Community group seeks to provide city with vision
“I have a vested interest in this community,” said Chuck Lowen, a committee member who is manager of the Village Square shopping area in Castle Pines. “I want to make things better for the merchants that work here as well as the people who live here.”
Article and photo by Lisa Crockett
A group of Castle Pines “stakeholders” – area land owners, civic leaders and business leaders – are currently in the process of formulating a possible path for growth and development in the Castle Pines business district.
“Right now, Castle Pines is a great place for residents to run errands: go to the grocery store, the dry cleaners and the bank, but when people think of visiting a destination, they often go elsewhere,” said Sam Bishop, director of community development for the City of Castle Pines. “We are trying to create a vision of what the business district could be.”
The efforts of this “visioning committee” are a result of a community assessment conducted by Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI), a nonprofit organization that helps communities through educational and technical assistance in Colorado’s downtowns, commercial districts and town centers. After extensive research in Castle Pines, DCI provided recommendations but found that there was no clear consensus on what people who live and work here truly desired.
“It seemed like we needed to take a step back and determine what people were interested in seeing here,” said Bishop. “So we formed the visioning committee to find out.”
Slated to meet five or six times during the course of the next few months, the committee is discussing ways the city might provide a more attractive and inviting downtown area. Everything from art in public spaces to better signage in the shopping areas to improved parking was discussed at a meeting held in May.
Once the committee finalizes a vision statement, it will present its ideas to the city council for approval. This vision statement will then provide guidance as city leaders make decisions in the years to come.