Annual MEMBER meeting minutes
APRIL 8, 2017
Thomas Jefferson high school
The meeting was called to order at 9:05 am. Margie Valdez moved to approve the minutes; it was seconded by Steve Nissen and unanimously approved by attendees’ acclamation, with one abstention.
DIGNITARY WELCOMES AND REMARKS
Kendra Black – Councilwoman for District 4
Introductory remarks were made by Kendra Black, city councilwoman for Southeast Denver District 4. Kendra is a Denver native who is a Thomas Jefferson graduate (along with nine other family members). She expressed her welcome and pleasure that an INC meeting was held at a Denver Public School; an event that is historically rarely held within the DPS system.
Kendra reminded the audience who may not be familiar with southeast Denver that boundaries extend south to Belleview Ave and includes much of the northern portion of the Denver Tech Center (DTC). Her district goes as far west as University Blvd, east to Parker Rd, and north to Evans Ave. Most all streets in the district are ‘curvy’ and not linear, so arterioles such as Hampden Ave, Colorado Blvd, Evans, Yale and Monaco are crowded and not conducive to smooth traffic flow.
Barbara O’Brien – Former Lt. Governor; former head of Colorado Children’s Campaign
Barbara echoed her pleasure in INC meeting at a DSP school and will work toward facilitating more INC meeting at DPS schools. She gave an overview of some of the effects and challenges with the growth of Denver and its demographics, particularly as it relates to the city’s educational system. It’s a balancing effort to match DPS budgets with new family/children school needs, their desires and values. More information can be found online at dpsk12.org/neighborhoods.
To continue, Barbara referred to a bond issue passed last November to build a new elementary school where the city is growing and make needed repairs in existing schools. She was most please with voters’ passing of the mil-levy targeting teacher training, leadership and support, along with student needs regarding social and emotional support.
GO Bond Update
JJ Niemann resumed the meeting agenda stating that he has been placed on the Executive Committee for the upcoming General Obligation (GO) bond issue. Several of the INC committee chairs have attended meetings and spoken/presented about their efforts, including, Parks and Recreation and Transportation. JJ’s main objective is to get the Denver neighborhoods represented with the numerous topics that are focal with INC members. Less than 20% of the $3 billion GO proceeds will go to the needs of neighborhoods. He will keep the INC delegation posted of progress and decisions in future INC monthly meetings.
Joel Noble, Co-Chair
The transportation committee meets every other month, and will not meet again until late April, so his comments will more brief than last month. To learn more about the committee’s efforts and updates, Joel cited– email@example.com – to stay informed on developments by getting on the email distribution list.
The committee arranges for interested people to see transportation-related projects and facilities. For example, there was a hardhat tour of the new Civic Center transportation hub construction at Colfax and Broadway; another tour for up to 18 guests will be offered before completion. Also offered was the Denver’s traffic Management Center tour, which is where the city officials can view traffic conditions, lights, etc. all across the city from a control room.
JJ commented that these types of events are yet another unique method to engage our constituency with information and activities that are not necessarily in a monthly meeting format.
Parks and Recreation (PARC)
Maggie Price, Co-Chair; Cindy Johnstone, Co-Chair
The last committee meeting was March 21 with the Office of Special Events (OSE) to discuss the Overland Park Golf Course for a three-day admission-based special event. It’s a potentially a five-year annual affair, with up to six-weeks of site preparation/construction. OSE is studying the potential effects to the course, the neighborhood, and a variety of variables and problems that may be encountered. It has not gone to Council yet, but it will ultimately require Council’s approval. To learn more, please go to the PARC in the INC website meeting notes for city links.
Brad Cameron approached INC and PARC about the acquisition of the Park Hill Golf Course for the future use as a Denver city park. The current owner of the property is Clayton Early Learning Center (CELC); the course is managed by a private operator. CELC is looking for a new tenant, as the course is no longer profitable and the current operator’s lease will not be renewed in December 2018.
This is a complex situation/relationship with Denver and CELC. A good deal of discussion took place at the meeting; too much and too detailed to adequately report in the INC minutes. However, the following is a fair representation of content:
- Denver is ‘land-locked- and has very few opportunities like this to acquire existing land parcels of this size and purpose as a park (155 acres);
- The golf course property is strategically located within five-minute walk to RTD’s 40th & Colorado Blvd A-Line Station. Moreover, there are also multi-modal transportation possibilities in this newly revitalized Denver neighborhood;
- Proximity to both the Park Hill neighborhood to the south, downtown Denver to the west, Stapleton to the east and Montbello to the north make it geographically unique;
- It is suggested that funds for the acquisition of the property would be a critical project for the upcoming GO bond. INC an its PARC committee support this effort;
- Brad Cameron went into great detail regarding the issues, pros and cons, alternatives, financial needs/considerations and a question and answer session with the membership delegates. He explains the resolution details themselves;
- The INC delegate votes on the resolution were 35 in favor; 3 opposed; 7 abstainers.
The next PARC meeting will on April 18 to discuss the Platte Farm (Globeville) 5.5-acre site, which has been the site of illegal dumping and drug dealing. The desire is to convert and maintain this as open space.
Zoning and Planning (ZAP)
Margie Valdez, Chair
The Zoning and Planning Committee has been hard at work on the contentious issue of Denver Zoning Code Text Amendment #11 Pre-Existing Small Zone Lots Parking Exemption Amendment
- There was an exemption that allowed developers of small lots, 6,250 square feet, to not provide parking.
- The advent of micro-apartments on small lots has led to parking spillover into neighborhoods.
