ML RP STUDENT THESIS
Stapleton Airport Alternative Use Study
Guidlines For Growth
Stapleton International Airport Denver,Colorado
Studio III Thesis UPCD 790
Masters of Urban and Regional Planning University of Colorado at Denver
STAPLE TOf! AIRPORT ALTERNATIVE -USE STUDY Guidelines' For Growth
Â£ Prepared ;Ey: i
* James Fitzpatrick-''-
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ' 1
CHAPTER 2 CONTEXT AND TRENDS 6
A. Existing Situations 6
B. Trends - 14
C. SIA Analysis and the Dorval Airport Study 19
CHAPTER 3 GOALS, OBJECTIVES, AND POLICIES 24
A. Regional Analysis 25
B. Local Analysis 36
CHAPTER 4 THE GUIDELINE POLICIES - CRITERIA FOR
PLAN7 EVALUATION 49
CHAPTER 5 SELECTED ALTERNATIVES 55
A. Proposed Land Uses 55
B. Alternatives: Description and Evaluation 55
CHAPTER 7 CONCLUSION 74
SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY AND INTERVIEWS
LIST OF TABLES
TABLE 1 STAPLETON AIRPORT EMPLOYMENT FIGURES 11
TABLE 2 STAPLETON AIRPORT REVENUE GENERATION 12
TABLE 3 SUMMARY OF FORECASTS FOR THE DENVER REGION 16
TABLE 4 GUIDELINE POLICIES FOR GROWTH AND
DEVELOPMENT AT STAPLETON AIRPORT 50
TABLE 5 RECOMMENDED LAND USES FOR THE AIRPORT SITE 55
TABLE 6 EVALUATION CHART 72
LIST OF FIGURES
COST CENTERS HAP
SURROUNDING LAND USES
NOISE ZONE MAP
VACANT LAND 1975
REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK
REGIONAL ACTIVITY CENTERS
WILDLIFE HABITAT AREAS
COMMERCE CITY: EXISTING LAND USE DISTRICTS
COMMERCE CITY: PROPOSED LAND USE YEAR 2000
SURROUNDING LAND USES
MAJOR TRANSPORTATION NETWORKS
In the past several months, there has been considerable controversy over the future use of Stapleton International Airport (SIA). The concern originates from the fact that Stapleton is frequently in an over-capacity situation on scheduled air carrier traffic. In an article in the Denver Post (5-28-78), Captain Tom Lindemann,
Denver Air Safety Coordinator of the Air Line Pilots Association, was quoted as saying: "Stapleton Airport is at capacity today, not in the year 2000. We need to start planning for a nev; airport so we can be in it in ten to twenty years."
Any potential for expanding existing facilities, though, has met with substantial opposition from many sides. Councilman Paul Hentzell, Chairman of the Transportation Committee, has questioned the environmental effects of more runway construction saying that: "Just one jet taking off is the equivalent of 750 cars driving across the citv."l An alternative, he said, would be to retain present Stapleton facilities for check-in purposes, with passengers wished by "high speed rails" to a take-off site somewhere east of the present airport. Another Councilman, Bill Roberts, has been plagued by complaints about airport noise from citizens in his district and so has urged that a new airport be operational as soon as possible.2
The most qualified document supporting the construction of a new airport, though, comes in a recent report (1-11-79) from the Denver Chamber of Commerce which presented the following factors (based on a three month examination of Stapleton operations):
a. The two north-south runways are too close together to allow simultaneous IFR landings and take-offs and therefore Stapleton International Airport (SIA) is over-capacity a high percentage of the time.
b. Operational capacity at SIA, due to the location and configuration of the airfield, is limited based on the current demand regardless of the future demands.
c. Stapleton is located too close to populated areas to permit adequate expansion.
d. Environmental and safety conditions warrant a new airport with proper zoning considerations.3
Based on this information, the Chamber recommends and supports the creation of a new Regional Hub Airport to replace SLA.
This naturally brings up the question (and topic of this thesis) of what to do with the existing airport land and facilities. In
the Chamber of Commerce's report, they recommended "that a study be undertaken to assure that Stapleton's 4,651 acres be utilized in a manner that will be most beneficial to the overall good of the City and County of Denver and the community which it serves once the new regional facility is operational".4 This re-use issue is also receiving some attention in the upcoming city election as is evident in a statement by mayoral candidate Felicia I-Iuftic in her support for the development of a new airport: "A new airport for the Denver area v/ould free Stapleton's 4,500 acres for residential ana industrial use and generate as much as $500 million in income,
In light of these facts and other information provided by people knowledgeable of the airport situation^, There seems to be a strong indication that the SIA land may someday in the foreseeable future be available for redevelopment. This thesis is primarily concerned with that possibility and revolves around the assumption that no airport functions will remain at Stapleton once the new airport is in operation. Naturally, the assumption of total closure, as is advocated here, is only one of several options that might be feasible for this site. Other possibilities, which have been examined in various studies prepared for SIA over the past few years, will be briefly reviewed later in this study.
Eased on these realistic postulations, the development of a new airport followed by the complete closing down of existing operations at SIA, this thesis then attempts to construct and test guidelines for the growth and development of Stapleton Airport. Essentially, this situation is viewed as a rare opportunity to apply innovative planning policies to an urban area that is only five miles from downtown Denver and as surrounded by tens of thousands of people.
METHODOLOGY AND APPROACH
An analytical approach was applied throughout this study in order to develop the appropriate guidelines that v/ould be most applicable to growth at the airport site. The first step in this process involved an analysis of the surrounding situations and future growth trends. This provided the necessary background for the development of marketable land use percentages for the site.
The next step was to review all studies related to SIA that might have some application to the future uses of Stapleton. This also involved research into a similar alternative use study completed for an airport in Canada.
The major focus of this study, though, is on the construction and refinement of the policies that are to be proposed as guidelines for the overall growth and development of the subject site. To arrive at these specific policies, all the Denver Regional Council of Governments' (DRCOG) and the City and County of Denver's goals
objectives, and policies for the Denver Region were reviewed in depth to determine which would be applicable to a development of this magnitude. Also incorporated into this analysis were the various problems and concerns of the surrounding jurisdictions of Commerce City and Aurora. *
All these factors were then reassessed and synthesised into thirty general land use policies which function as the guidelines applying directly to the growth and development of the subject site. To illustrate how growth might occur at the site, several graphic representations have been prepared depicting the various broad land use configurations that might be possible within those defined guidelines.
The purpose of this whole analysis is to lay the foundations for the anticipated development that may eventually occur at SIA.
In this way the maximum benefits can be assured from any growth and, adverse development patterns can be avoided. The importance of pre-planning then can be defined as the overriding concern behind this study.
1. Rocky Mountain News, March 16, 1979, "Council unit told regional airport site study pared", by Paul Hutchinson.
3. Denver Chamber of Commerce, Position Statement of the Board of Directors of the Denver Chamber of Commerce on the Meed for a New Airport, January 11, 1979, P. 1.
4. Ibid, P. 3.
5. Rocky Mountain News, April 26, 1979, "Muftic says new airport needed immediately", by Eric Lawler.
6. Dick Veazey, Airport Planner, SIA.
Bob Brodesky, Airport Planner, Denver Regional Council of Governments.
Bob Werner, Long Range Planner, Denver Planning Office.
CONTEXT AND TRENDS
A. Existing Situations
Surrounding Land Uses
The Stapleton International Airport (SIA) site is located in the northeastern section of the city of Denver, entirely within the city boundaries. The site, which is bisected by Interstate 70, is bounded on the north by the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, on the east by Havana Street, on the south by East Twenty-sixth and Montview Boulevard, and on the west by Quebec Street. Also, the cities of Aurora and Commerce City border the airport on southeast and northwest sides respectively. The map provided at the end of Chapter 1 further illustrates the airport's location within the context of the entire metropolitan area.
The SIA land, which is owned by the City of Denver, is approximately 4,679.5 acres. The following "Cost Centers Areas" map (provided by the City and County of Denver, Department of Public Works) defines, both on the map and by acres, usable and nonusable areas. Of the total 4,679.5 acres, approximately 4.5% or 210.1 acres are within the designated Sand Creek flood-plain and thus considered unusable land for airport operations. But, as will be discussed later in this study, this land will provide an excellent opportunity for future park development.
An extensive survey of the surrounding neighborhoods (which indicated a considerable diversity in housing types, income levels, and general land uses) was necessary in order to develop somev/hat compatible uses within the airport site. This study area, as indicated on the following map (Figure 3), is broadly defined by 66th Avenue on the north, Peoria Street on the east, Colfax Avenue on the south, and Monaco Street on the west.
Beginning with the northwest corner, where Commerce City borders SIA, a semi-rural and industrial atmosphere exists giving an appearance of a generally low income area. The west side of Quebec Street between 60th Way and Interstate 270 is primarily light industrial with a mixture of various commercial establishments and some single family residential. Most of the land to the east of Quebec Street is under residential use (predominantly low income); while on the v/est side all the land is vacant except for a large tract around 56th Avenue, where the Denver Engineering and Operations Center is located.
The closer one moves to Interstate 70, the more industrialized the land becomes. Between 56th Avenue and Interstate 270 there are numerous warehouse centers and truck depots and several low income single family houses on large semi-rural type lots. There is also an occasional vacant lot dispersed between these various uses.
Major industrial uses are concentrated south of Interstate 270 to 38th Avenue, at which point residential uses begin again. As can be expected, the heavier industrial uses are concentrated between Interstate 270 and Interstate 70, while lighter warehousing type uses can be found south of Interstate 70.
The Greater Park Hill neighborhood, which begins at 38th Avenue and goes as far south as Colfax, has a variety of housing types from middle income single family one floor bungalows in the north to high income multi-floored single family houses south of 32nd Avenue. As one moves east from the Monaco Street Parkway, the housing quality deteriorates somewhat with the poorest quality houses located along Quebec Street. This concentration of lower quality housing adjacent to the airport is primarily a result of the heavy traffic and high noise levels emanating from the airport. Of course, assuming the discontinued use of SIA as an airport facility, one could anticipate an improvement in the quality of housing in this immediate area.
Quebec Street also has a large concentration of major hotels along its east side extending from 32nd Avenue to Interstate 270. Moving in a north south direction, there is a Roadway Inn at the intersection of Interstate 270 and Interstate 70, a Ramada Inn at 36th, a Sheraton at 35th, and the Stapleton Plaza Hotel and Stouffers between 35th and 32nd Avenues.
Surrounding Land Uses
South of 32nd Avenue along Quebec, the housing stock continues to remain relatively poor quality single family, again due primarily to distractions from SIA. Around 23rd, though, the housing improves with certain neighborhood amenities such as McNichols Park and the Colorado Uomens College. The housing in this area is good quality middle income single family.
Now, moving east and adjacent to the southern boundaries of the airport, there are numerous lower income apartments and single family residents both along Montview and 25th Avenue. Montview is the major commercial area with the Montview Plaza (King Soopers and Woolworths) at the corner of Clinton Street being the focal point. East of the Plaza there are several blocks of strip commercial mixed with multi-family residential and some single family as one moves closer to Peoria Street. This strip commercial center is at present the closest neighborhood commercial node to the airport site. The Aurora Mall, which is a considerable distance to the south of the airport, is the closest regional center. Another major commercial center has been proposed near Tower Road and 40th Avenue, but it is over five miles to the east of the airport and thus will not have much of an impact on the subject site.
Finally, along the eastern side of SIA, the land use is entirely industrial with the only exceptions being the City and County Jail at the corner of Havana and Smith Road. Otherwise, from Smith Road to 51st Avenue between Havana and Peoria the land is occupied by truck depots, warehouses, distribution centers, and industrial office complexes. Montbello Industrial Park takes in all this area north of Interstate 70 and, as with the remaining industrial sites in this center, has numerous points of rail access which can foreseeably be extended into the subject site.
There is also a considerable portion of unused land south of Smith Road to 25th Avenue that is both adjacent and within this eastern side of the airport. Of importance is the fact that within this area are two significant natural amenities,
Bluff Lake and Sand Creek, which are contiguous to the Sand Creek Park at Peoria Street. An extended open space/park system has great potential in this area and will be presented as such in the various alternatives provided in Chapter 5.
In review then, it is evident that there are numerous different land uses that surround the present airport site, all of which will have definite impacts on the proposed alternatives. Naturally, with the elimination of existing airport facilities, some of these land uses may change over time, possibly allowing for more positive growth in the area. In any case, all these factors must be properly evaluated in order to present compatible uses for the proposed airport site development.
