The Highlands Ranch Community Association board of directors has been talking about developing a five-year plan for what, to some delegates, feels like five years.
This past week, after months of discussion with the current board, HRCA board president Scott Lemmon unveiled the eight pillars of the long-anticipated plan.
“We’ve had lots of good information passed back and forth and lots of good suggestions,” Lemmon said. “When you really summarize all the comments we’ve had at all of our retreats, it really comes down to eight pillars. Staff is going to go back and look at the framework of the plan and start to put some meat on the bones.”
The individual pillars, which will support the framework of the organization’s direction over the next five years, are all still a work in progress, but Lemmon says that everything they are working on will fall under one of the following eight categories: public service, Backcountry Wilderness Area, recreation facilities, maintaining current revenue and adding new revenue, community quality of life, operational excellence, economic development and representation of the community.
In terms of community representation, Lemmon said the point is to strengthen the collaborative government in Highlands Ranch.
“We are not a city,” he said. “We are a community association, we are a metro district, we have a chamber, we have our schools, our library, our sheriff, we are a collaborative government and we are trying to strengthen all of those connections so that we can look at Highlands Ranch as a whole and not as individual organizations.”
Within the various pillars, the HRCA will be looking at strengthening covenants, examining a long-term plan for the backcountry, prioritizing capital improvement projects at the recreation facilities, studying new revenue opportunities, coordinating with other entities for a possible rebranding of the community and reviewing all organizational safety policies and procedures.
“One thing I want people to understand is that we are not going to wait to do some of these things as we are building the five-year plan,” Lemmon said. “I’d like to have a plan and follow it, but we don’t have time to do that. This organization is going ahead with some of these individual subtopics under some of these pillars because that is what we have to do. We have to get better, and we have to get more efficient.”
Under the pillar of economic development, Lemmon said the HRCA has already taken strides since Jerry Flannery was hired as CEO in 2011. Flannery has gotten involved with various economic development boards throughout the county and has worked to improve the HRCA’s relationship with Shea Properties.
“I think it’s safe to say we’re all worried about Town Center North and are tired of seeing the fast food restaurants,” Lemmon said. “We don’t have a big checkbook; we’re not going to go buy land. It’s about building bridges and influencing folks.”