As The Pueblo Region Plans For The Future, Solving Housing Issues And Supporting Diverse Communities Are Priorities

Hart Van Denburg/CPR News
The view across Interstate 25 from Steelworks Park in Pueblo, Colorado, on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.

A new comprehensive regional plan is in the works for Pueblo County.

The process, dubbed "Your Plan, Your Pueblo," brings together community members, local governments and agencies to create a vision for the area’s future. It’s based on demographic projections, economic data and community input.

The plan aims to address topics including infrastructure, growth and development, the economy, neighborhoods, and quality of life.  

Pueblo County Planning and Development Director Carmen Howard said it’s a much-needed update to a plan created in 2002, and that it's important due to the area’s size and diversity.

“A regional plan pushes the bar higher,” Howard said. “It allows the entire region to work together to develop a cohesive plan rather than one that's focused only on small areas within that region.”

Local governments involved in the planning process include Pueblo County and city, Boone and Rye; metropolitan districts Pueblo West and Colorado City; and unincorporated communities like Avondale and Beulah. Community members were surveyed recently about their concerns and ideas for the region.

Some of the guiding principles for the plan include supporting diverse communities and agriculture and valuing the area’s culture, history and recreational opportunities. 

According to the state of the county report created as part of the planning process, Pueblo County was home to more than 168,110 people in 2019. 

At a recent virtual community meeting about the plan, several people brought up housing issues. Pueblo real estate broker Lisa Bailey said there’s an influx of new residents and investors who can pay cash for homes, which has broad effects on the community.

“It’s going to be harder for a local person with a limited income to buy a house when the prices are so escalated,” Bailey said.

Bailey and others said that housing affects people’s ability to build wealth as well as the local economy.

Beginning May 10, the public can comment on the plan online through the project's website.