Gunnison Comprehensive Plan
The City of Gunnison, Colorado is an active, outdoor-oriented place boasting a picturesque downtown, strong western heritage, and a lively entrepreneurial and arts community. As a base for access to regional natural areas and world class skiing, the city is well served by a strong tourism industry. The growing Western Colorado University campus, located on the east side of the city contributes to its unique character. Faced with the opportunity to leverage these distinct assets in a small-town setting, the city sought an update to its Comprehensive Plan. Desiring guidance for carefully considered expansion into its growth areas and attainable housing options for a growing population, all while retaining its character and heritage, the city hired Houseal Lavigne, JR Engineering, and local housing consulting firm Williford LLC to prepare its new comprehensive plan.
The plan aims to build on the community’s assets while increasing opportunities for residents old and new. The plan prioritizes improving housing availability and attainability for a growing population. The subareas bookend the community, providing a framework for thoughtful growth to the north while outlining an improved gateway experience to the south. Tailored specifically to Gunnison, sustainability and resiliency best practices supported by extensive community outreach are woven throughout the Comprehensive Plan. They address the city’s high-desert climate, which regularly delivers extreme cold temperatures, as well as the community’s desire for preservation of natural areas and farmland.