Changes coming to North Avenue

New guidelines approved Wednesday night should help breathe life into the long-neglected the North Avenue corridor.

The zoning overlay standards were unanimously approved by Grand Junction City Councilors at their regular meeting.

Under the changes, new development would be required to provide 50-foot easements, create 8-foot sidewalks and create an 8-foot strip for landscaping. Landscaping is only required in the sidewalk medians.

“I just want to make a note that this is no different than any other new development in the community,” Grand Junction’s Principal Planner Dave Thornton said.

Other components of the plan encourage, but do not require, businesses to provide vehicle parking away from the road, preferably at the rear of buildings. Street improvements such as benches, awnings and lighting is encouraged.

Striping for bike lanes is in the plan, but those improvements won’t occur until the roadway is deemed safer for cyclists. An extraordinary amount of access points exist with the potential for traffic to cross path with bicyclists, make cycling dangerous on the four-mile strip.

The city of Grand Junction has obtained a $1.19 million federal grant to upgrade some landscaping and medians in the section between 12th Street and 23rd Street.

A North Avenue advisory committee created an incentive programs for businesses to cash in if they make certain improvements, but a way to fund the program hasn’t yet been identified.

“I think tonight is a step in the right direction,” Kevin Bray said, addressing councilors. “We all neglected this area for the past 15 to 20 years.”


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