Rocky Mountain Land Use Plan
Fowler is a vibrant and progressive community that serves as a center for the farming and ranching economy. The gateway to southeastern Colorado’s heritage that values its small town atmosphere and has a commitment to education. Aggressively pursuing growth, the community has many amenities and prides itself in maintaining its historic heart, main street, one that is walkable, and is a local and regional destination.
The Rocky Mountain Land Use Plan: The stakeholders of the Town of Fowler share a common vision to become one of the first sustainable communities, if not the first, in Colorado. Its hope is to grow while balancing the main principles of sustainability: economic, environmental and social-cultural impacts. In Fowler, this means that as a community we must grow while maintaining social equity, preserving our cultural and historical heritage, increasing economic development and job opportunities, and providing a diverse housing mix for all levels of income within the community. Furthermore, the Town will work to balance the environmental heritage inherent within its community while building on its ecological assets such as protecting the historical and environmental benefits of the irrigation ditches that serve the local farm land; stewarding the recreational and ecological benefits of the Arkansas River valley; realizing the inherent energy of the wind, sun and harvesting local amounts of manure for a locally operated anaerobic digestive plant. By utilizing natural capital and protecting ecological assets, the Town of Fowler will create a vibrant, sustainable rural economy.
What is a Comprehensive Plan?
A comprehensive plan is an official public document that envisions and recommends general ways in which the planning area of interest should evolve in the future. For the Town of Fowler, the planning horizon extends over 27 years to a 2035 Comprehensive Plan.
The Town of Fowler’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan describes general background information on Fowler’s population, economy, and the natural environment. Current conditions and trends are analyzed to provide a sufficient basis to consider future patterns. Current and predicted future trends then become the basis for goals, objectives and policies that will guide future land use decisions.
The Town of Fowler’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan comprises two primary components: policy and maps. The policy component is then supported by three critical elements: goals, objectives and actions.
Goals reflect the desires of residents and elected officials, additionally they set the stage for the development of a successful land use and community development decision-making process. Subsequently, objectives create the specific framework for addressing such goals. Finally, action-oriented policies describe specific activities to be accomplished within a specified time period. The map component of the plan illustrates existing conditions as well as provides for location based direction on future sustainable land use, economic development, social and transportation decisions.
The Town of Fowler has a vision for successful long term growth, economic viability and sustainability. In order to ensure that this vision is realized, we turned to the production of a Comprehensive Plan and related planning process. A comprehensive planning document can help communities, such as Fowler, address some of the primary reasons for this effort:
• Putting Our Vision on Canvas
Communities, like organisms, are ever-changing and responsive to the affects of their environments. As such, a comprehensive plan will act as a guide that allows all of their parts and pieces to work together to align community priorities, programs, projects and government as a synergistic whole.
• Local Decision Making
Comprehensive plans allow communities to coordinate their local decision making efforts by providing a document which reflects their vision and goals to which all policies and projects can be aligned.
• Guides Landowners and Future Development
Effective planning will provide expectations and confidence about existing and future land uses to landowners and developers. The comprehensive plan will act as the document through which such expectations and good planning are set.
• Representation of Community Stakeholders
Through an engaged public planning process, the comprehensive plan represents a variety of voices and interests. This representation ensures that recommendations, opinions and suggestions are heard as well as included in the community’s vision and goals. With inclusion of these interests and voices, the plan builds a strong constituency for ideas and recommendations included herein. Furthermore, it guides future development decisions for the community such that they are based firmly in the goals of the plan and are supported by a significant representation of the community and its stakeholders.
With long-term growth in mind, the 2035 Plan will outline the community’s goals for future growth and provide direction for elected and appointed officials as they make critical decisions for the Town of Fowler in the years to come. Specifically, the Comprehensive Plan will give Town officials clear guidance with respect to their decisions affecting growth, annexation, land use and development, parks and open space, wildlife, the preservation of Fowler’s agricultural, historic and natural resources, and the expansion of public facilities and services. Intended to be general in nature, the plan will provide a broad rational basis for regulatory implementation tools, land use decisions and capital improvements that shape the physical development of Fowler.
Purpose of the Comprehensive Plan
The comprehensive plan is a guiding document that will serve as the Town of Fowler’s first officially-adopted comprehensive plan. Because Fowler has fewer than 2,000 residents and is located in a county not subject to the requirements of C.R.S. 30-28-106, the Town is not required by the Colorado state statute to craft and adopt a comprehensive plan. However, going beyond minimum requirements, this plan has been developed in accordance with planning policy in C.R.S. 31-23-206, Master Plan.
How to Use the Plan
The Town of Fowler Comprehensive Plan 2035 serves as the vision for future land use and development in the Town, as well as for transportation needs, economic development and community services. It should be used by the Town Administration when discussing projects with private developers as information and supporting documentation to guide the direction of future development that the Town envisions. Additionally, the Comprehensive plan should be used by the Planning Commission and Town Trustees as a guide for refining the Town’s zoning code, ordinances and future capital improvements. The Town Administration, Board of Trustees and Planning Commission should all be familiar with the Comprehensive Plan, its recommendations and goals defined herein.
As a guiding document, the Comprehensive Plan sets forth the vision and goals of the Town of Fowler that cannot be fully accomplished unless referred to and accessed with new projects, news policies, and new programs for the Town. The ability of the Town and other involved parties in the creation of this plan (such as the County, School District, State and Federal government agencies) to accomplish this community vision is directly linked to the ultimate success of the Town of Fowler.
Contributors to Planning
2035 Fowler Comprehensive Plan –
Contributors to the Planning Process
A Special Thank You to the Following:
Wayne Snider, Town Administrator
Board of Trustees:
Mayor Pro Tem
Citizen’s Advisory Committee:
Rich and Linda Jensen
Don and Jody Sniff
Fowler Elementary Principal
All Town of Fowler Citizens
and their representatives from the state and county governments
Staff Assistance Provided By:
Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute
and their consultants Stahler & Henry and Sedgwick Consulting Group