- Recently, City Council voted for a moratorium on the 6250 small lot parking exemption.
- City Council Monday voted 7-6 to advance councilman Clark’s proposal to require the moratorium to be extended past its original expiration and to require parking after the first two stories for project close to transit and after the first story further out.
- Margie proposed to withdraw the motion at this time and she will prepare letters to Councilman Brooks and Councilman Clark thanking them for their efforts with regard to this contentious issue. However, INC will support Councilman Clark’s proposal as demonstrated by several affirmative votes taken by ZAP and INC.
On May 2, there will be a public hearing held by Excise and Licenses regarding the policies and procedures for liquor, cabaret and marijuana hearings. Social consumption is still on the horizon and how it interfaces with dual-consumption proposal/possibilities. Being a Schedule 1 drug, it becomes a more difficult decision pathway.
Margie updated the delegates about House Bill 17-1123, which advocates extended alcohol serving times longer than the historic 2:00am closing time (up to 4:00 a.m.). Specifically, Glendale and other municipalities have approached this with city ordinances allowing for ‘entertainment districts’ which provide for 4:00 am closing times. Margie will keep us updated on this bill.
Haines Eason – Editor Denver Metro Media
Denver Metro Media is the publisher of two neighborhood newsletters/general circulation papers – The ‘Wash Pak Profile’ and ‘Capitol Hill Life,’ both distributed monthly. As publisher and Editor, the company is always looking for content about RNOs, particularly in close proximity to their RNOs. For example, the WP Profile actually prints some 19,000 copies, 9,000 of which are delivered door-to-door. Their coverage area goes as far west as Santa Fe, east to Monaco, north to Colfax and south to Hampden.
Haines is actively visiting RNOs and their meetings to help a major initiative the publisher is launching call ‘Neighborhood Notes.’ They are dedication 1000–1500 words in their publications for news and content about other RNOs. This includes events, challenges and successes with projects and topical issues; there is no cost to submit content to him for inclusion.
Treasurer’s Report – Steve Nissen, INC Treasurer
- INC financial condition remains strong at over $36,000 in the bank;
- INC donated $1000 to the upcoming Open Doors Denver event on April 29 and 30;
- INC also donated $200 each to seven ‘Cop Shops’ for incidental expenses and general support for their efforts;
- Steve also asked the delegates how they felt about setting up a fund to help RNOs with financial needs for projects or visibility efforts. He asked for no immediate feedback, but would consider any thoughts from the delegation.
Parry Burnap – Accelerated Climate Change Action
Joel Noble introduces Parry Burnap, a long-time neighborhood proponent who founded Denver B-Cycle, is behind a new movement to bring climate change mitigation and action to neighborhoods. Called Accelerate Neighborhood Climate Action (ANCA), they are conducting workshops with RNOs to inspire neighborhood actions to reduce climate change at a very local and basic level.
This mission of ANCA: We will design and implement a place-based movement that inspires individuals, households, blocks, associations and neighborhoods to work together to achieve measurable change to reduce climate emissions and adapt to change already in progress. They are beginning with Capitol Hill, the center of Denver, and hope to expand to other neighborhoods throughout Denver.
Some assumptions of the ANCA are:
- Climate change is the defining issue of this century and will chart the future course for all humanity;
- Progress in addressing this monumental issue has been stymied by its polarization. There is too much debate about its existence and not enough unity in a collaborative action to acknowledge and face this universal issue;
- Climate change cannot be mitigated, nor can we adapt to it without each of us taking personal responsibility for examining and changing our own behavior and choices.
Possible Role of INC:
- ANCA wants to be on INC’s ‘radar screen,’ they welcome input at any time, and hope INC will become a partner in promoting their mission to neighborhood associations;
- ANCA invites INC’s involvement with their initiating committee as a way to ‘test the waters;’
- It is highly desirable that INC would become a formal sponsor. The plea is to consider joining the ANCA efforts and initiatives.
Where ANCA is going:
- Neighborhood climate action forums throughout Denver RNOs;
- Training of emerging leaders;
- Seeking student engagement, particularly at the college level;
- Employ information technology for promotion and education;
- Seeking to add up to six new RNOs through the summer of 2017.
Around the City—Reports and updates from various RNOs
The final few minutes of the meeting were used to ‘pass the microphone’ to delegates allowing them to comment on issues/problems/progress of items unique to their RNOs. Some examples are:
- Harvey Park has several initiatives relative to sustainability, as they actually have formed a committee. They holding a HP Festival on July 22 with a sustainability ‘street.’
- The Highline Canal around Bible Park has several bridge problems/closures, which makes the park increasingly ‘user unfriendly’ regarding cyclers/joggers/pedestrians.
- Southmoor Park hosts an annual golf tournament to raise money for their neighborhood school.
- University Park is hosting a birthday party for their largest park, funded by their City Councilperson. Good way to get people out and about.
- A concern was aired about division in neighborhoods and diminishing leadership, to the point of ‘elitism.’ This raises some concern about future growth and success.
- Lowry had a neighborhood forum about the I-70 expansion and the city park drainage. Residents from affected RNOs made presentations. Even though it wasn’t “in” their neighborhood, it was very well attended. Neighbors care about neighbors.
- Wash Park West warned neighbors about a marijuana shop buying a church and calling the use of cannabis a religion, as has happened in their neighborhood.
JJ thanks attendees for their time and effort and look forward to the next INC delegate meeting on May 13, 2017.
Meeting adjourned at 11:10
Submitted by Robert Inman, INC Secretary
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