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Student Housing Action Plan (SHAP)

Plan Adopted

City Council adopted the Student Housing Action Plan at their February 26, 2013 meeting. Prior to approval, City Council amended the plan to remove the consideration of rental licensing as a longer term action item. Next steps include implementation of the action items.

Why address student housing?

The City continually develops community driven strategies that encourage and provide an adequate supply of quality student housing while maintaining neighborhood quality and compatibility. During the Plan Fort Collins process, City staff heard and identified a need to address the student housing supply. Several policies came out of Plan Fort Collins that specifically address student housing (see City Plan Policies section below). Fort Collins has and is experiencing an increase in population, an increase in Colorado State University (CSU) enrollment, a limited supply of multifamily housing, very low vacancy rates, student and long-term neighbor relationship issues, and challenges with addressing neighborhood concerns with potential development projects. These factors drove the need for the development of strategies to help facilitate adequate housing supplies while identifying the issues that development has upon existing neighborhoods.

purpose and possible outcomes

The purpose of this project was to work with CSU, neighbors, developers, and other stakeholders to identify strategies to address the increasing need for student housing, identify possible key areas for development, and identify potential impacts and compatibility issues. Feedback received through the community engagement process drove the specific recommendations and action items for this project, which included recommended code or process changes, design criteria, and mechanisms for review and monitoring of the implemented strategies.

What DID the community outreach process look like?

The community outreach process will include all involved parties and stakeholders. CSU’s Center for Public Deliberation, a department dedicated to enhancing local democracy through improved public communication and community problem solving, is assisting with the community engagement process. Some of the public engagement will happen in the form of surveys, focus groups, large stakeholder dialogues, board and commission meetings, and professional organization meetings.

Who was involved?

City and CSU staff made up the working group, and the identified stakeholders included:

We surveyed students on preferred rental housing and plan to re-survey each semester. Identified stakeholders participated in focus groups, and we invited more stakeholders to join in a larger deliberative dialogue process. We attended meetings for boards and commissions, as well as professional organizations, to update them on the project's progress. City Council received periodic written updates. Anyone was able to provide their input and feedback individually by contacting the project managers (listed below).

What was the timeline for this plan?

March to June 2011 – Project startup and data collection
July to November 2011 – Public engagement and issues analysis
November to December 2011 – Formulate recommendations, public participation
January to February 2012 – Prepare recommendations, City Council Work Session, public participation
March to April 2012 – Final action plan, public participation
July 2012 – work group meetings on City Plan standards and compatibility, transportation and parking issues: and messaging/education, accountability, and partnerships
August 29, 2012 – To gather more general public feedback on draft action items, we hold an open house from 4-7:30 p.m. in the Community Room at 215 N. Mason St. Staff presentations at 4:30 and 6.
September 2012 – Boards and Commission meetings
December 11, 2012 – City Council Work Session and City Council approval
January 17, 2013– Planning and Zoning Board meeting
February 19, 2013– City Council adoption

Applicable City plan Policies

The specific connections to City Plan include:

Policy LIV 7.2 - Develop an Adequate Supply of Housing
Encourage public and private for-profit and non-profit sectors to take actions to develop and maintain an adequate supply of single- and multifamily housing, including mobile homes and manufactured housing.

Policy LIV 7.7 - Accommodate the Student Population
Plan for and incorporate new housing for the student population on campuses and in areas near educational campuses and/or that are well-served by public transportation.

Action Plan – Student Housing Plan(PRIORITY)


Beth Sowder, Neighborhood Services Manager, 970-221-6676,