City Center Development
Over the next several years the City of Westminster will make decisions that will establish the future of the city for the next several decades. The redevelopment of the former Westminster Mall into the Westminster Center is certainly the most dramatic and visible. The mall was a major source of sales tax revenue for many years. However, when other regional sales centers were established there became more and more vacant storefronts. The city leadership successfully assembled the land parcels and began demolition to prepare for development of a city center. It was recently announced that the City will engage an urban planning consultant to assist with the development. However, the years of development will require strong monitoring to assure that the vision of a vibrant hub of retail, office and commercial businesses, as well as an area where residents will want to call home becomes a reality. This has the potential to become the most recognized gateway to the city.
Another critical issue to Westminster's vibrant future will be the completion of the northwest transportation corridor. The first segment of the commuter rail line on this corridor is scheduled to be completed in 2016. This will bring commuter rail to the city, but it will be imperative that city leadership maintains a steadfast commitment that the rail line be completed through the city. This is important for residents to have access to the full metro area rail system, as well as to make the new city center a destination point from the rest of the area. A different approach to development/redevelopment will need to be implemented for the areas around transit stations. Transit oriented development (TOD) generally is higher density, mixed use, with retail, commercial and residential sharing space and amenities.
Westminster has done an excellent job of development. Now there is limited undeveloped area remaining in the city. This will mean that there may be few opportunities for the traditional housing developments. A recent economic market assessment for updating the City’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) reported that the prospective demand for different land uses far exceed the amount of vacant land available. This means that redevelopment will likely become more prevalent than development. This will require innovative and thoughtful solutions to economic development and planning. Two other factors requiring consideration are access to water and diversity of housing options.
Over the past several years the city has provided abundant opportunity for residents to become engaged in their city government. This should be a continued focus to assure that everyone in Westminster has the chance to express their opinions on the future of their city.
Ethics - Experience - Energy
My thirty-eight years of financial management experience, fifteen years experience with economic development, six years on the Westminster Planning Commission and involvement with the commuter rail issues, make me uniquely qualified to serve on City Council to assure that Westminster remains a great place to live, work and play.