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Posted on August 28, 2018 at 4:48 PM by Ryne Dittmer
Master Plans are policy documents or a statement of Town policy. Both establish a framework and further describe a community's goals, vision, and strategies. This Master Plan Q&A was created to provide residents with additional information about how our Master Plan and zoning work together to guide growth and development in Parker.
What is a Master Plan?
The Parker 2035 Master Plan is a policy document that establishes a clear and transparent framework to guide future growth and development for the benefit of Town residents, property owners, businesses and other stakeholders.
Does the Town have a Master Plan in place?
Yes. The Town’s current master plan, the Parker 2035 Master Plan – Changes and Choices, was adopted in 2012 and was last updated March 7, 2016. You can read the Master Plan here.
Who created the Master Plan?
The Town of Parker’s Community Development Department, with input from the public, stakeholders and other Town Departments, creates the Town’s Master Plan. The Planning Commission reviews and makes a recommendation to Town Council regarding adoption of the Master Plan, which the Town Council officially adopts at a public hearing during a regular Council meeting.
How frequently is the plan updated and can changes to be made to the plan?
Yes, the Parker 2035 Master Plan is a policy document that is revised and updated periodically to address issues, opportunities and problems related to growth and development. The Community Development Department typically proposes minor revisions annually for Town Council consideration to keep the Master Plan current and undertakes a major update every eight to 10 years.
Why isn’t the Master Plan updated more frequently?
The Parker 2035 Master Plan is a living document that provides high level, generalized policy direction to guide the Town’s future growth and development. The Community Development Department is continually reviewing the Master Plan to ensure that it is current, addresses growth and development issues and reflects the Town’s vision for the future. Amendment and revisions to the Master Plan are initiated as needed and major updates are scheduled for an 8-10 year cycle. The Town also uses other approaches to address growth and development issues such as Sub-Area Plans like the Mainstreet Master Plan, revisions to the Land Development Ordinance and updates to development design standards to supplement the Master Plan.
Does the Town have other plans in place that work in conjunction with the Town’s Master Plan?
Yes. In addition to updating the Master Plan on a nearly annual basis to keep it current and address issues that arise, the Town also has a variety of other plans that are part of the Master Plan. Other completed plans that have been adopted as part of the Parker 2035 Master Plan include:
Does the Master Plan influence existing land zoning?
The Master Plan does not change existing zoning, rather it informs existing and proposed zoning including applications for rezoning, zoning land being annexed into the Town and zoning amendments to address certain growth and development issues. The Town may also use the Master Plan to inform zoning of Town-owned land. The Community Development Department will also utilize the Master Plan to inform and guide the upcoming Land Development Ordinance Modernization project which will begin in 2019. View the Town’s Zoning Map to see how land in Parker is currently zoned.
How does zoning work?
The purpose of zoning is to regulate the use of land and the physical improvements to land located within the Town of Parker, without imposing undue burden on the land owner as provided by state and federal law. All land within the Town of Parker’s incorporated limits is zoned for specific uses. Land owners have a legal right to develop their privately-owned land, as long as the development meets the Town’s current zoning requirements. The Planning Commission, Town Council and staff work to ensure that new developments meet the Town’s vision for growth and development, design standards and building code requirements.
The Town Council and Planning Commission do not have the authority to deny a commercial development on a property that is zoned commercial, or a residential development on land that is zoned residential, as long the project meets the Town’s standards and requirements. If a developer is requesting to rezone property, for example changing the zoning of a property to allow for commercial use instead of residential use, the Town Council can vote to deny the request to change the zoning if Town Council determines that the project does not meet the nine criteria set forth in the Municipal Code, including consistency with the Parker 2035 Master Plan.
The Town Council can ensure that developers meet the Town’s zoning standards and require that they provide adequate infrastructure and amenities such as parks, trails, open space and landscaping buffers. Parker also works hard to ensure that developments are of a high quality and pay their fair share for improvements that mitigate impacts on the community, for instance, contributing to road enhancements or expansions.
How can I find out what uses are planned for a specific piece of property in Parker?
The Town of Parker is happy to provide information about the zoning of property in Parker, as well as what types of uses could eventually be developed there (i.e. commercial, single-family residential, multi-family residential, etc.). If you have a question about what is being developed (or could potentially be developed) on a specific piece of property, please call our Community Development Department at 303.841.2332, email staff, or visit us in person at Town Hall, 20120 E. Mainstreet and our staff can walk you through the process. This is especially helpful if you are purchasing a home in Parker near undeveloped land, which is likely planned for future development. View the Town’s Zoning Map to see how land in Parker is currently zoned.
Does the Town have a say in development taking place outside of Parker’s limits?
The Town does not have decision-making authority for development beyond its limits, however, Parker does coordinate with governmental entities when reviewing development proposals. Such coordination efforts are primarily through referral reviews and comments, as well as ongoing intergovernmental coordination on planning and infrastructure improvements. View Parker’s Town Boundary map and Development Tour Map to see which developments are occurring in the Town of Parker. For the many projects under construction located outside of our Town borders, visit the Lone Tree website or the Douglas County website.
How can we let the Town know about concerns we have with the current Master Plan?
The Town of Parker welcomes feedback on our Master Plan. You may contact Community Development staff at 303.841.2332, email staff, or attend a Planning Commission meeting if you have comments/concerns about the Master Plan. All residents may contact the Mayor and Town Council at any time about any issue. Depending upon the topic, they may respond to the inquiry or, if about the Master Plan, may ask Community Development staff to review and respond to the inquiry.
I don’t have time to attend Town meetings. How can I find out what’s on the agenda and what happens at the meetings?
Planning Commission and Town Council meeting agendas are available on the Town website at www.ParkerOnline.org/Agendas. The meetings are live streamed on the Town’s Facebook page and are available on the Town’s YouTube page following the meeting. The Town also puts out a Town Council meeting recap on social media, Nextdoor and the Town website following each meeting.