hall. Meetings are open to the public, as well as broadcast live at windsorgov.com/MeetingsOnDemand.
Throughout the past 30 years, the Town of Windsor has recorded tremendous growth, expanding from 5,000 residents in 1990 to nearly 25,000 residents today.
That growth reached its pinnacle last year, as the largest single year of residential growth in the town's history.
"We issued 690 single-family building permits last year," Director of Planning Scott Ballstadt said. "Those 690 new homes translate to roughly 1,900 new residents."
Well before construction begins the Planning Department works in partnership with the Planning Commission and Town Board to balance the sudden development interest in Windsor, and resulting population surge, with planned growth.
"Windsor's rapid growth presents numerous challenges, including transportation, housing affordability and provision of basic government services," Ballstadt said. "We work to overcome these challenges and align growth with the values and framework our community has established."
For every new development, the Town of Windsor Planning Department reviews each proposal with several key — and community driven — long-range documents: Vision 2020, the 2016-18 Strategic Plan, and the Comprehensive Plan.
"The long-range aspect of planning is reflected most in the town's Comprehensive Plan, an aspirational document adopted in 2016," Ballstadt said. "Based on citizen and business leader input, the Comprehensive Plan sets long-range goals in various areas, including transportation, open space, neighborhoods, and commercial development."
The Planning Department collaborates closely with other agencies and departments, such as utility providers, the fire district, and the Colorado Department of Transportation, as well as the development community.
"Our goal is to meet early and often with the development community and partner agencies," Ballstadt said. "We try to be as proactive as possible, working together to talk through concepts and align plans with the town's development standards and codes."
Throughout the development process, customer service is a priority for the Planning Department.
"Over the years, we've refined our processes to be as streamlined and as user friendly as possible," continued Ballstadt. "Our goal is to provide a responsive, consistent and efficient experience for developers."
While service to the development community is high on the department's list, ultimately the Planning Department strives to work in the best interest of the community, ensuring safe and thoughtful development.
"As land owners propose new concepts, whether a new subdivision or commercial development, we review their plans to ensure functional, well-planned development that protects public safety and the general welfare of our community."