City of Colorado Springs / Land Use Review / Publications & Maps / Comprehensive Plan / Approved Comprehensive Plan / Chapter 7 - Land Use Map

Chapter 7 - Land Use Map

Introduction

The 2000 Comprehensive Plan includes a 2020 Land Use Map. This is the first time a citywide future land use map has been prepared. It represents a framework for future city growth through 2020. This framework illustrates what the pattern of development in the city will be if it takes place in conformance with the Comprehensive Plan Policies. However, the Map is not intended as a fixed predetermination of land use for the planning period. The Map and its policies can be updated and amended, just like other policies in the Comprehensive Plan.

The purpose of the 2020 Land Use Map is to provide a citywide context for coordinating decisions regarding the development and redevelopment of various areas, both master planned and non-master planned, throughout the city. It is intended to give decision-makers a citywide view, not only of individual master plans, but also of proposals for specific sites.

The Map shows a pattern for the City that is made up of five types of places: Residential, Commercial, Employment, Regional Activity Centers, and Open Spaces and Parks. This pattern is shaped and influenced by existing development patterns, opportunity areas for new development, and the character of the natural land.

Residential Areas are our neighborhoods, and include the places where we live, shop, go to school, and in some cases, work. While our neighborhoods may vary in terms of density, character, and types of housing, there are certain characteristics of livability that the Plan envisions for all neighborhoods in the city.

Commercial Areas are our shopping districts, serving both local and regional needs. The plan illustrates a diverse range of commercial areas, reflecting differences in character, intensity, size, and location. Most of our commercial areas in the city are located along major transportation corridors. Corridors or linear commercial development can be characterized as Mature/Redevelopment or New/Developing. Centers are more focused and range in size from small convenience shopping areas to larger, regional centers. Each commercial type has distinct physical characteristics and diversity of uses.

Employment Areas are major concentrated locations where people work. Major employers are typically located in these areas, whether in mixed-use activity centers or campus-like settings or diverse industrial areas.

Regional Centers are large areas of concentrated activity that combine a mix of uses, such as employment, shopping, and higher density housing. Downtown Colorado Springs, which serves as the City's major center for government and civic activities, entertainment, and shopping, is a particularly important regional center.

Parks and Open Spaces include the City's system of parks, greenways, and trails, as well as the natural resources that people and wildlife depend on, including rivers and riparian areas, foothills, bluffs and mesas, and grasslands.

Together these five types of places make up the future pattern of our City. The Map illustrates this pattern, and includes a number of residential, commercial, and other land use categories, such as Major Institutional, to reflect the differences in these types of places throughout the city.

The Map reflects full buildout of the city and contains the land and uses much greater than needed to accommodate both the existing and forecast development through 2020. The map strives to provide a balance of open space, residential, retail, employment, and institutional uses through the City.

Two key building blocks of the Map are the Open Space System and the 2020 transportation network. The Open Space system organizes future development around the conservation of a network of major natural areas and greenways. Coordinating growth and development with the transportation system fosters mutually supportive infrastructure and land use. Capital facilities and services can be coordinated with growth to make the most efficient use of private and public resources.

The basis of the Map and policies is both existing and planned development. Designed to be compatible with current Master Plan land use categories, this Map anticipates more detailed land use planning to occur through Master Plan development and review. The Map also indicates that some currently vacant areas and areas with older development are suitable for redevelopment.

Definitions:

2020 Land Use Map: The 2020 Land Use Map designates the proposed general distribution and location of land for commercial, employment, residential, regional activity centers, parks, planning reserve and other land uses. The Map is adopted as part of the Comprehensive Plan. The 2020 Land Use Map at the end of this chapter is a generalized representation of the official Comprehensive Plan 2020 Land Use Map.

Master Plan: A plan for the development of a portion of the city that contains proposed land uses, a generalized transportation system, and the relationship of the area included in the plan to surrounding property. There are three types of master plans defined in the Zoning Code.

