INTER-NEIGHBORHOOD COOPERATION/INC DELEGATE MEETING MINUTES JUNE10 2017

Meeting held at Evie Dennis Campus, 4800 Telluride, Denver

OFFICERS PRESENT: JJ Niemann, George Mayl, Steve Nissen, Jane Lorimer, Hank Bootz

Delegate Quorum present: 28 at 9:16am

JJ Niemann, President, called the meeting to order at 9:08AM and introduced Stacie Gilmore, Councilwoman for District 11.

WELCOME BY COUNCIL DISTRICT 11

Councilwoman Stacie Gilmore opened with updates about growth in Dist 11. Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center (Aurora) is building up to be open late 2018. They are also backing a housing development within District 11 to help with affordable, nearby housing for their employees. The District is looking forward to added retail and restaurants.

A Montbello leaders group formed to address gentrification, historic information and other desired area factors. Montbello has 60% home ownership in place and they want to keep that characteristic. To do so, they are exploring options such as a community land bank, neighbors helping neighbors and possibly renting rooms for in home care and a deed structure in a land trust when current owners vacate. The goals: 1) to help seniors age in place so they do not have to give up their current homes and 2) to maintain affordable homes in the area.

The shared campus of the Evie Garrett Dennis Campus serves E-12. Fundamental to this effort is thinking about what the facility can be as a teaching laboratory that supports active student engagement, exploration and critical analysis about the world and their role within it. The campus includes a variety of eco-friendly design and construction elements to create a sustainable, energy-efficient campus and will serve as a learning laboratory for students, staff and faculty.

Ms. Gilmore compared this campus to Montbello High School and cited wide differences. This campus is open and airy. Montbello HS is modeled after prisons and is dark and not open.

Audience Question: How is RTD service out here? Answer is “horrible, especially on 56th Ave. The A-Line was projected as “full need” for immediate future so RTD cut bus routes. A-Line has had operational issues, which has made current public transportation lean for this area.

PRESIDENT’S UPDATES

JJ serves on executive committee for GOBond (GOBond detail: CLICK HERE)

  • Transportation is a high priority on GO Bond issues list to increase multi modal east to west-something needed now.
  • GOBond – about $800 -$900 million to be proposed for infrastructure with 50% (half) of this total to be invested into transportation. It will include Denver Moves investment in Phase 2 – which addresses east west additions.
  • To be determined: How much deferred maintenance do we have?

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Parks & Recreation (PARCS) – Maggie Price, Co-Chair

Last meeting discussed what’s happening in neighborhoods

  • Cell towers in Cheesman Park
  • Audit of Denver golf courses: recent audit showed golf program lacks a strategic plan and identified areas needing improvement-
  • Not meeting in June or August.
  • July meeting CSU extension speaks about mitigating pesticide impact, addressing Japanese beetles and how to dispose of toxic pesticides. [Adrian Brown, Baker HNA, wants additional topic on how pesticides impact the bee population to be included into that presentation].

Diana Helper, University Park – a recent transportation study in her area did not include any advisement personnel from Parks & Rec even though transportation goes right through the parks. She urged RNO’s to advocate for their own neighborhoods by asking who from various relative departments are included into such studies.

George Mayl, INC VP -Happy Haynes is reported as saying Denver is moving ahead quickly on events in parks and now planning 600 events. City also plans to use golf courses because the City is running out of room at parks. City is making money by using our public parks.

AEG was a former concert producer for music events and has passed the option. SuperFly now has a 5year contract and plans a massive music festival in Overland Park. Despite petitions and a strong opposition campaign demanding that the promoters stay out of the neighborhood, several major players in the community, including the Overland Park Neighborhood Association opted to take a neutral stance on the event. Opponents feel this type event would render the park useless for public use.

Re the five year contract:

  • After 3 years, we can say we don’t like it but it takes 3 years for for companies to know if they are profitable or not.
  • Reviewed things such as: Revenue sharing – how computed and if milestones not met city can cancel contract.
  • Superfly willing to work with City to make it right.

INC PARCs is advocating for a designated festival park rather than using so many parks around the city. Adrian Brown, Baker Historic N.A: Growth is deliberate and our parklands are now open to commercial events, flood control and anything the City deems needed due to the deliberate density and crowding in Denver. There’s nowhere else to go but to the parklands.

Steve Nissen, INC Treasurer- it’s well known that the 420 Rally (marijuana celebration event on April 20) this year in Civic Center Park created massive issues. Even though this vendor is banned for three years, someone else can apply and still host it and they don’t have to guarantee the results will be any different.

