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Neighborhood Toolkits

The Neighborhood Planning Initiative Strategic Plan (PDF) sets out a framework to provide an area plan for every neighborhood in Denver in 10 to 14 years, with three areas of the city undergoing a planning process at a time. As the initiative makes its way through the city, neighborhoods that want to get a head start on the planning process can lay the groundwork by taking advantage of the resources below. 

These toolkits provide ways to connect to existing city resources as well as self-guided activities, some of which are intended for groups or organizations. None of the activities are required for a successful planning process, and completing the activities won't mean your neighborhood will be scheduled for a plan sooner. Tha activities will help you begin to think about your neighborhood and its strengths and weaknesses and help you to identify and articulate your ideas and priorities before planning begins. Completing these activities will also provide insight into the area’s opportunities and issues and what community members envision, all of which can inform a neighborhood plan.

Learn More

This toolkit serves as a directory to tackle common community issues that can be addressed without a planning process. Visit the city's Neighborhood Services page for a complete list of resources

Ash Trees
Be a Smart Ash provides information on how to protect your ash tree from emerald ash borer.

Bike Amenities
Have an idea for where a new bike rack, bike corral, or public bicycle maintenance facility could be located in your neighborhood? Denver Public Works collects suggestions on ways to enhance the city’s bicycle infrastructure.

Crime and Safety
Denver Police Department provides numerous resources for neighborhoods:

Conflict Mediation
For conflicts among neighbors, Community Mediation Concepts provides objective mediation, facilitation, and conflict resolution for Denver residents free of charge. They also offer resources for homeowners association members and other community groups. 

Graffiti Clean-up

Keep Denver Beautiful
As an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, this program supports Denver neighborhoods in an effort to keep the community free of trash and graffiti.

Neighborhood Inspections
Denver's neighborhood inspectors work to ensure neighborhoods are safe and maintained according to the city's codes.

Park Maintenance and Outreach
Denver Parks and Recreation provides park ranger contact information and news about upcoming meetings, hearings, and plans on its Community Relations and Outreach page.

Pot Hole Repair

Sidewalk Repair 

Snow Shoveling
Denver requires property owners to clear snow and ice from their sidewalks after a winter storm, including adjacent ADA ramps, so that everyone has safe access throughout the city.

Street Light Repair

Street Light Request

Sustainable Neighborhoods

The Sustainable Neighborhoods Program gives residents the opportunity to participate in making their neighborhood a more healthy, green and liveable community.

Denver Community Planning and Development provides multiple online resources for residents to learn about planning.

Overview 

In Depth

Videos of the three-session Citizens Planning Academy are available online for those interested in getting a more in depth look at planning and zoning in Denver. Each video is one hour and thirty minutes long. 

Session 1, Citywide Planning

Session 2, Neighborhood Planning

Session 3: Zoning

Denver 311 is an easy, common entry point to navigate city services, particularly when residents want to inquire about something but don't know which city agency addresses the issue. Contact 311 to ask a question, submit a comment or to report a problem (non-emergency):

By signing up for a Pocketgov.com account, Denver residents can access customized information about their property, neighborhood, government and upcoming events. 

Here are some of the services accessible online through PocketGov:

  • DMV Renewals
  • Denver 311
  • Denver Elections: Ballot, voting locations, ballot trace, election results
  • Street sweeping schedules
  • Storm Drainage eBilling signup
  • Waste service schedules
  • Online city payments
  • Neighborhood event schedules
  • Wait times for specific city service locations

Sign up or log in to your account at PocketGov.com or DenverGov.org/PocketGov

 

 

Take Action

This toolkit will help you get acquainted with and compile resources in your area ahead of a planning process.

  • Connect with your City Council member
    Get in touch with your City Council representative to start a dialogue with the office, learn what initiatives the office is undertaking ahead of the planning process, and get connected to others in your area who have similar interests. Visit www.DenverGov.org/citycouncil to connect with the appropriate office. 
  • Identify Stakeholders
    Before neighborhood planning begins, it may be helpful to compile a list of stakeholders and organizations in your area who will have an interest in the planning process. This spreadsheet (XLSX) can be used as a template to collect this information. 
  • Venue Inventory
    This spreadsheet (XLSX) can help your organization compile a list of venues in your area suitable to host community events before and during the neighborhood planning process. Venues should be accessible for all community members, including those using wheelchairs, and should be able to accommodate crowds of varying sizes.
  • Find your RNO or register a new group
    Neighborhood organizations register with the city as a way to open communication with city agencies and to receive notification about city projects in their boundaries. Visit the RNO page to find out what groups cover your area or to learn about how you can register a new RNO. 

