By Diana Helper
Before this shortest month is through—Hail groundhogs, cupid, presidents, too!
Hurry! February—only 28 days—challenges us to keep up with our fast-changing neighborhood.
The 80210 zip code is the winner of Most Construction Permit requests in town, we hear. It’s easy/mind-boggling to witness. It’s scary that permits are granted on the traffic/parking/congestion scene at time of request, not projecting the effect the added residents or customers will have on the neighborhood. In UP, this can be 400-500 new neighbors at a time. The city will take a look after construction is done and buildings filled, then try to fix problems such as traffic/parking/space issues that “may occur.” We hope the city policy will change enough to do some projecting before issuing permits.
Coming to UPark: four very large apartment buildings, the DU Administration building, sorority house and countless mansionettes replacing smaller—even historic—houses. To our west, small homes are replaced by multiple dwellings at a record pace. To our east, across South Colorado Boulevard, huge development is coming. There goes, or is it here comes the neighborhood?! How can we integrate these fine newcomers—especially renters who choose our area because it is such a “lovely place”—into our actual historic neighborhood? Through fliers? Email to apartment supers? Facebook? Ideas???
Our parks are welcome respites but will fill with hundreds of new residents whose living space offers no open area. Denver has a tight budget for new park space. We invite suggestions for possible “pocket park” sites (odd little areas that might hold a bench, play space, breathing space, etc.). The City is interested in this concept; do suggest! (For those near Harvard Gulch, the Denver Urban Waterways Restoration study meeting was canceled; it will be rescheduled.)
At Prairie Park, who provided the ceramic medallions? When pioneer families came here they did homespun crafts, too! We really like this nod to history. We’re sad that concrete driveways could be placed in historic parkway land, dictated by ADA demands to maintain continuous access across Buchtel Boulevard from neighborhood streets, when the new construction (paid by city) does not really do that, and safe crossings of the boulevard are missing. There seems to be a disconnect of access and understanding. We hope this is addressed.
Pending as we write: a request for a liquor license near East Evans Avenue/South University Boulevard—an area with many such licenses already in place, several over-height fence requests (consider this before you buy that house!) and a demo of a house deemed of historic value. It’s good Denver keeps RNOs informed of requests and UP’s president forwards them to the board for consideration; not an easy task.
Lastly, the quarterly DU Neighbors’ meeting is at 6:00p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22. Check du.edu/communityvisitors/neighbors or call Allan Wilson at 303-871-2039 for details. Go to learn; air your views.
Neighborhood News/Views? Please contact Diana Helper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-733-4902.