Audience Question: What to do about the abundance of geese in parks. It is an ongoing issue and Canadian geese are a protected species. Some cities are seeking ways to harvest the over-populations of geese and use for food for homeless.

Maggie suggested any whose comments or questions were not addressed today to send a message to parksandrec@denverinc.org.

Zoning & Planning (ZAP) – Margie Valdez, Chair

Citizens Academy has held two of its series of three classes about Marijuana basics and hands on training. Thursday, June 22 is the third session. It will cover how hearings are conducted and tips for participating. For example: If you challenge a social consumption area, you need to know how to do this.

Margie passed out a ‘model’ Good Neighbor Agreement for marijuana. It is designed for you to select the references you’ll need. To access a copy go to: www.denverinc.org/library/excise-and-license-inc-academy/

On Tuesday, June 13, there is a public hearing regarding draft rules on social consumption of marijuana. 5:30PM at the Webb Municipal Office Building, Room 4.G.2. INC urges neighborhoods to be represented. You are advised to arrive early to guarantee parking and a place on the list to speak.

After a voter approved initiative, social consumption of marijuana was passed. Margie served on a City appointed, diverse 20-person advisory committee to recommend rules and regulations related to social consumption to best protect neighborhood rights and ones the City feels they can represent and defend should they have to go to court. It is anticipated the marijuana industry will challenge the rules and regulations. Director of Excise and Licenses issued the draft of rules and regulations which closely followed the committee recommendations. Rules include: No dual consumption, no social consumption in residential neighborhoods, parks.

Margie made the following motion; seconded by Jane Lorimer

INC, representing approximately 269,000 households in the City of Denver, raises its voice in strong support of the draft Social Consumption Rules and Regulations issued by the Department of Excise and Licenses, pursuant to Articles I and IV of the Denver Revised Municipal Code.

 

INC urges the adoption of the rules and regulations as drafted (click here). The proposed rules comply with the protections provided by the Colorado Constitution, the Department of Revenue, State of Colorado and Ordinances adopted by the City of Denver.

Discussion included the importance of attending the Tuesday hearing in support of this motion; questions about the statement that we represent 269,000 households (explained that our member 83 RNOs cover 269,000 households and household numbers are provided by the City).

The question was called: 25 approved calling the question, 3 opposed

The motion passed with 23 in favor, 1 opposed, 4 abstained.

OTHER

JJ advised that Barry Burch from the City will address which committees have open seats for neighborhood members.

SPECIAL PROGRAM

George Mayl, VP led the meeting from this point

Dennis Robinson, Jordon Block from Denver Downtown Partnership spoke about the proposed Denver Loop.

The Downtown Denver Partnership is leading efforts to create the Downtown Loop, a project that will transform how the public right-of-way is used in Downtown Denver. The Downtown Loop will link multiple neighborhoods and connect people through the great urban outdoors. It prioritizes people, bikes and Denver’s urban tree canopy by turning underutilized streets into the essential Downtown experience while uniting urban life with Colorado’s outdoor culture. Branded as Denver Loop.

Goal:

To make Downtown a viable destination, which in turn increases the economy of the loop-impacted communities.

Key points:

  • Strategic vision is in place but not for how the loop itself will evolve or how it will connect. Denver’s high growth rate is driving the importance to keep people connected.
  • This is an evolving 5,10 year or more plan
  • Every neighborhood will be involved to ensure it represents the neighborhood culture and dynamics of each neighborhood. Ex: Bars, cultural aspects, etc. that are unique to an event – will input their two cents
  • Using Civitas, landscape architecture firm as a consultant
  • How will it morph? Resident input.
  • Similar projects: Portand Greenway, Indianapolis loop, Boston. What can we learn from and duplicate here?
  • 110 people involved in the partnership. All serve on various committees such as R&D for community outreach, event planning, etc.
  • Housing Authority in favor
  • Want to reach out to RNO’s who are in favor and gain other champions for the project.

