The following topics were discussed at the Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation Zoning and Planning Committee on September 23, 2017:
- Nathan Batchelder, a legislative analyst with the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses who helped to develop the ordinance to regulate short-term rentals (STRs) explained the current status of the implementation of the ordinance. Much information about the ordinance, which passed in the spring of 2016, can be found at www.denvergov.org/str. George Mayl, Cindy Sestrich and Charlotte Winzenberg now represent INC on the STR Advisory Committee. Excise and Licenses has hired a private company to search for STRs, primarily through online listings, to make sure that, as the ordinance requires, an owner has obtained a license for the STR and that the STR is the primary residence of the owner. The city believes that there are approximately 3000 STRs (although many are rented only a few days per year). Currently, 2054 (about 67%) are licensed. Other city departments, not Excise and Licenses, regulate properties for issues such as noise and trash. Excise and Licenses has issued about 1600 warning notices and imposed fines on 35 properties. He said that most STRs appear to be in “hip” neighborhoods such as Capitol Hill, Washington Park, Platt Park and Highland.
- Nicholas Scheidegger of Denver 311 described the operation of the office. There are 30 311 agents. The hours of operation are currently from 7am to 8pm Monday through Friday and 8am to 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays. The office helps to navigate red tape, answer questions, resolve complaints and connect citizens with the correct city agency. Calls can be anonymous, if the caller requests. In August 2017, the agency received 45,000 calls. The most frequent calls that month were about waste pickup schedules, Department of Motor Vehicle questions, recycling cart questions, missed trash pickup, weeds and potholes.
- Michael Chavez, the Director of the city’s public art program, discussed that program with the committee. Mayor Wellington Webb signed an Executive Order in 1988 and an ordinance was passed in 1991 to require that 1% of the cost of any city public building be devoted to public art at the project. Currently, there are 400 total art projects from the program, with 26 now in progress. The design of each art project is site-specific and there is an advisory selection panel for each project. In addition, there are now approximately 170 murals throughout the city through the Urban Art Fund.
- Brad Cameron of the INC Parks Committee spoke briefly about the Park Hill Golf Course and its complicated history with the City of Denver and the George Clayton Trust. The city and the Clayton Trust are negotiating over the disposition of the golf course. The committee recommended that this should be discussed in more detail at the INC Delegation meeting on October 14.
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