Types of Master Plans:

Citywide System Plans: These are planning reports that detail the existing and future needs for infrastructure and facilities such as open space, parks, and transportation. These plans are most frequently prepared by the City.
Facility Master Plans: These are documents that detail the plans and the existing physical components of various public and private sector facilities. Examples include the Colorado Springs Airport Master Plan and the Penrose Hospital Plan.
Land Use Master Plans: These are plans for specific geographic areas. These plans provide information about such issues as land use, transportation, open space, parks, and schools. Plans for undeveloped land are most frequently prepared by the private sector, while plans for established or redeveloping areas are prepared by neighborhood organizations or the City, either singly or collaboratively.
Strategic Network of Long-range Plans: A network of long-range plans to be developed for transportation, infrastructure, and services as identified in the City's Strategic Plan. They include the Intermodal Transportation Plan, the Long-range Public Works Infrastructure and Services Plan, the Long-range Plan for Police Services, the Long-range Plan for Fire Services, the Parks Capital System Master Plan, and the Parks System Services Master Plan.

Related Planning Documents

Individual Master Plans
Downtown Action Plan
Airport Master Plan
Redevelopment Plans for Neighborhood Strategy Areas
Land Use Map Narrative

Objective LUM 1: Provide a City-wide Context for Development Decisions

The need for coordinated consideration of land development decisions becomes more pronounced as Colorado Springs grows in physical size. For many years the City has been able to address land use issues without considering the entire community. While this approach has been partially successful, it has also lead to imbalances of land uses and even instances where the cumulative effect of short term decisions has resulted in actual shortages of available land for certain types of use.

Improve the decision making process with a city wide land use map that provides a larger context for decision making. The 2020 Land Use Map is intended to provide that broader perspective. Conversely, the Map is not intended as a fixed predetermination of land use for the planning period. As the community continues to grow and change, it is anticipated that the Map will inevitably change.

Policy LUM 101: Use the 2020 Land Use Map to Guide Development

Utilize the Comprehensive Plan, of which the 2020 Land Use Map is a part, as a guide to anticipated development. The Map is a visual representation of the Comprehensive Plan policies and will be used in conjunction with policies. Land use designations will guide the placement and mix of uses.

Strategy LUM 101a: 2020 Land Use Map Will Guide Anticipated Development

Provide general direction regarding the location of broad categories of future land uses through the 2020 Land Use Map. Indicate the desired placement and mix of uses within the city via the land use designations. Consult the 2020 Land Use Map in the determination of the location of future development.

Strategy LUM 101b: Role of Master Plans and Development Plans

Provide more detailed land development guidance, including the appropriate timing and location of development and infrastructure, through master plans including citywide system plans, facility master plans and land use master plans. Make more detailed decisions regarding the siting of land uses during master plan or development plan review when additional information is available including topography, site constraints, road alignments and use to use relationships.

Policy LUM 102: Consistency between Master Plans and Comprehensive Plan

Utilize the Comprehensive Plan and 2020 Land Use Map as the context and benchmark for assessment of individual master plans. Allow flexibility in the determination of land uses within individual master plans when master plans are consistent with the 2020 Land Use Map.

Strategy LUM 102a: Existing Master Plans and 2020 Land Use Map

Incorporate existing master plans, as they may be amended from time to time, within the 2020 Land Use Map and where such change requires amendment of the 2020 Land Use Map. Address potential conflicts between proposed amendments to existing master plans and the 2020 Land Use Map through concurrent consideration of a proposed amendment to the Map.

Strategy LUM 102b: Conflicts between Existing Master Plans and 2020 Land Use Map

Address conflicts between existing master plans and the 2020 Land Use Map and other citywide plans at the time of a more specific development proposal (e.g. zoning, development plan, or subdivision). Resolution may entail either amendment of the 2020 Land Use Map and/or amendment of the master plan to establish consistency. Guidance in review will be provided by criteria for amendment of the 2020 Land Use Map, and criteria for periodic review of master plans and determination of changed conditions as identified in the Zoning Ordinance. The amount of time since the most recent amendment of a master plan may also be a consideration.

Strategy LUM 102c: New Master Plans and Annexations and 2020 Land Use Map

Utilize the 2020 Land Use Map in determining appropriate general land uses in conjunction with preparation of new master plans and consideration of annexation requests. Amend the 2020 Land Use Map to incorporate annexation of land to the City.

