City of Fruita seeks additional input on a design for downtown

Caitlin Row
The view looking up Aspen Avenue from the roundabout at Circle Park in Fruita. The City of Fruita is currently exploring a variety of ways to improve the area's downtown, including the option to square Circle Park in an effort to increase green space. The work would likely be done in phases, no sooner than 2014.
Caitlin Row / | GFP

If you live in Fruita, then city officials need your help. A first round of conceptual designs for an upgraded downtown area is available for viewing, and City Manager Clint Kinney wants to know what you think.

“Nothing is yet set in stone with this project,” Downtown Advisory Board member Jeannine Purser said. “It is the intent of the City of Fruita, as well as all the boards that are involved, to work through any kinks now instead of later. I am very pleased with the first conceptual design that we have seen. In particular, I am very happy about the idea of making Circle Park more pedestrian and family friendly.”

The city hopes for public comment specifically on what the design’s ultimate focus should be — making the downtown a pedestrian destination or creating a downtown that improves traffic flow.

“It can be hard to do both,” Kinney said. “We’re hearing both sides and information gathering.”

Fruita’s Community Development Director Dahna Raugh added, “The city is looking to make changes to the downtown to both draw people into the area and keep them there.” This will likely be done by “providing more gathering spaces, green spaces and more parking spaces.”

Upgrades could be done in a variety of ways, including changes from parallel parking to angled parking, widening sidewalks for street trees and outdoor dining, and extending sidewalks for pedestrian use.

Kinney also noted that Circle Park could potentially be “squared” to create more green space.

“It was originally plotted as a town square, so it could go back to the original concept,” he said.

Another goal in the conceptual design is to grow Fruita’s downtown area first around Circle Park, and then eventually south down Mesa Street.

“We have a bunch of ideas out there,” Kinney said. “We want to see if we’re on the right track.”

Though many Fruita residents have already given their two cents on the initial plan, both Kinney and Raugh hope for more feedback so everyone’s ideas can be rolled into first-round revisions. Then, new renderings for an improved downtown plan will be displayed in Fruita’s City Council Chambers 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10.

“We’re trying to balance between traffic, pedestrians and vehicles (parking) to create a really great place,” Kinney said.

Rendering of initial downtown improvement concepts are currently on display at the city website, plus print copies have been posted in the Civic Center and at the Fruita Community Center.

“We’ve been handing it out to anyone that wants it,” Kinney noted.

Want to give your feedback? Call Dahna Raugh at 970-858-0786 or email

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