Does the height zoning need to be increased along Colfax? No, the existing 3-5 stories of height zoning is plenty sufficient to accommodate for growth. More importantly, we treasure the historic buildings and character that Colfax already has.
What we need on Colfax is more trees, more green space – it is a very barren street, and the recent construction along Colfax rarely incorporates anything but the bare minimum of green space, in the form of tiny grass strips that are covered in dog poop and struggling trees from lack of water, pollution and the intense heat from the pavement.
In the summer months Colfax is a hot, polluted street to walk along, and in the winter months there is plenty of exhaust and often snow and ice on the sidewalks on the south side of the street. This will only increase if the cities allow for even taller buildings to be built. The taller the building, the longer the shadow! Think about Capital Hill with all of it's unintentional ice rink streets and sidewalks.
Some recent development along Colfax has been a complete failure, including the now-vacant 7-11 on Monaco and Colfax, and the now-vacant former Autozone building at Colfax and Niagara. These buildings were built only a few years back, and already they sit vacant collecting graffiti, trash and shopping carts from the nearby Mayfair plaza. The vacant 7-11 on the corner of Monaco and Colfax used to be a former open space lot that was used as a Christmas tree lot during the holidays. Now, it collects graffiti, trash and has been sitting vacant for over a year. We need to focus on fixing up the existing buildings along Colfax, and retaining any and all open space we have. More green open spaces along Colfax could help filter the pollution and create a more walkable street. Development should not be allowed to pave over any existing permeable surfaces, which can cause more flooding issues for the neighborhood. We also don't need to build higher than 3-5 stories – which is plenty sufficient for growth. The height increase recommendations that the city planners are proposing is completely unnecessary and undesired by the residents who live here.
What we need is better city planners who actually care about the people who live here.
It seems to us that even though hundreds of residents have spoken out against the height increase recommendations that are being proposed at numerous meetings, in forums and through petitions, our voices are being ignored by the city planners. They keep telling us to give them feedback, which we do, time and time again, but then the plan still comes back with height increases that we have all spoken out against. They are unnecessary and are simply being pushed through, and we assume this is due to pressure from developers since it's not coming from the residents who live and work here.
We need to stop developers from destroying our neighborhoods and burdening our already over-taxed infrastructure. They tell us we need more density, but do we really need more density in Denver?