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Talk of the Neighborhood

Compiled by Cara DeGette, Editor, GPHN

The following is a synopsis of what was discussed during the Feb. 1 Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. monthly meeting. The next community meeting is Thursday, March. 1, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at 2823 Fairfax St. The April meeting will be Thursday, April 5 beginning at 6:30. The meetings are free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome.

District 2 Police Update

Community Resource Officer Sharon Avedaño provided an update on police activities in the neighborhood.

It hasn’t been a very cold winter this year, she noted, resulting in a reduction in the theft of puffer cars – that is, cars that are left running and unattended by owners while they warm up.

There has been an increase in motorcycle thefts in the neighborhood, as well as license plates being stolen off of vehicles. Thieves sometimes do this to put the plates on a stolen car, in an attempt to “disguise” the car and trick the police. However, Avedaño said, “We’re not that dumb.”

Avedaño said that she has a special tool to install and remove tamper-proof license plates, and it is available for neighbors to use. She advises vehicle owners to call her first, at 720-913-1094, to make arrangements to stop by the station and install (or remove) plates.

Fairfax Park Update

GPHC board member Blair Taylor presented an update on efforts to move forward with conceptual designs for a pocket park at the former Xcel substation site on the business block of Fairfax between 28th and 29th avenues.

A working committee has had a series of meetings with surrounding neighbors. The general plan would incorporate three design elements: The area closest to the street would include trees and seating areas, the area in the middle would be green space, and the back area would include playground and exercise equipment.

The basic design is modeled after similar pocket parks. Taylor and others noted that the size of the park is about one-third of an acre. That’s about 40 percent larger than Turtle Park, which is the pocket park at 23rd and Dexter Street.

Turtle Park – its formal name is W.H. Ferguson Park – is currently the only designated park space in the large geographic portion of Park Hill boundaried by Colfax, Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, Colorado Boulevard and Quebec Street.

“If you look at a map of Park Hill it really illustrates how few parks and open space we actually have in Park Hill – Mayfair has tons,” noted Brian Hyde, who was in the audience.

The design suggestions followed several meetings that have included dozens of residents living nearby. Several board members weighed in with questions and suggestions, including ideas to raise funds or seek grants to pay for the park.

In a unanimous vote with no abstentions, the GPHC board approved sending a letter to city Councilman Chris Herndon and Parks and Recreation Director Allegra “Happy” Haynes asking the city to clarify its plans the park and asking that the city work with the community and the Registered Neighborhood Organization to build the park.

The letter, signed by 26 board members, can be read here.

Park Hill Golf Course Update

Kevin Doyle, who lives adjacent to the Park Hill Golf Course, provided an update and overview about what may happen to the land the golf course currently occupies.

The lease for the golf course is up in 2019. Clayton Learning, which owns the land, has been moving forward with plans to sell the property.

There is much uncertainty, Doyle noted, over the future of the golf course land, and it has been stressful for his family and many other property owners living in the immediate vicinity.

The Park Hill Golf Course is in the northwest section of Park Hill, stretching from Colorado Boulevard and 35th Street northeast toward Interstate 70 and Dahlia Street.

The 100-Year Master Plan: What Park Hill Looks Like

GPHC Treasurer Bob Homiak provided background on the master plan for Park Hill that was adopted 18 years ago. “This was the product of years of work by hundreds of people in Park Hill who wanted to envision what Park Hill should look like in 2100 and beyond,” Homiak noted. “The plan was adopted by city council as an addendum to the comprehensive plan.”

The 139-page document includes guidelines  includes guidelines that address many of the same issues that people are currently talking about and that city officials are planning to revisit, Homiak noted.

Among the topics and themes: A dearth of open space, how to improve the parks in Park Hill, transportation issues, education, urban design, land use, business and community services, human relations. “It’s time for us as a community to take what was produced 18 years ago and become familiar with it,” Homiak said.

The plan includes short, medium and long-term plans – some of which have been effectuated and some of which has fallen by the wayside.

Homiak recommended reviewing and updating the document. “It’s up to us to think about what Park Hill should look like.” A general discussion followed, with several community members noting that the city’s current plans for a “Blueprint Denver,” an “East Area Plan” and the future of the Park Hill Golf Course – just to name a few – have the potential to create long-term impacts in the neighborhood.

Rocky Mountain Human Services Update

Kris Kogan and Jodi K. Dooling-Litfin from Rocky Mountain Human Services provided an overview about the tax-funded agency, which provides services to children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

In the 80207 ZIP code, the agency currently provides services to 122 people, including 82 people ages 0-17, and 40 people ages 18 and up. In total, Rocky Mountain Human Services currently provides services to 3,648 individuals, 2,094 of which are ages 0-17 and 1,552 are 18 and over. Denver comprises about 80 percent of its customer population, but the agency also provides services in the following counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Douglas, El Paso, Elbert, Jefferson, Larimer, Mesa and Weld.

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