Key events: 

June 15 – opening weekend of “The Square on 21st” Pop-up Park between Lawrence and Larimer (runs till August 15thand Ribbon Cutting with Mayor

June 24 – Pop-up Weekend

  • Booths/posts along The Loop talking about the upcoming Showcase Weekend projects, continue engagement

June 28 – Bike to Work, sponsored by Bike Denver

 

June-July – Community Workshops TBD

 

August 4 – Experience Showcase Weekend (3 Primary Locations)

    • 10th Ave & Osage St. – Sponsored by Denver Housing Authority
    • 14th Street & Wynkoop – Between river and parking garage
    • 17th Ave. & Sherman – Adjacent to Wells Fargo & outdoor plaza

Questions:

  • Jo Barrios requested affordable housing and diversity be included into plan. What is the feedback vehicle for homeless, low income? Ansr: Unknown as yet, but they plan to request feedback by anyone biking, living on the streets although this is often difficult.
  • Why is City paying if this benefits Denver Partnership? Answer: This is NOT a city funded project. It is funded privately. Estimated need of $100 million the original input so far is $330,000 from private funding.

For more information: CLICK HERE-DENVER LOOP

Jeanne Kaplan, Our Denver, Our Schools spoke about what’s going on in Denver Public Schools. Former DPS Board member.

What’s going on in DPS. Passionate about public education

Every school here (Evie Dennis) on campus is a charter school, a Public school with an asterisk. Private board. Every charter can raise its own money.

Education Reform –

  • A national event happening to many urban school districts.
  • Goal to have non-protected workers. (non-union). Largest infill projects – GVR, Stapleton, Lowry and we are not seeing any neighborhood schools. If communities are divided, hard to make things happen.
  • Charters all have things in common. Walk down halls with discipline – Choice is a catch phrase.
  • Longer days, teacher evaluations are different, teachers don’t go through traditional programs = personalized learning with stress on technology.
  • Human capital is not being taught nor addressed
  • Keeping winners, dropping losers. Destroying teacher unions.
  • Education reform: academic results, reform measures, Result is a two tiered system
  • DPS is celebrated because of its reform – they are criticized for academic results achieved.
  • School board is bipartisan.
  • Fix neighborhood schools.
  • DPS narrowing curriculum which pre determines what is offered and eliminates creativity
  • 22% teacher turnover in state, 60% free lunch
  • Choice sounds good but has led to more segregated schools. 65% of schools have 70% “minority kids”; 11% white
  • Closing schools like Gilpin is not a good idea.

Danielle Loquero-opposing view:

  • System we have in Denver is successful because scores are improving and for us to have other needs and expectations for our children.
  • Going back to old model is not going to work.
  • Not against charter schools, need different types of schools. Why are there not multiples of specialty schools? (Language science etc.)
  • 35% remediation rate and higher in Black and Hispanic.
  • 68% grad rate HS and lower for students of color
  • Charter schools receive same funding as DPS
  • Only 30% of DPS teachers can do the high stakes testing
  • 15K employees in DPS (includes all: teachers, administration, custodial)

AROUND THE CITY

Lara Duran – East Montclair- Survey of area found their biggest concerns are to focus their efforts in a more united manner and that crime is biggest concern.

Adrian Brown, Baker – This week is Baker Bargain Bonanza Sale-a good example of getting neighbors together and getting to know each other.

Jane Lorimer indicated in a former Pew study that typically only 30% of neighbors know each other by name, if at all.

Tom Carllon, GVR–CAB – Extended welcome to his “neighborhood” – Green Valley Ranch area.

Community food truck events at or around Bonnie Brae Church on the second and forth Tuesdays of summer

Diana Helper University Hills– Noticing increased density with building of large apartments – no birds now. Can’t see sunsets either. Will birds return and what are the side effects to lose birds to high density development. Suggestions to put out bird feeders to draw them back.

Marlene Johnson, Hutchinson Hills – Concerns with a new group home of mentally challenged coming into their area – across from an elementary school. Feedback was that there are seldom issues with these homes (they are scattered into many, many residential neighborhoods) because they are strongly supervised.

Sustainable neighborhood programs – Highland – whoever is closest to problem deals with that problem.

Steve Nissen, Alamo Placita – Happy hours in various area business establishments once a months – meet at local bar – 25-35 show up.

Jim Slotta, CHUN- Peoples Fair, this is the first year CHUN is not the lead as it was turned over to Team Player Productions. CHUN still volunteers. Will get some type financial return. No paid CHUN staff now. Big turnover in board, new understanding of history, maintaining the building and leasing the Tears McFarland Mansion, where CHUN resides, to events.

Co-sponsor accelerate climate control – and what neighborhoods can do. Climate action forums.

Jo Barrios -Uptown on the Hill Board has 2 open seats.

Adjourn 1130

Submitted by: Jane Lorimer

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