Westwood residents give opinions on future land use; areas near Westwood View, Rainbow Blvd. and 47th Street have new possibilities

Westwood residents listen to an explanation of the options for land use in the city.
Westwood residents listen to an explanation of the options for land use in the city.

More than 100 Westwood residents turned out Thursday night to help determine the direction the city will take on a number of critical issues.

Among the questions posed in the master plan draft are what should happen to the Westwood View Elementary School property and the 5050 Rainbow Blvd. property (the former church) that the city purchased. The current school, Dennis Park and old church property are contiguous and could be repurposed if the school is rebuilt across 50th Street on the old Entercom site that was purchased by the school district. The city would have a first right to purchase land the school does not use.

All of the four options for that land showed the park area remaining as open space, but in varying degrees also could include additional open space, low-density residential, medium-density residential, or public space, such as a new city hall.

The city has “unlimited possibilities” according to Westwood Mayor John Yé. But what is critical to some of the big decisions about the 50th and Rainbow area hinge on the school district’s plans for a new school and if Westwood residents are willing to purchase and of the property that the district does not use.

Planning consultants will look at the public comments on the draft plan to make a recommendation on several areas where questions exist about the future use of the land. The bulk of Westwood was still labeled as sub-urban residential, conserving the current community character. Some residents raised concerns about teardown in the residential areas, planners said.

Areas along 47th Street and Rainbow had new designations for different densities of residential and commercial use. Residents who dropped in for the event Wednesday were able to place votes for their preferences of land use and leave comments.

A series of possibilities for changes along both 47th Street and Rainbow Blvd. were listed for residents to review.

The goal is to have a final plan with recommendation to present by November. The draft plan can be found here.