• November 28th, 2021
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Laura Aldrete to Lead Community Planning and Development


Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock recently named Laura E. Aldrete as the new Executive Director of Community Planning and Development. As executive director, Aldrete will oversee the city’s planning and regulations for land use and design that guide the city’s growth, enhancement and preservation – including Comprehensive Plan 2040.

“Our focus is on equity, and Denver’s dynamic neighborhoods and communities should expect their planning efforts to focus on the people and places that make our city so special, as well as reflect the type of city our residents want Denver to be today and in the future,” Mayor Hancock said. “Laura’s skillset, leadership quality and career achievements position her well to take on this planning direction, and I have every confidence she will do an extraordinary job on behalf of the people of Denver to promote and ensure responsible, equitable growth in our city.”

“I also want to thank Evelyn Baker, who has been an exceptional leader for the department in the interim, for standing in the gap as we searched for a new executive director. I’m proud that she will remain a valuable and integral part of the executive team in the department,” the Mayor said.

Denver’s Executive Director of Community Planning and Development is in charge of all planning and development services for the city’s residents, neighborhoods and businesses. By working closely with public, private and nonprofit partners, the department provides a framework for private investment through clear rules contained in general development plans, zoning, urban design standards and guidelines, and historic structure and district designations. The executive director is also tasked with implementing Comprehensive Plan 2040 and Blueprint Denver. These two citywide plans are part of a bold vision for responsible growth that envisions an inclusive, connected and healthy Denver, and – for the first time – the plans consider social equity factors like vulnerability to displacement, allowing for programs and policies tailored to meet the needs of each neighborhood.

“I’m thankful to Mayor Hancock for this appointment and look forward to working with our community to implement their vision for our city’s present and future,” Aldrete said. “I’m excited to get to work with the department staff and our residents, and I’m ready to hit the ground running on implementing the vision that so many of Denver’s people have had input on so we can create vibrant, thriving neighborhoods in every part of the city.”

Born and raised in Denver, CO, and the first Latina appointed to the executive director position, Aldrete currently serves as Senior Vice President for Real Estate at Denver International Airport. In this role, she has led the development and implementation of a real estate development strategy for 16,000 acres of aviation-owned land. Aldrete also established and built a Real Estate division within the Aviation agency, including governance policies and procedures and standard operating procedures.

Prior to her role at Denver International Airport, Aldrete was a Senior Principal Planner for Matrix Design Group, responsible for successful execution of urban infill projects, including entitlement approval of Broadway Station, a 40-acre transit-oriented development site. She also served as the Denver Lead for PB PlaceMaking at Parsons Brinckerhoff/WSP, providing project management and technical urban strategies to public and private sector clients on redevelopment and transit-oriented development projects in cities across the United States.

From 2004 to 2007, Aldrete served as the Assistant Director for the Denver Urban Renewal Authority, providing oversight to the Housing Department and land use planning and urban design guidance on proposed and existing DURA urban renewal projects, including the federally funded Housing Rehabilitation Program. From 2000 to 2004, she was the Mayor’s Office Project Manager for Stapleton Redevelopment managing the policy and technical issues critical to the planning, design and development of a 4,700-acre sustainable mixed-use community at the former Stapleton International Airport. As project manager, she also directed the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, coordinated annual budgeting and approval of public infrastructure.

Aldrete will assume her new role on Oct. 14. Evelyn Baker, who has been serving as interim executive director since June of this year, will resume her role as deputy executive director.

 

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