Wheat Ridge, Colorado

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Wheat Ridge
Home Rule Municipality
The incorporated and unincorporated areas in Jefferson County, Colorado, highlighting Wheat Ridge in red
The incorporated and unincorporated areas in Jefferson County, Colorado, highlighting Wheat Ridge in red
Coordinates: 39°46′17″N 105°5′46″W / 39.77139°N 105.09611°W / 39.77139; -105.09611Coordinates: 39°46′17″N 105°5′46″W / 39.77139°N 105.09611°W / 39.77139; -105.09611
 • Total 30,166

The City of Wheat Ridge is a Home Rule Municipality located in Jefferson County, Colorado, United States. Wheat Ridge is a western suburb of Denver. The Wheat Ridge Municipal Center is approximately 5 miles (8 km) west-northwest of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. The city had a population of 30,166 as of the 2010 Census.


Wheat Ridge is located at 39°46′17″N 105°5′46″W / 39.77139°N 105.09611°W / 39.77139; -105.09611 (39.771317, -105.096117)[1] with Arvada to the north, Denver to the east, Lakewood and Edgewater to the south, and Golden to the west.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.1 square miles (24 km2), of which, 9.1 square miles (24 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (0.22%) is water.


The climate is described as Humid Continental by the Köppen Climate System, abbreviated as Dfb.[2]

Climate data for Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6
Average low °C (°F) −9
Precipitation mm (inches) 13
Source: Weatherbase[3]


Although Wheat Ridge is a relatively young incorporated city, it has a rich history based on agriculture and the community’s location along regional travel routes. It grew from a popular rest stop for travelers during the Gold Rush of the late 1850s to a thriving agricultural and suburban community known as the “Carnation City” in the mid 1900s. As the residential areas of unincorporated Jefferson County grew to provide housing to the Denver workforce during the 1950s, the major transportation corridors extending from Denver developed with commercial services. During that era, the formation of numerous utility and fire protection districts provided these unincorporated areas with urban services. Eventually, due to the increasing annexation pressure from nearby municipalities, Wheat Ridge incorporated in 1969.[4]

Wheat Ridge is home to the James H. Baugh house, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and the Colorado State Register of Historic Properties. The Baugh House is an 1860 hand-hewn log cabin encased in a circa 1904 frame farmhouse, and is one of several historic structures in the Wheat Ridge Historic Park. The Wheat Ridge Historical Society, in cooperation with the Colorado Historical Society and the City of Wheat Ridge, restored the house, which was designated on August 14, 2012.[5]


Wheat Ridge is home to approximately 31,000 residents. Its location as an inner-ring suburb affords residents with many of the conveniences of urban living, though the community still retains its small town character with agricultural roots. Its slow growth, and even slight population decline since 2000, offer stark contrast to the region’s significant population growth over recent years. Additionally, Wheat Ridge’s older population and smaller average household size set it apart it from neighboring communities.

Agricultural Past and Present[edit]

Until the 1960s, the City’s identity was primarily defined by mid to large-scale agricultural production. Orchards and crop fields were the predominant use with pockets of homes and businesses located amongst the agrarian landscape. Glimpses into the City’s agricultural past can still be found, however Wheat Ridge has experienced substantial population growth and development over the last 40 years and is largely built out with a combination of residential, commercial, and office uses.[6]

Residential Zoning and Urban Agriculture[7][edit]

Recent zoning changes have allowed for urban agriculture to see a resurgence in all parts of the city. City regulations allow homeowners to engage in a range of urban agricultural activities, including growing and selling produce and keeping animals such as bees and chickens.

Urban Gardens, Farmers' Markets and Produce Stands[edit]

City Council adopted Ordinance 1491 in May 2011 which supports urban agriculture in Wheat Ridge. This ordinance updated the city’s regulations so that community gardens (under the category of “urban gardens”), farmers’ markets, and produce stands are now allowed in any zone district.

A summary of the three uses permitted in each zone district may be found below.

  • Urban Gardens – an urban garden is defined as an area of land formally managed, organized, and maintained by an individual or group of individuals to grow and harvest food crops and/or non-food ornamental crops, such as flowers. Common examples of urban gardens include: • Community gardens, where plots of land are leased for a minimal cost and crops are usually consumed or donated • Market gardens, where crops are sold for profit • Community supported agriculture (CSA), where crops are sold or donated for shareholder consumption Urban gardens are allowed in all zone districts, including residential.
  • Farmers’ Markets – farmers' markets are allowed in any zone district, except in residential zone districts on properties where the primary use is a single- or two-family home. Farmers’ markets require a business license, which you may apply for through the City’s Sales Tax Division.
  • Produce Stands - a produce stand is a temporary structure where agricultural products such as raw vegetables, fruits, herbs, flowers, plants, nuts, honey, and eggs are sold. Value-added agricultural products which are made from raw agricultural products such as jams and jellies may also be sold from produce stands. Produce stands require a business license, which you may apply for through the City’s Sales Tax Division. Produce stands on residential properties must also follow the rules for home occupations.

Local Farms in Wheat Ridge[edit]

Clear Creek Organics

Sweet Ridge Farm

True Roots

Circle Fresh Farms

Five Fridges Farm

Roost Farms

Community Development[edit]

Wheat Ridge has seen a resurgence in community development efforts focused on improving the social connections between community members as well as improving the built environment in the city to better facilitate these connections.

Wheat Ridge Envision Wheat Ridge Comprehensive Plan[edit]

Following direction from the City Council, the City embarked on a Comprehensive Plan Update that began in the fall of 2008. The City hired a consultant, Clarion Associates, with the expertise in comprehensive plan development to assist the City in updating the plan. In addition, the City formed a Citizens Advisory Committee to provide advice and feedback to the Planning Commission and City Council on the development of the Plan. On October 12, 2009, City Council approved a resolution, Resolution 52-2009, adopting the Envision Wheat Ridge Comprehensive Plan.

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  2. ^ Climate Summary for Wheat Ridge, Colorado
  3. ^ "Weatherbase.com". Weatherbase. 2013.  Retrieved on August 23, 2013.
  4. ^ This information was collected from the 2009 City of Wheat Ridge Comprehensive Plan "Envision Wheat Ridge" Wheat Ridge has their own police department and fire department. Over all Wheat Ridge has a ok crime rate.
  5. ^ Baugh House article on Wheat Ridge, CO Official Website - http://www.ci.wheatridge.co.us/index.aspx?NID=460
  6. ^ Found at Live Well Wheat Ridge
  7. ^ Downloaded from the city website

External links[edit]