Nov 03, 2017
38th & Blake Station Area Incentive & RiNo Design Overlay
What is It?
In 2015, we embarked upon a bold idea in River North Arts District, a Five Points statistical neighborhood. An incentive program that offers higher zoning in exchange for affordable housing, community serving businesses and design standards. We were inspired by other cities that take advantage of density around transit stations. We know that Denver is growing fast, so to address this issue we need to think critically and strategically. Inclusion of housing at many income levels is essential for the long-term sustainability of our city. We see this as one of many tools needed in our tool box to accomplish that goal. The perfect area to begin looking at this initiative is at the 38th & Blake Station, which is in the River North Art District. It is important to note in Colorado we have a State preemption that doesn’t allow us to mandate affordability of units, also known as Rent Control. Our incentive proposal allows us to require 10% affordability because the builder is opting into the program, it’s not mandated.
How We Did It
We created a steering committee made up of neighborhood leaders from the following surrounding areas: Cole, Curtis Park, Globeville, Elyria-Swansea and RiNo. This committee helped develop a scope of work and assisted with community meetings that allowed neighbors to meet with developers and share ideas. In a time when Denver is growing, neighbors supported higher densities (from 8 to 12) around the transit station with two important exceptions: the need to develop a nice transition into the neighborhood and they also wanted to ensure their values were being met. Their values consisted of affordable housing, community serving businesses (i.e., credit unions, grocery stores, day care centers and art studios) as well as better design standards. The community meetings were well attended and the information gathered was incorporated into the plan. Revisions were made to the 38th & Blake Station Area neighborhood plan, which was adopted by City Council in September 2016.
So, What is Next?
Since the plan was adopted we’ve been working with staff from Community Planning and Development on implementing it with a Text Amendment for the Incentive Area and Design Overlay, which will begin the City Council process in December. I highly recommend that you review the draft and provide me with and questions, comments and/or concerns. Please click on this link to see the public review draft.
This is also available on the Denvergov website:
Please don’t forget to email me with your thoughts on the draft plan.
Community Spotlight: Five Points Arts Celebration
In Spring 2013, Denver’s community gathered to provide a strategic vision and future platform for arts, culture and creativity in the City that became IMAGINE 2020 - Denver’s Cultural Plan. IMAGINE 2020 is Denver’s first cultural plan since 1989 and reflects the vision, goals and aspirations of everyone who contributed ideas through the planning process and will help guide resources, support and direction for the City’s arts and culture in all their many forms. It makes a call to action to city agencies, cultural institutions, businesses, civic leaders, neighborhood- and community- based organizations and residents to ensure arts and culture are at the heart of this great city.
Our office was contacted by Denver Arts and Venues to participate in Denver Arts Week’s IMAGINE 2020 City-Wide Challenge with other City Council Offices. Our goal is to bring art into the community and incorporate the vision of IMAGINE 2020:
Integration, Amplification, Accessibility, Lifelong Learning, Local Talent, Economic Vitality, Collective Leadership
Please join our office as we celebrate art in Five Points! Our celebration will feature local artists, have kid-friendly chalk mural activities, local musicians, and DJs.
We will be hosting our event at Coffee at The Point, which is crowdfunding for a new espresso machine, and will provide us with free coffee and hot cocoa for event attendees.
When: Sat., Nov. 11th 11a – 1p
Where: Coffee at the Point (710 E. 26th Ave.)