It is just a lot of fun to fly a kite, and UPark has a couple of good kite-flying spaces – the big field at McWilliams Park and the south part of Observatory Park. [Historic Note: In the Olden days you dropped by the Varsity 5 & 10 (now Stick-e-Star) and selected a bright color, paper furled tightly around balsa sticks. For 5 cents you were on your way. Some assembly required, but that’s part of the fun. There was always a big roll of string somewhere in the garage, and rags for the tail.]
Building news – the Water Co. has plans to build a small building for offices and garages on the south side of its parking lot behind the historic Einfeldt Pump Station (which is on the SE corner of S. Univ. & Buchtel).
The long-awaited sidewalks on the S. Side of Buchtel (where none now exist) are due to appear at last, we’re told. No more need to walk in the bike lane! Easier and safer for pedestrians – which is part of the city’s Green Plan.
Another safety/green improvement being requested is a four-way stop at Buchtel and S. Monroe. The Heritage Club Walking group would love to traverse Buchtel Trail, but getting across Buchtel Blvd. Parkway with its often fast traffic can be daunting. This is true at other parts of BBPkwy where school kids, rail & bus commuters, and residents with small children and with eager dogs wait and wait and then may be dodging cars to cross. The light at S. St. Paul is the only managed intersection between S. Univ. and S. Colo. Blvd. and it encourages drivers to speed up to make-the-light. So, another improvement would be to convert that to a four-way stop as well. Add one at S. Clayton and pedestrians could cross Buchtel to/from the Trail, schools, businesses, and light rail far more easily, safely, and greenly. This plan had support at the UPCC Feb. meeting, and is an agenda item at the Buchtel Blvd./Pwky. Coalition open meeting 7p.m., Wed., April 21, at Heritage Club, 2020 S. Monroe.
More building in UP is due to start later this spring, at the SE corner of S. Univ. and E. Evans Ave. The first thing you’ll see will be the demolition of everything there now, from the corner down to (but not including) the apartment just north of the Methodist Church parking lot. When that’s cleared away, ho for the big dig! to be followed by the big big building with retail on the ground floor and many floors of apts. rising high above.
Kitty-corner, at Pete’s Café, and west to the alley, rather than sit there waiting for the zillion of new residents from the SE corner to come eat, etc., we hear that Pete has purchased this property and wants to tear it down – yes, the historic Floral Building and all – and build his own big big building. UP Community Council joins DU in requesting that the new zoning code state a limit of 8 stories for that site, rather than the 12 the new z.map was proposing. The next DU Good Neighbors Meeting is Tues., March 9 at 7p.m. at the Driscoll Center (N. side of the bridge over Evans).
Speaking of the ZC, like some other recent city plans its adoption has been postponed. Denverites are so picky! They persevere in their insistence that they have ample notification and time to study and respond to city plans! They go to meetings! Send e-mails! Write columns! The Council hearing and vote on the ZC is now in June. Call 311 or see pg. 5 for new dates for the listening meetings, Planning Board consideration, and other deadlines. Over the past 10 months you have been hearing more and more about the ZC, and the many meetings and amount of work by UPCC’s ZC Committee, so we hope you have paid attention.
UP, with its avowed priority for open space, and its complement of parks and trails, takes a keen interest in city proposals for such areas. Denver is growing faster than most cities and has less park space per person than most cities. So we must use parks for “more activities people want” as new folks move into large housing developments which do not include adequate open space, said Parks/Rec Manager Kevin Patterson recently. (Or, hey – we could require developers to include more park space?!) Hundreds of apartment and condo units have been added in UP, and more to come. Will UP parks serve this increase, plus visitors from new unserved areas? By the way, the Observatory Park playground is to reopen in April, stay tuned.
As we mentioned last month, ka-ching, the city is looking for ways to save bucks and to make bucks, and to activate parks that need it, and to please people who love parks as they are, and people who think their dogs need to run in parks. The dog-park issue is still being pondered, and interested residents are on record as wanting off-leash dogs to be fenced-in, not just running all over. Many opt for more fenced dog-parks just for dogs. P.S. We thank you for keeping UP’s dog-bag dispensers full! P.P.S. Note DU’s dog rules/no-smoking signs on DU property in UP – and remember, ALL dogs need to be licensed (call 311 for info).
The new Parks Steward volunteer program is getting underway (See Odds & Ends, pg. 31) – or contact Susan Fry at Parks/Rec 303-331-4040 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As for admission-based events (allowing private outfits to close off space in public parks and charge admission to enter), this has gone back to the drafting table for more task force meetings, rewrite, and then a public hearing on the resulting new proposed policy. [Scenario: such a gated area in a park with off-leash dogs who would doggily race into the entry without a ticket, chased by their person who would then be charged for at least one, maybe two tickets — a moneymaker!] Many folks ask the city to do what other cities do – create a Festival Park well-appointed, near mass transit, with proper facilities for ticketed events as well as Taste of Colorado, People’s Fair, and other events too large for most of our parks.
The To-do over the Open Air Cinema ended temporarily when it turned out that the City Council voted on its contract before OAC had all its funding in place, and OAC couldn’t get enough sponsors after all. Now to see if the contract allows the change in venue and dates to try for Civic Center in 2011. This summer you and your 1,399-per-night OAC movie-pals can spread out and patronize regular restaurants and regular movie theaters, or spend a happy activating evening in a park at a free concert, movie, chatting with neighbors, enjoying nature.
A bright moment occurred at the Feb. meeting of the Inter-Neighborhood Cooperation’s Parks & Recreation Committee. Angela Casias of the P&R Dept. told the assembled INC folks that P&R would like our help in planning ways to “activate” the parks, and ways to save and/or raise funds, and developing an “outreach strategy” for better neighborhood-Park/Rec relations (going to neighbors at the beginning of a proposal-process and working together would help). Ideas??
Parks/Rec also asks for input on increasing vending sites in parks for more day-vendors especially near ball fields and pools. There are lots of vendors who’d like to be able to do this. Some matters to consider are hours, locations, and what would be offered by vendors. What do you think? Do UP parks need vendors? The next INC/P&R meeting is Mon., March 15, 6:30p.m. at the Heritage Club, 2020 S. Monroe. All are welcome.
A Tour of UP will start from the front steps of the Observatory on March 21, led by Phil Goodstein from 11a.m.-1p.m., and based on his forthcoming book, University Park, Platt Park and Beyond. The tour costs $10.
An Open House will be held from 3-7p.m., March 10, at Accelerated Schools, housed in the Iliff Mansion (historic Fitzroy Place), S. Cook at E. Warren Ave. Tours, info, meet the staff!
UP School PTA meets March 11, 6:30-8, and that night you can eat at Gunther Toody’s (4:30-9) where a portion of your check goes to the School! 3rd-5th graders have CSAP tests through March 19, and March 29-April 2 is Spring Break. Save May 2: date of the annual Home Tour fundraiser.
If you have news or views of UP, please contact Diana Helper, 303-733-4902 or email@example.com.