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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 Nov. 1 Greater Park Hill Community, Inc. monthly meeting. The next community meeting is Thursday, Jan. 3, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at 2823 Fairfax St. There is no meeting in December. Community meetings are free and open to the public. Everyone is welcome.

Delay Requested For Denveright Plan

Longtime resident Woody Garnsey raised concerns over the city’s fast-tracking of its Denverite process, which includes updating the citywide Blueprint master planning for land use and transportation, parks & recreation, as well as transit, pedestrians and trails. So far the process has generated more than 1,100 pages of documents.

As just one example of the potential impact of the proposed changes being considered, Garnsey highlighted the Park Hill Golf Course. Under the current Denverite proposal, the golf course, which is currently zoned open space, could potentially be rezoned for development. Several GPHC board members expressed concern about how quickly officials are moving on such a massive citywide planning overhaul. Original plans were to collect public feedback through October, with the city council voting on whether to adopt it in November. The city’s Denveright site, at denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denveright.html, currently states that updated drafts of the plan will be available in January.

After much discussion, the board of GPHC voted on two resolutions. The first was that the City of Denver not proceed with formal adoption of the Denveright planning process until after the May municipal mayoral and city council election, providing any newly-elected officeholders adequate time to review all documents and recommendations. That resolution passed unanimously, 15-0. A second resolution was that the city of Denver not divide Park Hill into three separate neighborhoods, as has been occurring in planning documents, but instead combine Park Hill back into one neighborhood. That passed 14-0, with one member abstaining.

3411 Albion Townhomes

Bruce O’Donnell of Starboard Realty Group gave an overview of a residential townhome project he is working to develop at 3411 Albion. The property is the site of the Park Hill Orthodox Presbyterian Church and O’Donnell is the property owner’s representative for the rezoning application. The project is currently slated to include 22 individually owned 2-story townhomes with 2-car garages, approximately 1,800 square-feet and ranging from 1-3 bedrooms. Estimated cost of the townhomes range from $360,000-$400,000. There are currently no plans to include an affordable housing component, and O’Donnell noted the developer plans to instead pay into the city’s dedicated affordable housing fund. Several GPHC board members expressed concern over the lack of affordable housing in the new project. O’Donnell said that the developers met in August with Councilman Chris Herndon, who represents Park Hill, to apprise him of the project.

Traffic Calming Update

GPHC board member Blair Taylor provided an update on efforts to implement traffic calming measures in Park Hill. Since September, 1,041 people have signed a petition asking for improvements. In October the group was notified that a grant for Safe Routes to School had been submitted by Public Works to address the intersection of Kearney Street at 23rd Avenue, including a half-mile of new side and curb cuts. Taylor said the group plans to continue to work on improving traffic safety and planning neighborhood-wide, including via the city’s East Area planning process that is being developed for the south portion of Park Hill.

Park Hill Collective Impact

James Roy, founder of the nonprofit Park Hill Collective Impact, gave a presentation on his organization and its mission, which is to work toward ensuring Park Hill children are provided with support to thrive academically, socially, emotionally and economically from birth to age 25. The organization’s website is parkhillci.org.

District 2 Police Update

Sgt. Derek McCluskie provided a brief update on police activities in the neighborhood.  He reported that gang activity has eased off somewhat. With winter setting in, McCluskie reminded people not to leave their cars running and unattended to warm up, as this can result in what police term “puffer” thefts of vehicles.

GPHC, Inc. Update

Executive Director Sierra Fleenor provided an update on the activities of the Registered Neighborhood Organization. In September, the food pantry provided assistance to 49 homes (132 individuals). In October a total of 79 households (232 individuals) received assistance. For 2018, there has been a 10-20 percent increase in food pantry distribution over last year.

GPHN Intern Adam Uribes contributed to this report.


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