We are thrilled to announce the adoption of the 2022 Town of Silverton Master Plan!
Silverton, Colorado is a small mountain town with a year-round population of around 600. The community has experienced increased tourism and population growth in recent years due to its charming character and access to year-round outdoor recreation. However, Silverton’s rich history in mining has left extensive brownfield sites with known or suspected environmental contamination that hinders the local economy.
Brownfield concerns both spurred the Plan and will help to implement it. (Check out this visual summary.) The visioning and goal setting began with a Colorado Brownfields Partnership Brownfields Redevelopment and Revitalization Workshop held in 2019.
Attendees of the workshop considered approaches to economic development and why a renewed focus on placemaking and amenities in small communities is crucial to the well-being of local residents. The community discussed how brownfield sites could help to address challenges and opportunities such as affordability, diverse jobs, balancing the benefits and impacts of tourism, recreation, and preserving the town’s unique character and identity. During the workshop, community leaders recognized a need for an updated, action oriented town master plan to provide direction, but had limited capacity and resources to develop one.
A unique partnership was formed between the Town of Silverton and parties from the Colorado Brownfields Partnership – the Colorado Department of Health & Environment Superfund & Brownfields Division; and Community Builders, with funding from the Gates Family Foundation. Together, they pooled resources and embarked on the aptly named The Compass Project: Community Vision for Silverton & San Juan County.
Throughout the Silverton Compass Project process, members of the community identified brownfield sites that could offer beneficial development opportunities for the community, such as much needed affordable housing, improved infrastructure, as well as better recreational river access for residents and visitors that drive the economy.
In September 2022, the San Juan Regional Planning Commission and Town of Silverton Board of Trustees unanimously adopted the Town of Silverton Compass Master Plan. Immediately, the Town began implementation by applying for brownfield financial and technical assistance resources to assess an initial set of priority brownfield sites for cleanup and redevelopment. The Colorado Brownfields Partnership will continue to provide ongoing coaching and assistance to support Silverton in their journey to better environmental and economic conditions using brownfields resources.