A New Urban Growth Boundary for Metro Denver

Douglas County’s master plan indicates that areas south of current development will likely remain preserved through conservation initiatives, but the metro area’s booming population indicates that growth will continue to happen, somewhere.

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September 21, 2022, 10:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Denver Region

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The Denver metropolitan area has a new southern growth boundary, at least for a while, reports John Aguilar for the Denver Post. According to Aguilar, Douglas County’s master plan shows no urban development south of the town of Larkspur, “And if it ever does, it will be largely hemmed in by large swaths of land protected by conservation easements and preservation designations — the result of the purchasing power of Douglas County’s nearly 30-year-old open space sales and use tax.” In November, voters will weigh in on a 15-year extension for the tax.

However, Aguilar points out that the natural buffer created by the Douglas County plan doesn’t bar all future urban sprawl in the area, whose population has been exploding in recent years and is projected to keep growing. “The metro area as a whole, which has just over 3.2 million people now, will grow to just under 4 million in the next 18 years, according to the state demographer’s office,” more than double the 1990 population of 1.8 million. Development is booming in the north and east sides of the Denver area, limited primarily by the West’s growing water shortage and in part by the region’s geography.

Monday, September 19, 2022 in The Denver Post

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