DENVER-The Colorado Public Interest Research Group, which often criticizes growth, sprawl and development, has found some developments that it likes. CoPirg, which in the past has released its ”Sprawl of Shame” report, this time has released its ”Smart Growth Hall of Fame 2001: 10 examples of Good Planning Decisions.”

The single largest project lauded by CoPirg is the redevelopment by Forest City Stapleton of the former Stapleton International Airport, a $4-billion redevelopment that eventually will be home to 30,000 residents and a workforce of 35,000.

The 7.5-square-mile project, three quarters the size of the island of Manhattan, is one of the largest infill projects in the country. Eventually, it will have 12 million sf of retail space, 10 million sf of office space and 1,100 acres of regional parks and open space.

CoPirg lauded the development for its planned broad mix of land use types and densities to create a balance between retail and office space. The plan is to have all residential and workspace within a 10-minute walk to five planned village centers.

CoPirg also praised the plan for its substantial affordable housing program. The Stapleton Workforce Housing Program calls for 10% of the housing to be priced between $90,000 and $175,000. Also, 20% of the 4,000 apartments will also be affordable.

Other projects highlighted by CoPirg include:

* The Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan.

* The CityCenter in Englewood.

* Fast Tracks by the Regional Transportation District.

* Larimer County’s Rural Land Use Process.

* The Town of Nederland.

* Town of Windsor and the Town of Severance Tax Revenue Sharing Program.

* The Upper Blue Basis Transfer of Development Rights Program.

* The Wellington Development, an affordable housing community.

* Steel Yards, a redevelopment of an industrial site in Boulder.

Michael Kramer of CoPirg says these developments prove a community, with the cooperation of local officials, planners and developers, can grow without sprawl.

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