Colorado Springs City Council voted Tuesday to approve the “Renew North Nevada Master Plan,” which focuses on revitalizing an area of the city that has long been seen as a struggling transition between the city’s thriving north and its bustling downtown.
The resolution — which addresses the North Nevada Avenue corridor between Garden of the Gods Road and East Fillmore Street — was approved by council with a vote of 7-2 during a regular meeting at City Hall.
The approval of the plan is the culmination of a 10-month planning process, during which the city hosted a series of workshops and forums to gather community input on the project. Nearly 900 residents provided input, according to Colorado Springs Senior Communications Specialist Krithika Prashant.
“Participating residents identified a broad vision for the area and reviewed specific approaches for creating a master plan for continued investment in the North Nevada,” Prashant said in a news release Wednesday.
City officials said they will now move forward with developing a “phased plan” detailing methods for funding and implementing the project.
The plan includes the city’s recommendations for overlay zoning and highlights opportunities for investment by interested developers in the 2.5-mile zone between the city’s Old North End neighborhood and the North Nevada Corridor Urban Renewal Area, which includes University Village Colorado, a major shopping center across the street from UCCS.
Currently, that zone suffers from issues related to crumbling or nonexistent infrastructure, which the plan addresses by including potential improvements for roads, street-scaping, new trail connections and public transit.
“It’s not walkable, it’s not bikeable and there are a lot of traffic issues,” project manager Nina Vetter told the Business Journal in January. “So it has its challenges, but it is in a great area with a great corridor and there are a lot of great things we could do here.”
She added that the city is “making a commitment to transportation and infrastructure in the area.”
The approval of the plan comes at a time when areas within and surrounding the master plan area are experiencing unprecedented growth — including the rapid expansion of the UCCS campus to the north and the recent creation of the National Cyber Security Center, which is located within the zone.
“We’re trying to encourage the market to be redeveloped,” Vetter also told the Business Journal in January.
City officials have said eminent domain will not be used to carry out the plan. Instead, the plan includes methods for incentivizing private investment and redevelopment of the area, which is envisioned as the location of future hotel accommodations, restaurants, multi-family housing and retail.