Within the context of this study, employment characteristics related to Stapleton Airport are only important as background material. As explained in the introduction, this thesis is primarily concerned with the development of -policies for growth for the existing site and not with the related impacts resulting from the closure of SIA.
With this in mind then, the following table need only present the total employment figures under two broad categories: airlines and all other related services. These totals are shown for 1974 and 1978 so as to give some indication of the rapid growth that has occurred at SIA in recent years.
Table 1: Stapleton Airport Employment Figures
Employment Categories 1974 Airlines 7,500 Other Related Services 2,100 Total 9,600
Source: Stapleton Airport Planning Office
It can be anticipated that the majority of these jobs will move with the new airport. A variety of employment opportunities, though, will become available at Stapleton at the industrial, office and commercial concentrations that will be encouraged for the site. This may in turn provide some alternatives to those who cannot afford to relocate or commute to the new airport.
Revenue generated directly and indirectly from Stapleton Airport can be divided into two general categories: general fund revenues and airline revenues. The 1974 ^figures for both these categories, as presented in the following table, were developed by the Denver Chamber of Commerce. The 1978 figures are simply an extension of the 1974 numbers using an estimated 16.6% overall increase for all revenues.
Stapleton Airport Revenue Generation
State Sales Tax City Sales Tax City Lead Tax
Auto Fee Registration
Personal Income Tax Real Estate Tax
Airline Revenues Landing Fees
Terminal Building Rental Fees Hanger Rental Fees Other Building and Grounds Rental Fees
Other Aviation Tenants and Concession Revenues
Source: Stapleton Airport Finan
$ 1,636,000 1,110,000 343,000 $ 1,963,000 1,332,000 418,000
603.000 961.000 724,000 1,153,000
16,985,000 8,633,000 20.332.000 10.360.000
$ 2,770,000 3,336,000 441,000 $ 3,230,000 3,889,000 514,000
The General Fund revenues, which go directly to the state and federal governments and to the City and County of Denver, are based primarily on the personal income and property of all the airport employees. The exact amount the city receives from this total of $36,332,000 is difficult to determine, especially with respect to the real estate tax which is metro wide. But, whatever the figure may be, it can be anticipated that the various proposed alternatives for the airport site will accrue to the city considerably more taxes and related revenues than are presently being generated. The significance of this expanded tax base for Denver will be discussed in greater detail in Chapter 4 where the guideline policies for this site are developed.
The assumption that there will be a considerable increase in revenues to the city is not blind speculation. It is based on the logic that the proposed industrial, commercial, and residential developments,'which are intended to occupy the entire site over time, will naturally provide considerably more revenues than those generated through the airline facilities which occupy a little more than 0.8?j (36.5 acres) of the usable land at
Stapleton Airport. Furthermore, all Airline Revenues shown in Table 2 go directly to the airport for maintenance and expansion of existing facilities and to pay off existing indebtedness.
The city is not at the receiving end of any of these revenues.
Other factors, such as the cost of relocating the new airport or the capital costs involved in preparing the airport site for various proposed uses, may be questioned at this point. What revenues will be used to cover these types of costs? Unfortunately, this area is beyond the scope of this study but may be answered within the next two years in a study that the Denver Regional Council of Governments has just begun.
Related Industrial and Warehousing Developments
Very few of the industrial and warehousing developments located in the vicinity of SIA benefit from their proximity to the airport. Compatible zoning, links to the Union Pacific Railway line, and immediate access to Interstates 70 and 270 are the primary locational advantages for industrial and warehousing concentrations found at the Ilontbello Industrial Park and in the areas west of the airport along Quebec Street. The only amenity the airport might provide to these sites is the service of small package handling. However, considering the fact that most of these industries deal primarily in bulk cargo, then their location with respect to the airport becomes relatively insignificant.
Based on these facts, it can be assumed that these surrounding uses will not be impacted in any way by the relocation of the airport. Therefore, operations will likely continue as normal at nearly or almost all these industrial/warehouse sites.
Exceptions to this will be found within the airport site itself in the many airport related facilities. This would include the airplane junkyard and the propeller manufacturing company located north of Smith Road, the United Airlines office building and Flight Training Center along Quebec Street, and the numerous other related airline offices and warehouses (most of which are indicated in the "Cost Centers Areas" map (Figure 2). Operations of this kind will of course move on with the new airport, leaving their existing buildings for new facilities at the relocated airport site. The resulting vacated buildings will present ample opportunity for various re-use alternatives related to the surrounding land uses designed for those particular areas.
This issue will be examined in greater detail with respect to the overall plan for the airport site as discussed in Chapter 5.
Other Related Airport Buildings
There are numerous other buildings both directly and indirectly related to airport operations that are also very important in the
context of this study. The major areas of concern are the hotel/ motel strip along Quebec Street and the SIA terminal building.
Both these groups of buildings will be severely impacted by the relocation of Stapleton Airport, but viable re-uses are not to be discounted. The hotel area has great potential for apartment or condominium conversions, development into office complexes, or even continued use as a hotel/convention center. In the same vicinity, the terminus building with its attached parking complex could easily be adapted to a major commercial/office center possibly tied into the Quebec Street development.
These alternatives are all very credible and economically would be more cost efficient than either abandoning or destroying the individual buildings. Consequently, each of these re-use possibilities will be evaluated in the context of the various alternatives presented in Chapter 5.
The significance of the noise zones in relation to this study is simply to indicate that some of the existing residential areas are presently being impacted by various levels of noise pollution emanating from the airport. Based on on-site surveys, it can be assumed that to a degree some of the poorer quality housing found within these noise zones (as indicated in Figure 4) are indirectly a result of the high noise levels generated from the airport.
With this in mind then, it would also be safe to assume that with the elimination of existing airport operations at SIA some of these poorer neighborhoods might over time improve in quality. Specifically, the areas referred to here are those directly south of the airport ana along Quebec Street below Interstate 70.
The purpose of this analysis (similar to the previous section, "Related Industrial and Warehousing Developments") is to facilitate the development of proposed alternatives that will be compatible with the surrounding uses. For this to be possible, a continued assessment has been made throughout this study in order to anticipate any changes that might occur to various land uses as a result of the airport closure.
This section deals with regional population and employment trends to the year 2000. Projections are shown for the five county metropolitan region only, as it is these general trends that are most applicable to the subject site. Statistics related to the City and County of Denver have not been used based on the logical assumption that the additional 4,670 acres of presently undeveloped airport land into this all but land-locked county may skew any recent projections made for the area.
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Table 3: Summary of Forecasts For The Denver Region
Year Population Households Employment
1970 1,229,800 391,700 543,000
1975 1,473,800 473,900 668,100
1980 1,690,000 572,100 763,200
1985 1,847,700 637,100 848,700
1990 2,020,500 708,900 944,200
1995 2,182,000 771,000 1,033,000
2000 2,350,000 839,300 1,130,500
Source: Denver Regional Council of Governments, "Regional
Development and Growth Plan for the Denver Region"
These regional forecasts indicate considerable growth for the Denver region over the next twenty years. The population is projected to increase by over 600,000 people during this time period reaching a total population for the metro area of 2,350,000 people. Similarly, employment by the year 2000 shows a substantial increase of 367,300 jobs, expanding from 763,200 in 1980 to 1,130,500 by the year 2000.
The airport site itself has a total of 4,469.4 acres of developable land, of which it is projected that close to 1,790 acres (40%) will be devoted to residential uses. Assuming a density ranging from three to ten dwelling units per acre with an average population per household of 2.861, this would result in a total population for the site when developed of approximately 33,300 persons. This would account for a.relatively small portion (around 5.5%) of the total projected growth for the five county region to the year 2000. Therefore, based on the locational advantages of the site and the tremendous growth that is occurring in the region, it can be safely anticipated that this site will easily be absorbed once the land is made available for development.
A review of the general trends for the Denver area show that the city's population and employment will continue to increase to the year 2000 but that employment will increase at a faster rate.2 This would indicate that more and more people who will be working in the city will be residing outside. Two
major implications that may be deducted from these statements are that city street and highway congestion will increase due to increased commuters, and that as population and employment grow there will be a resulting increase in the need for land for commercial, industrial, and residential uses. These factors all indicate the immediate need for expansion and development within the city limits of Denver.
Presently, there are substantial quantities of vacant land (19.3 square miles in 1975^) within the city that are available for additional development. The general location of this undeveloped land is shown in Figure 5 which, although is somewhat dated (1975), does give a general indication of where the major parcels of vacant land are located. Naturally, some of this land is not suitable for development because of limited size, accessibility, and other constraints.
I-lore specifically, this map shows that there are three major concentrations of vacant land that could possibly meet the city's grov/th needs. Two are situated on the extreme northeast and southwest corners of Denver (fairly isolated from the rest of the city) while the third area, SIA, is more centrally located with a major access route, Interstate 70, running directly through the center of the site. Also, as mentioned in the previous section, this site with its existing terminus building and other related facilities provides an excellent opportunity for a well-balanced mixed use development.
Vacant land has had, and will continue to have, a significant influence on the city's development. However, based on two 1974 amendments to the State Constitution* which limit its ability to accrue land by annexation, the city is all but forced to confine any new development to within its existing boundaries. Under these circumstances, the proposed use of the airport land for future growth and development becomes a significant factor in relation to the city's well being over the next twenty years.
It is this type of new development that will enhance the city's tax base,.increase housing opportunities, and attract and retain a diverse population.
*"Amendment #1, commonly known as the Poundstone Amendment, requires that any annexation by Denver must be approved by a majority of the registered voters in the county where the annexation is proposed. Amendment #5 requires that all annexations made by Denver must be approved by the majority of the members of a Boundary Review Commission composed of three representatives from the City and County of Denver and one representative each from Adams, Arapahoe, and Jefferson Counties. Although these two amendments do not legally prohibit future annexation by Denver, their practical effect is to do so." [
Vacant Land 1975
SIA Analyses and the Dorval Airport Study
Since the early 1970's, various studies have been undertaken and are presently underway in a continued attempt to assess the future of Stapleton Airport and to locate a suitable site for the inevitable new and larger international airport. This section will review these sundry reports bringing out the more salient points of both the studies themselves and the reason they were undertaken. Also, there will be a brief summary of a study somewhat similar to this thesis which dealt with various development potentials for Dorval Airport in Montreal, Canada.
Since 1974 there have been two major studies completed dealing with Stapleton Airport and Denver's aviation situation in general. The first report, "Denver Regional Systems Plan", was undertaken in 1974 as a joint effort of the Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG) planning staff and a team of consultants. This was followed by a SIA Master Plan study by R.
Dixon Speas Associates in 1975 that did not proceed as planned and was thus terminated in 1977. A report is presently being put together by Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Company (PMM) that will be a continuation of this Master Plan study. The most recent study, "Air Carrier Airport Site Selection Study" by PMM, is still only in the contractual stages and should begin sometime in the spring of this year (1979). Each of these documents will be discussed below, beginning with the 1974 study.
"The Denver Regional Airport Systems Plan"
This eighteen month study completed in 1974 under the direction of DRCOC- came up with the primary recommendation that Stapleton Airport should continue as an air carrier airport serving the Denver Metro Region. "In all, the Regional Airport Systems Plan calls for the continued use and development of SIA and the region's four public general aviation airports, plus construction of at least four more general aviation airports between 1974 and the year 2000. By a combination of expansion of facilities at existing airports, it will be possible to effectively serve the overall aviation needs of the Denver Metropolitan Region for the next 26 years.
To arrive at this conclusion the consultant, Peat, Marwick and Mitchell, detailed ten individual airport system concepts which dealt with such alternatives as expanding existing facilities to their maximum potential, expanding SIA into the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, or even closing SIA and developing a new air carrier airport. The rationalization behind this last concept was that "because of future increases in property values, it becomes more attractive to close SIA and sell the property for non-aviation uses. Then, funds realized from this sale could be used to finance airport construction elsewhere.
The final recommendation that was accepted, as described in the first paragraph, was a result of a tabular summarization of all ten airport concepts. Various goals, objectives, and criteria (some of which were developed by DRCOG) were elements of the overall evaluation framework. A sumtnary of the principal findings, conclusions, and recommendations resulting from the study can be found in the Appendix page 1.
