Why does Uplands want to prioritize housing people over building parks?

We think this is an example of the false choices that communities are given that can worsen the affordability gap. The reality is that we can do both! Our site design shows that we’re providing 2,350 homes, together with walkable cafes, shops and businesses, for families and individuals, and we’re also opening up access to 47 acres of parks, public spaces and protected view corridors — for the first time in a century. And in the process, we can meet key community goals for both housing and open space, livability, and inclusion.

Why does Uplands have to be so big?

At around 10 units per acre, Uplands is considered a medium-density community — and almost half the 18 units per acre that city planners had originally envisioned for this site in 2013. More importantly, though, is the opportunity to provide housing at affordable price points for first-time homebuyers, renters, seniors and the workforce that drives our economy. We’re proud to build and develop a mixed-income and mixed-use community that will enable families and individuals to live in a beautiful space.

Why is it important to locate this community next to a major transit corridor like U.S. 36 and Westminster Station (B Line)?

Mixed-used developments like Uplands are considered a key tool in reducing transportation-related CO2 emissions, which right now are the leading source of emissions in Colorado. According to the Urban Land Institute, “compact development reduces driving — and less driving means lower greenhouse gas emissions.”

How will Uplands help with the housing affordability problem in Westminster?

Uplands is intentionally designed to address our growing housing affordability crisis by providing housing that doesn’t just meet the city’s standards for livability, affordability and sustainability but is a model of best practices in managed growth, resiliency, housing design and inclusivity. By building a new community of 2,300-plus diverse homes — including more than 300 units of income-restricted and senior affordable rental housing and 150 for-sale detached workforce cottages — Uplands can meet a myriad of housing goals by providing long-needed diversity in housing size and price points.

What types of housing will Uplands have?

Uplands is designed to help Westminster close the affordability gap by introducing a medium-density mix of homes, parks, view corridors and a village center that invites new and existing residents to walk and bike to shops and services. Uplands offers a full spectrum of rental and for-sale housing: single-family detached homes, detached cottages, paired homes and townhomes, and multifamily apartments. This unique combination provides a greater diversity of housing options while creating a welcoming and inclusive neighborhood that accommodates different income levels and economic circumstances.

How many acres of parks and open space will Uplands have?

For the first time in a century, the community will have public access to 47 acres of parks, gathering spaces and protected view corridors. Connected by a network of trails, paths and sidewalks, Uplands fulfills a long-held community desire for more parks nearby by allowing residents from the community and surrounding neighborhoods to access a park or public space within just a 5-to-10-minute walk. And not only is Uplands dedicating parks, we’re also donating millions of dollars for the development and maintenance of parks the whole community can enjoy.

Will I still be able to walk through Uplands?

Of course! The general public is invited to enjoy the bountiful parks, community spaces and protected views that will exemplify Uplands.

Won’t Uplands make our water shortage worse?

Westminster has old and outdated water infrastructure and many large lots and homes that strain limited resources. To protect water supply for future generations, Uplands is designed as a community that models best practices in sustainability and conservation through advanced technologies and systems, superior design and WaterSense-labeled homes. In fact, an Uplands home will actually use 30% less water per home than the typical home in Westminster.

According to the city of Westminster, “conservation measures are more impactful and meaningful, and they remain the best way to protect our water supply in the long term.” Recognizing that environmental concerns such as drought are Westminster’s biggest water challenge, Uplands homes will be equipped with smart water meters and systems that promote real-time behavior changes in water use, setting a new standard for water conservation.

Plus, Uplands will use less water than the budget the city created in 2008 and incorporated into its integrated Comprehensive Land Use Plan and City Water Plan in 2013. Each new Uplands homeowner will pay a substantial tap fee that will help offset the water infrastructure costs shared by all Westminster residents.

What do WaterSense and Energy Star mean?

A program sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), WaterSense encourages water efficiency through the use of a label for water-efficient products. With the goal of protecting the future of the U.S. water supply, WaterSense makes it simple to find water-efficient products, new homes and programs that meet EPA’s criteria for efficiency and performance. WaterSense-labeled products and services are certified to use at least 20% less water, save energy and perform as well as or better than regular models. Uplands is the first community of its size to pursue the WaterSense label, and all homes in the community will be 30% more water efficient than surrounding communities.

Energy Star is a program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Energy that promotes energy efficiency. The simple choice for energy efficiency, Energy Star certification makes it simple for consumers and businesses to purchase products that save money and protect the environment. Each product that earns the label is independently certified to deliver the efficiency performance and savings that consumers have come to expect. All Uplands homes will meet the enhanced requirements for energy efficiency developed by Energy Star’s Residential New Construction program, thereby achieving a 20% energy efficiency improvement over other new homes built to code.



What are some of the community benefits and amenities that Uplands will provide?

Beyond housing affordability and attainability and unrestricted access to more than 40 acres of public parks and spaces, Uplands provides numerous benefits that align with the Westminster community’s priorities and values — from meaningful community connections and prosperous neighborhoods to responsible resource management and thriving local businesses.

 This includes:

  • Beautifully designed homes along wide sidewalks and tree-lined streets.
  • Homes have front porches and stoops to encourage neighborly interactions.
  • Pockets of neighborhoods connected by multiuse trails and tree corridors, as well as both active and passive public spaces that invite people of all ages to explore.
  • The Uplands Community Collective, a hyperlocal nonprofit, which will ensure programming throughout the year to bring together neighbors to learn, socialize and volunteer.

Uplands is also making significant investments in Westminster as a whole through the following community benefits:

  • $40 million infrastructure investment in water and sewer systems, roadway and traffic patterns, and pedestrian improvements
.
  • 40-acre land donation (34 acres for public parks/spaces and 6 acres to protect the site’s stunning views).
  • Substantial cash donation to the city to design and build public spaces
, currently estimated at $5-$8 million.
  • $70 million in fees to the city of Westminster
.
  • Nearly $17 million annually in incremental, annual revenue to Westminster Public Schools
.
  • More than $430,000 in property taxes paid annually to benefit the Hyland Hills Park & Recreation District.
  • Neighborhood gardens and a proposed community farm to honor the site’s history.
  • A significant boost to the city of Westminster’s economy, including the creation of nearly thousands of permanent jobs
.
  • The unique opportunity to optimize Westminster’s investments in schools, parks, recreation and economic opportunity.

How can organizations and community members get involved with the Uplands Community Collective?

With a mission to create a sustainable, resilient place-based economy in Historic Westminster where all people can thrive and prosper, the Uplands Community Collective aims to improve the physical infrastructure and the health and welfare of residents in Westminster. The Uplands Community Collective’s work is focused on four major pillars: food and agriculture, workforce development, business development, and civic engagement.

Through a partnership with Westminster Public Schools and the Colorado Home Building Academy, the Uplands Community Collective will provide skills, training and job opportunities for community members interested in the construction trades. To learn more, please contact eric@uplandscolorado.com.