Policy LUM 103: Use 2020 Land Use Map to Evaluate Proposed Development

Base initial evaluation of development proposals on the 2020 Land Use Map and policies.

Strategy LUM 103a: Development Proposals and 2020 Land Use Map

Consult the 2020 Land Use Map in the review of development proposals. Determine a development proposal's community benefits and resolve conflicts between a development proposal and the 2020 Land Use Map, with the guidance of the 2020 Land Use Map and policies.

Strategy LUM 103b: Vested Property Right Inconsistent with 2020 Land Use Map and Policies

Do not use the 2020 Land Use Map to override any vested property right granted in accordance with City Code.

Policy LUM 104: Amendments to 2020 Land Use Map

The Map is intended to provide flexibility in the location of land uses and accommodate most master plan amendments without the need to change the 2020 Land Use Map. Review and amend the 2020 Land Use Map and policies to reflect changing conditions and environment. Consider Citywide System Plans, and the Strategic Network of Long-range Plans during such review and amendment. The applicant will bear the burden of proof in support of a proposed amendment.

Strategy LUM 104a: 2020 Land Use Map Amendment Process

Consider and analyze on a citywide basis all proposed amendments to the 2020 Land Use Map that would result in significant land use changes. Changes to the 2020 Land Use Map will constitute an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan. Proposed amendments may be reviewed concurrently with other development proposals. The requests will be reviewed by Planning Commission, who will forward a recommendation to City Council. City Council will grant final approval of 2020 Land Use Map amendments by ordinance.

Strategy LUM 104b: Analysis of Proposed Amendments to 2020 Land Use Map and Plan

Assess the citywide implications of proposed amendments to the 2020 Land Use Map. Include an analysis of the following elements in addition to other development review criteria:

a. A detailed statement of what is proposed to be changed and why;

b. A statement of anticipated impacts of the change, including

analysis by affected Planning Evaluation Zones
analysis of relevant issues including transportation and natural environment;
c. A demonstration of how the proposed amendment is consistent with the Strategic Network of Long-range Plans and Citywide System Plans;

d. Proposed or necessary implementation tools, including code amendments;

e. Public review and discussion of the recommended change; and

f. Demonstration of community benefit consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.

It will be the responsibility of the City to prepare analyses addressing items b, c, and d, above.

Policy LUM 105: Maintain and Update 2020 Land Use Map

Utilize the 2020 Land Use Map and the appropriate implementation tools for land use, transportation, open space, infrastructure, urban services and other planning decisions. The 2020 Land Use Map will allocate sufficient lands to meet the forecast growth, while recognizing the suitability of the land for various uses.

Strategy LUM 105a: Annual Report to City Council

Provide an annual report to City Council identifying and describing all amendments to the 2020 Land Use Map that have been approved in the previous calendar year.

Strategy LUM 105b: Consistency with Other City Plans

Identify revisions to the Citywide System Plans including the Open Space Plan and the Intermodal Transportation Plan and their effect on implementation of the Comprehensive Plan as part of the annual report to City Council.

Strategy LUM 105c: 2020 Land Use Map Designations

Designate land uses to appropriately reflect current uses, zoning, and master plans to ensure the best opportunities to accommodate future growth, consistent with Comprehensive Plan policies.

Land Use Designations

Objective LUM 2: Land Use Designations

Provide general direction for the appropriate location of broad categories of land use to accommodate the City's future growth through 2020 within the land use designations. Include clear and concise criteria establishing and characterizing each land use designation. Ensure that the designations are exclusive.

Policy LUM 201: Low Residential

Utilize the Low Residential designation for existing large lot residential developments and undeveloped areas with environmental features that preclude more intensive development.

Strategy LUM 201a: Low Residential Characteristics

Designate as Low Residential those areas comprised of large lot residential development, existing or proposed, which reflect an existing development pattern, serve as a buffer area between urban and rural (outside city) development, lack services (such as sewer) or access, or contain environmental constraints and/or resources that preclude standardized subdivision development.

Strategy LUM 201b: Low Residential Primary Uses

Identify the predominant land use as low-density residential development compatible with the natural environment and features. Require effective site design including preservation of significant features, clustering, and placement of infrastructure. Areas will achieve an average density that is generally less than 3 units per acre.