"The SIA Master Plan"
In 1975 the City and County of Denver contracted R. Dixon Speas Associates to undertake a faster Plan study for SIA. Unfortunately, the study did not proceed as the City had planned and thus was terminated in 1977. Speas Associates did publish two documents in 1977, after which PMI*I was hired to carry on the study and to provide a continued analysis and research for the Master Plan.
The first report put out by Speas Associates in March 1977 was entitled "A.ir Trade Demand Forecast". This study was "part of a comprehensive study to refine and update existing forecast efforts for future development of aviation facilities at SIA."7 More specifically, this involved a detailed analysis of historical scheduled, non-scheduled, and third level air carrier activity, evaluated in the context of projections of socio-economic trends for the study area. The resulting forecasts projected significant increases in passenger and air cargo activity to the year 2000.
The second study, "Development Concepts", published in December of 1977, was undertaken to determine what facilities would be needed to enable SIA to keep pace with the forecast levels of aviation growth. Eased on this information, the report detailed alternatives to meet the forecast demand. These alternatives inter-related the various components of the airport relative to future development.
A simplified Table of Contents from both these reports can be found in the Appendix page 3.
"Master Plan Study" A Continuation and Expansion
Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Company are presently preparing a Master Plan study for SIA that will be a continuation and update of much of the information presented in the Speas Associates studies. This report will not only examine how to expand facilities to meet the proposed expanded gate needs but will also look into future runway configurations based on the Master Plan forecasts.
As of yet, PMM has not published any major documents on this study, but they have put out several brief summary articles, many of which have been used in various presentations and meetings held since they began work on the project. These articles, which are listed on page 7 of the Appendix, cover some of the following
subjects: evaluation criteria to be used to evaluate various
alternatives being considered in the Master Plan; forecasts showing the eventual need for expanded facilities; discussions summarizing an evaluation and comparison of -five land use alternatives developed for the SIA Master Plan; graphical presentation of alternatives that PHM has determined are most feasible (based on the expansion and closure of various sections of the existing airport facilities); and an update of the forecasts presented in Speas Associates'
"Air Trade Demand Forecasts".
"Air Carrier Airport Site Selection Study"
Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Company have been contracted by DRCOG as the primary consultant in this $800,000 study which is to begin sometime in the spring of 1979. The two major objectives of the analysis will be to select a site for a major new airport to serve the Denver Region based on the assumption that all air carrier operations will be transferred from SIA to the new airport, and to recommend an institutional arrangement and implementation program to allow a new airport to be planned, constructed, and operated on the selected site.
Some of the key considerations/issues and major questions that will be addressed in the study in an attempt to meet the above objectives are:
Where is the best site for a new carrier airport?
When should the new airport be constructed and brought into operation?
What should be the future roles of the new airport and SIA in handling air carrier, commuter, and general aviation demand?
How should institutional and other arrangements be made to permit the establishment of an authority to acquire land, build, and operate the new airport?
DRCOG is the Policy Committee and will be the decision making body for all major issues in the study. The project study team will consist of DRCOG staff and PMM as the prime consultant, managing various technical specialty sub-consultants who will be involved throughout the study.
This project is the first major action taken in the direction of developing a new airport facility for Denver. The amount of money involved and the fact that the report will not be addressing the possibility of expanding SIA all give more credence to the position that Stapleton may someday be prime developable land.
Thus (as mentioned at the beginning of this report), the importance of designing a study such as this that will be a preliminary step in the planning process necessary to the future use of Stapleton Airport.
"Dorval Airport, Alternative Aviation Roles: Potentials for Development" >
This recent study by Daniel Arbour and Associates Inc. of Montreal, Canada v/as undertaken on behalf of Transport Canada and forms part of a group of studies related to the preparation of a long-term plan for civil aviation in the Montreal area, including analysis of the question of the transfer of airport operations from Dorval to the new Mirabel International Airport.
The aim of this study v/as to evaluate the potential of the airport site and to propose development alternatives for the vacated land, according to the different scenarios for airport operations. These scenarios were options for the closing down of various runways which in turn determined which parts of the airport area would be released for re-use.
Five scenarios were selected ranging from "the status quo" to "total closure" and were then evaluated against five proposed development alternatives. The alternatives were not the only feasible orientations for the future use of the airport's land as it was found that if parts of these alternatives were combined several different variations for development would be possible.
Based on this analysis and the use of the trends in urban development within the municipalities surrounding the airport, the development potential of the airport was identified.
A similar methodology was developed for the first part of this thesis in an attempt to formulate a realistic foundation for growth at the subject site. From this point the studies differ considerably in that no attempt is made in the Dorval study to deal with any regional or local development policies which, due to considerable pressures in such areas as transportation, energy, and air quality, are indispensible in planning for future growth of this size.
The importance of this Dorval study with respect to the Stapleton alternative use plans is that it is one of the few studies which examines the possible re-use alternatives for an airport site. In other similar circumstances (Dallas Fort Worth and Washington, D.C.) where a new international airport v/as constructed to replace an older, over used facility, the older site in most cases has continued to function as an airport.
1. Denver Regional Council of Governments, Regional Growth and Development Plan for the Denver Region. P. VI 4.
3. Denver Planning Office, Trends and Issues, Land Use and Physical Development in Denver, 1975, P. 25.
4. Ibid, P. 31.
5. Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Company, Denver Regional Airport Systems Plan, Technical Report Volume 1, 1974, P. 36.
7. R. Dixon Speas Associates, Air Trade Demand Forecast, March 1977, P. 1.
GOALS, OBJECTIVES, AND POLICIES
There are numerous regional'and local goals, objectives, and policies that have been formulated in recent years at various levels of government in the Denver Region. In general, they deal with the increasingly important issue of "growth" by addressing specific economic, energy, and environmental (both human and natural) concerns. Considerable research on these elements has shown that many of them will be directly applicable to Stapleton Airport if and when development occurs at this site.
This chapter, then, summarizes the related goals, objectives, and policies at both the regional level (DRCOG) and at the local level (City and County of Denver). Also, the various concerns of the two bordering cities, Aurora and Commerce City, are considered with respect to development at the airport.
The purpose of this segment of the study is to set the foundation necessary for the following chapter which defines the thirty policies to be used in the development and evaluation of the alternatives for the subject site. These thirty policies will be a synopsis of the most important issues presented in this chapter.
Finally, not as important but worth mentioning, is the fact that throughout this section there will be numerous repetition of policies at both the local and regional levels. This can be expected due to the multitude of elements to be discussed in the following pages. Furthermore, such repetition is often an indication of the importance of those specific issues.
A. Regional Analysis
In April 1972, the DRCOG adopted twelve goals for the Denver Region (see Appendix page 8) which "provide targets towards which planning efforts can be directed and provide the basis for developing plans and policies"1. By definition, these goals are general statements about the future growth and development of the Denver Region and reflect a strong desire on the part of the citizens of the region to attain a high quality of life.
In the following two years, the DRCOG adopted twelve Plan Policies which serve as a linking element between the Regional Goals and the Regional Development Policies (which give more specific definition and direction to the future growth and development to the Denver Region). These Plan Policies (see Appendix page 9) are essentially growth and development goals whose aims are to achieve the quality of life objectives stated in the Regional Goals.
These elements all provide the framework for construction of the DRCOG*s Regional Growth and Development Plan for the Denver Region (RC-DP). The RGDP is a "policy statement of how, where, and to what extent growth should occur in the Denver Region between now and the year 2000" It provides a common consistent basis for all regional planning addressing such issues as transportation, water quality, management, water supply and distribution, housing, and park and recreation.
In order to carry out this regional planning, Regional Development Policies (RDP) were formed. These policies "establish the proposed location and allocation of future growth and relate development to the^provision of urban services and environmentally significant areas"0. There are over seventy such policies which have been reviewed in the RGDP with respect to growth and development at Stapleton Airport. Twenty-two were determined to have specific application to this study and are documented in this section in the context they were presented in the RGDP.
The Regional Development Policies in the RGDP recognize three distinct natural areas within the Denver Region as the Valley, the Plains, and the Mountains. Within these areas, five specific development areas (see Regional Development Framework (RDF) map, Figure 6) have been defined to indicate where growth and development should best occur. The City and County of Denver is one of these designated areas, which of course incorporates the subject airport site.
Two sets of RDP, areawide and development area, are presented in the RGDP. Areawide policies have been established "to guide present and future decision making in carrying out the broad Plan
REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT FRAMEWORK
CITY AND COUNTY OF DENVER (CENTRAL CITY)
REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AREAS (URBAN SERVICE AREAS)
RURAL TOWN CENTER MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT AREAS SIA
Policies" Three major policy areas are defined for areawide policies: urban development, environmentally significant areas,
and regional activity allocations.
The following policies for urban development (and thus applicable to the airport site) were evolved to maintain and improve the present quality of life in the Denver Region while accommodating forecasted growth of an additional 876,000 people, 462,000 jobs, and 323,000 housing units by the year 20005.
*RDP 1 Urban development should occur only in defined urban areas urban service areas, rural town centers, and mountain development areas. (See Figure 6.)
RDP 2 Urban development should not occur in the non-urban areas of the region.
RDP 4 Urban service areas should accommodate most of the future growth and development in the Denver Region.
These "service areas", as shown on the RDF map, are defined as being Denver CED, City and County of Denver, and regional development areas.
RDP 6 The extent and staging of development within an urban service area should be based to a large extent on the ability of local government to provide the necessary urban services within the urban service area.
RDP 10 Existing service systems should be used to full capacity
and conservation measures should be used to extend service capacities.
The type of ser'vices which are necessary for development in the three macro areas (the Valley, Plains, and Mountains) are defined in the Appendix page 11.
RDP 13 Residential development should be located with convenience and choice in acquiring goods and services.
RDP 14 Residential development should be located in close proximity to regional activity centers and other activity concentrations of retail shops, commercial services and employment opportunities.
RDP 15 New residential development should occur throughout the region with a diversity of housing types and costs. *
* All Regional Development Policies presented in this section are direct excerpts from the DRCOG's "Regional Growth and Development Plan for the Denver Region".
More specifically, the RGDP states that "residential development should be located such that residents have a reasonable choice of shopping facilities and commercial services that are accessible in a convenient and efficient manner"5. In addition, the location of residential area's near activity concentrations not only provides choice and convenience to residents but also results in reduced energy consumption due to shorter trips, promotion of transit use, and encouragement of multi-purpose trips.7
Social and economic aspects of residential development must also be considered so that a real choice in residential opportunities will be open to all racial, income, and age groups. This may in turn lead to better energy efficiency as a greater distribution of low income persons locate in the suburbs and a greater distribution of upper and middle income people locate in Denver.
These are very important considerations in any future growth for the Denver Region and, combined with the last three Regional Development Policies (RDP 13, 14, and 15), will be essential elements in the evaluation stages of the various development alternatives for the airport site.
RDP 16 Employment areas should be located convenient to the transportation system.
RDP 17 A more balanced distribution of employment in relation
to population distribution should be encouraged throughout the region.
RDP 18 High levels and mixes of employment opportunities should be encouraged at centers of activity.
The location of employment areas not only has an influence on overall land use patterns of the region but also has a significant effect on travel patterns, the use of urban services and utilities, and environmental quality.
Naturally, a more balanced distribution of jobs in relation to residential areas can conserve energy by reducing the lengths of trips. This is not to say that all employment should be located in such a manner but that a share be located close to residential use so as to have a better or more balanced distribution.
The RGDP encourages employment opportunities to locate near multi and single purpose activity centers. If such concentrations are located near major transportation systems, then "energy savings along with more effective utilisation of public transportation can result^.
RDP 23 New regional activity centers should be added to the regional plan if it can be demonstrated that they are consistent with regional policy and criteria. The
designation and location of additional activity centers should be based on the following criteria:
(l) A regional activity center should be located in an area which has an existing nucleus of activity and which has the potential for developing into an intensive multi-purpose center as defined.
(2) The site of a regional activity center should
be accessible by major thoroughfares and should be served by high levels of public transportation service to the center and within the center.
(3) Regional activity centers should be located such that adverse impacts on the environment are minimized.
(4) Regional activity centers should not be located in close proximity to each other such that they compete for a limited amount of high density activities.
(5) Regional activity centers should be located in areas which can be most effectively provided with high levels of urban services and utilities.
(S) The designation of regional activity centers
should be based in part on the market potentials for such centers.
(7) There should be a demonstration of local commitment to the successful development of the center.
