Lutheran Legacy Campus Master Plan


The Lutheran Medical Center campus (aka the "Lutheran legacy campus") is located at 8300 W. 38th Avenue and has been part of the SCL Health network since 2010. In 2018, SCL Health purchased a 26-acre parcel at Clear Creek Crossing west of I-70 at 40th Avenue. Clear Creek Crossing presents a rare opportunity for the Wheat Ridge community to think about the future of the Lutheran legacy campus in the heart of the City.

Lutheran History

The current Lutheran legacy campus is centrally located in Wheat Ridge just west of Wadsworth, extending between 32nd Avenue and 38th Avenue. The campus is about 100 acres in size. Lutheran is the City's largest employer.

Medical uses on the property significantly pre-date the City. The site began as the Evangelical Lutheran Sanitarium in 1905, with numerous tents erected for the treatment of tuberculosis patients. In 1961, Lutheran Hospital opened as a non-profit general medical facility. In the 1970s, the site became known as Lutheran Medical Center, and services continued to expand with construction of new buildings, including the six-story tower in 1973. In 1998, Lutheran became part of Exempla Healthcare; and in 2010, Exempla joined the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, which became SCL Health in 2014.

  What's New?

This project has just started! The project consultant, MIG, inc., is currently conducting an existing conditions scan, which will be followed by visioning and will include a public campus tour of the site.  Check out the process timeline. Here's how you can get involved:

  • Register on What's Up Wheat Ridge Lutheran Legacy Progrect to participate in engagement activities.
  • Sign up for the monthly Mayor's Matters enewsletter
  • Subscribe at What's Up Wheat Ridge to get updates and join our email list.
  • Tell your story! As we look to the future, we are reminded of the legacy of the existing campus within the greater metro area. Visit the project page to share your story about Lutheran.
  • Campus Tour May 1, 9 a.m. - Noon - Interactive tour and outdoor open house. Face masks and social distancing required. More details coming soon!

Lutheran Campus AerialThe site is currently zoned as a Planned Hospital District (PHD), and permitted uses include only hospitals, hospice care, and accessory uses customarily associated with a medical campus. The City’s comprehensive plan, Envision Wheat Ridge, designates the campus as a public land use noting that public uses, including the hospital, will “remain as community and neighborhood anchors.” The plan also designates the site for primary employment. These designations reflect the well-established hospital use, and the comprehensive plan does not consider other potential land uses for the site. It's through a master planning process, however, that possible uses for the future can be updated and expanded.

Master Planning Process

With SCL Health exploring plans for the medical campus at Clear Creek Crossing, the City and SCL Health are partnering to kick off a master planning process for the existing Lutheran legacy campus. A master plan is used to establish a long-range vision and to guide how a property can be reused in the future. It will take about eight months to complete a master plan for the campus, and that time frame allows for extensive input from the community including virtual and in-person events, surveys, and other activities. The master plan will be adopted as an update or amendment to the City's comprehensive plan to expand potential future uses on the campus.

Staff discussed the potential for a master plan process with City Council, which SCL Health agreed to fund, on November 2, 2020. On January 25, 2021, the City awarded a contract to MIG, Inc., a professional planning firm that will lead the community through the visioning and master planning process.

What is a master plan?

APlanning and Development Process Lutheran Master Plan Opens in new window master plan is a long-range planning document that articulates a vision for a specific area. Unlike the City's comprehensive plan which outlines a vision for the entire City, a master plan describes more specific goals for the land use, design and transportation for a specific area. A master plan is sometimes called a subarea plan, small area plan, or station area plan. 

The image at the right (click to enlarge) explains how a master plan fits into the processes of planning and development and how it relates to the the more general comprehensive plan and more specific development approvals.

How To Get Involved

We expect the public engagement process for the Lutheran Campus Master Plan to begin in the second quarter of 2021 and to last eight months (all the steps are outlined here). The City and SCL Health are committed to partnering with the community to ensure all voices are heard in the planning process. In the coming months, project updates and engagement opportunities will be announced on the City's social media platforms, in the monthly Mayor’s Matters enewsletter, provided here on the City website, and on the interactive project site What's Up Wheat Ridge where you can subscribe for updates.