Strategy LUM 201c: Low Residential Secondary Uses

Include supporting uses such as neighborhood centers with pedestrian-oriented, low-impact shops and services, parks and recreation areas, religious institutions, and primary or middle schools. Neighborhood centers may range up to 5 acres in size.

Policy LUM 202: General Residential

Utilize the General Residential designation for the vast majority of existing and future residential areas. This designation includes a wide variety of residential uses, as well as uses that serve and support individual neighborhoods.

Strategy LUM 202a: General Residential Characteristics

Designate existing development at average gross densities greater than three dwelling units per acre and new development as appropriate.

Strategy LUM 202b: General Residential Primary Uses

Identify primary uses as all types of residential development at average gross densities greater than three dwelling units per acre. Cluster higher density developments along collector and major roads and as a transition to nonresidential uses.

Strategy LUM 202c: General Residential Secondary Uses

Include supporting uses such as neighborhood centers with pedestrian-oriented, low-impact shops and services, parks and recreation areas, religious institutions, and schools. Neighborhood centers may range up to 5 acres in size. Consider proposed secondary uses that individually or cumulatively exceed five acres, as proposed Map amendments from General Residential to a more intense Map designation to allow significant land use changes to be analyzed on a neighborhood and citywide basis.

Policy LUM 203: Community Activity Center

Utilize the Community Activity Center designation for commercial retail and service uses that meet consumer demands for frequently needed goods and services, with an emphasis on serving the surrounding residential areas. Integrate mobility choices by providing transit, pedestrian and bicycle connectivity within the center as well as to adjoining areas.

Strategy LUM 203a: Community Activity Center Characteristics

Designate existing and new community activity centers with opportunities for a mix of retail, office and medical services; employment; and higher density residential uses at a scale to serve multiple neighborhoods. Locate major competing retail centers a minimum of one mile apart and distribute them to serve multiple neighborhoods. Proposed new Community Activity Centers can range in size from 10 to 40 acres.

Strategy LUM 203b: Community Activity Center Primary Uses

Identify primary uses oriented to the day-to-day needs of the residential areas served. These areas are typically anchored by a grocery store, with supporting establishments including, but not limited to, variety, drug, and hardware stores; and personal service establishments, such as medical offices, beauty shops, and restaurants.

Strategy LUM 203c: Community Activity Center Secondary Uses

Include supporting uses such as other neighborhood-oriented uses including schools, employment, day care, parks, and civic facilities, as well as residential uses as part of a mixed-use development.

Policy LUM 204: Commercial Center

Utilize the Commercial Center designation for large-scale commercial uses serving the wider community. The primary activity is large retail establishments. Integrate mobility choices by providing transit, pedestrian and bicycle connectivity within the center as well as to adjoining areas.

Strategy LUM 204a: Commercial Center Characteristics

Designate existing large-scale retail uses that provide major durable goods shopping, restaurants and services to multiple residential areas.

Strategy LUM 204b: Commercial Center Primary Uses

Identify primary uses as large-scale retail uses.

Strategy LUM 204c: Commercial Center Secondary Uses

Include supporting uses such as residential, service, office entertainment, eating and drinking establishments, and medical uses.

Policy LUM 205: New/Developing Commercial Corridor

Utilize the New/Developing Corridor designation for major retail uses accessible primarily by automobile and transit. This category represents major retail centers existing and approved for development prior to the adoption of this Comprehensive Plan. Broaden mobility choices by providing pedestrian and bicycle connectivity within the corridor as well as to adjoining areas.

Strategy LUM 205a: New/Developing Corridor Characteristics

Designate the major commercial corridors within the city. These corridors are characterized by a series of large, single-use sites developed with controlled access and dominating parking areas fronting on a major arterial.

Strategy LUM 205b: New/Developing Corridor Primary Uses

Identify primary uses as large, freestanding "power centers," "big box retail," and supportive retail and service uses, all of which are designed and sited in a manner that requires primarily automobile and transit access.

Strategy LUM 205c: New/Developing Corridor Secondary Uses

Include supporting uses such as higher density residential uses, services, offices, entertainment, eating and drinking establishments, and auto service and sales.