For such centers, the RGDP encourages the development of major activity centers with an intense mix of urban activities. The terminus area at the airport site has existing facilities that could feasibly be converted to such an activity center. The practicability of this will be examined in the alternatives in Chapter 5.
Existing and designated activity centers are presented on Figure 7 on the following page.
DRCOG has established sixteen specific types of environmentally significant areas plus, policies have been established for air and noise quality. The RGDP states that "environmentally significant areas relate directly to the location and pattern of future growth and development, as well as to the general quality of life within the Denver Region"3.
The policies specific to this subject that apply to the airport site are discussed on the next page.
F.DP 25 Development should not occur within the limits of the 100 year floodplain nor should any filling in of the floodplain that would reduce its flood carrying capacity. Parks, recreation and open space uses are encouraged in floodplain areas.
Sand Creek, which runs directly through the center of Stapleton Airport, is within the limits of a designated 100 year floodplain. This area is presently shown as a "non-usable area" on the Cost Centers Areas map on page 7 and may provide a good opportunity for park, recreation, or open space development.
Wildlife Habitat Areas
RDP 31 Development in significant wildlife habitat areas (areas of very high density and production) should occur only after an evaluation of the site has been made by the Colorado Division of Wildlife and it is determined that the impact on wildlife habitat is not adverse or the adverse impact is mitigated.
As can be seen in the following DRCOG "Wildlife Habitat Area" map (Figure 8), much of the northern section of SIA (G40 acres) is within the designated wildlife areas. Special considerations will have to be made for any development in this part of the airport site.
RDP 33 Development in areas which contain commercially feasible deposits of coal should not interfere with the present or future extraction of the coal deposits, unless it can be shown that extraction would have serious, adverse impacts on existing development. Federal, state, and local governments are encouraged to make a better determination of the locations and extent of commercially feasible coal deposits within the Denver Region.
SIA is located in a designated "stripable coal" area (as is the entire city of Denver). It can be anticipated, though, that any mining of this area would have detrimental effects on surrounding or proposed uses for the subject site.
Aquifer Recharge Areas
RDP 35 Land uses for such as waste injection wells and sanitary landfills should not be permitted over alluvial aquifers or above recharge areas to shallow bedrock aquifers.
Although the airport is located on a designated alluvial aquifer, the proposed uses are not likely to conflict with the natural functioning of the aquifer.
Park, Recreation and Open Space
RDP 38 Existing and proposed park, recreation and open space areas that have been designated in the adopted DRCOG Regional Parks, Recreation and Open Space Development Plan should not be developed in other uses.
A "proposed trail system", as designated by DRCOG, runs through SIA along the Sand Creek floodplain. This will offer an excellent amenity to any development proposed for this area.
RDP 40 The acquisition of open space should be encouraged in advance of urbanization wherever possible to preserve open space, protect the environment and to shape urban development.
Just north of SIA is the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA), which is a potential explosion hazard area. "Although stock piles of nerve gas and munitions at the RMA have been reduced since 1973, some nerve gas bombs are still stored at the arsenal."1
Most of the pollutant materials are located in the most northern area of RMA and thus may have no detrimental effects on any uses occurring at SIA. In any case, this factor will have to be carefully evaluated with respect to any uses proposed for this area.
RDP' 44 Air pollution in the Denver Region must be reduced in order to achieve national, state, and regional air quality objectives including attainment of national ambient air quality standards, which protect the public health and improve the region's aesthetic character.
The "Colorado State Implementation Plan" for air quality states that in accordance with the DRCOG air quality policies, local governments should be encouraged to promote the following in the interest of improving air quality:
development of activity centers
residential development in proximity to activity centers
preservation of open space
With respect to the Denver Region, the plan also calls for "the integration of air quality considerations into regional land use and transportation plans to support the long-term maintenance of air quality standards" 11-
RDP 47 Noise-sensitive development (residential, educational, institutional, and hospitals) should not be exposed to excessive noise levels.
The second set of Regional Development Policies, the development area policies, "compliment and mutually reinforce the area-wide policies and together they comprise a complete set of RDP1s which can provide direction and guidance to the future growth and development of the Denver Region and the major development areas within the region".12
The City and County of Denver has been defined as a development area (see the Regional Development Framework Map, page 4 ) for which RDP's have been established. There are significant and unique opportunities and problems for growth and development that are associated with this area that will be addressed in the following policies. Again, the following RDP's have been chosen due to their specific application to growth at the airport site.
RDP 53 The economic vitality of the City of Denver should be improved by providing more employment opportunities.
In 1950 Denver contained 62% of the region's jobs, but by 1975 the city only had 54% of these jobs.12 One of the reasons for this decline is of course the large increase in population in the rest of the region which in turn attracts population serving businesses. However, some of this decline can be related to competition from new suburban communities. If planned accordingly, Stapleton Airport could provide a new core of economic activity that would add to the vitality of the city.
As discussed in Chapter 2, this area around Stapleton presently has no real employment center to speak of except for the Montbello Industrial Park. An extension of this industrial concentration into the airport combined with other diversified employment opportunities might make the city more competitive with the surrounding suburban communities.
RDP 64 Higher density development, linear or nodal, should be encouraged along regional transit corridors designated on the Regional Public Transportation Plan.
The "Public Transportation Plan for the Year 2000", which will be discussed following these RDP's, defines several corridors where major transit improvements are proposed, including rapid transit
facilities. Higher densities both around the corridors and the proposed rapid transit stations should be encouraged. Also,
"higher density development will encourage better use of the public transportation system and make rapid transit more cost effective. This latter statement alone will be very influential in selecting the density and location of the residential development associated with the various alternatives for the subject site.
Another important aspect in this regional analysis is transportation. In 1971 the Joint Regional Planning Program (JRPP) was established by the Regional Transportation District (RTD), DRCOG, and the Colorado Department of Highways. The purpose of this joint j effort was an attempt to coordinate with other aspects of transportation, a comprehensive plan for the development, maintenance and operation of a public transportation system. This essentially meant that the JRPP was created to coordinate public transportation planning with land use planning and highway planning.
In the long range perspective, to the year 2000, the JRPP recognizes that transportation planning must reflect land use goals for the same time. Thus, the adoption of the major DRCOG goals of population; CBD core; activity centers; contiguous low density development; industrial development in suitable locations with employment impacts analyzed; major urban areas discouraged to sprawl; and major areas of ecological, environmental, historical, etc. significance to remain in their natural condition.
Forms of public transportation can be a major factor in directing growth at SIA. This fact is exemplified in the following statement from RTD: "The transportation infrastructure is not viewed primarily as a stimulus to future growth, but rather as a powerful tool for focusing that regional growth which will undoubtedly occur with or without public transportation improvements "i-3 5
Referring back to the DRCOG goals, RTD sees the development of activity centers as a positive factor in the construction of a more efficient regional transportation system. With respect to the transit analysis, some of the advantages and objectives to be achieved in developing activity centers are:
1. Population and employment can be concentrated in such a way as to accomplish efficiencies in construction and operating costs, public utilities, police and fire services, and transportation.
2. Some vehicular travel can be converted to walk or bicycle traffic since activities are closer together.
3. A higher level of transit service for circulation, collection,
and distribution can be provided because of the higher con-
centration of potential riders.
4. A transit station located within such a center would be within walking distance of a large number of potential transit riders which would tend to increase patronage on the transit system.
5. The centers could be created in such a way that more land area is available for open space and other social amenities.1
The importance of the transportation issue cannot be underplayed in a development of this magnitude. Not only will it be preeminent in determining land uses for the present and future, but as important is its direct and indirect impacts on the related energy consumption and air pollution problems that are so critical today.
B. Local Analysis
This Local Analysis deals primarily with the various policies of the City and County of Denver, as it is here that the growth and development of Stapleton Airport will have the greatest impact. Just as important, though, are the concerns and objectives of the surrounding jurisdictions; and so, this section will also provide a brief summary of these issues in relation to the airport development.
The city has developed planning goals and objectives for Denver which are the foundation for the policies making up the Comprehensive Plan. "Major strengths, problems, and assumptions regarding the city's present and future development were identified and synthesized"1? as a basis for preparing these goals and objectives.
Some of the problems defined in the "Comprehensive Planning Goals and Objectives for Denver" which will be important in the development of guideline policies and land use plans for Stapleton are:
The city's general economic decline relative to the metropolitan area.
The outward migration of middle and upper income segments of the city's population.
The general deterioration of the city's physical environment as evidenced by increasing air, water, and noise pollution.
In an attempt to mitigate some of these problems, the designated land uses for the subject site will support as closely as realistically possible the many related policies of the Denver Comprehensive Plan.
A major component of the 1978 Comp Plan is a citywide plan made up from the broad goals and objectives which relate to the entire city. These goals and objectives (as listed in the Appendix page 12) were in turn essential in the development of the Citywide Plan Policies which are divided up into four main categories: planning for land use, planning for transportation,
planning for public facilities, and planning for the environment. Those policies within each of these categories that have been determined to be applicable to any development on the airport land are presented on the following pages.
1. Planning for Land Use
LI The growth of Denver should proceed toward complete development .
L3 The development of large vacant land areas on the fringe of the city should proceed in a timely manner, contiguous with existing development.
This second policy (L3) would indicate that development at Stapleton should proceed in advance of any of the vacant land to the east of the site. Any growth within this site would be contiguous to existing development.
R14 Development of vacant residential land in the other areas of the city should be encouraged for a mix of residential and compatible commercial and office uses.
"Development of the larger parcels of land, primarily in the fringe area of the city, is a key factor in the ability of the city to provide residential environments comparable to those provided in adjacent suburban communities."1 The Comp Plan also says that in large developments, efforts should be made to include some moderate-cost units for low and moderate income families.
R15 Developers of new areas should equitably participate in the provision of needed public facilities.
R18 Developers should be encouraged to use PUD's on both
scattered site and large vacant tracts where appropriate.
R20 New residential development should give priority to environmental concerns and energy resource conservation.
HI2 New construction of both multi-family buildings and single family houses should be encouraged within the city.
H18 To provide greater housing choices, different types of housing should be made available in a variety of locations.
B4 Major business area concentrations, especially new development, should be encouraged to utilize multiple energy sources.
Specifically, this policy refers to the conservation of current energy supplies through the supported use of alternative energy sources, such as solar energy. Although this is a little too detailed for the scope of this study, it will be an important factor when the actual land planning comes into effect.
BIO Some offices and similar facilities should be clustered with residential uses and located outside the downtown area.
This in turn leads to the development of activity centers as discussed in DRCOG's Regional Growth and Development Plan. The main purposes for developing these centers in the context of the Denver Comp Plan are to: (a) "minimize urban sprawl and vehicle trips to reduce energy and land consumption, (b) relieve excessive growth pressures on Downtown Denver by providing alternative areas for intensive development, and (c) accommodate desired growth without adversely impacting stable neighborhoods".^-9
Bll The city should continue to support the concept of regional activity centers.
An important consideration related to these activity centers and any other large commercial developments is that of transportation. Concentrations of these types should be oriented towards multiple forms of transit to facilitate access for both the consumers and the .employees.
B17 No land should be made available for new strip commercial development along major streets in Denver.
There already exists two "grouped commercial"* developments in the vicinity of SIA, one on the west side on Quebec Street which includes the terminus, hotels, and car rental outlets; and the other on the east side along Peoria Street north of Interstate 70.
* In the Denver Comp Plan map of the Citywide Plan for Business Areas, there are five designated types of business areas: Downtown Denver, downtown adjacent areas, mixed residential/coramercial, grouped commercial, and strip commercial.
At present, 83% of land now zoned for industry is developed leaving 1,300 acres of vacant land available for future industrial uses. The current issue, though, "is not one of enough industrially zoned land although this may be a problem in the future as presently available land is developed but rather one of proper location and utilization"21.
Denver's relative economic and financial position has been declining somewhat in recent years. To help retain its financial position within the region, the city should work to attract new firms to Denver by promoting adequate transportation and by coordinating land use policies with economic development. Proper growth management of development in the airport site could provide various opportunities for industrial growth that may help meet some of these citywide financial and economic needs.
12 Adequate and suitable industrial land, facilities, and utility services should be provided.
15 Denver should develop new industrial parks in both inner-city and outer-city areas.
18 Industrial land uses should be properly related to adjacent residential uses.
110 Favorable living and working environments should be maintained in Denver.
This latter policy (110) refers to locational decisions by both employers and employees based on their total living and working environment. Good access should be provided between residential and industrial areas.