A vision book will help document issues important to you or your organization, suggestions on how these issues can be addressed, your favorite and least favorite features of your neighborhood and your vision for these areas.

Books should be composed of images and descriptions that respond to one (or more) of the following suggested themes. Images can show current conditions or illustrate ideas or examples on how they can be improved. Images of ideas or examples for improvement can be of other areas in the city or other cities. 

  • Public spaces – Parks, plazas, transit stations, community gardens, convention centers or other open spaces. 
    • What are your favorite open spaces in your neighborhood? Consider what makes these places successful or currently prevents them from being well-used. 
    • What specific amenities such as seating, trees, or lighting would you like to see in neighborhood open spaces? 
    • What are your concerns about open spaces in your neighborhood?
  • Buildings/community character – Buildings (public or private, residential or commercial) help create the feel and character of an area. 
    • What are your favorite buildings in your neighborhood? 
    • What buildings add or detract from the neighborhood? 
    • What specific building uses or types would you like to see in your community? 
    • What are the aspects or features of the neighborhood that make it unique? 
    • How do these features define the character of the community?
  • Streets – Vehicle travel lanes, bike lanes, bus lanes, buffers, sidewalks, and medians. 
    • How well do your streets function? 
    • What improvements do you want to see in neighborhood streets?
  • Opportunity Area – An undeveloped lot, a vacant building or other under-utilized site. Identify an opportunity area in your neighborhood and create a profile that includes: 
    • location (address or a Google map image)
    • written description (including how it is currently being used)
    • photos
    • images illustrating a potential vision for the future 
    • why this place represents a good opportunity for your neighborhood
    • your idea or vision for this site, including how you would improve the site 

Download the following templates to create your photo vision book:

Download the following sample vision books to get an idea of how to assemble your own vision book for your neighborhood: 

Learning about the history of your neighborhood is a helpful exercise before the community comes together to create a neighborhood plan. Understanding an area’s history and context can help residents and neighborhood organizations make informed decisions about the area’s future.

Oral History
An oral history is a collection of stories and accounts about individuals, everyday life and important historical events captured on audio or video recordings or hand-written transcripts. Collecting an oral history is a valuable way to document the unique character and history of a place.

The Smithsonian Folklife and Oral History Interviewing Guide published by the Smithsonian Center for Culture and Folklife is one of numerous resources available online on collecting an oral history. The guide includes sample questions on numerous topics including local history and community life (page 25 of the downloadable PDF) that specifically address neighborhood traditions and local history.

Visual History
A visual history is a collection of historical images about individuals, places, everyday life and important events recorded with photographs. Having photographs of places and residents in the neighborhood throughout its history is a valuable way to document the unique character and context of a place.

The following links may serve as potential resources for locating historical images:

 

Listening sessions or community discussions are a valuable way to create and maintain open lines of communication among neighbors, organizations and local leaders. 

What you need to conduct a community meeting

  • Choose a time that is convenient for potential attendees
  • Choose a meeting place that is accessible to attendees of all abilities 
  • Choose a facilitator
  • Invite community leaders to participate 
  • Publicize your event in multiple ways to reach as many potential attendees as possible 
  • Use sign-in sheets to collect names and contact information
  • Take notes to document the discussion

How to kick start a discussion

  • Review the resources in the Planning 101 section of this page and share those at the meeting so atteendees have a general understanding of planning.
  • Ask some of these sample questions:
    • What do you love about your neighborhood?
    • What are some challenges or opportunities that you would like to see addressed in a planning process?
    • What ideas do you have about improving your neighborhood?
    • What is your vision for the neighborhood over the next 20 years?

 

 
 

Picture of community meeting where attendees are doing a planning exercise.

Submit your Findings/Ideas

If you or your organization have completed any of the "Take Action" items and would like to submit your information to city planners ahead of the start of the planning process in your neighborhood, click on the link below to fill out the submission form.