Upcoming meeting: Share Ideas and Concerns about the East Area Plan
South Park Hill, Montclair, Hale, E. Colfax
Oct 29, 6-8pm
Johnson & Wales, Univ. Academic Center, 1900 Olive St. – DenverGov.org/EastPlan
“I think we’re being planned out,” said Christine O’Connor as part of her opening remarks at a Sept. 14 Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation (INC) meeting. Moderated by former mayoral candidate Jamie Giellis, city planners answered questions about both the processes and substance of changes in the works for neighborhoods encompassed by two evolving city plans, the East Central and East Area Plans. The next East Area Plan meeting is Oct. 29 (see above).
The East Area Plan, which includes Hale, Montclair/Mayfair, South Park Hill and East Colfax, came under fire over the summer as homeowners butted heads with planners over height and density recommendations. Tasked with reconciling residents’ concerns about Denver’s need for more housing, planners walk a tightrope between urban sprawl and smart growth.
Despite heated exchanges at a June meeting, Principal City Planner Courtland Hyser emphasized that most of the East and East Central Area Plans’ recommendations have widespread majority support based on meeting and online feedback. Disagreement over building height and density have dominated community conversations, however.
“I’m getting offers for my house daily in my mailbox….Those two blocks north and south of Colfax are at risk of being gone with this proposed development,” said Tracey MacDermott, who lives in Park Hill and sits on the steering committee for the East Area Plan. The applause her comment received demonstrated that many in attendance share these concerns, as the East Colfax corridor in particular is targeted for increased density under the Plan’s recommendations.
Hyser acknowledged that the City needs to begin community engagement earlier to allow a longer review phase. The revised target date for the East Area Plan’s completion is March 2020.