111 Industrial concentrations, especially new developments, should be encouraged to utilize multiple energy sources.
"The recent energy shortages and the prospect of future shortages calls for a policy to conserve energy."22
2. Planning for Transportation
This section of the citywide plan addresses the location, design, operation, and management of facilities for all transportation modes. A summary of the transportation goals and objectives for Denver (see Appendix page 14) is: "To provide for the safe, convenient, economical, and environmentally compatible movement of people and goods within the constraints of available financial resources and in consideration of adjacent land uses."23
T2 The city should select, locate, and design transportation
facilities which minimize or reduce pollution of the physical
environment and disruption of the human environment.
T3 Fuel efficient transportation modes and travel habits should be promoted.
Transportation presently consumes approximately 30% of the country's commercially used energy. In its effort to reduce this tremendous drain on the nation's energy supplies, Denver should initiate innovative measures to modify prevailing transportation habits.
T6 The transportation system should be used to encourage desirable patterns of land use development.
Direction, intensity, and timing of land development can be strongly influenced by a transportation system.
T10 Denver should strive to improve the livability of both existing and future residential streets.
T13 The adopted bikeway plan should be completed and expanded to provide citywide bicycling opportunities.
T14 Bikeway amenities and supporting facilities should be provided as incentives to increased commuter bicycling.
Both these policies, if applied constructively to development at Stapleton Airpor't, will discourage dependence on the automobile (resulting in decreased energy consumption) by providing routes extending from major recreation areas, residential areas, and concentrated work centers.
T15 The city should place a high priority on public transit as a desirable alternative to automobile use.
T19 Denver should develop a street and highway system with function and design compatible v/ith land use.
T23 The city should require the provision of parking facilities in a manner that will encourage transit use whi1e supporting the economic vitality of land uses served.
T27 The city should ensure convenient transportation access for industrial areas.
T28 The city should develop truck routes and other transportation
facilities in locations that minimize disruption to residential and recreational land uses and public facilities.
T29 Conflicts between rail transport and other transportation modes and land uses should be reduced.
T29 Conflicts between rail transport and other transportation
modes and land uses should be reduced.
These last five policies relate directly to what the city should do and how they should develop certain facilities. But, directed growth at Stapleton Airport can provide a better foundation for the implementation of some of these policies. An awareness of these issues in any large new development of this kind is essential in enabling Denver to meet some of its long range plans for a more functional and environmentally (both human and natural) sound city.
3. Planning for Public Facilities
There is essentially only one long-term objective for public facilities that would really apply to a development of this size and this is: "To provide quality public facilities approximately located and equitably distributed to all segments of the population."
PI The development of areas adjacent to the South Platte River and its tributaries (Sand Creek) as a recreational system should be continued.
Any amenities such as parks and other recreational opportunities help attract and keep people in Denver neighborhoods. Also, police, fire, school, and health facilities are required services in any area that will often, depending on their location and availability, reflect the soundness and vitality of a community.
P23 Water conservation programs should be encouraged, or enforced if necessary.
This does not only refer to built areas but also to undeveloped areas proposed for development. Various forms of water conserving plumbing fixtures can be encouraged in new construction combined with reuse systems, smaller lawns, water meters, and anj^ other means of indirectly or directly curbing water use.
Naturally, in the perspective of this study, the water issue can only be addressed in a broad sense (but should be a significant factor when actual development gets under way).
4. Planning for the Environment
Two long-term environmental objectives applicable to this site are to preserve environmentally sensitive areas, and to conserve air, water, energy and the land. A general overview of the policies for this category states that any new development should abide by the general policies set forth to maintain good service with respect to vrnter quality control, drainage and flood control, solid waste disposal, air quality control, noise, energy conservation, and urban design.
Ell Efforts to ensure air quality compatible with health and
well-being and to prevent air pollution damage to vegetation, property, and aesthetic values should be vigorously pursued at the federal, state, and local levels.
Generally, the types of strategies which are available to control air pollution relate directly to the principal sources of pollution: automotive, area source, and point source.24 These
strategies, many ofwhich have been discussed previously, include vehicle movement control, reduction in vehicle travel, and the use of alternate transportation modes.
Development at SIA will provide the opportunity to be innovative in this area through the application of many of these air pollution/energy reduction controls to the land use plan.
E12 The city should continue to protect, preserve, and promote peace and quiet for its citizens through the reduction, control, and prevention of noise.
In developing the various land uses for the airport, attention should be paid to the locational relationships between high noise generating activities and noise sensitive areas (i.e. residential areas). Ideally, there should be no real high noise generating areas in this development but some protection, buffering, or compatible uses should be encouraged for areas adjacent to major transportation arteries such as Interstate 70 and the railroad.
E14 New construction should give strong consideration to the use of solar and steam energy alternatives.
El5 Energy saving modes of transport should be provided and encouraged.
Here again, Stapleton Airport provides an excellent opportunity to be innovative by providing viable alternatives to the automobile within the site through extension of the existing city bikeway system, development of exclusive bus lanes, and promotion of the various forms of public transportation. All these methods can be used in a continued effort to save energy and promote cleaner air.
Commerce City is situated in the industrialized northeastern portion of the Denver Metropolitan Area. It is an area which serves as an industrial, distribution, and warehouse center for the Denver Region and much of the Rocky Mountain area. Almost one mile of the city's eastern border between 48th and 56th Avenues runs parallel to the airport site.
The economic base of the city is made up of a wide variety of industrial activities, ranging from light industrial warehousing facilities concentrated in the southeastern parts of the city near SIA, to heavy industrial refinery operations in the western and southwestern portions. Much of the land' presently under pure industrial uses is occupied by heavy manufacturing and processing firms. In recent years, though, there has been a large percentage of transportation related businesses and wholesale distributers moving into this area.
Commerce City adopted a Land Use Plan in June of 1977 which was primarily set up to protect residential land from the encroachment by industrial uses. The plan divided the city into three distinguishable residential districts, three cohesive commercial districts, and three major industrial districts. Some of these districts, as shown on the following map (Figure 9), are adjacent to the airport land. East of the indicated 56th Avenue Residential District is all industrial and based on the "Proposed Land Use" map (Figure 10), it has been designated to remain that way to the year 2000.
Eased on this information, development at the subject site should be as compatible as possible to all adjacent uses in Commerce City. Also, by providing adequate industrial land within the airport site itself (contiguous to the existing uses so as to take advantage of the major transportation access from Interstate 70 and Interstate 270), Stapleton could provide a release for some of the tremendous industrial growth pressures that currently exist in Commerce City.
The city of Aurora is located in the eastern portion of Metropolitan Denver and borders the southeastern section of. Stapleton Airport along 25th Avenue and part of Peoria Street. Between 1970 and 1975, Aurora was one of America's fastest growing cities, and this trend shows no sign of slackening. Presently, the city is being faced with tremendous annexation pressures along its southern border beyond the designated blue line (or city growth limit).
The city's Comprehensive Plan addresses this growth problem in its goals which are primarily concerned with controlling growth and developing growth management policies for Aurora. Development at the airport may be able to alleviate some of this unwanted expansion by providing somewhat similar housing opportunities that are presently in demand in these fringe areas of Aurora.
The airport may also provide various employment possibilities for the somewhat poorer Northwest Neighborhood. This section of the city, bounded by SIA on the north, Yosemite Street on the west,
76 Figure 9
EXISTING LAIMO USE
CITY OF COMMERCE CITY COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 1975- SCOO
QUEBEC STREET COMMERCIAL DISTRICT 60
SOURCE COMMERCE CITY PLANNING DIVISION
'A l FF - i ' ,T OF A
CITY OF carVHVlERCE CITY COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 1375 2DQO
RESIDENTIAL COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIAL OPEN SPACE a PUBLIC RELIGIOUS
SOURCE' COMMERCE CITY PLANNING DIVISION
Colfax on the south, and Peoria Street on the east is the portion of Aurora which is directly adjacent to the airport. A large number of the people in this neighborhood are employed in blue collar industries that are predominant in this section of town.
The extension of industrial development into the airport land will not only provide employment for people in the immediate area, but will also ensure extended opportunities to the residents in the Northwest Neighborhood. This extension of existing industrial use is also important in that it should not result in any excessive commuter travel over what already exists.
Where travel time might increase, though, is if any of the proposed white collar employment opportunities at the airport become competitive with existing centers in Aurora. Most of the city's white collar workers presently reside south of 6th Avenue and so would be faced v/ith considerable commuter travel time if they were to work at the airport. Ideally, though, this will not happen because one of the main objectives of this study is to provide employment alternatives that will be directed primarily at the residents of the airport itself and secondly at those in the immediate surrounding areas.
Finally, a very positive asset of development at Stapleton will be the elimination of the noise pollution which has plagued many of the adjacent Aurora neighborhoods. This form of pollution has had many negative impacts on those specific areas affected, and it can be anticipated that v/ith its elimination some of the neighborhoods may improve in quality over time.
This concludes the regional and local analysis and provides the necessary background to draw up the guideline policies which will be essential in evaluating alternative land uses for the site.
1. Denver Regional Council of Governments, Regional Growth and Development Plan for the Denver Region, adopted June
1, 1978, P. III-l.
2. Ibid, P. 1-1.
3. Ibid, P. V-l.
5. Ibid, P. VI-2.
5. Ibid, P. V-l 5.
8. Ibid, P. V-l 9.
9. Ibid, P. V-23.
10. Ibid, P. V-81 .
11. "Summary of the Plans Prepared by Local Government for Inclusion into the Colorado State Implementation Plan", State of Colorado, October 5, 1978, P. 13.
12. Regional Growth and Development Plan, P. V-89.
13. Ibid, P. V-93.
14. Ibid, P. V-96.
15. Regional Transportation District, Public Transportation
Alternatives, Report and Recommendation to the Board of Directors from the Staff of RTD, April 1975, P. 17.
20. 21 .
Ibid, P. 23.
Denver Planning Office, Comprehensive Planning Goals and Objectives, September 1976, P. 7.
Ibid, P. 15
Ibid, P. 33
Ibid, P. 38
Ibid, P. 42
Ibid, P. 45
Ibid, P. 83
THE GUIDELINE POLICIES CRITERIA FOR PLAN EVALUATION
The purpose of this chapter is to focus in on the specific policies which wi11 be used as criteria and guidelines for growth and development at Stapleton Airport. In constructing these policies, ten broad categories were developed that relate to the major categories of land use that should be addressed in a project of this magnitude (over 4,600 acres). It is important to understand, though, that these categories, as presented below, have no value representation but are used purely for organizational purposes.
1. General land use
3. Residential development
4. Commercial development
5. Industrial development
8. Energy conservation
9. General environment
10. Economic feasibility
Thirty guideline policies were then developed (within these categories) which are essentially a synopsis of the more salient elements of the goals, objectives, policies, and other concerns that relate to the proposed airport development. Each policy or specific factor within a policy was assigned one point for the purpose of evaluating the various proposed alternative land uses (Chapter 6). In this way each policy was given an equal rating.
This system was used in lieu.of a priority approach* not only because it provides a relatively uncomplicated and manageable method for evaluating the alternatives, but also because the author believes that is the most unbiased and equitable approach for ranking policies which will all have significant impacts on new growth. Furthermore, with the considerable interaction that exists between the various policies, a priority system based on the number of policies within each category would skew the true importance of one issue over another. To further illustrate this point, compare the categories of energy which has two policies with transportation which has three (see page 53). Under the priority system this would indicate that transportation is somewhat more important an issue than energy. But, this is not necessarily true due to the various interrelationships between the respective policies of the two categories. As an example, by complying with
* The priority approach would involve rating all thirty policies in order of importance from highest to lowest. In the context of this study, though, it has been determined that each policy will have an equally important impact on the growth and development of the subject site.
a transportation policy such as "the provision of parking facilities that will encourage transit use", this will in turn result in less automobile use and thus a reduction in energy consumption. Consequently, the fact that energy is referred to indirectly in other policies indicates that its importance cannot be tied specifically to the number of policies within its own category.
The following table lists all thirty policies within their respective categories.
Table 4: Guideline Policies for Growth and Development at Stapleton Airport
Points Organizational Categories and Policies
General Land Use
Urban development should be confined to the predetermined DRCOG regions, especially the urban service area which should accommodate most of the future growth and development in the Denver Region.
All developable land within Denver should proceed in a timely manner contiguous with existing development.
Any new development should be a mix of residential and compatible commercial and office uses.