Policy LUM 206: Mature/Redevelopment Corridors

Utilize the Mature/Redevelopment Corridor designation for existing, smaller, mature retail corridors that offer opportunities to transform from exclusively auto-oriented places to more mixed-use centers through infill and redevelopment. As existing uses expand, they often migrate to new corridors, thus creating opportunities for redevelopment and redesign in these corridors. Integrate mobility choices by providing transit, pedestrian and bicycle connectivity within the center as well as to adjoining areas.

Strategy LUM 206a: Mature/Redevelopment Corridor Characteristics

Designate areas having generally smaller lotting patterns, frequent mixing of residential uses, and an incremental, lot-by-lot development pattern. Include areas annexed or developed in the more mature parts of the city.

Strategy LUM 206b: Mature/Redevelopment Corridor Primary Uses

Identify primary uses as mixed-use development, particularly as these corridors redevelop. Encourage proposed development adding to the mix of uses.

Strategy LUM 206c: Mature/Redevelopment Corridor Secondary Uses

Include supporting uses such as those that encourage transit-oriented development with safe and convenient pedestrian and bicycle access and facilities.

Policy LUM 207: Employment Center

Utilize the Employment Center designation for major concentrations of employment, including existing corporate campuses and industrial areas. For new centers promote excellence in the design and planning of buildings, outdoor spaces, and transportation facilities; and support the vitality and quality of life in adjacent residential neighborhoods. Integrate mobility choices by providing transit, pedestrian and bicycle connectivity within the center as well as to adjoining areas.

Strategy LUM 207a: Employment Center Characteristics

Designate sites with direct access to existing or planned major transportation facilities and compatibility with adjacent land uses. Generally employment centers are located along major roads, or in close proximity to limited access freeways and Interstate 25.

Strategy LUM 207b: Employment Center Primary Uses

Identify primary uses as research and development, major service and office center complexes, as well as warehousing and industrial uses and major educational facilities.

Strategy LUM 207c: Employment Center Secondary Uses

Include supporting uses that complement the primary workplace uses such as restaurants, hotels, childcare, convenience shopping, and residential uses if part of an overall planned development.

Policy LUM 208: Regional Center

Utilize the Regional Center designation for significant and mutually supportive combinations of two other land uses: commercial center and employment center. Because of their size, both uses function as regional centers in terms of market for retail and employment opportunities. Emphasize development of these areas as integrated land uses through innovative design standards, rather than as separate, freestanding land uses. Integrate mobility choices by providing transit, pedestrian and bicycle connectivity within the center as well as to adjoining areas.

Strategy LUM 208a: Regional Center Characteristics

Regional centers are typically located at the intersection of major roadways and provide retail services and employers that serve a citywide and regional market. They often include a regional mall or corporate headquarters.

Strategy LUM 208b: Regional Center Primary Uses

Identify primary uses as significant and mutually supportive commercial and employment uses.

Strategy LUM 208c: Regional Center Secondary Uses

Include supporting uses such as those that achieve integrated, mixed-use development including residential uses.

Policy LUM 209: Major Institutional

Utilize the Major Institutional designation for large-scale public or quasi-public institutional uses that are not usually integrated into residential areas.

Strategy LUM 209a: Major Institutional Characteristics

Designate the existing and planned large-scale major institutional uses, including the Municipal Airport, Peterson Air Force Base, the Navigators, Pikes Peak Community College, Colorado College and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Provide transit, pedestrian and bicycle connectivity within the center as well as to adjoining areas.

Strategy LUM 209b: Major Institutional Primary Uses

Identify primary uses as aviation, large educational campuses, major hospital facilities, and other public and private institutional uses.

Strategy LUM 209c: Major Institutional Secondary Uses

Include supporting uses such as mixed use, residential, supporting office and services.

Policy LUM 210: Candidate Open Space

Utilize the Candidate Open Space Designation for major areas of high natural and scenic value identified through the City Open Space Plan as potential components of the open space system. Include significant natural features, natural areas, and greenway corridors in this designation. Open space consists of areas that are in a natural or primarily natural state and contain significant natural, aesthetic, or cultural features that warrant protection. The future open space system is composed of both existing and potential open space areas. Existing open space areas are those that are already permanently protected from future development. Candidate open space areas are those that have been identified in the City's Open Space Plan as having high value for wildlife habitat, significant vegetation, water features, and scenic quality.

