FasTracks, the Denver metro area's plan to add over 100 miles of rail service, is forcing once suburban communities to consider higher density development.
"When a new mixed-use development was proposed at the end of the light-rail line that will connect Golden with downtown Denver, outspoken critics focused on one element - the development's density.
"Golden historically hasn't had any developments denser than 20 or 22 units to the acre, but that's suburban-type density," said Michael O'Hara, the architect in charge of the project. "The planning commission agreed that, to limit sprawl and infrastructure costs, it would approve 54 units to the acre.
"Everyone understood it was better to have a dense project," said O'Hara, managing principal at KTGY Group's Denver office. "It was a more effective use of the land."
As metro Denver's FasTracks transit project prepares to bring rail service to metro cities over the next nine years, discussions like Golden's are becoming more common."