1 P4 Any proposed land uses for the airport site that
are planned adjacent to existing uses in Commerce City, Denver, or Aurora should be carefully evaluated so as not to be in conflict with those existing uses.
1 P5 Any growth and development problems that the
adjacent municipalities (of Commerce City and Aurora) may be experiencing, and that this development could possibly mitigate, should be addressed in the overall land use plan.
1 P6 Housing types should be a diverse mix of both
single family and multi-family units so as to provide greater housing opportunities to a larger population.
Guideline Policies for Growth and Development
at Stapleton Airport (Continued)
Organizational Categories and Policies
Residential Development (Continued)
P7 Residential developments should be located with
convenience and choice in acquiring goods and services. This can be achieved both by locating in the proximity of an activity center or major commercial concentration or by providing good access betv/een commercial and residential areas.
P8 Any new development should allow for higher
densities along any regional transportation corridor (Interstate 70).
P9 Good access should be provided to the various
P10 Any proposed commercial development should be as centrally located as possible so as to discourage any strip commercial development.
Pll Activity center development is strongly encouraged as long as it is not in conflict with any existing centers.
P12 Any proposed activity center should include an intense mix of urban activities.
P13 There should be an adequate allocation of industrial land suitably related to surrounding uses.
P14 Industrial development should be located such
that good access to major forms of transportation can be provided.
?15 Good access should be provided to the various residential opportunities for the employees.
P16 The transportation system should be used to encourage desirable patterns of land use.
Guideline Policies for Growth and Development
at Stapleton Airport (Continued)
Organizational Categories and Policies Transportation (Continued)
P17, The system should be developed to limit excessive P18 automobile use through extension and development of the bikeway system, provision of parking facilities that will encourage transit use, convenient transportation access to industrial and employment areas and commercial concentrations, and efficient links with existing systems.
P19, Major employment centers should be located con-P20 venient to transportation systems and diverse residential concentrations.
P21, The various forms of energy conservation associated P22 with broad areas of land use (residential, industrial, activity center development, transportation) should be enforced to a degree necessary to provide a measurable reduction from present excessive consumption levels.
P23 No development is allowed in designated environmentally significant areas.
P24 Any park, recreation, or open space development should be evaluated with respect to existing surrounding facilities and systems and should tie into those respective systems.
P25, All new development should attempt to improve air P26, quality through contiguous development, develop-P27, ment of activity centers, residential development P28 in proximity to the activity center, and preservation of open space. In general, all development will be compatible with the health and well being of those people living in the area. This can be accomplished through the prevention of air pollution damage to vegetation, property, and aesthetic values.
Table 4: Guideline Policies for Growth and Development
at Stapleton Airport (Continued)
Points Organizational Categories and Policies
1 P29 All proposed land uses for the airport should be
economically feasible with respect to the broad market factors (supply and demand) that will affect this site.
1 P30 Development alternatives for the subject site
should realistically consider any cost efficiencies associated with the re-use of existing airport facilities (i.e. terminus building, parking com-______ plex, hangars, hotels .).
(This total of 30 points is the maximum that can be alloted to any alternative*)
The philosophy behind this selection of the thirty policies is based on the fact that this presently undeveloped land is wholly located within a major urban area. This situation will provide the City of Denver (or in this case the author of this report) with the unique opportunity to set a precedent in new development by implementing guidelines for growth which not only adhere to national issues such as air quality and energy conservation but also to regional and local concerns dealing with activity center development, a more efficient transportation system, contiguous development, diverse housing opportunities, and even the financial stability of the City and County of Denver./ In a sense, then, this undeveloped airport site affords one the opportunity to apply very cognisant and somewhat idealistic approaches to direct growth and development -a rare opportunity to be innovative in the urban sphere!
Two other factors involved in the selection of these thirty policies were marketability and redundancy. The proposed land uses for the site must be realistically possible in the context of the surrounding uses and in the general urban framework within which the airport is located. Thus, the need for various policies in such categories as economic feasibility, compatibility, transportation, environmentally significant areas, and other sundry land use issues that will support the marketability of the site. A specific or detailed market analysis for such a long-term development (20 years) is not only beyond the scope of this study, but is also questionable with-respect to the level of accuracy that could be attained. Most economists will agree that it is difficult enough making projections six months into the future let alone twenty years!
Finally, the redundancy or repetition that occurred in the various issues and policies in both the regional and local analyses was helpful in this policy development process for two reasons. First, the fact that certain policies (i.e. activity center development) were repeated at the regional and local levels was often an indication of the widespread concern over that issue. Secondly, redundancy in some issues and repetition of others often allowed for the elimination or abridgement of several of the more verbose policies.
In review, it can be seen that the development of these thirty guideline policies (which will be used to evaluate the alternatives in the following chapter) was not an arbitrary process but instead a comprehensive analysis of all major elements that will influence, both directly and indirectly, the growth and development of the airport site. The thirty policies then are justified through their reflection of these elements.
This chapter is primarily descriptive in nature in that it presents the specific land use percentages for Stapleton Airport followed by the various growth alternatives that may be feasible for this site. The alternatives will be simulated development proposals shown in broad schematic graphics.
A. Recommended Land Uses
The land use percentages for the airport site, as presented below, were based on a careful evaluation and analysis of recommendations and facts from the following sources:
The Denver Planning Office
Existing land use breakdowns for the City and County of Denver
Surrounding land uses
Goals, objectives, and policies presented in Chapters 3 and 4
Projected supply and demand patterns for residential, commercial and industrial land use
Table 5: Recommended Land Use for the Airport Site
Single Family (3-5 DU/AC) 468 10
Multi-Family (6-10+ DU/AC) 1,404 30
Commercial/Business 561 12
Industrial 842 13
Institutional (Public and Quasi Public Uses) 328 7
Parks and Open Space (Floodplain, Parks, and Recreation) 60S 13
Streets (Arterials Only) 468 10
Total 4,679 Acres 10 OR)
The residential land use category shows multi-family with twenty percent more acreage than single family. This is directly related to the anticipated growth in the condominium and townhouse markets. "As home prices soar ever higher, many people are forced to postpone the American dream of their own single family home in favor of condominiums, townhouses, and cluster houses."2 Also, the higher densities that will result from the greater concentrations of multi-family units will cut driving distances and in turn decrease air pollution and energy consumption.
Considerable acreage was also allocated to commercial/business uses allowing for the possible development of a major activity center. If appropriately located, this land could establish the foundation for a multi-purpose core combining numerous commercial and business activities into one convenient locale. Naturally, some of this acreage will be dispersed in small parcels throughout the rest of the site for development into the various commercial nodes that a project of this size will require.
Close to one-fifth of the site has been recommended for various forms of industrial use. The rationale behind this large percent is based both on the fact that existing industrial uses surround almost three-quarters of the airport land, and that transportation accesses to the airport (both rail and road) make the site naturally suited for industrial development.
The remaining land use breakdowns are relatively conventional with the exception of the slightly higher than normal percent allocated to open space. The reason for this is related to the importance of open space in regards to air quality, the direction of general land uses, and the natural amenities it will provide to any area. Within this 508 acres of open space are 210.1 acres designated for the Sand Creek floodplain.
B. Alternatives: Description and Evaluation
In this section, the analysis is taken one step further in an attempt to demonstrate graphically how development might occur at the airport site. Five broadly based land use alternatives have been drawn up following the general land use percentages recommended in Table 5. Also, existing land uses, access and general topography were incorporated into each plan. In this way, the alternatives tend to be in fairly close compliance with moot of the thirty policies developed in the previous chapter. But, an evaluation based on the policies' respective point system does occur in order to determine which of the alternatives will be most suited for Stapleton.
Before proceeding to the alternatives, though, there are two important elements whose continued application in almost all the alternatives merits some explanation. First, there is the "activity center" concept which is employed in various dimensions in all five development options. These activity centers, as discussed previously in this report (see Chapter 3), comprise of intense mixes of urban
activities dominated by regional shopping opportunities and business and office concentrations. In each alternative, the location of this center is in the vicinity of the airport terminus area allowing for the re-use of not only the terminus buildings and the associated parking complex, but also some of the adjacent buildings to the north and along Quebec Street north of 32nd Avenue.
The purpose for developing such a center at this site is to provide a needed employment/commercial focus for this part of the city that will act as an alternative to the Denver CBD and other such far removed activity centers. In addition, the related air quality and energy consumption benefits resulting from the considerable decr'ease in travel time (primarily to and from work) associated with this kind of regional center gives further support for its development.
The location of the activity center is such that support will come not only from the subject site but also from the Greater Park Hill neighborhood, East Montclair, Montclair, and parts of northwest Aurora and Commerce City. Furthermore, there are no similar centers in existence or planned for this part of the city that would compete with this proposed activity center.
The second element that is repeated throughout the alternatives is the use of the northern section of the site (640 acres) almost exclusively for industrial development or employment services (industry and office uses). This is justified by the fact that this area is presently surrounded on three sides by the Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA) which is a potential explosion hazard area.3 Although the stock piles of nerve gas and munitions have been reduced since 1973, there are still some nerve gas bombs stored at the arsenal today. Thus, the hazards of underground chemical pollution are very possible and will persist even if the storage of munitions and chemical warfare agents is phased out.4 These factors all lend to a pretty strong argument against any residential development in this area. Therefore, industrial uses seem to be one of the few productive alternatives that will be feasible (as long as those impacts continue to remain in check).
The following pages include a description of the site itself, followed by the five alternatives. Each alternative will be preceded by a brief synopsis of both its salient points and its evaluation against the thirty guideline policies. A complete evaluation chart will be presented at the end of the chapter.
For a better understanding of the different "Surrounding Land Uses" map and a "Road Networks" been included in this section.
alternatives, a map have also
As can be expected, most of the 4,679.5 acres site are typically very flat and characteristic of plains of eastern Colorado. However, it does have
of this airport much of the three important
amenities that may make it a very marketable piece of land (for several uses). First, the entire land area is at a higher elevation than dov/ntown Denver which affords the site with not only a good view of the city scape but also extensive vistas of the mountains. Secondly, the site has excellent access both by rail and road which will attract a variety of uses to the site. Finally, the Sand Creek floodplain, which basically disects the entire site, is a very scenic valley with many full grown trees and river vegetation.
This makes it a remarkably attractive area for horseback riding and other passive recreational activities (as presently exist just outside the airport boundaries of the floodplain). The remainder of the site is pretty well treeless except for the northern portion near RLIA where there are several mature stands of oak and cherry.
The numerous land uses which border the site have all been described previously in Chapter 2 but, for convenience sake, a "Surrounding Land Uses" map similar to Figure 3 has been included on the following page. This map is also provided as a reference for the five alternatives.
Surrounding Land Uses
Community Identity Concept t
Plan has adapted two separate community concentrations surrounded by employment services.
Road system is based on a network of arterials that surround the site with Interstate 70 and an extension of 56th Avenue crossing the airport on east-west traverses. This system strengthens the community identity concept.
Activity center is relatively small as both the community areas will have some retail services. As with all the other alternatives, this center will take in most of the existing airport facilities in this area. The intent, as mentioned earlier,
is to establish an intense mix of urban activities.
Residential uses are concentrated on either side of Interstate 70 in the designated community areas. They are basically separated by the highway, although various collector streets will provide some north-south access.
Community centers, which include some retail, public, and quasi public uses, provide for a strong community identity.
Employment services which are primarily industrial and office uses with some warehousing surround both community concentrations Their location is generally compatible with existing uses in
the north, but in the southern section it is questionable how well the strip conforms with the various residential uses in that area.
As with all the alternatives, the Sand Creek floodplain area has been retained as open space to allow for a variety of recreational activities. In each case, it has been extended east to connect with the existing Sand Creek Park.
In the evaluation against the thirty guidelines, this alternative only acquired twenty-five out of the total thirty points. The major problem occurred with the compatibility of some of the industrial uses in the south. This strip acts as
a border between the residential uses within the site and those outside in the East Montclair neighborhood and in the adjacent Aurora residences. There are also problems with access and links to existing road networks which in turn might result in impractical ties to alternative forms of transportation.
Finally, as with the next three alternatives, the preservation 03? the designated environmentally significant areas north of 56th Avenue have not been maintained.
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Community Identity Concept
Separate Use Concept
Alternative concentrates all employment services in the north and the community services in the middle and southern sections of the site.
