“The projects that really started the moratorium in effect could in fact happen anywhere in Denver,” said Bill Vanderlan, President of the Humboldt Street Neighborhood Association.
A moratorium on the development of small lots with no parking remains in place until the end of March. In the meantime, an amendment is moving through city channels, and residents don’t like what they’re hearing.
The new wording doesn’t stop things like that from going ahead, it just legitimizes it,” said Jodie Brownlee, a resident in City Park West.
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In the 32 years he’s lived on Humboldt Street, David Engelken has seen many changes in his neighborhood. He remembers the early ’90s, when prostitutes and drug dealers occupied the brownstones across the street from his house. A decade later, he helped secure the area’s historic designation.
Now Engelken, the vice president of the Humboldt Street Neighborhood Association, and some of his neighbors are taking up a new fight — Engelken’s hardest in the name of the neighborhood yet, he says.
In August, Denver City Council approved a seven-month moratorium on the city’s small-lot parking exemption. The exemption allowed development projects on lots smaller than 6,250 square feet in mixed-use zoning districts to forgo parking in their design. Enacted in 2006, the exemption applied exclusively to the East Colfax Avenue business corridor, to encourage redevelopment on “challenging small lots” in the area, says Andrea Burns, spokeswoman for the city’s Community Planning and Development Department.
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