A consulting firm has received national recognition for developing the City of Brighton’s comprehensive plan.

Giffels Webster is a consulting firm specializing in community planning, infrastructure and land development solutions for public, private and institutional clients. It recently garnered national recognition by the American Planning Association (APA) for developing the City’s plan. The municipality received the 2019 Vernon Deines Merit Award for an Outstanding Small Town Comprehensive Plan from the APA's Small Town and Rural Planning (STaR) division. The City of Brighton’s Comprehensive Plan, implemented in 2018, provides an update to the city's 2012 Master Plan while incorporating a Downtown Plan, Recreation Plan and Complete Streets Plan. It’s a planning tool designed to help the community take strategic steps to improve its residential neighborhoods, add housing for existing and new residents, strengthen its downtown, offer ample recreation opportunities, and enhance overall economic development throughout the community. Giffels Webster Partner Jill Bahm says “Brighton’s Comprehensive Plan includes long-term sustainability strategies and addresses many issues that challenge other small towns striving to improve residents’ quality of life with limited resources”. The plan includes strategies for incremental improvements that can be made by both the public and private sectors and illustrates how certain actions can effect positive changes in more than one plan. In developing the plan, consultants worked with the Brighton City Council, Planning Commission and Downtown Development Authority to establish five overarching goals including in categories such as Quality and Variety of Housing, Community Identity, Environmental Stewardship, Infrastructure and Civic Spaces, and Economic Development.

Brighton City Manager Nate Geinzer says as a small city, staff is routinely challenged to serve the community in a variety of capacities and the plan gives a clear path to making the planning concepts and strategies a reality. He says the document helps them stay focused and raises awareness of how short and long range land use decisions impact neighborhoods, downtown, commercial and industrial corridors, along with transportation network and recreation areas. The City is already implementing key zoning strategies. It recently adopted new form-based zoning standards to encourage new housing types near downtown, one of the most important goals of the Comprehensive Plan that supports both existing residents and downtown businesses. A link to the plan is provided and a press release with more information is attached. Photo: Giffels Webster. (JM)