Site is served by an extensive arterial system with efficient links to the existing road networks. A north-south arterial runs through the middle of the site from 56th Avenue to 32nd Avenue but has no access to Interstate 70, therefore eliminating any excessive industrial related traffic through the residential areas. 32nd Avenue has been extended to Havana and Havana has been extended south to the existing arterial from Quebec Street to Peoria. This road network provides continued support to
the activity center.
Significantly larger area has been designated for activity center development as it will also provide most of the support services for the Stapleton residential areas. Unlike Alternative A, here most commercial/retail services will be located at the activity center.
Higher residential densities (S to 10+ DTJ/AC) are in the north and central areas of the site but are buffered from adjacent industrial uses by a defined open space strip. Any of the exist ing light industrial uses along the east side (bordering Mont-bello Industrial Park) are generally compatible with these higher density residential developments. Lower densities (3
to 5 DU/AC) are located in the southern extremities of the site compatible to adjacent uses. The proposed arterial network focuses all the residential developments to the activity center.
Industrial activity makes up a large portion of the employment service area in the north and is essentially an extension of existing industrial developments in Commerce City.
Open space and recreational areas have been extended from the west end of the designated Sand Creek floodplain to the northeast corner of 56th Avenue and Havana.
Alternative is in compliance with every guideline policy except for the preservation of environmentally significant areas in the northern extremity.
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Separate Use Concept
Dual Center Concept
Here traditional activities associated with a major clover leaf intersection and the development of an activity center combine to form the dual focal points in this alternative.
Arterial network system is exactly the same as in Alternative B with the exception of the interchange where the north-south arterial crosses Interstate 70. This provides a major access to the interior of the site.
Dual center concept as presented here has both local and regional connotations. The area around the intersection of Interstate 70 provides the local retail and office opportunities while the regional services will be found in the activity center at 32nd Avenue and Quebec Street. This center will receive support from within the site and from the surrounding areas due to the proposed integrated arterial system.
Higher residential densities are located in the north adjacent to the industrial uses and in the middle near the retail/office center. Low density single family development is concentrated in the south near the activity center and adjacent to existing single, family areas.
Industrial uses in the north will have to be somewhat less intense next to the residential developments as no significant buffer zone has been provided. The industrial concentration around the northeast corner of the activity center will maximize the use of existing warehouses and other industrial related facilities in that locale.
Alternative meets all guideline policies except the one related to environmentally significant areas.
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Dual Center/Central Community Concept
Plan combines a dual center pattern-with a central community surrounded by employment services.
Arterial system is relatively the same as Alternatives B and C in that it provides direct support to the activity center.
The north-south arterial is more central^ located in this case and also has an interchange at Interstate 70.
Small activity center is evident due to the local commercial/ retail center at the Interstate 70 intersection.
As with the other alternatives, this activity center will be supported both by the new airport community and by surrounding residential areas to the west and south. Support for the local center will come primarily from the community itself.
Site is essentially surrounded by industrial uses with the greatest concentration located in the north and northwest areas of the site.*
All residential uses are concentrated around the commercial/ retail center with bordering industrial developments adjacent to almost every side. In the northern section the residential areas are next to industrial uses on all three sides which may result in some incompatibility problems if sufficient buffering is not provided. The compatibility of the residential and industrial concentrations in the south are also questionable.
Alternative was only in compliance with 26 out of the 30 policies primarily as a result of the controversial location of some of the industrial uses.
The last three alternatives have all had major industrial concentrations in relatively the same area in order to provide some release for the industrial growth pressures presently borne by Commerce City. On the opposite side of the site, the situation is quite different as there still remains plenty of area for expansion north of 51st Avenue between Havana and Peoria. This area contains over 300 acres of unused industrially zoned land, and therefore there seems to be little need to extend any of these adjacent industrial uses into the airport site.
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Dual CenterJ Central Community Concept
Optional Use Concept
Alternative provides optional uses for the northern section of the site (the 640 acres surrounded on three sides by the RIIA) and presents possible residential expansion opportunities to the east.
Major arterial network through the site is concentrated on a north-south system that feeds west on 56th and 32nd Avenues.
There is also an interchange at Interstate 70 providing excellent access to and from the activity center and the industrial developments in this site.
There are limited arterial approaches to the residential concentrations in order to protect these areas against any impacts associated with excessive industrially related traffic.
Large activity center acts as the regional and local commercial and office focal point. As in the other alternatives, the center will also draw considerable support from outside the airport area.
Residential concentrations are located in the north and south of the site with the lower densities found in the latter. With a change in zoning residential uses could be extended from Havana to Peoria between 51st and 56th Avenues. This would then result in a contiguous residential belt from the subject site.
Industrial development is concentrated in the northwestern section near Quebec Street and in the central area around the major rail and road access.
Optional uses presented for the northern area range from experimental agriculture farming and university uses to a conservation education center or plain industrial uses. The purpose here is to show that there are various other compatible uses that might be feasible for this area.
23 out of the 30 policies are in co Tv.ro areas of weakness are the limit sportation systems and the lack of for the residential concentrations the site.
mpliance in this alternative, ed links to existing tran-commercial opportunities in the northern section of
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Optional Use Concept
The evaluation chart presented on the following page is essentially a tabular analysis indicating how the five alternatives stand up against the thirty guideline policies'developed in Chapter 4. Although each alternative has already been discussed in the previous pages, this table allows the reader a more specific comparative evaluation of the individual alternatives.
For spacial and presentation purposes, the thirty policies have been condensed so that only the most salient point of each is presented in the chart. It may be helpful then to occasionally return back to Chapter 4 for a more detailed description of the policies.
The analysis indicates that Alternatives 3 and C scored the highest points (29), and due only to their use of some questionable environmentally significant areas, which are presently occupied by the airport runway, did they not comply with all the policies. Because these two alternatives scored the highest, though, only indicates that they are the best of the five presented in this analysis. There are possibly many variations of the alternatives which may be just as, or even more, suitable for this airport site.
In conclusion, then, it should be re-emphasised that it is the guideline policies which are of infinite importance in this study and that these five alternatives only take the analysis one step further to illustrate how growth might actually occur. This is not to say that the latter step is unimportant though, for without it this study would be purely academic. The real world practicality that these alternatives provide in turn confers to the policies the necessary credibility that will support their application.
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General Land Use
PI Grov/th in Predetermined DRCOG Regions V t r A X V a X PI
P2 Timely and Contiguous Grov/th of Developable Land in the Denver Region X y A X V J V. P2
1' o lo Good Mix of Compatible Uses X A X X V yv P3
?4 Compatible with Surrounding Uses - \r J. V. v A - v P4
P5 Mitigation of Some Surrounding Grov/th Pressures V yv. V A X X X P5
j. J Diverse Housing Types \r A ~r X \r A X ?6
?7 Convenient to Commercial Uses V V j i. V a V A V yv P7
ID O V-' Higher Densities Along Transportation Corridors y x X v* A X PS
P9 Good Access - X v ^ V. V A A P9
P10 Central Location V V V y A - ?10
Pll Encourages Activity Center Development \r y A X A A Pll
PI 2 Intense Mix of Urban Activities X V A A v A V A P12
Indu strial Development
P13 Suitable Land v/ith Good Location A A v iV - X P13
PI 4 Good Access \r A X V A vr A V 7'_ P14
PI 5 Local Residential Opportunities A A V V A V A P15
* 1. These land use percentages have been reviewed by Merlyn Logan
of the Denver Planning Office and were determined to be as accurate a projection as possible given the 20 year time period with which this study is concerned.
2. Rocky Ilountain IJews, "Cluster Home Necessity Increasing", February 7, 1979.
3. Denver Regional Council of Governments, Regional Growth and
Development Plan for the Denver Region, June 1, 1978, P. V 78.
4. Ibid, P. V 79.
The most important aspect of this study is not whether it is implemented, but that the purpose and approach are recognized as being representative of the major concerns for a development of this magnitude (in the Denver region). As has been emphasized throughout this report, the fact that SIA may no longer function as an airport facility provides a rare opportunity to apply innovative planning policies to a section of predominantly undeveloped land located in a major urban environment.
This report is essentially the first step in preparing for the re-use of Stapleton Airport. Naturally, more detailed guidelines should follow once the exact status of the airport has been determined. In this next step, the specific guidelines should probably be somewhat more flexible to allow for the anticipated changes that both the market ana technology will produce.
The uniqueness of this site in regards to its size, location, surrounding uses, and in its relation to the general urban
to the necessity for constructing well-defined
growth and development policies such as have been defined here. Through this approach, any piecemeal development will be averted and the contiguous and timely growth of residential, commercial, and industrial concentrations can be maintained.
it is such issues as energy conservation, air quality control, employment concentrations, diverse housing opportunities,
o important through this
and efficient.transportation systems (all of which are
can become more of a realit
Denver Region) that > new development,
type of new' development. Although, many of the guideline policies in this study have referred to these issues it is .only through a strict implementation plan that any results can be expected. Stapleton Airport could provide this opportunity if the appropriate planning and analysis, similar to what has been presented in this
report, si te.
is undertaken well in advance of any development of this
"THE DENVER REGIONAL AIRPORT SYSTEMS PLAN"
Stapleton International Airport (SIA) should continue as the air carrier airport serving the Denver Metropolitan Region.
A number of projects should be undertaken at SIA to provide expanded facilities in order to meet the future demand for airline service.
No new air carrier runv/ays should be constructed at SIA beyond completion of the second north-south runway (now under construction) unless it can be shown that the benefits of such development exceed the negative impacts taking into account all social, environmental, and economic impacts.
9 A master planning study of SIA should be undertaken, in
conjunction with an airport environs study and aggressive community involvement program, to update the existing SIA master plan and to plan the expanded SIA facilities.
Planning regarding provision of future air carrier service
in the Denver Metropolitan Region should be undertaken. This planning should include a site selection study (to be undertaken within a few years) to identify the best new air carrier airport site in the Region.
The existing publicly owned general aviation airports in
the Region should be expanded to the maximum extent possible, and actions should be taken at these airports to ensure compatible land use in the airport environs.
9 New or updated master plans which establish the maximum
development levels at the Region's public general aviation airports should be prepared.
New public general aviation airports should be constructed as general aviation demand in the Region grows. A minimum of four new airports should be built by the year 2000.
9 The preservation and development of private, open-to-the-public general aviation airports in the Region should be encouraged.
The airport system recommendations stated above were based on
conclusions drawn as a result of extensive evaluation of several
regional airport system alternatives.
These conclusions indicated that both air travelers and the airlines would prefer expansion of SIA. On the other hand, communities near the Airport would prefer that the Airport be moved to another location. Those concerned with air pollution, natural environmental impacts, and with the pattern of growth of the Denver Region would favor retaining SIA.
Although agencies concerned with surface transportation will be faced with substantial facility design problems if SIA is retained, costs of providing these facilities would be less than for the other air carrier alternatives. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which would prefer a new airport from the standpoint of the aviation system's efficiency, nevertheless should be able to continue to provide satisfactory operating procedures and ensure adequate aviation safety at SIA.
General aviation interests would initially prefer a new air carrier airport but, over time, a lower percentage of general aviation pilots would be penalized if air carrier services were continued at SIA since more general aviation facilities will be provided elsewhere. In addition, general aviation flyers would prefer expansion of regional general aviation facilities through improvements to existing airports and the construction of a number of new airports in the Region. However, the most economically efficient general aviation course of action is to concentrate investments to maximize development at existing publicly financed airports. It is recognized that development of new general aviation airports in the Denver Region depends heavily on the willingness and ability of local governments to finance airport facility developments.
