Forest City has created a concept plan for the last big section of land to be developed in Stapleton—a one-square mile piece of land north of 56th Ave that lies between Havana and Central Park Blvd. and will border the Arsenal on the north.
The Community Advisory Board (CAB) has expressed concerns in the past that they haven’t learned about Forest City’s plans until a point when it’s too late to make changes, so they’re trying to weigh in early with community concerns about the development of this last big parcel of land that will have 2,000 or more residences.
CAB’s Parks Advisory Group (PAG) and the Housing Diversity Committee identified specific concerns related to the development in the north. PAG created a report to understand how effectively Forest City’s plans achieve land use goals as set forth in the Stapleton Development Plan (the “Green Book”) and Stapleton Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The review covers nine areas that the citizens group will watch over as the new section is planned, including storm water management, Denver Parks and Recreation program requirements since there is land for a city sports complex, extending Havana (it stops at 56th), bikeways and trails, the housing mix, sustainable design, and wildlife management.
The discussion of affordable and rental housing reflects the push-pull of a public private partnership. CAB member Jim Wagenlander raised the concerns of the Housing Diversity Committee that rental housing should be dispersed to some degree, not just located in commercial areas. “There is a decline of low and moderate income housing. This is a city property. The community should be able to know whether the plan is to put higher income housing in this area.” Heidi Majerik of Forest City responded that this area will be like what they’ve been doing, covering as many market segments as they can. Jim Chrisman of Forest City asserted that it’s not feasible to do lots of small apartments, they need the economies of scale and profitably manage apartments, and they need to be in a high visibility area.