Strategy LUM 210a: Candidate Open Space Characteristics

Designate Candidate Open Space to include master planned open space; potential open space identified in the Open Space Plan and defined by the Trails, Open Space, and Parks (TOPS) program; and natural drainageways, wildlife habitat, and other significant natural features.

Strategy LUM 210b: Candidate Open Space Primary Uses

Identify primary uses as the conservation of open spaces, regional parks, greenways, natural drainageways, trail corridors, and historical landscapes with no residential, commercial or employment uses.

Strategy LUM 210c: Candidate Open Space Secondary Uses

Include supporting land uses such as limited development that may occur after a site-specific land suitability analysis is conducted and adequate protection and enhancement measures are identified and implemented. Other secondary uses may include protection of areas with significant cultural resources, agricultural activities that represent important aspects of the city's heritage, buffer areas to existing open space areas, the spatial definition and separation of developed areas, and the set aside of areas characterized by environmental hazards. Allow transitions and buffers to lower-density development in El Paso County.

Strategy LUM 210d: Redesignation of Open Space

Modify some lands designated as Open Space, such as the Open Space candidate areas, to show other land use designation following detailed site level analysis that would occur through the development plan review process or through the TOPS Program evaluation process. Consider such areas for reclassification consistent with the Comprehensive Plan Map amendment process.

Policy LUM 211: Existing Parkland and Open Space

Utilize the Existing Parkland designation for existing open space and developed neighborhood, community parks and other parkland, such as trail corridors and recreational facilities that are not part of the open space system. Parkland represents neighborhood and community parks and recreational facilities that are developed with turf grass and supporting equipment and structures. Existing open space areas are those that are already permanently protected from future development. Include other parkland not specifically included in the open space system or in city-owned golf courses and cemeteries.

Strategy LUM 211a: Parkland Characteristics

Designate and add future parkland sites and facilities identified through the Parks and Recreation Master Plan and other individual area master plans.

Strategy LUM 211b: Parkland Primary Uses

Identify primary uses as neighborhood parks, developed community parks, special parks, sports complexes, urban trails, recreation centers, and special purpose facilities such as senior centers and environmental education centers.

Strategy LUM 211c: Parkland Secondary Uses

There are no secondary uses for parkland.

Policy LUM 212: Existing Golf Courses and Cemeteries

Utilize the Existing Golf Courses and Cemeteries designation for existing public and private golf courses and cemeteries in recognition of their special site, land area, and maintenance requirements and to distinguish them from open space and parkland. Include existing publicly and privately owned facilities. Provide for the location of future facilities as the need and opportunity arises.

Strategy LUM 212a: Golf Course and Cemetery Characteristics

Identify, evaluate, and approve future golf course sites through the master planning process prior to addition to the 2020 Land Use Map. Identify, evaluate, and approve future cemetery sites through the master planning and/or development review process prior to addition to the 2020 Land Use Map.

Strategy LUM 212b: Golf Course and Cemetery Primary Uses

Identify primary uses as providing opportunities for City-owned and privately owned golf courses. Identify the primary use as providing burial sites in public and private cemeteries.

Strategy LUM 212c: Golf Course and Cemetery Secondary Uses

Include supporting uses for both public and private golf course such as management to provide natural areas, significant vegetation, wildlife habitat, and scenic features. Include supporting uses of public and private cemeteries such as management to provide significant additions to the urban forest and associated bird habitat.

Policy LUM 213: Potential Annexation Areas

Utilize the Potential Annexation Area designation for areas that are likely to be incorporated by the City.

Strategy LUM 213a: Potential Annexation Areas Characteristics

Identify as Potential Annexation Areas existing enclaves as well as other areas identified by property owners seeking annexation, or areas within the City's three-mile planning area.

Strategy LUM 213b: Master Plan to Accompany Annexation Request

Include a master plan as part of an annexation request. Identify in each individual Master Plans the appropriate mix of land uses for each area, consistent with the Comprehensive Plan, City Strategic Plan, and other Citywide System Plans and Facility Master Plans.