"AIR TRADE DEMAND FORECASTS"
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Executive Summary
2. Socio-Economic Trends in the Study Area
3. Certificated Airline Passenger Traffic
3.1 National Macro Forecast
3.2 Industry Forecasts
3.3 Study Area Forecast of Originations and Enplanements
4. Air Passenger Survey
4.1 Survey Procedures
4.2 Survey Results
4.3 Questionnaire Coding and Control
4.4 Distribution of Forecast Passenger
Originations to Planning Zones
5. External City Distribution of Passenger Traffic
4- 1 4-1
6. Commuter Airline Traffic 6-1
6.1 National Trends ' 6-1
6.2 Denver Region 6-5
7. Charter and Supplemental Activity 7-1
8. Air Cargo 8-1
8.1 U.S. Domestic Air Cargo Forecast 8-1
8.2 Study Area Air Cargo 8-4
8.3 Distribution of Air Car'go Originations
to Planning Zones 3-7
9. Air Carrier Aircraft Movements 9-1
9.1 Scheduled Certificated Passenger Carriers 9-1
9.2 Commuter Operations 9-4
9.3 Cargo Aircraft Movements 9-4
9.4 General Aviation Activity 9-6
9.5 Summary of Forecast Aviation Movements 9-8
Peaking Characteristics 10-1
10.1 General ' 10-1
10.2 Peak Hour Passengers 10-2
10.3 Peak Hour Aircraft Operations 10-3
11. Aircraft Fleet Mix and Peak Hour Aircraft Mix 11-1
11.1 Annual Fleet Operations Mix 11-1
11.2 Peak Hour Fleet Mix 11-2
TABLE OF CONTENTS Page
1. Terminal Analysis Background 1-1
1.1 General Description 1-2
1.2 Physical Inventory 1-8
1.3 Passenger/Baggage Flow 1-40
1.4 Gate Occupancy 1-48
2. Terminal Area Forecasts, Capacity and Facility Requirements 2-1
2.1 Terminal Activity Forecasts 2-1
2.2 Existing Terminal Building Capacity and Limitations 2-6
2.3 Airport Terminal Complex Facility Requirements 2-26
3. Air Cargo Forecasts, Inventory, and Facility Requirements 3-1
4. Weather Analysis 4-1
4.1 Overview of Weather Characteristics 4-1
4.2 Runway Wind Coverage 4-7
5. Taxi way Analysis 5-1
5.1 Parallel Taxiways 5-2
5.2 Exit Taxiways 5-3
6. Airspace and Capacity Analysis 6-1
6.1 Introduction 6-1
6.2 Airports and Air Traffic Control Facilities 6-1
6.3 Airspace Inventory 6-3
6.4 Airspace Analysis 6-13
6.5 Runway Capacity 6-27
7. Runway Approach Zones and Land Acquisition 7-1
8. Navi gation Aids 8-1
Aircraft Performance Analysis 9-1
9.1 Airport Temperature Analysis 9-1
9.2 Aircraft Takeoff Analysis 9-2
9.3 Landing Capability Analysis 9-18
10. Analysis of Alternatives 10-1
10.1 Analysis Procedure 10-1
10.2 Airport Development Concepts 10-4
10.3 Discussion of Development Concepts 10-15
10.4 Decision Regarding Development Concepts 10-41
"MASTER PLAN STUDY"
by Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Company
Following is a list of current articles published by Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Company since the study began:
"Evaluation Criteria Master Plan Study Stapleton International Airport"
"Requirements for Airline Gates Stapleton International Airport"
"Land Area Usage for Five Alternative Plans Stapleton International Airport Master Plan Study"
"Evaluation of Land Use Alternatives Stapleton International Airport Master Plan Study"
"Forecast of Air Taxi Activity for Stapleton International Airport"
"Forecast of General Aviation Activity"
"GOALS FOR THE DENVER REGION" (As adopted April 19, 1972)
Ethical management or utilization of the natural resources of the region.
Attainment of an optimum population size and population distribution for the region.
A diversified and balanced regional economy.
Creation of spatially identifiable communities which contain a variety of human activities.
An aesthetically pleasing environment for all types of human activities (i.e. living, working, shopping, recreation-leisure or traveling between activities).
Equitable distribution of government services throughout the region.
Efficient performance of an adequate level of government services.
Government which is responsive to the needs and seeks out the wishes of all citizens of the region.
High quality in a diversity of educational opportunities.
The highest possible level of environmental health for the citizens of the region.
Assurance of the safety and mental well-being of all people in the region.
Maximum opportunity for social and cultural interaction between the various ethnic, religious, and racial groups of the region.
: Denver Regional Council of Governments "Regional Growth
and Development Plan for the Denver Region".
1. A population level below 2,350,000 should be encouraged for the five-county Denver Metropolitan Area by the year 2000.
In all planning activities conducted by the Denver Regional Council of Governments, a year 2000 forecast of 2,350,000 people for the five-county Denver Metropolitan Area will be used.
2. A stable and diversified economy, which provides adequate employment opportunities for the Region's population, should be encouraged for the Denver Region. In all planning activities conducted by the Denver Regional Council of Governments, a year 2000 forecast of 1,130,500 jobs for the five-county Denver Metropolitan Area will be used.
3. The Central Business District of Denver will be encouraged as the major high density core of business, cultural, governmental, commercial and residential activity.
4. Regional activity centers, with an intensive mix of urban activities, should be encouraged in the Denver Region and shall be designated and implemented in accordance with adopted policies and criteria.
5. New development should be encouraged only in locations contiguous to existing urban areas while recognizing local economic, environmental and social concerns as they might affect the location of a specific development.
6. Major new employment concentrations of any type should be closely analyzed as to their total regional impact, which analysis should carefully consider transportation, urban facilities and services, economic and social considerations and environmental impacts.
7. Present freestanding communities within the Denver Region will be encouraged to remain freestanding and to retain their separate identities and unique characteristics.
8. New development should occur only in locations where all the necessary services required to support urban development are present or will be provided.
9. Development within environmentally significant areas such as environmental hazard areas, environmentally sensitive areas, and natural resource areas should be prohibited, restricted, or appropriately managed such that the development will not have significant, adverse impacts on the environment and the environment will not impose serious hazards to the development.
10. The protection, preservation, and conservation of open space as a natural resource, an environmental hazard to development, a recreational opportunity and a shaper of development should be encouraged.
11. Mew development should be encouraged in locations and in patterns which conserve and make the most efficient use of energy and should be carefully analyzed as to the impact on energy consumption. Proposals for the development of energy resources in the region should be carefully examined as to their social, economic and environmental impacts.
12. The Regional Housing Plan directed at the provision of a decent home for every family, and in particular, the low and moderate income groups, shall be an integral component of all Denver Regional Council of Governments' land use planning activities and particularly in relation to transportation, employment opportunities, and social services.
Denver Regional Council of Governments "Regional Growth and Development Plan for the Denver Region".
"NECESSARY URBAN AND NON-URBAN SERVICES"
Rural Tojtti Centers/
Urban Service Areas Mountain Development-Areas Non-Urban Areas*
Public Water Public Water On-Lot Water
Public Sewer Public Sewer On-Lot Sevier
Police Protection Police Protection Police Protection -County
Fire Protection Fire Protection Fire Protection -Rural
Park and Recreation Facilities
Freeways, Arterials, Streets Rural Arterials, County Roads, Streets County Roads
Public Schools Public Schools Public School District
Hospitals** Emergency Medical Service
Solid Waste Disposal Collection Sanitary Landfill Availability
All Available Utilities Electricity and Telephone Electricity and Telephone
General Government Administration -
* These services represent the maximum that should be provided to Non-Urban Areas.
** Not necessarily required in each Urban Service Area, but adequate availability required for all Urban Service Areas.
Source: Denver Regional Council of Governments "Regional Growth
and Development Plan for the Denver Region".
"GOALS AMD LONG-TERM OBJECTIVES FOR DENVER"
GOALS FOR DENVER
Viability To foster a city of quality that sustains itself through effective and mutually supportive physical, economic, and social systems; and that rewards its citizens by fulfilling their common aspirations while maximizing individual growth potential and freedom of choice.
Stability To maintain the present physical, economic, and social assets of the city as a basis on which to build the future.
Adaptability To be responsive to potentially constructive changes in the physical, economic, and social conditions of the city.
Diversity To provide for a variety of community activities and services, and to provide for a wide range of choice in life styles.
Opportunity To provide every member of the community with the chance to participate equitably in the life, rewards, and responsibilities of the community.
Amenity To support community activities with a desirable, convenient, attractive, comfortable, healthful, and enjoyable environment.
To achieve and maintain a balance between all land uses and the natural environment.
To encourage land use patterns which will reduce dependence on private automobiles for transportation needs, and which conserve and make efficient use of energy.
To preserve physically sound residential, shopping, and employment areas, and to protect them from intrusion by incompatible land uses and activities.
To rehabilitate and/or redevelop physically unsound residential, shopping, and employment areas.
To maintain and develop distinctive characteristics of physically sound residential, shopping, and employment areas.
To effectively use undeveloped and underdeveloped land.
To guide new development, redevelopment, and rehabilitation
in a manner that will reflect identity, harmony, variety, and
quality in design.
To provide sufficient land suitably located and serviced to accommodate a desirable mix of residential, shopping, and employment activities.
To conserve the city's existing supply of sound housing, and to prevent deterioration of its condition.
To provide for safe, decent, affordable, and attractive housing in a variety of types and styles for all residents.
Source: Denver Planning Department, A Comprehensive Plan for
Denver, 1978, P. 7 and 8.
"PLANNING FOR TRANSPORTATION"
To provide a safe, convenient, and efficient system of transporting both people and goods throughout the city.
To provide a transportation system that preserves and improves the physical environment and condition of the city.
To maximize the use of selective transportation improvements that induce rehabilitation of redevelopment of deteriorating areas of the city.
To develop a transportation system that is responsive to changes in energy supplies.
To appropriately relate local planning and development concerns to regional and state planning and development concerns.
9 To provide a transportation system that offers a variety of mode including increased use of public transportation as v/ell as pedestrian and bicycle movement, to supplement the motor vehicle system.
To provide adequate accessibility for all segments of the city's population to residential, service, health, educational, employment, shopping, and recreational areas.
To improve air quality by decreasing the dependence on private automobiles, especially during peak hours.
Source: Denver Planning Department, A Comprehensive Plan for
Denver, 1978, P. 45.
City of Aurora Publications:
Department of Planning and Community Development
Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Plan, approved October 15, 1973.
1973 Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan (to take effect January 27, 1979), adopted December 2, 1973.
Northv/est Neighborhood Report: Issues and Recommendations, December 1973.
Housing Market and Population Estimates, 1978.
1978 Report of the Grov/th and Development Task Force,
Commerce City Publications:
Commerce City Department of Community Development
Commerce City Land Use Plan 1975 2000, adopted June 13, 1977. Commerce City Transportation Plan, adopted June 13, 1977.
City and County of Denver Publications:
Denver Planning Office
Comprehensive Planning Goals and Objectives for Denver,
Trends and Issues: Land Use and Physical Development in Denver, January 197G.
Economic Development in Denver, Agenda for Action, Recommendation of the mayor's Economic Development Policy Advisory Committee of the City and County of Denver, December 1977.
Planning Tov/ard the Future: A Comprehensive Plan for Denver, adopted March 24, 1973.
1978 Population Estimate, April 1973
Denver Regional Council of Governments (DRCOG)
Regional Land Use, Highway and Public Transportation Plans -Denver Region, January 1976.
Chart a Future Course, March 1978.
Regional Growth and Development Plan for the Denver Region, adopted June 1, 1978.
1978 Annual Report on Regional Growth and Development, July 1978.
Regional Transportation District (RTD) Publications:
RTD Public Transportation Alternatives: Report and Recommendations to the Board of Directors from the Staff of the Regional Transportation District, April 1975.
RTD Annual Report 1977, January 1978.
RTD Transit Development Program 1979-1983, June 1978.
Other Publications and Documents:
Air Pollution Control Commission, 'Colorado State Implementation Plan, October 1978.
Denver Chamber of Commerce, Position Statement of the Board of Directors of the Denver Chamber of Commerce on the Heed for a Mev; Airport, January 11, 1979. .
Denver Magazine, March 1979.
Daniel Arbour and Associates, Inc., Dorval Airport, Alternate Aviation Roles: Potential for Development, 1978.
Brov/ne, Coddington and Associates, Inc., Commerce City Base Study and Development Plan, September 1977.
Isbill Associates, Inc., Guidelines for Areas Around Airports, April 1975.
Peat, Harv/ick and Mitchell Associates, Denver Regional Airport Systems Plan, 1974.
R. Dixon Speas Associates, Air Trade Demand Forecast for SIA, March 1977; Development Concepts for SIA, December 1977.
Procos, Dimitry, Mixed Land Use, Dov/den Hutchinson and Doss Inc.
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, 1976.
Chip King, Long Range Planner Kent Bagley, Neighborhood Planner
Gene Kovacs, City Planner
Denver Planning Office:
Bob l/erner, Long Range Planner lierlyn Logan, Zoning and Ordinances
Denver Regional Council of Governments:
Bob Brodesky, Airport Planner B. Roll, Communications Director
Dick Veazey, I-Iead Airport Planner Phil Brewer, Business and Finance
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