Our Denver City Planners seem more like City Destroyers. Planning is not being dictated by how to improve our area or maintain it, but instead how they can build as much as possible to increase property taxes through density. They don't care that our grocery stores, schools, roads and medical system is are already overburdened. They aren't planning on adding any grocery stores, schools, or medical offices – just more people. This isn't city planning, this is pure greed. They do not care about the residents who live here, they only care about padding their pockets.
In the East Area Plan, they are proposing to increase heights and increase density, despite all the hundreds of objections from the residents who live here. They are trying to rush this plan through to pass it on Monday, November 16th – because they know that the residents are tired of fighting and have lots of other things on their mind (Covid, the election, school, upcoming holidays, employment, and paying the bills). Here are just some of the reasons we object to the East Area Plan:
Additionally, while the Plan has improved it is not enough and we do not want the plan approved for the reasons listed below:
PROCESS: After 500 plus residents showed up at Johnson and Wales most of whom rejected the draft at that time, two additional plans have been released during the pandemic with only two virtual meetings. The virtual meetings lack transparency/authentic input as attendees cannot see who else is in the room, attendees cannot see all the questions as they are asked, access is only available by those who have technology skills, access to the internet or computers. The City goals are advancing, not the residents’ goals.
BRT: The height map is based on a fully funded BRT and without knowing if there will be complete funding and what configuration it will take, we cannot support upzoning. Build to current zoning.
NO UPZONING: Planners have stated that current zoning can take in the additional 4200 residents and with ADU’s, group housing, and missing middle proposed text amendments moving forward, there is plenty of room to welcome new residents. 9th and Colorado is not full. Disposition of the VA hospital and Johnson and Wales is not yet determined.
PARKS: EAP is short 332 acres of park access and/or every resident is not within a ten-minute walk to a park. Rectify this and then provide a plan that developers must provide acreage for the additional residents with the new builds. Without this correction, Goals of Blueprint Denver and Game Plan for a Healthy Denver are a sham.
FLOOD: Without studies and plans that take into account current flood areas as well as pour over flood areas due to density, we do not support this plan. Increased density without sufficient studies will potentially cause risk of life and increase insurance rates for homeowners. FEMA only covers $250,000.00 in flood insurance with caveats. We must mitigate flood areas before adding density.
GROCERY STORES: The number 1 amenity in our neighborhoods is our grocery stores. The City’s drawings eliminate one or both of these stores and gives us a Bodega. The City is clearly not listening to the residents.
ADU’S: We do not support ADUS as a matter of right in all neighborhoods of the EAP. ADU’s throughout the CITY is a city-wide issue and should be decided on by City Council on a city-wide level. Until the City process is completed, applications for ADU’s can be done lot by lot.
Failure to address increased traffic on residential streets, loss East/West car lanes on Colfax, upgrades to infrastructure, parking in favor of businesses, and the potential loss of single-family zoning.
COMPLETE NEIGHBORHOODS: Blueprint Denver seeks to have all neighborhoods to be complete with libraries and recreation centers. These are either absent or have no teeth in the current plan.
TREE CANOPY: Without a concrete plan that residents can understand/monitor, our quality of life will be decreased particularly by destruction through construction of mature trees and the need for additional trees as we add residents. SMART goals.
PERMEABILITY: Maximum lot coverage should include all buildings on a lot. The Plan needs to define how we will monitor permeability and the metrics of success with a periodicity for the next 20 years. SMART goals.
EAP will be significantly impacted by three city-wide text amendments. Text amendments on city-wide implementation of Group Housing, Residential Infill, ADU’s, and Affordable Housing are in the beginning stages of planning and therefore we cannot opine as residents if we agree to the implementation and verbiage in our EAP.
RESIDENTIAL INFILL: Residential Infill will be kicking off in 2021 which aims to “gently infill” all residential neighborhoods. Residents should not be approving a plan when the impact of this text amendment/zoning is unknown.
ILLUSORY PROMISES: NO REGULATIONS or ORDINANCES IN PLACE to preserve character of homes – community benefits should be driven by the majority of residents in EAP not select stakeholders – to prevent displacement/gentrification, or ensure development of affordable housing.
The City has Stated the goals they have meet under Blueprint Denver and Comp 2040 but they do not indicate what goals they could not meet. This is information that the residents have asked for but have not received.
As Residents in the EAP, we do not want the Plan in its current form passed. The Plan needs to go back to the drawing board. Please vote No on the EAP.