Incentivizing the "Right" Development | Challenge Studio Spotlight

04/11/2017 12:24 PM | Will Cundiff (Administrator)

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In a small town such as Nederland, CO it isn't uncommon that one person may own a lot of the commercial property. Property owners with huge stakes in a small town highlight the importance of clear processes and incentives that help the private owner understand and comply with the community vision. What incentives are can help a town wary of density and in need of sustainable building when a developer with big plans owns 20% of the downtown?

DCI talked with Katrina Harms, chairperson for the Nederland Downtown Development Authority (NDDA) , about the challenges that Nederland faces with promoting the right grow for its community.

As Nederland contemplates increased development, what components of the community vision you are hoping could be promoted by new development?

The NDDA embraces the ideals from the town's comprehensive plan, which states: "We recognize that minimizing our impact, both in the resources we consume and the waste we produce, is important if we are to maintain the lifestyles that drew us to Nederland. The Town of Nederland has a commitment to quality of life, sustainability and preservation of small town character."

As the Nederland Downtown Development Authority (NDDA) works to enhance business opportunities in the downtown area, it keeps preservation and restoration of the environment at the heart of the organization's development philosophy.

Are there recent projects that have been viewed as successful?

In 2009 a sidewalk was added to create a safe, walkable connection from the north end of downtown to the south end of downtown. In 2016 a path was built to connect the west end of town -- the Regional Transportation District (RTD) station and Library -- to the east end of town -- the Post office and Barker Reservoir.  Two spurs reach to the highway at bus stops and two bus shelters were built.

In 2014 the NDDA established a beautification program that included: native flowers in the summer and holiday decorations for downtown businesses to promote a festive atmosphere in the winter.

Are there other stakeholders or partners that could be more involved in finding solutions? 

The NDDA is attempting to get representation from the Planning Commission, Sustainable Advisory Board, and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. 

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