SUN Meeting June 21—Join a Committee
SUN’s monthly meeting in June (3rd Tuesday, Central Park Recreation Center Multipurpose Room, 6:30, June 21st) is an opportunity for community members to join a SUN committee for the next year. The meeting will not have the typical format of 1-hour block captain meeting followed by the board meeting. Starting at 6:30, the SUN board will reorganize given the slate of SUN board members elected in May, and assign committee roles and other responsibilities. All community members are welcome and encouraged to attend, particularly if interested in a committee role, or participating more directly with SUN. The meeting is likely to end earlier than the usual ending time of 8:45.
SUN Annual Events
In partnership with the MCA, SUN promotes three events annually. The Stapleton Block Party Day, the Annual Community Forum, and the Kickball Tournament will be in September.
13th Annual Community Kickball Tournament
This event will take place Saturday, September 10th at a location in Stapleton (TBD). SUN is soliciting suggestions for beneficiaries of this charitable fundraiser. Previous recipients have been the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at nearby Children’s Hospital Colorado through the March of Dimes, Stapleton Schools, Station 26 firehouse, and Bluff Lake Nature Center. Send to StapletonUnitedNeighbors@gmail.com prior to June 17th. To participate in or be a sponsor of the event email or visit www.StapletonUnitedNeighbors.com/SUNKickball
Block Party Feedback
Among 28 block parties registered with SUN, 12 occurred across the community on Block Party Day, May 14, amidst a cloud covered sky, intermittent showers, and cooler than anticipated temperatures. As new block captains have asked how the event takes place on other blocks, below is a summary of SUN block captain responses about the parties:
An average of 3 blocks join together for each party, with a third of parties combing 4-6 blocks. Average party size is 50 people, (range 10-200)Locations: 40% in an alley or street, 60% in a courtyard/park/muse.
Cost: $0/potluck (82%), with the remaining block accepting donations for entertainment (bounce house) or other shared resources, ranging from $10-$50 per household.
Start time: 10am (4%), noon (17%), 2pm (17%), 3pm (26%), 4pm (26%), 5pm (9%).Average duration was 4.5 hours, ranging from 3-8 hours.
Many blocks are opting to celebrate later in the summer. To learn whether your block has a block captain, email your street address to: SUNoutreach@gmail.com (addresses in such queries are not retained, compiled or distributed).
SUN Annual Community Forum
On May 17 the community unanimously approved an expansion of the language in the SUN bylaws to better describe the community boundaries (see April Front Porch SUN Spot), and the nine-member slate of SUN board members (see May Front Porch SUN Spot).
Police Report. Cmdr. Ron Thomas of Denver Police District 5 described that year-to-date crime is down. While noting responsibility of the police to protect the community, Thomas encouraged sustained vigilance among residents to prevent crime by locking doors, keeping valuables out of cars, keeping lights on, ensuring keys are difficult to find (particularly not under your doormat, or in your car), and calling in crime (specifically calling 911 for suspected gunfire).
Citizens Advisory Board (CAB) Report. Dave Netz, CAB chair, summarized feedback the CAB has provided about the performance of Stapleton community developer Forest City in adhering to the Green Book. Noted challenges include communication with the community about deviations from plans, or not meeting with the community early enough in the planning phase to incorporate feedback, insufficient quantities of rental and income-qualified housing options, and completion of park space. Goals of CAB in 2016 include mapping out incomplete community projects and determining where funding is needed for the completion. This information would be used to better advise future homebuyers what to expect if moving into an area surrounded by incomplete projects.
Stapleton Master Community Association (MCA). Diane Deeter, MCA program director, described new programing that will begin when “The Cube,” the MCA’s large indoor facility on Northfield Blvd. opens in the fall. Addressing the question of communitywide participation in the RTD EcoPass program, Deeter stated that at $2 million, it would be cost-prohibitive to raise household MCA dues to cover participation.
Denver Public Schools (DPS). DPS was represented by District 4’s newly elected board member, Rachele Espiritu; Amy Bringedahl, the new principal at Northfield High School; Brian Eschbacher, director of planning and enrollment at DPS; and Alexis Harrigan, SUN’s community liaison with DPS. Plans for elementary schools in Stapleton include Inspire opening in 2017 on the Sandoval campus, then in 2018 relocating north of 56th to another campus with a second new elementary school (to open in 2019). DSST middle school will stay in place. There are no plans for another middle school north of I-70, to expand Isabella Bird into a middle school, or to build a theater that could be a shared resource for area schools. DPS will pursue a bond this fall to fund a 500-seat building on the Sandoval campus and four additional classrooms on the Conservatory Green campus.
Stapleton Development update. Tom Gleason of Forest City reported the City of Denver had stated that if funding can be secured, construction on the second half of the Central Park Blvd. (CPB) bridge would begin November 2017 and be completed the following summer. Construction on the funded MLK Blvd. extension will begin November 2016. Jodi Collier, Punch Bowl Social marketing director, stated their timeline is currently to open winter 2016, and they would take over the building in late May to begin planned work. Northfield Commons retail project, the fourth and fifth buildings by this group, was described by Drake architect Michael Cassett. The buildings will sit at the northeast corner of Northfield Blvd. and CPB and have nine shops; many tenants already signed. Tyler Carlson of Evergreen Development provided a leasing and construction update about the Eastbridge Town Center: shells will be delivered to tenants in August with hopes to open November 2016 in tandem with King Soopers (not at the meeting). He also explained the city’s decision to locate pedestrian crossings separate from the intersections.
Additional Q/A with Tom Gleason covered that construction on land north of the Punch Bowl Social site is to connect 32nd Ave. to CPB and put utilities in place for future development. Ongoing work in the far east of Bluff Lake is remediation being conducted by Denver International Airport. Much interest has been expressed to Forest City in the Transit Oriented Development (TOD) near the Central Park Commuter Rail Station; however, no announcements are available. Forest City considers land along CPB north of the station part of the TOD plan as well.